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The Letters of John Wesley





To Ann Bolton

LEEDS, July 27, 1789.

MY DEAR NASCY,--Although what you propose is quite a new thing such as we have yet no precedent of, yet I do not know but it may be a means of much good. It may be worth while to make a trial for a year, especially as Brother Pescod [Joseph Pescod, the Assistant in Oxfordshire in 1788, moved to. St. Ives soon after this letter was written.] is willing himself to make the first experiment. But it would be well to do so on a regular plan, a kind of circuit, and not to ramble without any rule. Wishing you a continual power to do and suffer all the will of God, I am, my dear Nancy,

Yours most affectionately.

To Miss Bolton, In Witney,




To Mrs. Rose

LEEDS, July 29, 1789.

MY DEAR SISTER--It has pleased God to prove you for many years in the furnace of affliction. But He has always been with you in the fire that you might be purified, not consumed. You have therefore good reason to trust Him. Do not reason, but believe! Hang upon Him as a little child, and your eyes shall see His full salvation! -- I am,

Your affectionate brother.

To Mrs. Eliz. Rose, In Sheffield.



To Sarah Rutter [1]

LEEDS, July 29, 1789.

MY DEAR SISTER, -- I commend our sisters and you for meeting in band. It is a very excellent means for building each other up in the love and knowledge of God. Mr. Jenkins is appointed to stay with you another year, and another preacher that breathes the same spirit. You would have done well if you had wrote to me long ago, and it might have saved you much trouble.

If I live till autumn, I shall see you again at St. Neots; when I hope to find you and all the family fighting the good fight of faith and laying hold on eternal life. -- I am, dear Sally,

Yours affectionately.

To Miss Sally Rutter, St. Neots.



To Mr. -----

LEEDS, July 30, 1780.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- I will take care to give a true view of the affairs of Worcester both to John Leech (as good-natured a man as lives) and Brother Kane. [Leech and Lawrence Kane were the new preachers. Leech, a zealous and successful preacher, died in 1810.] I will order J. Leech to change the stewards without delay, and to execute the orders which I gave when at Worcester. Brother Kane will show you the letter Mr. [York] wrote to me, at whose request I send him to your circuit. -- I am

Your affectionate brother.


(To Mrs. Knapp see page 271[Appendix])



To James Bogie

LEEDS, August 1, 1789.

DEAR JEMMY, -- Your division of Scotland into the three southern circuits is exceedingly well judged. [See letter of Oct. 11, 1788.] You will see by the Minutes of Conference that it is put into execution. I trust in a few months' time to see thorough Methodist discipline both in Glasgow, Ayr, and Dumfries. And pray do not forget Greenock. I have letters thence calling for help. Let not any poor soul perish for lack of knowledge if it be in our power to prevent it. -- I am, dear Jemmy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mr. James Bogie, At the

Preaching-house, In Glasgow.





To Ann Bolton

LEEDS, August 1, 1789.

MY DEAR SISTER, -- I thank you for sending me so particular an account of your sister's death. 'Right precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.' It is well you have learned to say, 'The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!' And you can say it even

When loss of friends ordained to know, --

Next pain and guilt, the sorest ill below. [S. Wesley, jun., on Dr. Gastrell.]

But why does our Lord inflict this upon us Not merely for His pleasure, but that we may be partakers of His holiness. It is true one grand means of grace is the doing the will of our Lord. But the suffering it is usually a quicker means and sinks us deeper into the abyss of love. It hath pleased God to lead you in the way of suffering from your youth up until now. For the present this is not joyous, but grievous; nevertheless it has yielded peaceable fruit. Your soul is still as a watered garden, as a field which the Lord hath blessed. Cleave to Him still with full purpose of heart. To His tender care I commend you; and am

Yours affectionately.



To Frances Godfrey

LEEDS, August 2, 1789.

It gives me pleasure, my dear Fanny, to hear that you still continue in the good way. Still press to the mark, to the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. From what you have already experienced, you know there is one happiness in the earth below and in heaven above. You know God alone can satisfy your soul either in earth or heaven. Cleave to Him with full purpose of heart. If you seek happiness in anything but Him, you must be disappointed. I hope you find satisfaction likewise in some of your Christian companions. It is a blessed thing to have fellow travelers to the New Jerusalem. If you cannot find any, you must make them; for none can travel that road alone. [Compare the advice to Wesley; 'Sir, you are to serve God and go to heaven. Remember you cannot serve Him alone; you must therefore find companions or make them: the Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.' See Telford's Wesley, p. 147.] Then labor to help each other on that you may be altogether Christians. Wishing you health both of body and mind, I am, my dear Fanny,

Yours affectionately.





To Mrs. Cock

LEEDS, August 3, 1789.

MY DEAR SISTER, -- I am always well pleased to hear from you. When I first heard of your marriage, I was afraid of two things [See letter of April 7.]: the one was, that it would hurt your soul; the other, that it would prevent your usefulness--at least, that you would not be useful in so high a degree as otherwise you might be. But your last letter has given me much satisfaction. I now hope that your own soul has suffered no loss; and likewise that you will find many opportunities of doing good and will improve them to the uttermost. I want you to do the will of God below as angels do above. I want you to be all light, all fire, all love, and to grow up in all things into Him that is our Head; and still to love and pray for

Yours affectionately.



To Dr. Ford

LEEDS, August 3, 1789.

DEAR SIR, -- It would have been a pleasure to me to wait upon you at Melton Mowbray. [See letter of Aug. 10, 1776, to him.] But at present it cannot be, as I am engaged to be at Newark on Wednesday, at Hinxworth on Thursday, and at London on Friday.

Wishing every blessing to Mrs. Ford and you.--I am, dear sir,

Your affectionate brother.

To the Rev. Dr. Ford, Vicar of Melton Mowbray.



To Harriet Lewis

LEEDS, August 3, 1789.

You see, my dear Harriet, the blessed effects of Unconditional Perseverance! It leads the way by easy steps, first to presumption, and then to black despair! There will be no way to recover your poor friend to a scriptural faith but by taking away that broken reed from her, and by convincing her that if she dies in her present state she will perish eternally. It will indeed be a medicine that will put her to pain: but it will be the only one that will save her soul alive. What a blessing it is, my dear Harriet, that you have been saved from this poisonous doctrine! and that you are enabled to follow after that holiness without which we cannot see the Lord! So run that you may obtain. The prize is before you. Never be weary or faint in your mind. In due time you will reap if you faint not. -- I am

Yours affectionately.



To Sarah Mallet

LEEDS, August 3, 1789.

DEAR SALLY, -- I did not receive any letter from you but that which you wrote the last month. You may be assured of my answering every letter which I receive from you, because I have a real regard for you. I love you with a tender affection. You do well, therefore, whenever you write, to unbosom your whole soul to me. You may tell me any trial you meet with, and that with all simplicity. And tell me, on the other hand, whatever manifestations of the ever-blessed Trinity you find, and whatever uncommon degree of faith or hope or love you are favored with from time to time. I hope you speak freely to Mr. Tattershall. [See letter of Dec. 15 to Miss Mallet.] He is an excellent man and deeply acquainted with the things of God. You may learn much from him, and the more because you are willing to learn; you are glad to be instructed. To do you any service that is in my power will always be a pleasure to, dear Sally,

Yours affectionately.

To Miss Sarah Mallet.



To Dr. Bradshaw [2]

PLYMOUTH DOCK, August 15, 1789.

DEAR SIR, -- I cannot, dare not, will not suffer Thomas Olivers to murder the Arrninian Magazine any longer. The errata are intolerable and innumerable. They shall be so no more. But he need not starve. He has the interest of some hundred pounds yearly. To which I will add thirty pounds a year quamdiu se bene gesserint. [The Act of Settlement, 1701, secured the Judges' independence, quamdiu se bene gesserint ('as long as they behave themselves well'). Previously they had been subject to dismissal at the will of the King.] -- I am, dear sir,

Your affectionate servant.

