Friday, December 31, 2010

Watch-Night Sevices

Fri 31 Dec 1756: We had a solemn watch-night and ushered in the new year with the voice of praise and thanksgiving.

Fri 31 Dec 1779: We concluded the year at West Street with a solemn watch-night. Most of the congregation stayed till the beginning of the year and cheerfully sang together:
Glory to God, and thanks, and praise,
Who kindly lengthens out our days, etc.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

JW explores why some fall down, others cry out, etc

Thu 30 Dec 1742: I carefully examined those who had lately cried out in the congregation. Some of these, I found, could give no account at all how or wherefore they had done so, only that of a sudden they dropped down they knew not how; and what they afterwards said or did they knew not. Others could just remember they were in fear; but could not tell what they were in fear of. Several said they were afraid of the devil, and this was all they knew. But a few gave a more intelligible account of the piercing sense they then had of their sins, both inward and outward, which were set in array against them round about; of the dread they were in of the wrath of God and the punishment they had deserved, into which they seemed to be just falling, without any way to escape. One of them told me: ‘I was as if I was just falling down, from the highest place I had ever seen. I thought the devil was pushing me off, and that God had forsaken me.’ Another said, ‘I felt the very fire of hell already kindled in my breast; and all my body was in as much pain as if I had been in a burning fiery furnace.’ What wisdom is that which rebuketh these, that ‘they should hold their peace’? Nay, let such an one cry after Jesus of Nazareth, till he saith, ‘Thy faith hath made thee whole!’
At eleven I preached my farewell sermon in the Hospital Square. I never saw such a congregation there before; nor did I ever speak so searchingly. I could not conclude till one, and then both men, women, and children hung upon me, so that I knew not which way to disengage myself. After some time I got to the gate and took horse; but even then ‘a muckle woman’ (as one called her in great anger) kept her hold and ran by the horse’s side, through thick and thin, down to Sandgate. Jonathan Reeves rode with me. We reached Darlington that night, and Boroughbridge the next day.
What encouragement have we to speak for God! At our inn we met an ancient man, who seemed by his conversation never to have thought whether he had any soul or no. Before we set out I spoke a few words concerning his cursing and idle conversation. The man appeared quite broken in pieces. The tears started into his eyes. And he acknowledged (with abundance of thanks to me) his own guilt and the goodness of God.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

American Rebels

Wed 29 Dec 1779: Mr. Hatton, lately come from America, gave us an account of his strange deliverance. He was Collector of the Customs for the eastern ports of Maryland and zealous for King George. Therefore the rebels resolved to dispatch him, and a party was sent for that purpose under one Simpson, who owed him five hundred pounds. But first he sent him the following note:
We are resolved to have you dead or alive. So we advise you to give yourself up, that you may give us no more trouble.
I am, sir,
Your obedient servant.
Mr. Hatton not complying with this civil advice, a party of riflemen was sent to take him. He was just going out when a child told him they were at hand and had only time to run and get into a hollow which was under the house. The maid clapped to the trap-door and covered it over with flax. They searched the house from top to bottom, opened all the closets, turned up the beds, and finding nothing, went away. He was scarce come out when another party beset the house and came so quick that he had but just time to get in again. And the maid, not having flax enough at hand, covered the door with foul linen. When these also had wearied themselves with searching and went away, he put on his boots and great-coat, took a gun and a rug (it being a sharp frost) and crept into a little marsh near the house. A third party came quickly, swearing he must be about the house, and they would have him if he was alive. Hearing this, he stole away with full speed and lay down near the sea-shore between two hillocks, covering himself with seaweeds. They came so near that he heard one of them swear, ‘If I find him, I will hang him on the next tree.’ Another answered, ‘I will not stay for that; I will shoot him the moment I see him.’
After some time, finding they were gone, he lifted up his head and heard a shrill whistle from a man fifty or sixty yards off. He soon knew him to be a deserter from the rebel army. He asked Mr. Hatton what he designed to do, who answered, ‘Go in my boat to the English ships, which are four or five and twenty mile off.’ But the rebels had found and burned the boat. So knowing their life was gone if they stayed till the morning, they got into a small canoe (though liable to overset with a puff of wind), and set off from shore. Having rowed two or three miles, they stopped at a little island and made a fire, being almost perished with cold. But they were quickly alarmed by a boat rowing toward the shore. Mr. Hatton standing up said, ‘We have a musket and a fusee. If you load one as fast as I discharge the other, I will give a good account of them all.’ He then stepped to the shore and bade the rowers stop and tell him who they were, declaring he would fire among them if any man struck another stroke. Upon their answering, he found they were friends, being six more deserters from the rebel army. So they gladly came on shore and brought provisions with them, to those who before had neither meat nor drink. After refreshing themselves, they all went into the boat and cheerfully rowed to the English ships.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Stunned, as if cut in the head.

Tue 28 Dec 1742: I preached in an open place at Swalwell, two or three miles from Newcastle. The wind was high and extremely sharp; but I saw none go away till I went. Yet I observed none that seemed to be much convinced; only stunned, as if cut in the head.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Furious storm… peace of God

Mon 27 Dec 1742: I rode to Horsley. The house being too small, I was obliged again to preach in the open air. But so furious a storm have I seldom known. The wind drove upon us like a torrent, coming by turns from east, west, north, and south. The straw and thatch flew round our heads, so that one would have imagined it could not be long before the house must follow; but scarce anyone stirred, much less went away, till I dismissed them with the peace of God.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Forty-seven under sentence of death

Sun 26 Dec 1784: I preached the condemned criminals sermon in Newgate. Forty-seven were under sentence of death. While they were coming in, there was something very awful in the clink of their chains. But no sound was heard, either from them or the crowded audience, after the text was named: ‘There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repententh, more than over ninety and nine just persons, that need not repentance.’ The power of the Lord was eminently present, and most of the prisoners were in tears. A few days after, twenty of them died at once, five of whom died in peace. I could not but greatly approve of the spirit and behaviour of Mr. Villette, the Ordinary. And I rejoiced to hear that it was the same on all similar occasions.

Gluttony… drunkenness… dancing and card-playing

Sun 26 Dec 1742: From those words, ‘Sing we merrily unto God our strength; make a cheerful noise unto the God of Jacob,’ I took occasion to show the usual way of keeping these days holy in honour of the birth of our Lord; namely, by an extraordinary degree of gluttony and drunkenness; by heathen, and worse than heathen, diversions (with their constant attendants, passion and strife, cursing, swearing, and blasphemy); and by dancing and card-playing, equally conducive to the glory of God. I then described the right way of keeping a day holy to the Lord: by extraordinary prayer, public and private; by thanksgiving; by hearing, reading, and meditating on his Word, and by talking of all his wondrous works.

Forty-seven under sentence of death

Sun 26 Dec 1784: I preached the condemned criminals sermon in Newgate. Forty-seven were under sentence of death. While they were coming in, there was something very awful in the clink of their chains. But no sound was heard, either from them or the crowded audience, after the text was named: ‘There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repententh, more than over ninety and nine just persons, that need not repentance.’ The power of the Lord was eminently present, and most of the prisoners were in tears. A few days after, twenty of them died at once, five of whom died in peace. I could not but greatly approve of the spirit and behaviour of Mr. Villette, the Ordinary. And I rejoiced to hear that it was the same on all similar occasions.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Three Christmas's

Sat 25 Dec 1784: We met as usual, in the New Chapel at four; at ten and in the afternoon I preached in West Street, and afterwards spent a comfortable hour in meeting the society.

Sat 25 Dec 1779: We began the service at the New Chapel, as usual, at four in the morning. Afterwards I read prayers and preached and administered the Lord’s Supper at West Street; in the afternoon, I preached at the New Chapel again, then met the society, and afterwards the married men and women; but after this I was no more tired than when I rose in the morning.

Sat 25 Dec 1773: Today and on the following days, we had many happy opportunities of celebrating the solemn Feast-days, according to the design of their institution. We concluded the year with a Fast-day, closed with a solemn watch-night.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Wonderful Christmas Gift: Life

Sat 25 Dec 1742: The physician told me he could do no more: Mr. Meyrick could not live over the night. I went up and found them all crying about him, his legs being cold and (as it seemed) dead already. We all kneeled down and called upon God with strong cries and tears. He opened his eyes, and called for me. And from that hour he continued to recover his strength, till he was restored to perfect health. I wait to hear who will either disprove this fact or philosophically account for it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

This is called Faith

Thu 23 Dec 1742: It being computed that such a house as was proposed could not be finished under seven hundred pounds, many were positive it would never be finished at all; others, that I should not live to see it covered. I was of another mind, nothing doubting but as it was begun for God’s sake, he would provide what was needful for the finishing it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Concluded my journeys for the present year.

Wed 22 Dec 1784: I returned to London and concluded my journeys for the present year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Four miles in only three hours

Tue 21 Dec 1784: I spent a little time with the children at Miss Harvey’s school, whom she likewise carefully instructs herself. After dinner we set out for Wrestlingworth, and, having a skillful guide who rode before the chaise and picked out the best way, we drove four miles in only three hours. Wednesday 22, I returned to London and concluded my journeys for the present year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

True scriptural religion at Cambridge

Mon 20 Dec 1784: I went to Hinxworth, where I had the satisfaction of meeting Mr. Simeon, Fellow of King’s College in Cambridge. He has spent some time with Mr. Fletcher at Madeley—two kindred souls, much resembling each other, both in fervour of spirit and in the earnestness of their address. He gave me the pleasing information that there are three parish churches in Cambridge wherein true scriptural religion is preached, and several young gentlemen who are happy partakers of it.
I preached in the evening on Gal. 6:14.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Filled with joy unspeakable

Sun 19 Dec 1742: I cried to all who felt themselves lost, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved’; and in the afternoon, ‘Ho! everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.’ At that hour one who was bitterly mourning after Christ (Mary Emerson) was filled with joy unspeakable.

