Cedric Poole's extracts from the journals of John Wesley which are in the public domain. The extracts are from years which correspond with the day and date of the current year (2011). So when JW says it is Monday 5 Sept 17.., it is Monday 5 Sept, 2011 . Over the years I have found this to be an interesting way to read John Wesley's journals. I hope you do too.
John Wesley's Blog, John Wesley Journal on Facebook and Holey, Wholly, Holy will be on sabbatical until further notice. Cedric Poole, the person behind the JohnWesleyProject.com, is on sabbatical, completing a Master's degree at the University of Witwatersrand Medical Faculty in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have completed my course work in Medical Ethics and South African Health Law and now have to work on my thesis. I will return to these pages once my thesis is complete. I covet your prayers during this period. Until we meet again, pursue holiness, grow in holiness and be holy, just as our God is holy.
Great Hall at Wits (my alma mater) imposed on Nelson Mandela Bridge Update
I handed in my thesis (MSc Med in Bioethics and Health Law) for marking on Tuesday, 25 November 2014.
If it be said that I have faith (for many such things have I heard, from many miserable comforters), I answer, So have the devils—a sort of faith; but still they are strangers to the covenant of promise. So the apostles had even at Cana in Galilee, when Jesus first ‘manifested forth his glory’; even then they, in a sort, ‘believed on him’; but they had not then ‘the faith that overcometh the world’. The faith I want is, ‘a sure trust and confidence in God, that through the merits of Christ my sins are forgiven, and I reconciled to the favour of God’. I want that faith which St. Paul recommends to all the world, especially in his Epistle to the Romans; that faith which enables everyone that hath it to cry out, ‘I live not, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’ I want that faith which none can have without knowing that he hath it (though many imagine they have it who have it not). For whosoever hath it is ‘freed from sin’; ‘the whole body of sin is destroyed’ in him. He is freed from fear, ‘having peace with God through Christ, and rejoicing in hope of the glory of God’. And he is freed from doubt, ‘having the love of God shed abroad in his heart through the Holy Ghost which is given unto him’; which ‘Spirit itself beareth witness with his spirit, that he is a child of God’.
This then have I learned in the ends of the earth, that I am ‘fallen short of the glory of God’; that my whole heart is ‘altogether corrupt and abominable’, and consequently my whole life (seeing it cannot be that ‘an evil tree’ should ‘bring forth good fruit’); that ‘alienated’ as I am ‘from the life of God’, I am ‘a child of wrath’, an heir of hell; that my own works, my own sufferings, my own righteousness, are so far from reconciling me to an offended God, so far from making any atonement for the least of those sins, which ‘are more in number than the hairs of my head’, that the most specious of them need an atonement themselves or they cannot abide his righteous judgment; that ‘having the sentence of death’ in my heart, and having nothing in or of myself to plead, I have no hope, but that of being justified freely ‘through the redemption that is in Jesus’; I have no hope, but that if I seek I shall find Christ and ‘be found in him, not having my own righteousness, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.’
Wed 1 Feb 1738: At four in the morning we took boat, and in half an hour landed at Deal; it being Wednesday, February 1, the anniversary festival in Georgia for Mr. Oglethorpe’s landing there.
It is now two years and almost four months since I left my native country in order to teach the Georgian Indians the nature of Christianity. But what have I learned myself in the meantime? Why (what I the least of all suspected), that I who went to America to convert others, was never myself converted to God. ‘I am not mad’, though I thus speak, but ‘I speak the words of truth and soberness’; if haply some of those who still dream may awake, and see that as I am, so are they.
Are they read in philosophy? So was I. In ancient or modern tongues? So was I also. Are they versed in the science of divinity? I too have studied it many years. Can they talk fluently upon spiritual things? The very same could I do. Are they plenteous in alms? Behold, I gave all my goods to feed the poor. Do they give of their labour as well as of their substance? I have laboured more abundantly than they all. Are they willing to suffer for their brethren? I have thrown up my friends, reputation, ease, country; I have put my life in my hand, wandering into strange lands; I have given my body to be devoured by the deep, parched up with heat, consumed by toil and weariness, or whatsoever God should please to bring upon me. But does all this (be it more or less, it matters not) make me acceptable to God? Do all I ever did or can know, say, give, do, or suffer, justify me in his sight? Yea, or ‘the constant use of all the means of grace’?—which nevertheless is meet, right, and our bounden duty. Or that ‘I know nothing of myself,’ that I am, as touching outward, moral righteousness, blameless? Or (to come closer yet) the having a rational conviction of all the truths of Christianity? Does all this give me a claim to the holy, heavenly, divine character of a Christian? By no means. If the oracles of God are true, if we are still to abide by ‘the law and the testimony’, all these things, though when ennobled by faith in Christ they are holy, and just, and good, yet without iti are ‘dung and dross’, meet only to be purged away by ‘the fire that never shall be quenched’.
Sun 29 Jan 1738: We saw English land once more, which about noon appeared to be the Lizard Point. We ran by it with a fair wind, and at noon the next day made the west end of the Isle of Wight.
Here the wind turned against us, and in the evening blew fresh, so that we expected (the tide being likewise strong against us) to be driven some leagues backward in the night; but in the morning, to our great surprise, we saw Beachy Head just before us, and found we had gone forwards near forty miles.
Toward evening was a calm; but in the night a strong north wind brought us safe into the Downs. The day before Mr. Whitefield had sailed out, neither of us then knowing anything of the other.
Sat 28 Jan 1738: Was another cloudy day; but about ten in the morning (the wind continuing southerly) the clouds began to fly just contrary to the wind, and to the surprise of us all sunk down under the sun, so that at noon we had an exact observation; and by this we found we were as well as we could desire, about eleven leagues south of Scilly.
But in a storm I think, ‘What if the gospel be not true?’ Then thou art of all men most foolish. For what hast thou given thy goods, thy ease, thy friends, thy reputation, thy country, thy life? For what art thou wandering over the face of the earth? A dream, ‘a cunningly devised fable’? O who will deliver me from this fear of death! What shall I do? Where shall I fly from it? Should I fight against it by thinking, or by not thinking of it? A wise man advised me some time since, ‘Be still and go on.’ Perhaps this is best, to look upon it as my cross; when it comes, to let it humble me, and quicken all my good resolutions, especially that of praying without ceasing; and at other times to take no thought about it, but quietly to go on ‘in the work of the Lord’.
We went on with a small, fair wind, till Thursday in the afternoon, and then sounding, found a whitish sand at seventy-five fathom. But having had no observation for several days, the Captain began to be uneasy, fearing we might either get unawares into the Bristol Channel, or strike in the night on the rocks of Scilly.