To the Rev. Dr. Bradshaw,

No. 137 Bishopsgate Street.



To the Methodist Preachers [3]

REDRUTH, August 23, 1789.

Some years since, Mr. Valton wrote to me from Yorkshire, informing me there was great want of a larger preaching-house at Dewsbury, and desiring leave to make subscriptions and collections, in order to build one. I encouraged him to make them. Money was subscribed and collected, and the house built, which the trustees promised to settle in the usual form. But when it was finished, they refused to settle it, unless a power was given them to displace any preacher they should object to.

After all possible means had been used to bring them to a better mind, the case was referred to the Conference; and it was unanimously agreed to build another house as soon as possible, that the flock might not be scattered.

I therefore entreat every one that wishes well to Methodism, especially to the itinerant plan, to exert himself on this important occasion, that a work so absolutely necessary may be finished as soon as possible. I say absolutely necessary; for if the trustees of houses are to displace preachers, then itinerancy is at an end. -- I am, my dear brother,

Your affectionate brother and servant for Christ's sake.

N.B. -- Make this collection immediately. Lose not one day.



To Walter Churchey [4]

ST. IVES, August 26, 1789.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- I suppose George Paramore has followed your direction and entered the book at Stationers' Hall. I have seldom entered any book there, and I have never found any inconvenience from the omission of it. Some days since I sent a list of the subscribers' names to London, although I do not see it necessary, for what had the names of the subscribers to do with any book unpublished Is it merely to swell the book, or to do honor to the subscribers or the author

I am now come to the furthest point of my Cornish journey, and shall in two or three hours turn my face toward Bristol. Peace be with you and yours! -- I am

Your affectionate brother.



To Edward Thomas


MY DEAR BROTHER, -- Your letter gave me much satisfaction. I am sincerely glad that you are convinced you went too far, and I love you the better for having the courage to acknowledge it. It is now time that all which is past should be forgot, but it will be best to proceed by little and little. First, I will readmit you into the Society, then I will desire Mr. Warwick [Thomas Warwick, now Assistant at Plymouth. See letter of May 21.] after a time to give you the charge of a class, and soon after to employ you as a local preacher; and I trust you will be more useful than ever.

On all occasions you will find me

Your affectionate brother.



To William Thom [5]

PLYMOUTH DOCK, August 30, 1789.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- The case of Mr. Holmes of all others ought to have been fully discussed at the Conference. It has been mentioned, I know, once and again, but not clearly determined. Several of our brethren did not think it proper to burden ourselves with an old man and his family. Surely it is not proper for me single to overrule their judgment. I do not see what I can do. I would be willing to serve him any way I can; but I do not see what way it can be done. -- I am, with kind love to Sister Thom,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mr. Thom, At the Preaching-house, In Sarum.



To Dr. Coke [6]

BRISTOL, September 5, 1789.

DEAR SIR, -- Upon serious reflection I doubt if it would not be more proper for you to go westward than northward. I surely believe it would be best for you to set out from London, so as to meet me here about Monday or Tuesday fortnight on your way to Cornwall. Then you may give Brother Dobson (to whom my love) a sermon at West Street for the poor children. [See letter of Feb. 21, 1786.]

I wish you to obey 'the Powers that be' in America; but I wish you to understand them too. I firmly believe Brother Dunn will answer your expectation. The tyrants in that house sadly want one to overlook them; and he will do it both with wisdom and tenderness. The Society begins to lift up its head again. We had a remarkably good time. -- I am, dear sir,

Your affectionate friend and brother.



To the Printer of the 'Bristol Gazette' [7]

BRISTOL, HORSEFAIR, September 7, 1789.

1. In the reign of King James I an Act of Parliament was made prohibiting the use of that poisonous herb called hops. It does not appear that this Act has ever been repealed. But in process of time it has been forgotten, and the poisonous weed introduced again. It has continued in use ever since; and that upon a general supposition, (1) that it was very wholesome, greatly promotive of health, and (2) that malt drink would not keep without it.

2. On these suppositions the use of it has not only continued, but much increased during the present century. 'I have lived in this town' (Whitechurch in Shropshire), said a gentleman to me sometime since, 'above forty years, and have all that time brewed much malt drink. I use just the same quantity of hops that I did forty years ago; but most of my neighbors use four times as much now as they did then.'

3. Nearly the same has been done in other counties, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire in particular. Forty years ago, I well remember, all the ale I tasted there had a soft, sweetish taste, such as the decoction of barley will always have if not adulterated by bitter herbs. So it had two or three thousand years ago, according to the account in Ovid, who, speaking of the manner wherein Baucis entertained Jupiter, says, Bibendure Dulce dedit, tosta quod coxerat ante polenta [Metamorphoses, v. 450; of the old woman and Ceres: 'She gave her something sweet to drink which she had prepared from parched malt.']; whereas all the ale in Yorkshire as well as in other counties is now quite harsh and bitter.

4. But may it not be asked 'whether this is not a change for the better, seeing hops are so exceeding wholesome a plant' Are they so Why, then, do physicians almost with one voice forbid their patients the use of malt drink, particularly all that are infected with the scurvy or any distemper related to it Do not they know there is not a more powerful anti-scorbutic in the world than wort -- that is, unhopped decoction of malt What a demonstration is this that it is the addition of hops which turns this excellent medicine into poison! And who does not know that wort, unhopped malt drink, is an excellent medicine both for the gout and stone But will any physician in his senses recommend the common malt drink to one that is ill of or subject to those diseases Why not Because there is no drink that more directly tends to breed and increase both one and the other.

5. 'But whether hops are wholesome or no, are they not necessary to prevent malt drink from turning sour' I never doubted of it for fourscore years. And there are very few that do doubt of it. It has passed for an incontestable truth ever since I was in the world. And yet it is as absolute palpable a falsehood as ever was palmed upon mankind. Any one may in a short time be convinced of this by his own senses. Make the experiment yourself. Brew any quantity of malt, add hops to one half of this, and none to the other half. Keep them in the same cellar three or six months, and the ale without hops will keep just as well as the other. I have made the experiment at London. One barrel had no hops, the other had. Both were brewed with the same malt, and exactly in the same manner. And after six months that without hops had kept just as well as the other. 'But what bitter did you infuse in the room of it' No bitter at all. No bitter is necessary to preserve ale, any more than to preserve cider or wine. I look upon the matter of hops to be a mere humbug upon the-good people of England; indeed, as eminent an one on the whole nation as 'the man's getting into a quart bottle' was on the people of London.

6. 'However, are they not necessary on another account -- namely, to advance the public revenue Does not the tax upon hops bring in two or three hundred-thousand pounds yearly into the Exchequer' Perhaps it does. And yet it may be not an advantage but a loss to the nation. So it certainly is if it breeds and increases grievous and mortal diseases, and thereby destroys every year thousands of His Majesty's liege subjects. May not gold be bought too dear Are not one hundred thousand lives worth more than two hundred thousand pounds Each of these men, had this poison been kept out of his reach, had he lived out all his days, would probably have paid more yearly in other taxes than he paid for leave to put himself out of the world.

Oh that someone had the honesty and courage to inform His Majesty of this! Would the most benevolent Prince in Europe desire or consent to barter the lives of his subjects for money Nay, but in fact, it is selling them for naught, and taking no money for them; seeing it is evident, upon the whole of the account, that nothing at all is gained thereby. For it is certain more money is lost by shortening the lives of so many men (seeing the dead pay no taxes) than all the hop tax through the nation amounts to.

7. 'But do not many physicians, most of whom are now alive, and some of them of considerable note, affirm hops to be exceeding wholesome and that both in their conversations and writings' They certainly do; but who can imagine that they believe themselves when they talk so If they did, would they deny, would they not prescribe malt drink to their gouty or scorbutic patients But they do not; because they know, however good wort might be for them, add hops to it and it commences poison. Deny this who dare. With what face, then, can any man of character affirm them to be wholesome But, whether they are necessary for raising money or no, certainly they are not necessary for preserving drink. This will keep for six or twelve months just as well without hops as with them.