Friday, December 17, 2010

JW’s scathing remarks regarding Captain Cook’s Voyages

Fri 17 Dec 1773: Meeting with a celebrated book, a volume of Captain Cook's Voyages, I sat down to read it with huge expectation
--But how was I disappointed! I observed, 1. Things absolutely incredible: "A nation without any curiosity;" and, what is stranger still, (I fear related with no good design,) "without any sense of shame! Men and women coupling together in the face of the sun, and in the sight of scores of people! Men whose skin, cheeks, and lips are white as milk." Hume or Voltaire might believe this; but I cannot. I observed, 2. Things absolutely impossible. To instance in one, for a specimen. A native of Otaheite is said to understand the language of an island eleven hundred degrees [query, miles] distant from it in latitude; besides I know not how many hundreds in longitude! So that I cannot but rank this narrative with that of Robinson Crusoe; and account Tupia to be, in several respects, akin to his man Friday.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I hardly ever spoke stronger words

Thu 16 Dec 1784: I went to Sheerness, where Mr. Fox read prayers and I preached on those words in the second Lesson, ‘If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?’ I hardly ever spoke stronger words. May God make the application! I never before found this society in such a state as they were now, being all in general athirst for God and increasing in number as well as in grace. Friday 17, I preached at Chatham, where likewise I found only peace and love; and, on Saturday 18, cheerfully returned to London.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

“Doctor” Wesley’s silly advice

Wed 15 Dec 1742: I preached at Horsley upon Tyne, eight (computed) miles from Newcastle. It was about two in the afternoon. The house not containing the people, we stood in the open air in spite of the frost. I preached again in the evening, and in the morning. We then chose to walk home, having each of us catched a violent cold by riding the day before. Mine gradually wore off. But Mr. Meyrick’s increased, so that on Friday he took his bed. I advised him to bleed, but he imagined he should be well without it in a few days.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

170 leave the Society

Mon 13 Dec 1779: I retired to Lewisham and settled the society book. Fifty-seven members of the society have died this year, and none of them ‘as a fool dieth’. An hundred and seventy have left the society. Such are the fruits of senseless prejudice [from @Cedric Poole: this “prejudice” refers to a problem with the local preachers who objected to JW giving his brother Charles preference when making preaching appointments].

Monday, December 13, 2010

Freezing Cold

Mon 13 Dec 1742: I removed into a lodging adjoining to the ground where we were preparing to build. But the violent frost obliged us to delay the work. I never felt so intense cold before. In a room where a constant fire was kept, though my desk was fixed within a yard of the chimney, I could not write for a quarter of an hour together without my hands being quite benumbed.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Powerful preaching on the Parable of the Sower

Sun 12 Dec1742: I expounded at five the former part of the parable of the sower. At eight I preached in the Square on, ‘I am the good Shepherd: the good Shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep.’ The effect of what had been spoken in the morning now evidently appeared. For one could not observe any in the congregation to stir hand or foot. When the sermon was done, they divided to the right and left, none offering to go till I was past. And then they walked quietly and silently away, lest Satan should catch the seed out of their hearts.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saved by the Third passer-by

I returned to London, Friday, 10 Dec 1773, with Captain Hinderson, of Chatham, who informed us, "Being off the Kentish coast, on Wednesday morning last, I found my ship had been so damaged by the storm, which still continued, that she could not long keep above water; so we got into the boat, twelve in all, though with little hope of making the shore. A ship passing by, we made all the signals we could; but they took no notice. A second passed near: We made signals and called; but they would not stay for us. A third put out their boat, took us up, and set us safe on shore."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Shah Nadir, commonly called Kouli Khan

Fri 10 Dec 1756: In my fragments of time in the following week I read Mr. Hanway’s accurate history of Shah Nadir, commonly called Kouli Khan—a scourge of God indeed! A prodigy of valour and conduct, but an unparalleled monster of rapine and cruelty. Alexander the Great, yea Nero or Domitian, was an innocent in comparison of him.

Your breast cancer will not kill you before you are saved

Fri 10 Dec 1756: A person who was dying of a cancer in her breast and deeply convinced of sin, sent a post-chaise in which I went to her at Epsom. I left her on Saturday morning, in strong hope, she should not go hence till her eyes had seen his salvation.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Settle your affairs TODAY (in 2010), says JW

Thu 9 Dec 1779: In speaking on those words, ‘Set thy house in order; for thou shalt die and not live,’ I took occasion to exhort all who had not done it already, to settle their temporal affairs without delay. Let not any man who reads these words put it off a day longer!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Who should preach to Whom?

Wed 8 Dec 1762: I had a second opportunity of hearing George Bell. I believe part of what he said was from God, (this was my reflection at that time,) part from an heated imagination. But as he did not scream, and there was nothing dangerously wrong, I did not yet see cause to hinder him.
All this time I observed a few of our brethren were diligently propagating that principle, that none can teach those who are renewed in love, unless he be in the state himself. I saw the tendency of this; but I saw that violent remedies would not avail.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

People and Benches Equally Affected

Tue 7 Dec 1779: I preached in Rotherhithe Chapel, a cold, uncomfortable place, to an handful of people, who appeared to be just as much affected as the benches they sat upon.

The LORD provides the Land

Tue 7 Dec 1742: I was so ill in the morning that I was obliged to send Mr. Williams to the Room. He afterward went to Mr. Stephenson, a merchant in the town, who had a passage through the ground we intended to buy. I was willing to purchase that passage. Mr. Stephenson told him, ‘Sir, I don’t want money. But if Mr. Wesley wants ground he may have a piece of my garden, adjoining to the place you mention. I am at a word. For forty pounds he shall have sixteen yards in breadth, and thirty in length.’
Wed. 8. Mr. Stephenson and I signed an article, and I took possession of the ground. But I could not fairly go back from my agreement with Mr. Riddell. So I entered on his ground at the same time. The whole is about forty yards in length; in the middle of which we determined to build the house, leaving room for a small courtyard before and a little garden behind the building.

Monday, December 6, 2010

How little I know of the book of Revelation

Mon 6 Dec 1762: and the following days, I corrected the notes upon the Revelation. O, how little do we know of this deep book! At least, how little do I know! I can barely conjecture, not affirm any one point concerning that part of it which is yet unfulfilled.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

An uncommon pouring out of the convincing Spirit

Sun 5 Dec 1779: In applying those words, ‘What could I have done for my vineyard which I have not done?’ I found such an uncommon pouring out of the convincing Spirit, as we have not known for many years. In the evening the same Spirit enabled me strongly to exhort a numerous congregation, to ‘Come boldly to the throne of grace’ and to ‘make all their requests known unto God with thanksgiving.’

Sanctification: Instantaneous AND Gradual

Sun 5 Dec 1756: To take away one ground of contention from many well-meaning people, in preaching on, "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard-seed," I endeavoured to show at large, in what sense sanctification is gradual, and in what sense it is instantaneous: And (for the present, at least) many were delivered from vain reasonings and disputings.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

They may be what they profess, but I wait for farther evidence.

Sat 4 Dec 1762: At the desire of Mr. Maxfield, and the seeming desire of themselves, I baptized two foreigners, (one of them in a Turkish habit,) who professed themselves to have been Turks. On this I then remarked, "They may be what they profess, but I wait for farther evidence. Their story is extremely plausible; it may be true, or it may not."

Genuine instance of enthusiasm

Sat 4 Dec 1742: I was both surprised and grieved at a genuine instance of enthusiasm. John Brown, of Tanfield Lea, who had received a sense of the love of God a few days before, came riding through the town, hollowing and shouting, and driving all the people before him, telling them God had told him he should be a king, and should tread all his enemies under his feet. I sent him home immediately to his work, and advised him to cry day and night to God that he might be lowly in heart, lest Satan should again get an advantage over him.
Today a gentleman called and offered me a piece of ground. On Monday an article was drawn, wherein he agreed to put me into possession on Thursday, upon payment of thirty pounds.

Friday, December 3, 2010

We greatly rejoiced in God our Saviour

Fri 3 Dec 1784: Partly riding and partly walking through wind and rain and water and dirt, we got at last to Luton, where I found a large congregation, and we greatly rejoiced in God our Saviour. Saturday 4, I went on to London.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What Happened to this Young Clergyman

Thu 2 Dec 1784: I preached about noon at Buckden and, in the evening, to a crowded congregation at Huntingdon. I wondered that I saw nothing here of a young clergyman who last year professed much love and esteem. But I soon heard, his eyes were opened to see the Decrees. So he knows me no more!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kept at Newcastle, whether I liked it or not

Wednesday, December 1 1742. We had several places offered on which to build a room for the society. But none was such as we wanted. And perhaps there was a providence in our not finding any as yet. For by this means I was kept at Newcastle, whether I would or no.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

They Lied for the Church

29&30 Nov 1762: I retired, to transcribe my answer to Bishop Warburton. My fragments of time I employed in reading, and carefully considering, the lives of Magdalen de Pazzi, and some other eminent Romish saints. I could not but observe, 1. That many things related therein are highly improbable. I fear the relators did not scruple lying for the Church, or for the credit of their Order: 2. That many of their reputed virtues were really no virtues at all; being no fruits of the love of God or man, and no part of the mind which was in Christ Jesus: 3. That many of their applauded actions were neither commendable nor imitable: 4. That what was really good, in their tempers or lives, was so deeply tinctured with enthusiasm, that most readers would be far more likely to receive hurt than good from these accounts of them.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The very essence of true religion

Fri 26 to Mon 29 Nov 1784: I returned to London. Sunday 28, I preached a charity sermon at St. Paul’s, Covent Garden. It is the largest and the best constructed parish church that I have preached in for several years. Yet some hundreds were obliged to go away, not being able to get in. I strongly enforced the necessity of that humble, gentle, patient love, which is the very essence of true religion. Monday 29 in the evening, I preached at Hinxworth in Miss Harvey’s new house.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

So dead a congregation have I scarce seen

Sun 28 Nov 1742: I preached both at five in the room, and at eight in the hospital, on ‘Him hath God exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance and remission of sins.’ We then walked over to Tanfield Lea, about seven miles from Newcastle. Here a large company of people were gathered together from all the country round about, to whom I expounded the former part of the fifth chapter to the Romans. But so dead, senseless, unaffected a congregation have I scarce seen, except at Whickham. Whether gospel or law, or English or Greek, seemed all one to them!
Yet the seed sown even here was not quite lost. For on Thursday morning, between four and five, John Brown, then of Tanfield Lea, was waked out of sleep by the voice that raiseth the dead. And ever since he has been full of love and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
At four I preached in the Hospital Square to the largest congregation I had seen since we left London, on Jesus Christ ‘our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption’.