8. Yet we must not suppose that any arguments whatever, which ever were or can be used, will have any weight in this case with the planters or sellers of hops or those that are connected with them. They have a ready answer to the strongest reasons that can be advanced on this head (although they may not always see it expedient to speak out): 'Sir, by this means we get our wealth.' And is it not easy for them to procure ingenious men to plead for them when the craft is in danger When, therefore, we make observations of this kind, all which can be expected is that a few sensible men, who are neither blinded by interests nor carried away by popular clamor, will attend to the voice of reason, and be persuaded to save their money and preserve the health of their families.



To Mrs. Warwick

BATH, September 10, 1789.

MY DEAR SISTER, -- I know not what to do or what to say. This untoward man so perplexes me It is not my business to find houses for the preachers' wives. I do not take it upon me. I did not order him to come to Burslem. I only permitted what I could not help. I must leave our brethren to compromise these matters among themselves. They are too hard for me. A preacher is wanted in Gloucester circuit. One of them may go thither. -- I am, with love to Brother Warwick, [Someone has written across the letter, To Mrs. Warwick concerning Michael Moorhouse. See letter of July 7, 1786.] my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.



To the Methodist People [8]

BRISTOL. September 11, 1789.

1. When, about fifty years ago, one and another young man offered to serve me as sons in the gospel, it was on these terms, that they would labor where I appointed; otherwise we should have stood in each other's way. Here began itinerant preaching with us. But we were not the first itinerant preachers in England. Twelve were appointed by Queen Elizabeth to travel continually, in order to spread true religion through the kingdom; and the office and salary still continue, though their work is little attended to. Mr. Miller, late Vicar of Chipping in Lancashire, was one of them.

2. As the number of preachers increased it grew more and more difficult to fix the places where each should labor from time to time. I have often wished to transfer this work of stationing the preachers once a year to one or more of themselves. But none were willing to accept of it. So I must bear the burden till my warfare shall be accomplished.

3. When preaching-houses were built, they were vested immediately in trustees, who were to see that those preached in them whom I sent, and none else; this, we conceived, being the only way whereby itinerancy could be regularly established. But lately, after a new preaching-house had been built at Dewsbury in Yorkshire by the subscriptions and contributions of the people (the trustees alone not contributing one quarter of what it cost), they seized upon the house, and, though they had promised the contrary, positively refused to settle it on the Methodist plan, requiring that they should have a power of refusing any preacher whom they disliked. If so, I have no power of stationing the Dewsbury preachers; for the trustees may object to whom they please. And themselves, not I, are finally to judge of those objections. [See letters of Aug. 23 and Sept. 15, 1789 (to Henry Moore).]

4. Observe, here is no dispute about the right of houses at all. I have no right to any preaching-house in England. What I claim is a right of stationing the preachers. This these trustees have robbed me of in the present instance. Therefore only one of these two ways can be taken: either to sue for this house, or to build another. We prefer the latter, being the most friendly way.

I beg, therefore, my brethren, for the love of God; for the love of me, your old and wellnigh worn-out servant; for the love of ancient Methodism, which, if itinerancy is interrupted, will speedily come to nothing; for the love of justice, mercy, and truth, which are all so grievously violated by the detention of this house; that you will set your shoulders to the necessary work. Be not straitened in your own bowels. We have never had such a cause before. Let not, then, unkind, unjust, fraudulent men have cause to rejoice in their bad labor. This is a common cause. Exert yourselves to the utmost. I have subscribed fifty pounds. So has Dr. Coke. The preachers have done all they could. O let them that have much give plenteously! Perhaps this is the last labor of love I may have occasion to recommend to you. Let it, then, stand as one more monument of your real gratitude to, my dear brethren,

Your old, affectionate brother.



To Mrs. Armstrong

BRISTOL, September 15, 1789.

MY DEAR SISTER, -- The account you give of James M'Quigg is very remarkable. [J. M'Quigg was one of the preachers at Limerick. Wesley preached at Moate near Athlone, on April 2, 1748, and calls it 'the pleasantest town I have yet seen in Ireland.'] The sending him to Athlone just at this time was a signal instance of Divine Providence; and his going to Moate, where we had so long labored in vain, was in an acceptable time. Many of our friends were in dread to [hear] him! God honored him. I pray He will honor him more as long as his eye is single, seeking his happiness in God alone.

You cannot tell, my dear Jenny, what good you may do by now and then speaking a word for God. Be not ashamed nor afraid to put in a word when occasion offers. Indeed, you are not called for any public work; but even in private conversation a word spoken in season how good it is! You need not be a drone; you will not want opportunities of doing good in various kinds. To hear of you or from you will always be a pleasure. -- My dear Jenny,

Yours very affectionately.

To Mrs. Jane Armstrong, Athlone.



To Henry Moore [9]

BRISTOL, September 15, 1789.

DEAR HENRY, -- I am glad you delayed the making of the collection for Dewsbury. I suppose you have now my second paper, [See letter of Sept. 11.] which should be printed and sent to every Assistant. Herewith I show them more plainly what my sentiments are than I have ever done.

Geo. Paramore writes to desire his brother and sister may succeed Brother and Sister Shropshire at Spiralfields. I have no objection. I refer that matter to you, who are upon the spot. All in our house are in great peace. We are a family of love. I love Sister Clarke, only not as much as my dear Nancy; and am, dear Henry,

Your affectionate friend and brother.



To his Nephew Samuel Wesley

Near BRISTOL, September, 16, 1789.

MY DEAR SAMMY, -- It gives me pleasure to hear that you have so much resolution that you go to bed at ten and rise at four o'clock. Let not the increase of cold affright you from your purposes. Bear your cross, and it will bear you. I advise you carefully to read over Kempis, the Life of Gregory Lopez and that of Mons. de Renty. They are all among my brother's books. -- I am, dear Sammy,

Your affectionate Uncle and friend.



To Henry Moore

BATH, September 20, 1789.

DEAR HENRY, -- Our friends in [Round] Court have determined to hurt Sally Brown if possible. [See letter of May 6.] Just now they have contrived to turn Mr. Marriott [William Marriott, the stock-broker, was one of Wesley's executors.] against her, who seemed inclined to help her effectually. You know a good deal of poor Betty Sharp's affairs. Concerning her I have referred him to you. So please [do] all you can.

Pray desire Sister Ferguson [Wife of Wesley's host in Holland. See letters of June 12 and July 20, 1783.] to direct the letter enclosed to her that was Miss Loten, and then put it into the post. On Monday, October 6, I purpose (God willing) to be at Sarum; on the Saturday following, at or before noon, at Cobham. So if two or three of you meet me there, well. [He got to Cobham at 10.30 on Oct. 8. See Journal, viii. 17d.] -- I am, with much love to Nancy, dear Henry,

Your affectionate friend and brother.



To Henry Moore

BRISTOL, September 22, 1789.

DEAR HENRY, -- We will let Sally Brown's affair sleep till we meet. I am afraid that pain in your back portends a fever. If so, I hope Dr. Whitehead has seen you. In autumn especially delays are dangerous. We had an epidemic deafness here. It seized me last night while I was preaching abroad at Jacob's Wells, and lasted almost eighteen hours.

To save postage I desire you to tell Mr. Rankin that I hope to be at Cobham [See previous letter.] at or before noon on Saturday se'nnight, and that I am perfectly satisfied with his letter. The point of reading Prayers at the Chapels shall be fixed if I live to see London; the design of such was sufficiently explained at the Conference. Whether I shall go straight to Oxfordshire I have not yet determined. -- I am, with kindest love to Nancy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.



To the Printer of the 'Bristol Gazette'

BRISTOL, September 25, 1789.

SIR, -- I am obliged to your ingenious and candid correspondent for his late remarks. He justly observes that 'unfermented Malt drink is not fit for common beverage.' But it may be fermented without hops full as well as with them. The fermentation (to which I have no objection) is caused not by the hops but the yeast. I believe the other ingredients in porter correct the noxious quality of the hops, and make it very wholesome drink to those with whose constitution it agrees.

The last paragraph of this gentleman's letter I heartily subscribe to, and wish it were inserted in every public paper throughout the three kingdoms: 'If good malt liquor could be made without hops' (nay, it is made; as good as any in England), 'the saving in this respect would be such as would very well enable the brewer to pay an additional duty on his beer equal to five times the annual revenue arising from hops; and the hop grounds might be converted into excellent corn land.' This is a stroke indeed! And deserves to be well considered by all lovers of their country. [See letters of Sept. 7 and Oct. 3.]



To Jonathan Brown, Isle of Man

[October], 1789.

DEAR JONATHAN, -- You send us welcome news of the prosperity of the work of God in the isle. A year ago, [See letter of Feb. 28.] I was afraid that our members would scarce ever again amount to four-and-twenty hundred: so they rise now above our hope. I trust now it will be your business throughly to 'purge the floor.' Purge out all the unworthy members, and strongly exhort the rest to 'go on to perfection.' Get as many as possible to meet in band. -- I am, with love to your wife,

Your affectionate friend and brother.



To John Mason

BRISTOL, October 3, 1789.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- If, as I am informed, Mr. Gregor is a lover of King George and the present Administration, I wish you would advise all our brethren that have votes to assist him in the ensuing election. -- I am

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mr. Mason, St. Austle's,




To the Printer of the 'Bristol Gazette' [See letters of Sept. 25 and Oct. 12 (to Adam Clarke).]

BRISTOL, October 3, 1789.

SIR, -- I am much obliged to your last correspondent also for the candor with which he writes. 'Mr. Wesley,' he observes, 'had cautioned us against the use of hops on account of its poisonous quality. But the authority on which he grounds this is only an old obsolete Act of Parliament. He has not informed us of its mode of operation on the animal frame.'

'Tis very true. I leave that to the gentlemen of the Faculty, for many of whom I have an high respect. Meantime I declare my own judgment, grounded not only on the Act of Parliament, but first on my own experience with regard to the gravel or stone, and secondly on the opinion of all the physicians I have heard or read that spoke on the subject.

I do not apprehend that we need recur either to 'the Elements of Chemistry' or to the College of Physicians on the head. I urge a plain matter of fact - 'that hops are pernicious.' I did not say to all (though perhaps they may more or less) but to those that are inclined to stone, gout, or scurvy. So I judge, because I feel it to myself if I drink it two or three days together; and because so I hear from many skillful physicians; and I read in their works.

I cannot but return thanks to both your correspondents for their manner of writing, worthy of gentlemen. As to the gentleman brewer of Bath that challenges me to engage him for five hundred pounds, I presume he had taken a draught of his well-hopped beverage, or he would not have been so valiant. So I wish him well; and am, sir,

Your humble servant.



To Elizabeth Baker

SARUM, October 5, 1789.

MY DEAR BETSY, -- Frequently I have been thinking of you and I thought it a long time since I heard from you. [See letters of Sept. 16, 1788, and Oct. 29, 1789.] This is always very agreeable to me, as I found much union with you ever since I saw you. I then took knowledge that you had been with Jesus and had drunk into His spirit.

Ne'er let your faith forsake its hold,

Nor hope decline, nor love grow cold,

both in the case of Robert Humphrey and that of the poor woman you mention. You will do well to [note] everything of this kind that came [within] your notice. The merciful Lord has so done His marvelous works that they ought to be had in remembrance. These instances should certainly quicken your zeal and increase your expectation of seeing good days at Monmouth.

When Dr. [Papar] came to see his friend Dr. Curtis, he found mortification on his instep, where was a black spot as large as a crown piece. The mortification was likewise begun under his knee, where was a circle .... and adjoining to it a circle as [red] as scarlet. He ordered me to rub this with a warm hand.. The parts were steeped half an hour with boiled camo[mile].. After one with a warm hand rubbed a mixture.. This was [done] twice a day. In two or three days Dr. Curtis was [well]. [Some part of the letter is missing, so that the sense is not clear.]

Pray send me your Receipt for the Hyaran... Behavior to me from, my dear Betsy,

Yours very affectionately.

I am going to London.



To Charles Atmore

LONDON, October 12, 1789.

DEAR CHARLES, -- It is a great blessing that God gives you and your fellow-laborers to act in full concert with each other. I hope you exhort all the believers to go on to perfection and that you take especial care of the Select Society. You do well to go on at N[orth] Shields, without taking the least notice of Edwd. Coates [Armore was Assistant in Newcastle; John Ogilvie was his colleague. Coates had separated from Wesley. See letter of April 29 to him.] or his society; only be loving and courteous to any of them when they come in your way. If you and your people have more of the life of God in yourselves than them, you infallibly will prevail. You should continually exhort them all to this. Only let us have the mind that was in Christ, and we shall want no manner of thing that is good. -- I am, dear Charles,

Your affectionate friend and brother.



To Adam Clarke [10]

LONDON, October 12, 1789.

My DEAR BROTHER, -- I took away this by mistake, which I suppose to be the key of your bureau. I must desire you to send me a copy of those three letters on hops which I published in the Bristol Gazette. I intend to print them both in Lloyd's Evening Post and in the Magazine. I am rather better than worse since I came to London. So to-morrow I am to set out for Norfolk, from whence I hope to return hither in nine or ten days' time. Let us work while the day is! -- I am, with much love to Sister Clarke, dear Adam,

Your affectionate friend and brother.



To Mrs. Planche [11]

NORWICH, October 16, 1789.

MY DEAR SISTER, -- I am glad to God that you are going to lift up the hands of the poor little company at . . . for now is the time to stir up the gift of God that is in you. You will have good work to do, but you must expect to suffer as well as to do the will of God. But be not weary of well-doing; in due time you shall reap if you faint not.

Jenny Smith's letter breathes an admirable spirit; she seems to busy by . . . to and desirous . . . to make her calling and election sure.

But what is the matter with Mr. Smith He came to me at Leeds, and seemed to have little or no objection to the connection between Molly and Mr. Stamp, only he thought she was young enough, and that it would be better for them both not to be in haste. How is it, then, that his mind is so altered I hope it is not because some child of the devil offers who has much money and little grace, and so puts the poor child of God out of countenance. You will now undoubtedly have an opportunity of dropping a word to some of your young relatives and putting them in mind that there is another world. --

My dear sister, Your very affectionate brother.

Addressed to Miss Bolton, In Witney, Oxfordshire.



To Laurence Frost [12]

LONDON, October 23, 1789.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- You are a bold people! Two hundred pounds purchase money besides nine hundred pounds! But I do not use to damp any good design. Go on in the name of God. It is true your deed is clumsy enough. I am surprised that no Methodist will take my advice. I have more experience in these things than any attorney in the land. And have I not the Methodist interest as much at heart Oh, why will you alter the beautiful deed we have already why will you employ any attorney at all Only to seek a knot in a bulrush; only to puzzle the cause. Well, comfort yourselves. You will not long be troubled with

Your affectionate brother.



To John Grace [13]

LONDON, October 25, 1789.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- I was in hope brother Smith would be of use in Londonderry; for the power of God accompanies his word, and He sends by whom He will send without asking counsel of man.

You do well to be exact in morning preaching: that is the glory of the Methodists. Whenever the morning preaching is given up the glory is departed from us.

If Strabane receives the gospel, we may certainly say there is nothing too hard for God; and nothing will be too hard for you if you lean upon His strength and go on hand in hand, desiring only to do and suffer His holy and acceptable will.

Peace be with all your spirits! -- I am

Your affectionate friend and brother.



To William Green [14]

October 25, 1789.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- You abound in leisure; I abound in work: it is not for me, therefore, to follow you step by step through a voluminous performance. I shall only put down a few thoughts as they occur; and may God apply them to your heart!