Friday, November 26, 2010

St Patrick did not convert Ireland to Christianity

So on Friday 26, I took coach again and on Saturday reached London.
In this journey I read Dr. Warner’s History of Ireland, from its first settlement to the English conquest. And after calm deliberation, I make no scruple to pronounce it a mere senseless romance. I do not believe one leaf of it is true from the beginning to the end. I totally reject the authorities on which he builds: I will not take Flagherty’s or Keating’s word for a farthing. I doubt not, Ireland was, before the Christian era, full as barbarous as Scotland or England. Indeed it appears from their own accounts that the Irish in general were continually plundering and murdering each other from the earliest ages to that period. And so they were ever since, by the account of Dr. Warner himself, till they were restrained by the English. How then were they converted by St. Patrick (cousin-german to St. George!)? To what religion? Not to Christianity. Neither in his age nor the following had they the least savour of Christianity, either in their lives or their tempers.

Cold kept them from falling asleep while I preached

Fri 26 Nov 1742: Between twelve and one I preached in a convenient ground at Whickham, two or three miles from Newcastle. I spoke strong, rough words; but I did not perceive that any regarded what was spoken. The people indeed were exceeding quiet, and the cold kept them from falling asleep, till (before two) I left them, very well satisfied with the preacher and with themselves.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Roaring (? “Toronto Blessing”) as JW Preaches

Thu 25 Nov 1742: In the evening God was pleased to wound many more who were quiet and at ease. And I could not but observe that here the very best people, so called, were as deeply convinced as open sinners. Several of these were now constrained to roar aloud for the disquietness of their hearts; and these generally not young (as in most other places), but either middle-aged or well stricken in years.
I never saw a work of God, in any other place, so evenly and gradually carried on. It continually rises step by step. Not so much seems to be done at any one time as hath frequently been at Bristol or London; but something at every time. It is the same with particular souls. I saw none in that triumph of faith which has been so common in other places. But the believers go on, calm and steady. Let God do as seemeth him good.

I might as well have preached in Greek

Thu 25 Nov 1784: I desired the people would sit below in the morning, supposing not many would be present. But I was much mistaken. Notwithstanding the darkness and rain, the house was filled both above and below. And never did I see the people who appeared more ready prepared for the Lord. Returning through Brackley, I was informed that notice had been given of my preaching there at nine in the town-hall. So I began without delay. The congregation was large and attentive, but seemed to understand me no more than if I had been talking Greek. But the society seemed alive to God and striving to enter in at the strait gate.
In the evening, I preached at poor, dead Towcester. But is not God able to raise the dead? There was a considerable shaking among the dry bones. And who knows but these dry bones may live?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Local Preachers Rebel against JW and Appeal to Conference

Mon 22 Nov 1779: My brother and I set out for Bath, on a very extraordinary occasion. Some time since, Mr. Smyth, a clergyman whose labours God had greatly blessed in the north of Ireland, brought his wife over to Bath, who had been for some time in a declining state of health. I desired him to preach every Sunday evening in our chapel, while he remained there. But as soon as I was gone Mr. McNab, one of our preachers, vehemently opposed that; affirming it was the common cause of all the lay preachers; that they were appointed by the Conference, not by me, and would not suffer the clergy to ride over their heads—Mr. Smyth in particular, of whom he said all manner of evil. Others warmly defended him. Hence the society was torn in pieces and thrown into the utmost confusion. On Tuesday 23, I read to the society a paper which I wrote near twenty years ago on a like occasion. Herein I observed that ‘the rules of our preachers were fixed by me, before any Conference existed’, particularly the twelfth: ‘Above all, you are to preach when and where I appoint.’ By obstinately opposing which rule Mr. McNab has made all this uproar. In the morning, at a meeting of the preachers, I informed Mr. McNab that as he did not agree to our fundamental rule, I could not receive him as one of our preachers till he was of another mind. On Wednesday 24, I read the same paper to the society at Bristol, as I found the flame had spread thither also. A few at Bath separated from us on this account; but the rest were thoroughly satisfied.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

“Toronto Blessing” when JW preaches

Tue 23 Nov 1742: There seemed in the evening to be a deeper work in many souls than I had observed before. Many trembled exceedingly; six or seven (both men and women) dropped down as dead. Some cried unto God out of the deep; others would have cried, but their voice was lost. And some have found that the Lord is ‘gracious and merciful, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin’.

Why did I come to America

Tue 23 Nov 1736: Mr. Oglethorpe sailed for England, leaving Mr. Ingham, Mr. Delamotte, and me at Savannah, but with less prospect of preaching to the Indians than we had the first day we set foot in America. Whenever I mentioned it, it was immediately replied, ‘You can’t leave Savannah without a minister.’ To this indeed my plain answer was, ‘I know not that I am under any obligation to the contrary. I never promised to stay here one month. I openly declared both before, at, and ever since my coming hither, that I neither would nor could take charge of the English any longer than till I could go among the Indians.’ If it was said, ‘But did not the Trustees of Georgia appoint you to be minister of Savannah?’ I replied, ‘They did; but it was not done by my solicitation: it was done without either my desire or knowledge. Therefore I cannot conceive that appointment to lay me under any obligation of continuing there any longer than till a door is opened to the heathens. And this I expressly declared at the time I consented to accept of that appointment.’ But though I had no other obligation not to leave Savannah now, yet that of love I could not break through; I could not resist the importunate request of the more serious parishioners to watch over their souls yet a little longer, till someone came who might supply my place. And this I the more willingly did because the time was not come to preach the gospel of peace to the heathens, all their nations being in a ferment; and Paustoobee and Mingo Mattaw having told me, in terms, in my own house, ‘Now our enemies are all about us, and we can do nothing but fight; but if the beloved ones should ever give us to be at peace, then we would hear the Great Word.’

Monday, November 22, 2010

John Wesley the Doctor

Mon 22 Nov 1784: I preached at Northampton and, on Tuesday 23, at Whittlebury. Here my servant was seized with a fever, attended with eruptions all over, as big as peppercorns. I took knowledge of the ‘prickly heat’, as we called it in Georgia, termed by Dr. Heburden, the ‘nettle rash’, and assured him he would be well in four and twenty hours. He was so, and drove us on to Banbury, where, on Wednesday 24, I met with a hearty welcome from Mr. George, formerly a member of the London society. The Presbyterian minister offering me the use of his meeting, I willingly accepted his offer. It was, I believe, capable of containing near as many people as the chapel at West Street. But it would not near contain the congregation. And God uttered his voice, yea, and that a mighty voice; neither the sorrow nor the joy which was felt that night will quickly be forgotten.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Preaching in Room and Hospital

Sun 21 Nov 1742: After preaching in the room at five, I began preaching about eight at the hospital. It rained all the time; but that did not disturb either me or the congregation, while I explained, ‘Thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins.’

Saturday, November 20, 2010

JW’s House Broken-into

Sat 20 Nov 1784: At three in the morning, two or three men broke into our house through the kitchen window. Thence they came up into the parlour and broke open Mr. More’s bureau, where they found two or three pounds. The night before, I had prevented his leaving there seventy pounds, which he had just received. They next broke open the cupboard and took away some silver spoons. Just at this time the alarm, which Mr. Moore by mistake had set for half past three (instead of four) went off, as it usually did, with a thundering noise. At this, the thieves ran away with all speed, though their work was not half done, and the whole damage which we sustained scarce amounted to six pounds.

Friday, November 19, 2010

God takes their sight away

Fri 19 Nov 1742: I found the first witness of this good confession. Margaret H—— (O how fallen since then!) told me that the night before her sight (an odd circumstance) and her strength were taken away at once. At the same time the love of God so overflowed her soul that she could not speak or move.
James R—— also gave me an account today that in going home the day before he lost his sight in a moment, and was forced to catch hold of some rails for fear of falling. He continues under strong conviction, longing for the salvation of God.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The different manner wherein God is pleased to work

Thu 18 Nov 1742: I could not but observe the different manner wherein God is pleased to work in different places. The grace of God flows here [Newcastle] with a wider stream than it did at first either in Bristol or Kingswood. But it does not sink so deep as it did there. Few are thoroughly convinced of sin, and scarce any can witness that the Lamb of God has taken away their sins.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

They lived like believers

Wed 17 Nov 1762: I rode on to Sevenoaks. But it was with much difficulty; for it was a sharp frost, and our horses could very hardly keep their feet. Here, likewise, I found several who believed that God had cleansed them from all sin; and all of them (except perhaps one) lived so that one might believe them.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How the Americans have betrayed King George

Sat 13 to Sat 20 Nov 1779: I had the pleasure of an hour’s conversation with Mr. Galloway, one of the members of the first Congress in America. He unfolded a strange tale indeed! How has poor King George been betrayed on every side! But this is our comfort: there is One higher than they. And He will command all things to work together for good.
The following week I examined the rest of our society, but did not find such an increase as I expected. Nay, there was a considerable decrease, plainly owing to a senseless jealousy that had crept in between our preachers, which had grieved the Holy Spirit of God and greatly hindered his work.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Reprove those who walk disorderly

Mon 15 Nov 1742: I began at five expounding the Acts of the Apostles. In the afternoon (and every afternoon this week) I spoke severally with the members of the society. On Tuesday evening I began the Epistle to the Romans. After sermon the society met. I reproved some among them who walked disorderly; and earnestly besought them all to beware lest, by reason of their sins, the way of truth should be evil spoken of.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hail stops for JW to Preach