To begin with the spirit and manner of your whole performance. I doubt it is far from right! I would not commend it if you were writing to one greatly your inferior both in years and station; what can excuse it, then, if you are the inferior in age and other respects

The question is: whether we ought still to attend the ministrations of wicked ministers. Observe, I do not defend or justify them at all, as I said not a word in defense of Hophni and Phineas. You say: No, because God forbids us so to do. That I flatly deny. It is your grand mistake, on which the rest depends.

'But does not God say over and over, Hearken not, hearken not unto them' Yes; but this does not mean refrain from the ministrations even of base, lying prophets, but merely this: Hearken not to their lies; hear them not--that is, regard them not when they speak what God hath not spoken. All the texts you heap together (and you may transcribe fifty more) mean neither more or less than this! Accordingly both the true prophets and all the Israelites did, in fact, attend their ministry still!

'But did not our Lord warn His disciples to beware of the leaven, that is false doctrine, of the Scribes and the Pharisees.' Yes, of their false doctrine; but not to refrain from their ministrations. This neither He nor the Apostles did; they all constantly attended the Temple service as well as that of the synagogue. Yet, that God did not send the false prophets to prophesy lies is certain; but He did send them to minister before him! It is certain also that the word which they prophesied falsely did not profit the people; yet it did when they spoke or read the truth. To say wicked ministers never profit the people is to say that all the Israelites from Samuel to Christ went to hell!

'But wicked ministers do much hurt!' True; but it does not follow that they do no good! Nay, most ministers preach that error which destroys more souls than anything besides -- namely, Phariseeism and Salvation by Works! What is practical Pharisaism The tithing Mint, Anise, and Cummin, and neglecting justice and mercy. This was the practice of the Pharisees in general; though there were a few exceptions.

But who dare affirm that all or three-fourths of our clergy bear this character Nor can you say that all or one half of the English clergy preach this Pharisaism!

'No; but they teach men to seek salvation by works, and does not this destroy almost all mankind' I answer, No: perhaps not one in ten in England, if it destroy one in an hundred: nevertheless nine-tenths of men in England have no more religion than horses, and perish through total contempt of it. Myriads more perish through drunkenness, lewdness, Sabbath-breaking, cursing and swearing, and other outward sins; thousands are destroyed by sins of omission. And when all these are deducted, the remainder supposed to seek salvation by works cannot be more than one in ten.

'But what does this expression mean' Just this, they hope to be saved by keeping the commandments of God. This is certainly an error, but I do not say it is the most damnable error in the world! Nay, I doubt if it ever damned any one man. Take me right; I doubt if any man who sincerely strives to obey God will die before God shows him the true way of salvation!

Upon the whole, what I have said these fifty years, and say now, is: first, attend the ministers Providence has allotted you, and do what they say according to scripture; but hearken not to what they say contrary to it. Secondly, God does now do good by them to the simple in heart, even by their preaching; but more in the Prayers and Lord's. Supper. Thirdly, Messrs. Maxfield, Richards, Westall, and all my other helpers joined me in these conditions. Therefore, to renounce going to Church is, in fact, to renounce connexion with me. To conclude, I defy any man living to prove that I have contradicted myself at all in any of the writings which I have published from the year 1738 to the year 1788. -- I am

Your affectionate brother.





To Richard Rodda [15]

WALLINGFORD, October 26, 1789.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- You are a man whom I can trust: whatever you do you will do it with your might. Some years since, we wanted a preaching-room at Coleford in Somemet-shire. A neighboring gentleman, Mr. Salmon, gave us ground to build on and timber for the house, and desired me to use his house as my own. He is now by wicked men reduced to want. I am informed a master for a poorhouse is wanted at Manchester. Pray inquire; and if it be so, leave no means untried to procure the place for him. Apply in my name to Brother Barlow, Byerly, D. Yates, T. Phillips, Dr. Easton, Mr. Brocklehurst, Stonehouse, and all that have a regard for me. Make all the interest you can. Leave no stone unturned. 'Join hands with God to make a good man live.' I hope you will send me word in London that you have exerted yourself and not without a prospect of success. -- I am, dear Richard,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mr. Rodda, At the Preaching-house,

In Manchester.



To John Mason

NEAR OXFORD, October 27, 1789.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- Wherever the congregation increases we have reason to hope the work of God will increase also. [Mason was Assistant at St. Austell.] And it is certain distress is one means whereby God awakens men out of sleep. You know famine is one of God's sore judgments, and the people should be strongly encouraged to improve by it. Suffer no leader to whisper in his class, but to speak so that all who are present may hear; otherwise how shall

Each his friendly aid afford

And feel his brother's care

Speak strong and home to all. -- I am

Your affectionate friend and brother.



To Thomas Taylor [16]

WITNEY, October 28, 1789.

DEAR TOMMY, -- If I remember right, all our brethren at the Conference as well as myself approved of the proposals concerning the first and second editions of your tract. So I see no difficulty in the matter. I do not think any one envies you -- no, not John Poole himself. But you must write with better ink if you would have any one read. Peace be with you and yours! -- I am, dear Tommy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

Let you and I use our eyes while we may.



To Elizabeth Baker

NEAR OXFORD, October 29, 1789.

MY DEAR BETSY, -- You cannot easily conceive how great satisfaction I received from your affectionate letter. [See letter of Oct. 5.] I am glad you write without reserve and take knowledge that your words come from your heart. What is that sympathy that often unites our hearts to each other Perhaps the first interview. Surely it is not intended that this should cease till it is perfected in eternity.

I am pleased to hear that the work of God does not decline but rather increase in Monmouth. My dear friend, stir up the gift of God that is in you. Warn every one, exhort every one! Be not weary of well-doing! In due time you shall reap if you faint not.

Still let thy mind be bent, still plotting how

And when and where the business may be done.

Have you ever received a clear, direct witness that you was saved from inbred sin At what time In what manner And do you find it as clear as it was at first Do you feel an increase Then, I trust, your love will not lessen for, my dear Betsy,

Yours most affectionately.



To Adam Clarke

LONDON, October 31, 1789.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- I have little more to say on the subject of hops. [See letter of Oct. 12.] Only I still insist upon two things: first, that they are hurtful to such and such persons; secondly, that they are not necessary to keep malt drink from turning sour. Let them beat me off this ground that can.

Even irregular, ill-conducted prayer-meetings have been productive of much good. But they will be productive of much more while they are kept under proper regulations.

You have reason to praise God for restoring your little one. If so, it will be time for Sister Clarke and you to break his spirit. Peace be with your spirits! -- I am, dear Adam,

Your affectionate friend and brother.



To Mr.----- [17]

LONDON, October 31, 1789.

I was a little surprised when I received some letters from Mr. Asbury affirming that no person in Europe knew how to direct those in America. Soon after he flatly refused to receive Mr. Whatcoat in the character I sent him. He told George Shadford, 'Mr. Wesley and I are like Caesar and Pompey: he will bear no equal, and I will bear no superior.' And accordingly he quietly sat by until h'ls friends voted my name out of the American Minutes. This completed the matter and showed that he had no connection with me.


To Mrs. Cock

HINXWORTH, November 3, 1789.

MY DEAR SISTER, -- When I heard Mr. Brackenbury give the first account of you, I had a great desire of having some conversation with you, and a much greater when I read the account of your experience which you had given him. How is it with you now, my dear friend Is your soul now as much alive as ever Do you still find deep and uninterrupted communion with God, with the Three-One God, with the Father and the Son through the Spirit Do not you find anything deaden or flatten your soul Do you now rejoice evermore Do you pray without ceasing Are you always conscious of the loving presence of God Do you in everything give thanks, knowing it is the will of God concerning you in Christ Jesus

Are you now as zealous of good works and as active therein as ever you was And do you now live in eternity and walk in eternity, and experience the life that is hid with Christ in God Have you one or more children With whom do you now maintain the most intimate acquaintance Do you sometimes visit our friends in Guernsey Are there any books which you have a mind to have Or is there anything else in which I can serve you This would at all times be a pleasure to

Yours very affectionately.


To George Baldwin

LONDON, November 5, 1789.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- I am glad to hear that you are

True yokefellows by love compelled

To labor on the. gospel field. [Poetical Works, v. 410.]

Verily your labor shall not be in vain. Go in the name of the Lord and in the power of His might. Be instant in season, out of season, above all things exhort the believers to go on to perfection! When this is neglected the whole work of God will languish. So it will without visiting from house to house. [Baldwin was in the Gloucestershire Circuit. He died in 1810.] --I am, dear George,

Your affectionate brother.





To Mrs. Pawson

LONDON, November 16, 1789.

MY DEAR SISTER, -- My health is rather increasing than decreased. I can preach once a day without any inconvenience, and sometimes twice [See Journal, viii. 17.]; only not early in the morning. But I purpose soon to make another trial. I am glad the Select Society is restored at Bitstall. This is an excellent means of recommending Christian perfection. Therefore men and devils will in every place use every art to dissolve those societies. Mr. Pawson will be useful wherever he goes; so I trust will you likewise, particularly to those that either already enjoy or are earnestly seeking perfect love. [See a reference to her in letter of Nov. 26 to Adam Clarke.] You do well strongly to insist that those who do already enjoy it cannot possibly stand still. Unless they continue to watch and pray and aspire after higher degrees of holiness, I cannot conceive not only how they can go forward but how they can keep what they have already received. Certainly, therefore, this is a point much to be insisted on, both [in] public and private, that all who have tasted of the pure [level of God should continually grow in grace, in the image of God, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.--I am, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.

To Mrs. Pawson, In Bitstall,

Near Leeds.



To Richard Rodda

LAMBETH, November 20, 1789.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- I hope Sammy Bradburn's illness will be a lasting blessing to him, and perhaps as long as he lives. I did not mean to give Billy Hunter the five pounds as a dismission. If his strength returned, he might in a few months return to his work; but I doubt whether it will return or not, [William Hunter, jun., was Rodda's younger colleague.] whether he will ever be fit for a traveling preacher. You have done exactly right in the business of Dewsbury, which will be a warning to us for ever. So........ and may when business of the same kind. While I live no steps shall be taken toward the building any preaching-house till the trustees have given bond to settle it on our plan as soon as they are indemnified. [See letter in Jan. 1791 to him.] Peace be with you and yours. -- I am, dear Richard,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mr. Rodda. At the Preaching-house.

In Manchester.



To Mary Smith [18]

NEAR LONDON, November 20, 1789.

Your affectionate letter, my dear Molly, gave me much satisfaction. I am glad to find that the power of God is shown in your weakness, and enables you in the trying hour to possess your soul in patience. I have [never] yet known sincere obedience to parents go unrewarded even in the present world. [See letter of Oct. 16 about John Stamp.] And I accept the remarkable length of my own life and the uncommon health I have enjoyed as a reward of my saving my father from prison and comforting my mother in her declining years. Go on, my dear maiden, you and my precious Janey, to be the support and joy of their age; chiefly by your eminent growth in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has given you both to taste a little of His loving-kindness, which is better than the life itself. And I am persuaded each of you can say,

Wealth, honour, pleasure, and what else

This short-enduring life can give,

Tempt as ye wfil, my soul repels,

To Christ alone resolved to live.

To His tender care I commend you with all the family; and am, my dear Molly,

Affectionately yours.

To Miss Smith, At Mr. Smith's, Cormmerchant's, Newcastle-on-Tyne.



To William Black [19]

LONDON, November 21, 1789.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- Your letter has given me great satisfaction. My fears are vanished away. I am persuaded Brother Wray, Stretton, and you will go on hand in hand, and that each of you will take an equal share in the common labor. I do so myself. I labor now just as I did twenty or forty years ago. By all means proceed by common consent, and think not of separating from the Church of England. I am more and more confirmed in the judgment which our whole Conference passed on that head in the year 1758. -- I am, my dear brother, Your affectionate friend and brother.



To Samuel Bardsley [20]

NORTHAMPTON, November 25, 1789.

DEAR SAMMY, -- Yours of the 21st instant was sent to me hither. You have done exceedingly well to take the upper room. If need be, we will help you out. Let us have no law if it be possible to avoid it: that is the last and the worst remedy. Try every other remedy first. It is a good providence that the Mayor at Bideford is a friendly man. Prayer will avail much in all cases. Encourage our poor people to be instant in prayer. Take care of poor Michael; and do not forget, dear Sammy,

Your affectionate brother.



To Hannah Ball [21]

LONDON, November 26, 1789.

MY DEAR SISTER, -- I was glad to receive one more line from you--perhaps the last that I shall receive. It is now many years since I gave you advice, which God enabled you to take and to break off your connection with an ungodly man--a very uncommon instance of resolution. You have had many trials of various kinds since then; -but the Lord has delivered you out of all, and He has honored you by making you the instrument of much good for many years successively. He has given you to be of use to many unawakened and many believing souls. He now honors you by making you a partaker of His sufferings: so much the more shall you be conformed to His death and know the power of His resurrection. You are well-nigh worn out in a good cause; yet a little longer, and pain is no more. Look up, my dear friend. The prize is before us: we are on the point of meeting to part no more. In time and eternity you will be united with

Your ever affectionate brother.



To Adam Clarke

LONDON, November 26, 1789.

DEAR ADAM, -- The account you send me of the continuance of the great work of God in Jersey gives me great satisfaction. [Clarke had evidently heard good news from the Channel Islands. Miss Johnson was one of the Bristol saints.] To retain the grace of God is much more than to gain it. Hardly one in three does this. And this should be strongly and explicitly urged upon those who have tasted of perfect love. If we can prove that any of our leaders or local preachers either directly or indirectly speak against it, let him be a leader or a preacher no longer. I doubt whether he should continue in the Society; because he that could speak thus in our congregations cannot be an honest man.

I wish Sister Clarke would do all that she may, but not more than she can. Betsy Ritchie, Miss Johnson, [Clarke had evidently heard good news from the Channel Islands. Miss Johnson was one of the Bristol saints.] and M. Clarke are women after my own heart. Last week I had an excellent letter from Mrs. Pawson (a glorious witness of full salvation [See letter of Nov. 15.]), showing how impossible it is to retain pure love without growing therein. Wishing every blessing to you and all the family. -- I am, dear Adam,

Your affectionate friend and brother.



To Jeremiah Brettell

LONDON, November 27, 1789.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- I am glad you have done something for poor Dewsbury [See letter of Aug. 23.]; and when you do what you can you do enough. It is no wonder that Tommy Cooper should be sensible of so great a loss. But 'tis possible Harriet Lewis of Dudley might make it up. [Thomas Cooper was Brettell's colleague at Wolverhampton. See letter of March 29, 1788, to Harriet Lewis.] She is a young woman of excellent spirit. She has seen affliction, and has fairly profited by it. If my life should be prolonged till spring, it will be no small satisfaction to me to see my dear Sister Brettell once more. Peace be with your spirits! -- I am, dear Jerry,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To George Holder

NEAR LONDON, November 29, 1789.

DEAR GEORGE, -- You did well to remember the case of Dewsbury House and to send what you could to Mr. Mather. [See letter of Aug. 23. Alexander Mather was the Assistant at Wakefield.] I exceedingly disapprove of your publishing anything in the Manx language. On the contrary, we should do everything in our power to abolish it from the earth, and persuade every member of our Society to learn and talk English. This would be much hindered by providing them with hymns in their own language. Therefore gently and quietly let that proposal drop. I hope you and your fellow laborers are of one heart. Peace be with your spirits! -- I am, dear George,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Thomas Stedman [22]

December 1789.

REVEREND AND DEAR SIR, -- I will desire a friend to look over my letters in a day or two, and see if any [are] from Dr. Doddridge. I know one or two of these are printed in my Journal, the originals of which are burnt. Possibly two or three more may remain. If they are to be found, you [they] shall be at your service.