Sun 14 Nov 1742: I began preaching at five o’clock (a thing never heard of before in these parts), on, ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ And the victorious sweetness of the grace of God was present with his word. At ten we went to All Saints’, where was such a number of communicants as I have scarce seen but at Bristol or London. At four I preached in the square of the Keelman’s Hospital, on, ‘By grace ye are saved, through faith.’ It rained and hailed hard, both before and after; but there were only some scattering drops while I preached, which frightened away a few careless hearers. I met the society at six, and exhorted all who had ‘set their hand to the plough’ not to ‘look back’.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Wild Society

Sat 13 Nov 1742: I reached Newcastle. My brother had been here for some weeks before and was but just returned to London. At eight I met the wild, staring, loving society. But not them alone, as I had designed. For we could not persuade the strangers to leave us. So that we only spent about an hour in prayer.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Fri 12 Nov 1756: I read over Leusden’s dissertation in defence of the Hebrew points, and was fully convinced there is at least as much to be said on this as on the other side of the question. But how is it that men are so positive on both sides, while demonstration is to be had on neither? Certainly to be peremptory and dogmatical can never be so inexcusable as in a point so doubtful as this!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Poor, loving, simple-hearted people

9-12 Nov 1773: I preached at Bury; and on Wednesday, at Colchester, where I spent a day or two with much satisfaction, among a poor, loving, simple-hearted people. I returned to London on Friday, and was fully employed in visiting the classes from that time to Saturday, 20.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We will leave the church

8-12 Nov 1762: I began visiting the classes; in many of which we had hot spirits to deal with. Some were vehement for, some against, the meetings for prayer, which were in several parts of the town. I said little, being afraid of taking any step which I might afterwards repent of. One I heard of on Friday, and five on Saturday, who, if I did not act as they thought best, would leave the society. I cannot help it. I must still be guided by my own conscience.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Let’s electrocute some people (never mind what the doctors say)

Tue 9 Nov 1756: Having procured an apparatus on purpose, I ordered several persons to be electrified, who were ill of various disorders, some of whom found an immediate, some a gradual cure. From this time I appointed, first some hours in every week and afterward some hours in every day, wherein any that desired it might try the virtue of this surprising medicine. Two or three years after, our patients were so numerous that we were obliged to divide them; so part were electrified in Southwark, part at the Foundery, others near St. Paul’s, and the rest near the Seven Dials. The same method we have taken ever since. And to this day, while hundreds, perhaps thousands, have received unspeakable good, I have not known one man, woman, or child, who has received any hurt thereby. So that when I hear any talk of the danger of being electrified (especially if they are medical men who talk so), I cannot but impute it to great want either of sense or honesty.

Monday, November 8, 2010

On death row

Mon 8 Nov 1784: This week, I visited the societies near London, a very heavy but necessary work. Thursday 18, I visited two persons in Newgate who were under sentence of death. They seemed to be in an excellent temper, calmly resigned to the will of God. But how much stress can be reasonably laid on such impressions it is hard to say. So often have I known them vanish away as soon as ever the expectation of death was removed.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Sun 7 Nov 1742: I concluded the Epistle to the Hebrews, that strong barrier against the too prevailing imagination that the privileges of Christian believers are to be measured by those of the Jews. Not so: that Christians are under ‘a better covenant’, established upon better promises; that although ‘the law made nothing perfect’, made none perfect either in holiness or happiness, yet ‘the bringing in of a better hope did, by which we’ now ‘draw nigh unto God’—this is the great truth continually inculcated herein, and running through this whole Epistle.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pascal Paoli

Sat 6 Nov 1784: I was an hour or two in conversation with that truly great man, Pascal Paoli, who is a tall, well-made, graceful man, about sixty years of age, but he does not look to be above forty. He appears to have a real regard for the public good, and much of the fear of God. He has a strong understanding and seemed to be acquainted with every branch of polite literature. On my saying, ‘He had met with much the same treatment with that of an ancient lover of his country, Hannibal,’ he immediately answered, ‘But I have never yet met with a King of Bithynia.’

Friday, November 5, 2010

I saw her, but in her coffin

6 Nov 1762: In the way to London I read "The Death of Abel." That manner of writing, in prose run mad, I cordially dislike: Yet, with all that disadvantage, it is excellent in its kind; as much above most modern poems, as it is below "Paradise Lost."
I had hopes of seeing a friend at Lewisham in my way; and so I did; but it was in her coffin. It is well, since she finished her course with joy. In due time I shall see her in glory.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I have better work to do

5-8 Nov 1773: I preached at noon to the warm congregation at Loddon, and in the evening to the cold one at Yarmouth. I know there is nothing too hard for God; else I should go thither no more. Monday, 8. I found the society at Lakenheath was entirely vanished away. I joined them together once more, and they seriously promised to keep together. If they do, I shall endeavour to see them again; if not, I have better work.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

‘Prophets’ desired to speak with me

Wed 3 Nov 1742: Two of those who are called ‘prophets’ desired to speak with me. They told me they were sent from God with a message to me, which was that very shortly I should be ‘borned’ again. One of them added that they would stay in the house till it was done, unless I turned them out. I answered gravely, ‘I will not turn you out,’ and showed them down into the society room. It was tolerably cold, and they had neither meat nor drink. However, there they sat from morning to evening. They then went quietly away, and I have heard nothing from them since.

Calvinism had torn the society in pieces

Mon – Wed 1-3 Nov 1773: I set out for Norfolk, and came to Lynn while the congregation was waiting for me. Here was once a prospect of doing much good; but it was almost vanished away. Calvinism, breaking in upon them, had torn the infant society in pieces. I did all I could to heal the breach, both in public and private; and, having recovered a few, I left them all in peace, and went on to Norwich on Wednesday.

Monday, November 1, 2010

All Saints’ Day

Mon 1 Nov 1756: Was a day of triumphant joy, as All Saints’ Day generally is. How superstitious are they who scruple giving God solemn thanks for the lives and deaths of his saints!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bickering about JW

Sun 31 Oct 1742: Several of the leaders desired to have an hour’s conversation with me. I found they were greatly perplexed about ‘want of management, ill husbandry, encouraging idleness, improper distribution of money’, ‘being imposed upon by fair pretences’, and ‘men who talked well, but had no grace in their hearts’. I asked who those men were. But that they could not tell. Who encouraged idleness? When and how? What money had been improperly distributed? By whom and to whom? In what instances I had been imposed on (as I presumed they meant me), and what were the particulars of that ill husbandry and mismanagement of which they complained? They stared at one another, as men in amaze. I began to be amazed too, not being able to imagine what was the matter, till one dropped a word, by which all came out. They had been talking with Mr. Hall, who had started so many objections against all I said or did that they were in the utmost consternation, till the fire thus broke out; which then at once vanished away.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

One so full of himself might turn Papist or Mahometan.

Sat 30 Oct 1756: I yielded to importunity and spent an hour with poor Mr. V——, who was awakened and found peace in attending our preaching and soon after turned Quaker. I did wonder at it once, but I do not now. One so full of himself might turn Papist or Mahometan.

Friday, October 29, 2010

More on Perfection and JW makes clear what he dislikes in a person

Fri Oct 29 1762: I left Bristol, and the next day came to London. Monday, NOVEMBER 1. I went down to Canterbury. Here I seriously reflected on some late occurrences; and, after weighing the matter thoroughly, wrote as follows:—
"WITHOUT any preface or ceremony, which is needless between you and me, I will simply and plainly tell what I dislike in your doctrine, spirit, or outward behaviour. When I say yours, I include brother Bell and Owen, and those who are most closely connected with them.
--I like your doctrine of Perfection, or pure love; love excluding sin; your insisting that it is merely by faith; that consequently it is instantaneous, (though preceded and followed by a gradual work,) and that it may be now, at this instant.
"But I dislike your supposing man may be as perfect as an angel; that he can be absolutely perfect; that he can be infallible, or above being tempted; or that the moment he is pure in heart, he cannot fall from it.
"I dislike the saying, this was not known or taught among us till within two or three years. I grant you did not know it. You have over and over denied instantaneous sanctification to me; but I have known and taught it (and so has my brother, as our writings show) above these twenty years.
"I dislike your directly or indirectly depreciating justification; saying, a justified person is not in Christ, is not born of God, is not a new creature, has not a new heart, is not sanctified, not a temple of the Holy Ghost; or that he cannot please God, or cannot grow in grace.
"I dislike your saying that one saved from sin needs nothing more than looking to Jesus; needs not to hear or think of any thing else; believe, believe, is enough; that he needs no self-examination, no times of private prayer; needs not mind little or outward things; and that he cannot be taught by any person who is not in the same state.
"I dislike your affirming that justified persons in general persecute them that are saved from sin; that they have persecuted you on this account; and that for two years past you have been more persecuted by the two brothers, than ever you was by the world in all your life.
--As to your spirit, I like your confidence in God, and your zeal for the salvation of souls.
"But I dislike something which has the appearance of pride, of overvaluing yourselves, and undervaluing others; particularly the Preachers; thinking not only that they are blind, and that they are not sent of God, but even that they are dead; dead to God, and walking in the way to hell; that they are going one way, you another; that they have no life in them. Your speaking of yourselves, as though you were the only men who knew and taught the Gospel; and as if, not only all the Clergy, but all the Methodists besides, were in utter darkness.
"I dislike something that has the appearance of enthusiasm, overvaluing feelings and inward impressions; mistaking the mere work of imagination for the voice of the Spirit; expecting the end without the means; and undervaluing reason, knowledge, and wisdom in general.
"I dislike something that has the appearance of Antinomianism, not magnifying the Law, and making it honourable; not enough valuing tenderness of conscience, and exact watchfulness in order thereto; using faith rather as contradistinguished from holiness, than as productive of it.
"But what I most of all dislike is, your littleness of love to your brethren, to your own society; your want of union of heart with them, and bowels of mercies toward them; your want of meekness, gentleness, longsuffering; your impatience of contradiction; your counting every man your enemy that reproves or admonishes you in love; your bigotry, and narrowness of spirit, loving in a manner only those that love you; your censoriousness, proneness to think hardly of all who do not exactly agree with you; in one word, your divisive spirit. Indeed I do not believe that any of you either design or desire a separation; but you do not enough fear, abhor, and detest it, shuddering at the very thought: And all the preceding tempers tend to it, and gradually prepare you for it. Observe, I tell you before. God grant you may immediately and affectionately take the warning!
--As to your outward behaviour, I like the general tenor of your life, devoted to God, and spent in doing good.
"But I dislike your slighting any, the very least Rules of the Bands or society; and your doing anything that tends to hinder others from exactly observing them. Therefore,
"I dislike your appointing such meetings as hinder others from attending either the public preaching, or their class or band; or any other meeting, which the Rules of the society, or their office requires them to attend.
"I dislike your spending so much time in several meetings, as many that attend can ill spare from the other duties of their calling, unless they omit either the preaching, or their class, or band. This naturally tends to dissolve our society, by cutting the sinews of it.
"As to your more public meetings, I like the praying fervently and largely for all the blessings of God; and I know much good has been done hereby, and hope much more will be done.
"But I dislike several things therein: 1. The singing, or speaking, or praying, of several at once: 2. The praying to the Son of God only, or more than to the Father: 3. The using improper expressions in prayer; sometimes too bold, if not irreverent; sometimes too pompous and magnificent, extolling yourselves rather than God, and telling him what you are, not what you want: 4. Using poor, flat, bald hymns: 5. The never kneeling at prayer: 6. Your using postures or gestures highly indecent: 7. Your screaming, even so as to make the words unintelligible: 8. Your affirming, people will be justified or sanctified just now: 9. The affirming they are, when they are not: 10. The bidding them say, 'I believe:’ 11. The bitterly condemning any that oppose, calling them wolves, &c.; and pronouncing them hypocrites, or not justified.
"Read this calmly and impartially before the Lord, in prayer: So shall the evil cease, and the good remain; and you will then be more than ever united to
Your affectionate brother,
"Canterbury, Nov. 2, 1762.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Not only saved, but made perfect