How one generation goes and another comes I My grandmother Annesley lived forty years with her husband, who never was seen to smile after her death, though he lived six or seven years. [See letter of Aug. 13, 1774.] -- I am, dear sir,

Your affectionate brother and servant.

To the Revd. Mr. Stedman, In Salop.

To Sarah Rutter

LONDON, December 5, 1789.

MY DEAR SISTER, -- I am glad that the little Society at St. Neots continues in peace and love. [See letters of July 29, 1789, and July 27, 1790.] I would gladly visit yours and every Society within an hundred miles of London once a year; but I am now constrained to give it up. They multiply too fast. So that there are several of them now which I can see only once in two years. I am much pleased with the account you give of yourself likewise. It seems God has dealt very graciously with you; and undoubtedly He is able and willing to supply all your wants. Gradual sanctification may increase from the time you was justified; but full deliverance from sin, I believe, is always instantaneous -- at least, I never yet knew an exception. Peace be with your spirits! -- I am, my dear Sally,

Yours very affectionately.

To Sarah Mallet [23]

CANTERBURY, December 15, 1789.

MY DEAR SALLY, -- It gives me pleasure to hear that prejudice dies away and our preachers behave in a friendly manner. What is now more wanting in order to recover your health you yourself plainly see. Be not at every one's call. This you may quite cut off by going nowhere without the advice of Mr. Tattershall. Never continue the service above an hour at once, singing, preaching, prayer, and all. You are not to judge by your own feelings, but by the word of God. Never scream. Never speak above the natural pitch of your voice; it is disgustful to the hearers. It gives them pain, not pleasure. And it is destroying yourself. It is offering God murder for sacrifice. Only follow these three advices, and you will have a larger share in the regard of, my dear Sally,

Yours affectionately.

To Ann Bolton

LONDON, December 20, 1789.

MY DEAR NANCY, -- I rejoice to hear that you still stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and it is certain you never need lose anything which God has wrought till you attain the full reward. You already find the fruit of patient suffering in being a partaker of His holiness. Go on in His name and power of His might till He says, 'Come up hither.'

You send me a pleasing account of my dear Miss Leake, who I hope will run and not tire. It is true

A thousand snares her paths beset;

but she has a strong Helper, and also that uncommon blessing, an experienced and faithful friend. The very first time I saw him after my return from Witney I spoke to Mr. Whitfield of her books; I am surprised [His Book Steward forgot sometimes. See letter of Dec. 13, 1790.] he has not sent them yet, and will immediately refresh his memory.

Permit me, my dear friend, to caution you yet again. Be not too zealous in business, run no hazards. It is far easier to get into difficulties than to get out of them. Wishing you and our dear friend Miss Leake a continual growth in grace, my dear Nancy,

Yours most affectionately.

To Thomas Rutherford [24]

LONDON, December 24, 1789.

DEAR TOMMY, -- I thank you for your account of Jane Newland, which I trust will be of use to many. A short extract from it I shall probably send you in a day or two. A larger will be inserted in the Magazine. There is no great probability that her brother will be so foolish as to print anything on the occasion. -- I am, with love to Sister Rutherford, dear Tommy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.



To John Dickins

LONDON, December 26, 1789.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- Our own insufficiency for every good work would discourage us, were we not convinced both by Scripture and experience that all our sufficiency is of God. Therefore no doubt but He will supply seed to the sower and bread to the eater, and a blessing therewith.

Brother Joliffe might have had all his urgent business done just as without...... as though he were with us. We will make everything as comfortable as we can. But it is a doubt whether any good will be done at last. I am glad Betsey Harvey [See heading to letter of April 23, 1764, to Mrs. Woodhouse.] continues with you; she may forget me, but I do not forget her. I thank you for the Magazine.

What I nightly wish is that you may all keep close to the Bible. Be not wise above what is written. Enjoin nothing that the Bible does not clearly enjoin. Forbid nothing that it does not clearly forbid. It no more forbids me to call you Mr. than to call you John, and it no more enjoins me to wear a slouch'd hat than a bishop's bonnet. -- I am

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To the Rev. John Dickins,

Philadelphia, Pa.

Editor's Introductory Notes

[1] Miss Rutter was awakened under a sermon which Wesley preached at St. Neots on October 28, 1788. The Conference was now sitting. The Bedford appointment for 1789 is 'William Jenkins, John Ramshaw.'

[2] The Rev. Thomas Bradshaw died on November 21, 1791, at the age of thirty-eight, and was buried in Wesley's vault. See letter of May 29, 1780.

Wesley had long chafed under the errors that crept into the Magazine, and on August 9 had chosen a new person to prepare it. James Creighton followed Olivers as 'Editor,' and held the position till the Conference of 1792. See letters of March 24, 1757 (to Olivers), and July 15, 1789 (to John Dickins).

[3] 208 was subscribed at the Conference, and 11 added by preachers not present. Every Assistant was instructed to 'make a private and public collection in his circuit for the purpose as soon as possible.' See Journal, vii. 523; and letters of July 30, 1788, and September ii, 1789.

[4] Churchey's book, a big quarto of 858 pages, was printed by George Paramore, Worship Street, Moorfields, for the author, in 1789, and was entered at Stationers' Hall. The price was a guinea. Many Methodist names are in the list of subscribers. Wesley told him in a letter, 'I have procured an hundred guineas, and hope to procure fifty more' (Thomas Marriott, Methodist Magazine, 1849, p, 36). See letter of May 25.

[5] This is apparently John Holmes, who became a supernumerary at the Conference in July 1790. William Holmes had been Thom's colleague at Sarum in 1788 and moved to Redruth in 1789; that may explain his interest in the case.

[6] This is the most personal letter to Dr. Coke that has been preserved. That of September 10, 1784, is really to our brethren in North America, and those of March 12 and September 5, 1786, are on public matters. This letter is of historic importance because of Wesley's attitude towards the new Republic: 'I wish you to obey "the Powers that be" in America; but I wish you to understand them too.'

Dr. Coke had returned from his third visit to America on July 10, 1789, bringing good news 'of the great revival and the great rapidity of the work of God.' He was in England till October 16, 1790, when he went out to the West Indies with two missionaries from Ireland. Whilst in New York on May 29, 1789, he and Asbury had signed an address of congratulation to General Washington on his appointment as President of the United States. It spoke of the 'civil and religious liberties which have been transmitted to us by the providence of God and the glorious Revolution,' and acknowledged God as 'the Source of every blessing, and particularly of the most excellent constitution of these States, which is at present the admiration of the world, and may in future become its great exemplar for imitation.' The Conference at Leeds in July expressed its unanimous opinion that as a subject of the English monarchy the Doctor had departed from propriety in signing the address, and that its praise of the Republican Constitution threw a sinister reflection on that of Great Britain and savored of disloyalty to the Throne. His brethren knew, of course, that no man among them was more loyal to the Throne than Coke; but they strongly resented the attitude he had taken.

Coke was now preaching all over the country, and soliciting help for the missionary work, of which he was the unwearying advocate. Wesley advises him to turn to Cornwall, where he had just had a wonderful tour of services, rather than to the North; and suggests that before he came West to meet him at Bristol, Coke might give them a Sunday at West Street. Wesley's Diary shows that he dined several times with Mr. Dobson, [] who evidently took an active interest in the School at West Street, Seven Dials, for a hundred and forty poor children, which owed its origin to a servant of Wesley's who gave sixpence a week for a child's education. He preached its Charity Sermons on November 25, 1787.

The later reference is apparently to Thomas Dunn, who had become a preacher in 1788. He was appointed as third preacher at Scarborough in 1789 in succession to Alexander Kilham. Kilham had been 'outrageously' treated by the steward of the Duke of Leeds when he attempted to preach in the Town Street of Seamer. The tyrannical steward had discharged one of the Duke's workmen because he had become a Methodist, and brought several of the congregation at Seamer before the Magistrates. They were discharged without censure, and a constable who had refused to keep the peace was fined for his neglect of duty. Kilham wrote to the Duke, and there was no repetition of his steward's offenses. In his obituary in 1802 Dunn is described as a steady, upright, good man. Coke had probably had something to do with Dunn's appointment in 1789.