Thu 28 Oct 1762: One who had adorned the Gospel in life and in death, having desired that I should preach her funeral sermon, I went with a few friends to the house, and sang before the body to the Room. I did this the rather, to show my approbation of that solemn custom, and to encourage others to follow it. As we walked, our company swiftly increased, so that we had a very numerous congregation at the Room. And who can tell, but some of these may bless God for it to all eternity?
Many years ago my brother frequently said, "Your day of Pentecost is not fully come; but I doubt not it will: And you will then hear of persons sanctified, as frequently as you do now of persons justified." Any unprejudiced reader may observe, that it was now fully come. And accordingly we did hear of persons sanctified, in London, and most other parts of England, and in Dublin, and many other parts of Ireland, as frequently as of persons justified; although instances of the latter were far more frequent than they had been for twenty years before. That many of these did not retain the gift of God, is no proof that it was not given them. That many do retain it to this day, is matter of praise and thanksgiving. And many of them are gone to Him whom they loved, praising him with their latest breath; just in the spirit of Ann Steed, the first witness in Bristol of the great salvation; who, being worn out with sickness and racking pain, after she had commended to God all that were round her, lifted up her eyes, cried aloud, "Glory! Hallelujah!" and died.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Last Will and Testament of John Wesley

In the name of God, Amen.
I, JOHN WESLEY, Clerk, some time Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, revoking all others, appoint this to be my last Will and Testament.
I give all my books, now on sale, and the copies of them, (only subject to a rent-charge of eighty-five pounds a year, to the widow and children of my brother,) to my faithful friends, John Horton, Merchant; George Wolff, Merchant; and William Marriott, Stock-Broker, all of London, in trust, for the general Fund of the Methodist Conference, in carrying on the work of God, by Itinerant Preachers; on condition that they permit the following Committee, Thomas Coke, James Creighton, Peard Dickenson, Thomas Rankin, George Whitfield, and the London Assistant, for the time being, still to superintend the printing-press, and to employ Hannah Paramore and George Paramore, as heretofore; unless four of the Committee judge a change to be needful.
I give the books, furniture, and whatever else belongs to me in the three houses at Kingswood, in trust, to Thomas Coke, Alexander Mather, and Henry Moore, to be still employed in teaching and maintaining the children of poor Travelling Preachers.
I give to Thomas Coke, Doctor John Whitehead, and Henry Moore, all the books which are in my study and bedchamber at London, and in my studies elsewhere, in trust, for the use of the Preachers who shall labour there from time to time.
I give the coins, and whatever else is found in the drawer of my bureau at London, to my dear grand-daughters, Mary and Jane Smith.
I give all my manuscripts to Thomas Coke, Doctor Whitehead, and Henry Moore, to be burned or published as they see good. I give whatever money remains in my bureau and pockets, at my decease, to be equally divided between Thomas Briscoe, William Collins, John Easton, and Isaac Brown.
I desire my gowns, cassocks, sashes, and bands, may remain in the chapel for the use of the Clergymen attending there.
I desire the London Assistant, for the time being, to divide the rest of my wearing apparel between those four of the Travelling Preachers that want it most; only my pelisse I give to the Rev. Mr. Creighton; my watch to my friend Joseph Bradford; my gold seal to Elizabeth Ritchie.
I give my chaise and horses to James Ward and Charles Wheeler, in trust, to be sold, and the money to be divided, one half to Hannah Abbott, and the other to the members of the select society.
Out of the first money which arises from the sale of books, I bequeath to my dear sister, Martha Hall, (if alive,) forty pounds; to Mr. Creighton aforesaid, forty pounds; and to the Rev. Mr. Heath, sixty pounds.
And whereas I am empowered, by a late Deed, to name the persons who are to preach in the new chapel, at London, (the Clergymen for a continuance,) and by another Deed, to name a Committee for appointing Preachers, in the new chapel, at Bath, I do hereby appoint John Richardson, Thomas Coke, James Creighton, Peard Dickenson, Clerks; Alexander Mather, William Thompson, Henry Moore, Andrew Blair, John Valton, Joseph Bradford, James Rogers, and William Myles, to preach in the new chapel at London, and to be the Committee for appointing Preachers in the new chapel at Bath.
I likewise appoint Henry Brooke, Painter; Arthur Keene, Gent.; and William Whitestone, Stationer, all of Dublin, to receive the annuity of five pounds, (English,) left to Kingswood School, by the late Roger Shiel, Esq.
I give six pounds to be divided among the six poor men, named by the Assistant, who shall carry my body to the grave; for I particularly desire there may be no hearse, no coach, no escutcheon, no pomp, except the tears of them that loved me, and are following me to Abraham’s bosom. I solemnly adjure my Executors, in the name of God, punctually to observe this.
Lastly, I give to each of those Travelling Preachers who shall remain in the Connexion six months after my decease, as a little token of my love, the eight volumes of sermons.
I appoint John Horton, George Wolff, and William Marriott, aforesaid, to be Executors of this my last Will and Testament; for which trouble they will receive no recompence till the resurrection of the just.
Witness my hand and seal, the 20th day of February, 1789.

Signed, sealed, and delivered, by the said Testator, as and for his last Will and Testament, in the presence of us,
Should there be any part of my personal estate undisposed of by this my last Will, I give the same unto my two nieces, E. Ellison, and S. Collet, equally.

Feb. 25, 1789
I give my types, printing-presses, and every thing pertaining thereto, to Mr. Thomas Rankin, and Mr. George Whitfield, in trust, for the use of the Conference.
To all to whom these Presents shall come, JOHN WESLEY, late of Lincoln College, Oxford, but now of the City-Road, London, Clerk, sendeth greeting:—
Whereas divers buildings, commonly called chapels, with a messuage and dwelling-house, or other appurtenances, to each of the same belonging, situate in various parts of Great Britain, have been given and conveyed, from time to time, by the said John Wesley, to certain persons and their heirs, in each of the said gifts and conveyances named; which are enrolled in His Majesty’s High Court of Chancery, upon the acknowledgment of the said John Wesley (pursuant to the Act of Parliament in that case made and provided); upon trust, that the Trustees in the said several Deeds respectively named, and the survivors of them, and their heirs and assigns, and the Trustees for the time being, to be elected as in the said Deeds is appointed, should permit and suffer the said John Wesley, and such other person and persons as he should for that purpose from time to time nominate and appoint, at all times during his life, at his will and pleasure to have and enjoy the free use and benefit of the said premises, that he the said John Wesley, and such person and persons as he should nominate and appoint, might therein preach and expound God's Holy Word; and upon further trust, that the said respective Trustees, and the survivors of them, and their heirs and assigns, and the Trustees for the time being, should permit and suffer Charles Wesley, brother of the said John Wesley, and such other person and persons as the said Charles Wesley should for that purpose from time to time nominate and appoint, in like manner during his life, to have, use, and enjoy the said premises respectively, for the like purposes as aforesaid; and after the decease of the survivor of them, the said John Wesley and Charles Wesley, then upon further trust, that the said respective Trustees, and the survivors of them, and their heirs and assigns, and the Trustees for the time being for ever, should permit and suffer such person and persons, and for such time and times, as should be appointed at the yearly Conference of the people called Methodists, in London, Bristol, or Leeds, and no others, to have and enjoy the said premises for the purposes aforesaid: And whereas divers persons have, in like manner, given or conveyed many chapels, with messuages and dwelling-houses, or other appurtenances, to the same belonging, situate in various parts of Great Britain, and also in Ireland, to certain Trustees, in each of the said gifts and conveyances respectively named, upon the like trusts, and for the same uses and purposes as aforesaid (except only that in some of the said gifts and conveyances, no life-estate or other interest is therein or thereby given and reserved to the said Charles Wesley): And whereas, for rendering effectual the trusts created by the said several gifts or conveyances, and that no doubt or litigation may arise with respect unto the same, or the interpretation and true meaning thereof, it has been thought expedient by the said John Wesley, on behalf of himself as donor of the several chapels, with the messuages, dwelling-houses, or appurtenances, before-mentioned, as of the donors of the said other chapels, with the messuages, dwelling-houses, or appurtenances, to the same belonging, given or conveyed to the like uses and trusts, to explain the words, "Yearly Conference of the people called Methodists," contained in all the said Trust Deeds, and to declare what persons are members of the said Conference, and how the succession and identity thereof is to be continued:—
How therefore these presents witness, that, for accomplishing the aforesaid purposes, the said John Wesley doth hereby declare, that the Conference of the people called Methodists, in London, Bristol, or Leeds, ever since there hath been any yearly Conference of the said people called Methodists in any of the said places, hath always heretofore consisted of the Preachers and Expounders of God’s Holy Word, commonly called Methodist Preachers in connexion with, and under the care of, the said John Wesley, whom he hath thought expedient year after year to summons to meet him, in one or other of the said places, of London, Bristol, or Leeds, to advise with them for the promotion of the Gospel of Christ, to appoint the said persons so summoned, and the other Preachers and Expounders of God's Holy Word, also in connexion with, and under the care of, the said John Wesley, not summoned to the said yearly Conference, to the use and enjoyment of the said chapels and premises so given and conveyed upon trust for the said John Wesley, and such other person and persons as he should appoint during his life as aforesaid, and for the expulsion of unworthy and admission of new persons under his care, and into his connexion, to be Preachers and Expounders as aforesaid, and also of other persons upon trial for the like purposes; the names of all which persons so summoned by the said John Wesley, the persons appointed, with the chapels and premises to which they were so appointed, together with the duration of such appointments, and of those expelled or admitted into connexion or upon trial, with all other matters transacted and done at the said yearly Conference, have, year by year, been printed and published under the title of "Minutes of Conference."
And these presents further witness, and the said John Wesley doth hereby avouch and further declare, that the several persons herein-after named, to wit, the said John Wesley and Charles Wesley; Thomas Coke, of the city of London, Doctor of Civil Law; James Creighton, of the same place, Clerk; Thomas Tennant, of the same place; Thomas Rankin, of the same place; Joshua Keighley, of Sevenoaks, in the county of Kent; James Wood, of Rochester, in the said county of Kent; John Booth, of Colchester; Thomas Cooper, of the same place; Richard Whatcoat, of Norwich; Jeremiah Brettel, of Lynn, in the county of Norfolk; Jonathan Parkin, of the same place; Joseph Pescod, of Bedford; Christopher Watkins, of Northampton; John Barber, of the same place; John Broadbent, of Oxford; Joseph Cole, of the same place; Jonathan Cousins, of the city of Gloucester; John Brettel, of the same place; John Mason, of Salisbury; George Story, of the same place; Francis Wrigley, of St. Austle, in the county of Cornwall; William Green, of the city of Bristol; John Moon, of Plymouth-Dock; James Hall, of the same place; James Thom, of St. Austle, aforesaid; Joseph Taylor, of Redruth, in the said county of Cornwall; William Hoskins, of Cardiff, Glamorganshire; John Leech, of Brecon; William Saunders, of the same place; Richard Rodda, of Birmingham; John Fenwick, of Burslem, Staffordshire; Thomas Hanby, of the same place; James Rogers, of Macclesfield; Samuel Bardsley, of the same place; John Murlin, of Manchester; William Percival, of the same place; Duncan Wright, of the city of Chester; John Goodwin, of the same place; Parson Greenwood, of Liverpool; Zechariah Udall, of the same place; Thomas Vasey, of the same place; Joseph Bradford, of Leicester; Jeremiah Robertshaw, of the same place; William Myles, of Nottingham; Thomas Longley, of Derby; Thomas Taylor, of Sheffield; William Simpson, of the same place; Thomas Carlill, of Grimsby, in the county of Lincoln; Robert Scott, of the same place; Joseph Harper, of the same place; Thomas Corbit, of Gainsborough, in the county of Lincoln; James Ray, of the same place; William Thompson, of Leeds, in the county of York; Robert Roberts, of the same place; Samuel Bradburn, of the same place; John Valton, of Birstal, in the said county; John Allen, of the same place; Isaac Brown, of the same place; Thomas Hanson, of Huddersfield, in the said county; John Shaw, of the same place; Alexander Mather, of Bradford, in the said county; Joseph Benson, of Halifax, in the said county; William Dufton, of the same place; Benjamin Rhodes, of Keighley, in the said county; John Easton, of Colne, in the county of Lancaster; Robert Costerdine, of the same place; Jasper Robinson, of the Isle of Man; George Button, of the same place; John Pawson, of the city of York; Edward Jackson, of Hull; Charles Atmore, of the said city of York; Lancelot Harrison, of Scarborough; George Shadford, of Hull, aforesaid; Barnabas Thomas, of the same place; Thomas Briscoe, of Yarm, in the said county of York; Christopher Peacock, of the same place; William Thom, of Whitby, in the said county of York; Robert Hopkins, of the same place; John Peacock, of Barnard Castle; William Collins, of Sunderland; Thomas Dixon, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Christopher Hopper, of the same place; William Boothby, of the same place; William Hunter, of Berwick-upon-Tweed; Joseph Saunderson, of Dundee, Scotland; William Warrener, of the same place; Duncan M’Allum, of Aberdeen, Scotland; Thomas Rutherford, of the city of Dublin, in the kingdom of Ireland; Daniel Jackson, of the same place; Henry Moore, of the city of Cork, Ireland; Andrew Blair, of the same place; Richard Watkinson, of Limerick, Ireland; Nehemiah Price, of Athlone, Ireland; Robert Lindsay, of Sligo, Ireland; George Brown, of Clones, Ireland; Thomas Barber, of Charlemont, Ireland; Henry Foster, of Belfast, Ireland; and John Crook, of Lisburne, Ireland, Gentlemen; being Preachers and Expounders of God's Holy Word, under the care and in connexion with the said John Wesley, have been, and now are, and do, on the day of the date hereof, constitute the members of the said Conference, according to the true intent and meaning of the said several gifts and conveyances wherein the words, Conference of the people called Methodists, are mentioned and contained; and that the said several persons before-named, and their successors for ever, to be chosen as hereafter mentioned, are and shall for ever be construed, taken, and be, the Conference of the people called Methodists. Nevertheless, upon the terms, and subject to the regulations herein-after prescribed; that is to say,
First, That the members of the said Conference, and their successors for the time being for ever, shall assemble once in every year, at London, Bristol, or Leeds, (except as after-mentioned,) for the purposes aforesaid; and the time and place of holding every subsequent Conference shall be appointed at the preceding one, save that the next Conference after the date hereof shall be holden at Leeds, in Yorkshire, the last Tuesday in July next.
Second, The act of the majority in number of the Conference assembled as aforesaid, shall be had, taken, and be the act of the whole Conference, to all intents, purposes, and constructions whatsoever.
Third, That after the Conference shall be assembled as aforesaid, they shall first proceed to fill up all the vacancies occasioned by death or absence, as after-mentioned.
Fourth, No act of the Conference assembled as aforesaid, shall be had, taken, or be the act of the Conference, until forty of the members thereof are assembled, unless reduced under that number by death since the prior Conference, or absence as after-mentioned; nor until all the vacancies occasioned by death or absence shall be filled up by the election of new members of the Conference, so as to make up the number one hundred, unless there be not a sufficient number of persons objects of such election; and during the assembly of the Conference, there shall always be forty members present at the doing of any act, save as aforesaid, or otherwise such act shall be void.
Fifth, The duration of the yearly assembly of the Conference shall not be less than five days, nor more than three weeks, and be concluded by the appointment of the Conference, if under twenty-one days; or otherwise the conclusion thereof shall follow of course at the end of the said twenty-one days; the whole of all which said time of the assembly of the Conference shall be had, taken, considered, and be the yearly Conference of the people called Methodists; and all acts of the Conference, during such yearly assembly thereof, shall be the acts of the Conference, and none other.
Sixth, Immediately after all the vacancies occasioned by death or absence are filled up by the election of new members as aforesaid, the Conference shall choose a President and Secretary of their assembly out of themselves, who shall continue such until the election of another President or Secretary in the next, or other subsequent Conference; and the said President shall have the privilege and power of two members in all acts of the Conference during his presidency, and such other powers, privileges, and authorities, as the Conference shall from time to time see fit to entrust into his hands.
Seventh, Any member of the Conference absenting himself from the yearly assembly thereof for two years successively, without the consent or dispensation of the Conference, and be not present on the first day of the third yearly assembly thereof, at the time and place appointed for the holding of the same, shall cease to be a member of the Conference from and after the said first day of the said third yearly assembly thereof, to all intents and purposes, as though he were naturally dead. But the Conference shall and may dispense with or consent to the absence of any member from any of the said yearly assemblies for any cause which the Conference may see fit or necessary; and such member, whose absence shall be so dispensed with or consented to by the Conference, shall not by such absence cease to be a member thereof.
Eighth, The Conference shall and may expel and put out from being a member thereof, or from being in connexion therewith, or from being upon trial, any person, member of the Conference, or admitted into connexion, or upon trial, for any cause which to the Conference may seem fit or necessary; and every member of the Conference so expelled and put out, shall cease to be a member thereof, to all intents and purposes, as though he was naturally dead. And the Conference, immediately after the expulsion of any member thereof as aforesaid, shall elect another person to be a member of the Conference, in the stead of such member so expelled.
Ninth, The Conference shall and may admit into connexion with them, or upon trial, any person or persons whom they shall approve, to be Preachers and Expounders of God’s Holy Word, under the care and direction of the Conference; the name of every such person or persons so admitted into connexion or upon trial as aforesaid, with the time and degrees of the admission, being entered in the Journals or Minutes of the Conference.
Tenth, No person shall be elected a member of the Conference, who hath not been admitted into connexion with the Conference, as a Preacher and Expounder of God's Holy Word, as aforesaid, for twelve months.
Eleventh, The Conference shall not, nor may, nominate or appoint any person to the use and enjoyment of, or to preach and expound God’s Holy Word in, any of the chapels and premises so given or conveyed, or which may be given or conveyed upon the trusts aforesaid, who is not either a member of the Conference, or admitted into connexion with the same, or upon trial as aforesaid; nor appoint any person for more than three years successively, to the use and enjoyment of any chapel and premises already given, or to be given or conveyed, upon the trusts aforesaid, except ordained Ministers of the Church of England.
Twelfth, That the Conference shall and may appoint the place of holding the yearly assembly thereof, at any other city, town, or place, than London, Bristol, or Leeds, when it shall seem expedient so to do.
Thirteenth, And for the convenience of the chapels and premises already, or which may hereafter be, given or conveyed upon the trusts aforesaid, situate in Ireland, or other parts out of the kingdom of Great Britain, the Conference shall and may, when and as often as it shall seem expedient, but not otherwise, appoint and delegate any member or members of the Conference, with all or any of the powers, privileges, and advantages, herein-before contained or vested in the Conference; and all and every the acts, admissions, expulsions, and appointments whatsoever of such member or members of the Conference, so appointed and delegated as aforesaid, the same being put into writing, and signed by such delegate or delegates, and entered in the Journals or Minutes of the Conference, and subscribed as after-mentioned, shall be deemed, taken, and be, the acts, admissions, expulsions, and appointments of the Conference, to all intents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever, from the respective times when the same shall be done by such delegate or delegates; notwithstanding anything herein contained to the contrary.
Fourteenth, All resolutions and orders touching elections, admissions, expulsions, consents, dispensations, delegations, or appointments and acts whatsoever of the Conference, shall be entered and written in the Journals or Minutes of the Conference, which shall be kept for that purpose, publicly read, and then subscribed by the President and Secretary thereof for the time being, during the time such Conference shall be assembled; and when so entered and subscribed, shall be had, taken, received, and be, the acts of the Conference, and such entry and subscription as aforesaid shall be had, taken, received, and be, evidence of all and every such acts of the said Conference, and of their said delegates, without the aid of any other proof; and whatever shall not be so entered and subscribed as aforesaid, shall not be had, taken, received, or be, the act of the Conference: And the said President and Secretary are hereby required and obliged to enter and subscribe, as aforesaid, every act whatever of the Conference.
Lastly, Whenever the said Conference shall be reduced under the number of forty members, and continue so reduced for three yearly assemblies thereof successively, or whenever the members thereof shall decline or neglect to meet together annually for the purposes aforesaid, during the space of three years, that then, and in either of the said events, the Conference of the people called Methodists shall be extinguished, and all the aforesaid powers, privileges, and advantages shall cease, and the said chapels and premises, and all other chapels and premises, which now are, or hereafter may be, settled, given, or conveyed, upon the trusts aforesaid, shall vest in the Trustees for the time being of the said chapels and premises respectively, and their successors for ever; UPON TRUST that they, and the survivors of them, and the Trustees for the time being, do, shall, and may appoint such person and persons to preach and expound God's Holy Word therein, and to have the use and enjoyment thereof, for such time, and in such manner, as to them shall seem proper.
Provided always, that nothing herein contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to extinguish, lessen, or abridge the life-estate of the said John Wesley and Charles Wesley, or either of them, of and in any of the said chapels and premises, or any other chapels and premises, wherein they the said John Wesley and Charles Wesley, or either of them, now have, or may have, any estate or interest, power or authority whatsoever.
In witness whereof, the said John Wesley hath hereunto set his hand and seal, the twenty-eighth day of February, in the twenty-fourth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third, by the grace of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, and so forth, and in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four.
Sealed and delivered (being first duly stamped) in the presence of
>WILLIAM CLULOW, Quality Court, Chancery-Lane, London.
RICHARD YOUNG, Clerk to the said William Clulow.
Taken and acknowledged by the Rev. John Wesley, party hereto, this 28th of February, 1784, at the Public Office, before me,
The above is a true Copy of the original Deed, (which is enrolled in Chancery,) and was therewith examined by us,
Dated Feb. 28th, 1784.
The Rev. John Wesley’s Declaration and Appointment of the Conference of the people called Methodists, enrolled in His Majesty's High Court of Chancery, the ninth day of March, in the year of our Lord 1784, being first duly stamped according to the tenor of the Statutes, made for that purpose.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mr. Pike’s Philosophia Sacra