This letter is in the possession of the Rev. Dr. Wilbert F. Howard, to whom it came through Mrs. Hall of Bristol, Mrs. J. M. Shum of Bath, and Mrs. G. F. White. It has been in his family since 1818.

[7] This letter and those of September 25 and October 3 show Wesley's concern for the health of the nation. His experiment in London bears witness to the pains that the veteran took to make good his position; and the spirit in which the controversy was conducted in the Bristol Gazette reflects credit on all parties. Wesley's letters on October 12 and 31 to Adam Clarke show what importance the old evangelist attached to the correspondence. We owe the copies of the three letters to the good offices of the Rev. Charles Feneley.

[8] The case of Dewsbury is explained in the headings to letters of July 30 and August 23, 1788. Wesley now extended his appeal to the Methodist people in general.

[9] George Paramore was the printer of Wesley's publications, and in his will was appointed Manager of the Conference printing-office. He was a native of Doncaster, and became a Methodist in Sheffield, where he was apprenticed to a printer. He was for thirty years a local preacher in London. He died on Christmas Day, 1812, aged fifty-seven. See Stevenson's City Road Chapel, p. 492.

[10] The letters on Hops do not seem to have been printed in the Evening Post or the Magazine. See letters of October 3 and 31.

'My sight,' writes Wesley in the Journal on October 8, 'is so decayed that I cannot well read by candlelight, but I can write as well as ever. And my strength is much lessened, so that I cannot easily preach above twice a day; but I bless God my memory is not much decayed and my understanding is as clear as it has been these fifty years.'

[11] Mary Smith, of Newcastle, was daughter of Jenny Smith, and granddaughter of Wesley's wife. John Stamp was admitted on trial in 1787. He was now traveling in Sunderland. They were married in 1790, and she died in 1794, when her third daughter was born. See Journal, vi. 27; Stamp's Orphan House, pp. 119-20; and letter of November 20 to Mary Smith.

[12] Mount Pleasant Chapel, Liverpool, was just about to be built. The description of 'The Conference of the People called Methodists' as approved by Wesley and the Conference was given in the Minutes for 1788. See letter of July 29, 1786.

[13] John Grace, the Assistant at Londonderry, was a very able preacher, known as 'the Walking Bible'; he died in 1811.

William Smith was admitted on trial in 1789, and appears in Minutes for 1790 as second preacher at Londonderry; he died in 1839.

[14] Wesley had preached in Norwich in October on 1 Samuel ii. 17. William Green, the fourth preacher, wrote him some strictures upon it which were in bad taste and marked by bitter enmity against the Church. Wesley regarded him as 'a dangerous man,' and was not sorry when he 'took himself away.' See Journal, viii. 18-19d; and letters of December 5, 1772, and January 6, 1790.

[15] This letter shows how zealously Wesley exerted himself for an old friend. Rodda was now Assistant in Manchester, with Christopher Hopper, Samuel Bradburn, and William Hunter, jun., as his colleagueao Wesley preached on January 31, 1745, near the roadside at Coleford, twenty miles from Bristol, as the house could not contain a tenth part of the congregation. In 1754 he calls it 'our other Kingswood, where also the lions are become lambs.' A Mr. Salmon was a member of the Holy Club at Oxford, and other Salmons are mentioned in the Journal, vi. 227n.

[16] Taylor published at Hull in 1789 Ten Sermons on the Millennium, and five on what will follow (353 pp., 12 mo). His sight had suffered through the compiling of his Concordance, and he had been obliged 'to submit to spectacles.' John Poole, who became an itinerant in 1759, was now at Tiverton; but his infirmities led him about this time to retire to Redruth, where he died in 1801. He probably pitied Taylor more than himself.' See letter of May 14, 1782.

[17] The letter to which Wesley refers was dated 'West Jersey, September 20, 1783,' and indicates the difficulties caused by the extension of the work which led him to ordain Coke as Superintendent and Whatcoat and Vasey as elders in September, 1784. 'No person,' Asbury writes, 'can manage the lay preachers here so well, it is thought, as one that has been at the raising of most of them. No man can make a proper change upon paper, to send one here and another [there], without knowing the circuits and the gifts of all the preachers, unless he is always out among them. My dear sir, a matter of the greatest consequence now lies before you. If you send preachers to America, let them be proper persons. We are now united; all things go on well, considering the storms and difficulties we have had to ride through. I wish men of the greatest understanding would write impartial accounts; for it would, be better for us not to have preachers than to be divided. This I know, great men that can do good may do hurt if they should take the wrong road. I have labored and suffered much to keep the people and preachers together; and if I am thought worthy to keep my place, I should be willing to labor and suffer till death for peace and union.' Asbury wrote again on March 20, 1784: 'You know, sir, it is not easy to rule; nor am I pleased with it: I bear it as my cross, yet it seems that a necessity is laid upon me.' Dr. Coke wrote to Wesley on August 9, 1784, about the ordinations for America: 'Mr. Brackenbury informed me at Leeds that he saw a letter in London from Mr. Asbury, in which he observed that he would not receive any person deputed by you with part of the superintendency of the work invested in him, or words which evidently implied so much.' The letters show that Asbury had not been altogether easy to deal with. See John Atkinson's Centennial History of American Methodism, pp. 60, 72-3; and letter of September 20, 1788, to Asbury.

[18] The reference to his parents in this letter is an old man's happy memory of filial piety in days long past.

[19] There had been some misunderstanding between the preachers; but Black wrote to Wesley on June 22: 'The two brothers, J. and J. M.' (John and James Mann), 'came to see and talk with Brother Wray. All was love and harmony, and I trust nothing but peace is now found amongst us.' See Richey's Memoir, p. 250; and letter of March I9, 1788, to Black.

[20] Bardsley was alone at Bideford; and Michael Fenwick, who was at Hexham without an appointment, was sent to help him. He seems to have known Colonel Buck, 'the reigning Mayor,' and on December 25 saw Lord Fortescue about the rioters. See Tyerman's Wesley, iii. 592-3; and letters of July 21, 1789, and March 27, 1790, to Bardsley.

[21] In 1766 Miss Ball began her diary at the time when she was 'in great exercise of mind from solicitations and inducements to change my condition in life; but the dispensations of Providence ran across my expectations, and the event has fully evinced that the sacrifice I was then enabled to make has been recompensed by a hundredfold reward in this life. After three months' close exercise I was brought by divine assistance to resignation's shrine with, "Father, Thy will be done!"' On September 27, 1789, she notes in her diary: 'Since I wrote last for the most part of my time I have been wading in deep waters of affliction; but in and through all I felt my anchor was cast within the veil.... I am at present considerably refreshed by a small alleviation of my bodily complaint. She died on August 16, 1792. See Memoir, pp. 9, 172-3.

[22] Thomas Stedman, who was at Cheverel, near Devizes, in 1774, removed to Shrewsbury in 1783, where he was Vicar of St. Chad's for forty-two yearn. He died on December 5, 1825, at the age of eighty. See Methodist Magazine, 1826, p. 69; and letters of March 10 and August 13, 1774.

[23] Thomas Tattershall was the Assistant at Yarmouth. Miss Mallet worked chiefly in Norfolk and Suffolk. After the Note Wesley gave her in 1787, she says, 'I have been but little opposed by preachers.' See letters of August 3, 1789, and July 31, 1790, to her.

[24] Miss Newland was born in Dublin in 1757, joined the Methodists in 1770, and spent her strength in visiting the sick at home and in hospital. She was a zealous class leader. 'Her strength, her body, her soul, were all devoted to that one point, of going about doing good to her fellow-creatures. She was always serious and solemn, and uninterruptedly enjoyed perfect love.' For A short Account of the Life and Death of Jane Newland, of Dublin, who departed this life, October 22, 1789, see Green's Bibliography, No. 408.

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