Tue 26 Oct 1756: I began reading over with the preachers that were in town Mr. Pike’s Philosophia Sacra. It contains the marrow of Mr. Hutchinson’s philosophy clearly and modestly proposed. But upon a close examination I found the proofs were grievously defective. I shall never receive Mr. Hutchinson’s creed, unless ipse dixit pass for evidence.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I hope she meant all the kindness she professed

Mon 25 Oct 1773: I went to Shoreham, and spent two days both agreeably and profitably. The work of God, which broke out here two or three years ago, is still continually increasing. I preached near Bromley on Thursday, and on Friday, 29, had the satisfaction of dining with an old friend. I hope she meant all the kindness she professed. If she did not, it was her own loss.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

JW’s Last Journal Entry

Sun 24 Oct 1790: I explained, to a numerous congregation in Spitalfields church, "the whole armour of God." St. Paul's, Shadwell, was still more crowded in the afternoon, while I enforced that important truth, "One thing is needful;" and I hope many, even then, resolved to choose the better part.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Miss A. of Ewhurst

Mon 18 to Sat 23 Oct 1779: I set out for Sussex and, after visiting the societies there, returned to London on Saturday the 23rd. I was in hopes, by bringing her with me, to save the life of Miss A. of Ewhurst, far gone in a consumption. But she was too far gone; so that though that journey helped her for awhile, yet she quickly relapsed and, soon after, died in peace.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Feared offending the Bishop

Wed 20 and Thu 21 Oct 1790: I had appointed to preach at Diss; a town near Scoleton; but the difficulty was, where I could preach. The Minister was willing I should preach in the church, but feared offending the Bishop, who, going up to London, was within a few miles of the town. But a gentleman asking the Bishop whether he had any objection to it, was answered, "None at all." I think this church is one of the largest in this county. I suppose it has not been so filled these hundred years. This evening and the next I preached at Bury, to a deeply attentive congregation, many of whom know in whom they have believed. So that here we have not lost all our labour.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Clean off the Graffiti

Wed 20 Oct 1756: I received the following letter:
Rev. Sir,
The glory of God and the good of mankind are the motives that induce me to write the following . . . .
As it is our duty to do all we can to make all around us happy, I think there is one thing which may be done to promote so blessed an end, which will at the same time be very advantageous to them that practise it, namely, to efface all the obscene words which are written on houses, doors, or walls, by evil-minded men. This which I recommend to others, I constantly practise myself, and if ever I omit doing it I am severely checked unless I can produce some good reason for that omission. I do it with a sponge which for that purpose I carry in my pocket. The advantages I reap from hence are: (1) Peace of conscience in doing my duty. (2) It helps me to conquer the fear of man, which is one of my greatest trials. (3) It is matter of joy that I can do any, the least, service to anyone. And as all persons, especially the young, are liable to temptations to impurity, I can’t do too much to remove such temptations, either from myself or others. Perhaps too, when the unhappy writers pass by and see their bad labours soon effaced, they may be discouraged from pursuing so shameful a work, yea, and brought to a better mind.
Perhaps in some places it might not be amiss in the room of what is effaced to write some serious sentence or short text of Scripture. And wherever we do this, would it not be well to lift up our heart to God in behalf of those sinners, in this or the like manner, ‘Lord, lay not this sin to their charge’; ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Most of the Town is for the Methodists

Tue 19 Oct 1790: In the evening all the Clergymen in the town [Lynn], except one who was lame, were present at the preaching. They are all prejudiced in favour of the Methodists; as indeed are most of the townsmen; who give a fair proof by contributing so much to our Sunday-schools; so that there is near twenty pounds in hand.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Reaching out to the Germans

Mon 18 Oct 1736: Finding there were several Germans at Frederica who, not understanding the English tongue, could not join in our public service, I desired them to meet at noon in my house; which they did every day at noon from thenceforward. We first sung a German hymn, then I read a chapter in the New Testament, then explained it to them as well as I could. After another hymn we concluded with prayer.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

He will revive his work here also.

Sun 17 Oct 1790: At seven I administered the Lord’s Supper to about one hundred and fifty persons, near twice as many as we had last year. I take knowledge that the last year's Preachers were in earnest. Afterwards we went to our own parish church; although there was no sermon there, nor at any of the thirty-six churches in the town, save the cathedral and St. Peter’s. I preached at two. When I had done, Mr. Horne called upon me, who preached at the cathedral in the morning; an agreeable man, both in temper and person; and, I believe, much alive to God. At half an hour after five I preached again, to as many as the House would contain; and even those that could not get in stayed more quiet and silent than ever I saw them before. Indeed they all seemed to know that God was there; and I have no doubt but he will revive his work here also.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Ordinance of Baptism

Sat 16 Oct 1756: I baptized Hannah C——, late a Quaker. God, as usual, bore witness to his ordinance. A solemn awe spread over the whole congregation, and many could not refrain from tears.

Friday, October 15, 2010

They neither increase nor decrease in number

Fri 15 Oct 1790: I went to Lowestoft, to a steady, loving, well-united society. The more strange it is, that they neither increase nor decrease in number. Saturday, 16. I preached at Loddon about one; and at six in Norwich.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The power of God fell upon us

Thu 14 Oct 1790: I went to Yarmouth; and, at length, found a society in peace, and much united together. In the evening the congregation was too large to get into the preaching-house; yet they were far less noisy than usual. After supper a little company went to prayer, and the power of God fell upon us; especially when a young woman broke out into prayer, to the surprise and comfort of us all.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

JW’s Strong Feelings about Gardens

Wed 13 Oct 1779: Having so lately seen Stourhead and Cobham gardens, I was now desired to take a view of the much more celebrated gardens at Stowe. The first thing I observed was the beautiful water which runs through the gardens to the front of the house. The tufts of trees, placed on each side of this, are wonderfully pleasant. And so are many of the walks and glades through the woods, which are disposed with a fine variety. The large pieces of water interspersed give a fresh beauty to the whole. Yet there are several things which must give disgust to any person of common sense: (1) the buildings called temples are most miserable, many of them both within and without. Sir John Vanbrugh’s is an ugly, clumsy lump, hardly fit for a gentleman’s stable; (2) the temples of Venus and Bacchus, though large, have nothing elegant in the structure. And the paintings in the former, representing a lewd story, are neither well designed nor executed; those in the latter are quite faded, and most of the inscriptions vanished away; (3) the statues are full as coarse as the paintings; particularly those of Apollo and the Muses—whom a person not otherwise informed might take to be nine cook-maids; (4) most of the water in the ponds is dirty and thick as puddle; (5) it is childish affectation to call things here by Greek or Latin names, as Styx and the Elysian Fields; (6) it was ominous for my lord to entertain himself and his noble company in a grotto built on the bank of Styx, that is, on the brink of hell; (7) the river on which it stands is a black, filthy puddle, exactly resembling a common sewer; (8) one of the stateliest monuments is taken down, the Egyptian Pyramid. And no wonder, considering the two inscriptions, which are still legible: the one,
Linquenda tellus, et domus, et placens
Uxor: neque harum, quas colis, arborum
Te praeter invisas cupressos,
Ulla brevem dominum sequetur!
the other,
Lusisti satis, edisti satis, atque bibisti:
Tempus abire tibi est: ne potum largius aequo
Rideat, et pulset lasciva decentius aetas.
Upon the whole, I cannot but prefer Cobham gardens to those at Stowe, for (1) the river at Cobham shames all the ponds at Stowe; (2) there is nothing at Stowe comparable to the walk near the wheel, which runs up the side of a steep hill, quite grotesque and wild; (3) nothing in Stowe gardens is to be compared to the large temple, the pavilion, the antique temple, the grotto, or the building at the head of the garden, nor to the neatness which runs through the whole.
But there is nothing even at Cobham to be compared, (1) to the beautiful cross at the entrance of Stourhead gardens; (2) to the vast body of water; (3) the rock-work grotto; (4) the temple of the sun; (5) the Hermitage. Here too everything is nicely clean, as well as in full preservation. Add to this that all the gardens hang on the sides of a semicircular mountain. And there is nothing, either at Cobham or Stowe, which can balance the advantage of such a situation.
On this and the two following evenings, I preached at Whittlebury, Towcester, and Northampton. On Saturday, I returned to London.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The poor people of Frederica

Tue 12 October1736: We considered if anything could yet be done for the poor people of Frederica. And I submitted to the judgment of my friends, which was, that I should take another journey thither; Mr. Ingham undertaking to supply my place at Savannah for the time I should stay there. I came thither on Saturday the 16th, and found few things better than I expected. The morning and evening prayers, which were read for a while after my leaving the place, had been long discontinued, and from that time everything grew worse and worse; not many retaining any more of the form than of the power of godliness.
I was at first a little discouraged, but soon remembered the word which cannot fail: ‘Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.’ I cried to God to ‘arise and maintain his own cause’, and after the evening prayers were ended invited a few to my house (as I did every night while I stayed in Frederica). I read to them one of the exhortations of Ephraem Syrus, the most awakening writer (I think) of all the ancients. We concluded our reading and conversation with a psalm, and, I trust, our God gave us his blessing.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Saved from Robbers by God’s Grace

Mon 11 Oct1742: I had designed to leave London. But Mr. Richards being taken ill, I put off my journey. He was much better on Tuesday; so I set out the next morning, and before seven in the evening reached the half-way house, four miles short of Hungerford.
I now found it was well I did not set out on Monday, in order to be at Bristol on Tuesday night as usual. For all the travellers who went that way on Tuesday were robbed. But on Thursday the road was clear, so that I came safe to Kingswood in the afternoon, and in the evening preached at Bristol.
My chief business now was to examine thoroughly the society in Kingswood. This found me full employment for several days. On Wednesday 27, having finished my work, I set out very early, and (though my horse fell lame) on Thursday evening came to London.

“French is the poorest, meanest language in Europe”

Mon 11 Oct 1756: I went to Leigh. Where we dined a poor woman came to the door, with two little children. They seemed to be half starved, as well as their mother, who was also shivering with an ague. She was extremely thankful for a little food, and still more so for a few pills, which seldom fail to cure that disorder.
In this little journey I read over a curiosity indeed, a French heroic poem—Voltaire’s Henriade. He is a very lively writer, of a fine imagination, and allowed, I suppose by all competent judges, to be a perfect master of the French language. And by him I was more than ever convinced that the French is the poorest, meanest language in Europe; that it is no more comparable to the German or Spanish than a bagpipe is to an organ; and that with regard to poetry in particular, considering the incorrigible uncouthness of their measure and their always writing in rhyme (to say nothing of their vile double rhymes, nay, and frequent false rhymes), it is as impossible to write a fine poem in French as to make fine music upon a Jew’s harp.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Nothing as useful as field preaching

Sun 10 Oct 1756: I preached to an huge multitude in Moorfields, on ‘Why will ye die, O house of Israel’ It is field preaching which does the execution still. For usefulness there is none comparable to it.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The largest elm I ever saw

11 Oct 1773: I took a little tour through Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. Between Northampton and Towcester we met with a great natural curiosity, the largest elm I ever saw; it was twenty-eight feet in circumference; six feet more than that which was some years ago in Magdalen-College walks at Oxford.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Beautiful Gardens

Fri 8 Oct 1779: We took chaise as usual, at two, and about eleven came to Cobham. Having a little leisure, I thought I could not employ it better than in taking a walk through the gardens. They are said to take up four hundred acres and are admirable well laid out. They far exceed the celebrated gardens at Stowe, and that in several respects: (1) in situation, lying on a much higher hill and having a finer prospect from the house; (2) in having a natural river, clear as crystal, running beneath and through them; (3) in the buildings therein, which are fewer indeed, but far more elegant—yea, and far better kept, being nicely clean, which is sadly wanting at Stowe; and lastly, in the rock-work, to which nothing of the kind at Stowe is to be compared.
This night I lodged in the new house at London. How many more nights have I to spend there?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

English soldiers of this age have nothing to do with God

Thu 7 Oct 1779: I took a view of the camp adjoining to the town [Portsmouth Common] and wondered to find it as clean and neat as a gentleman’s garden. But there was no chaplain! The English soldiers of this age have nothing to do with God!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Treat prisoners well

Wed 6 Oct 1779: At eleven, I preached in Winchester, where there are four thousand five hundred French prisoners. I was glad to find they have plenty of wholesome food and are treated in all respects with great humanity.
In the evening, I preached at Portsmouth Common.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Drop the Controversy

Tue 5 Oct 1756: I wrote a second letter to the authors of the Monthly Review—ingenious men, but no friends to the Godhead of Christ. Yet upon farther consideration I judged it best to drop the controversy. It is enough that I have delivered my own soul: ‘if they scorn, they alone shall bear it.’

Monday, October 4, 2010

The state of my accounts

Mon 4 Oct 1773: I went, by Shepton-Mallet, to Shaftesbury, and on Tuesday to Salisbury. Wednesday, 6. Taking chaise at two in the morning, in the evening I came well to London. The rest of the week I made what inquiry I could into the state of my accounts. Some confusion had arisen from the sudden death of my book-keeper; but it was less than might have been expected.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

When will JW learn to pray for his own healing

Sun 3 October 1756: My disorder returned as violent as ever. But I regarded it not while I was performing the service at Snowsfields in the morning or afterward at Spitalfields, till I went to the Lord’s table in order to administer. A thought then came into my mind. ‘Why do I not apply to God in the beginning, rather than the end of an illness?’ I did so and found immediate relief, so that I needed no farther medicines.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The children at Kingswood

Fri 1 to Sun 3 Oct 1779: I took a solemn leave of the children at Kingswood. Several of them have been convinced of sin again and again; but they soon trifled their convictions away. On Sunday I preached once more in the square to a multitude of people, and afterward spent a solemn hour with the society in renewing our covenant with God.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Fri 1 Oct 1762: I preached at Taunton and Shepton-Mallet, and on Saturday, 2, rode on to Bristol. In the two following weeks I visited as many as I could of the societies in the country, as well as regulated those of Bristol and Kingswood.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I will not go to America

Thu 30 Sep 1784: I had a long conversation with John McGeary, one of our American preachers, just come to England. He gave a pleasing account of the work of God there continually increasing, and vehemently importuned me to pay one more visit to America before I die. Nay, I shall pay no more visits to new worlds till I go to the world of spirits.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Children advancing in the faith which works by love

Wed 29 Sep 1773: After preaching at Pensford, I went to Publow, and in the morning spent a little time with the lovely children. Those of them who were lately affected, did not appear to have lost anything of what they had received; and some of them were clearly gaining ground, and advancing in the faith which works by love.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Without discipline, little good can be done among the Methodists

Mon 20 Sep 1784: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I met the classes, but found no increase in the society[Mid-Somer Norton]. No wonder, for discipline had been quite neglected, and without this, little good can be done among the Methodists.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Worship versus Wrestling

Mon 27 Sep 1762: I rode to Mary-Week. It was a kind of fairday; and the people were come far and near for wrestling and other diversions. But they found a better way of employing their time; for young and old flocked to church from all quarters. The next day I preached at Mill-House; on Wednesday, at Collumpton;

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rabble with Gunpowder

Sun 26 Sep 1742: In the evening I rode to Marshfield. The next evening I reached Whitchurch. Tuesday morning I preached at Great Marlow, on the Pharisee and the publican. Many were surprised, and perhaps in some measure convinced (but how short-lived are most of these convictions!), that ’tis very possible a man may be a Pharisee now—yea, though he be not a Methodist.
A little before twelve I came to Windsor. I was soon informed that a large number of the rabble had combined together and declared again and again, there should be no preaching there that day. In order to make all sure they had provided gunpowder enough, and other things, some days before. But Burnham Fair coming between, they agreed to go thither first, and have a little diversion there. Accordingly they went, and bestowed a few of their crackers upon their brother mob at Burnham. But these, not being Methodists, did not take it well, turned upon them, and gave them chase. They took shelter in an house. But that would not serve. For those without soon forced a way in, and seized on as many as they could find, who, upon information made, were sent to jail. The rest run away, so that when I came, none hindered or interrupted. In the evening I came to London; I proposed spending a fortnight there, and then returning to Bristol.
I spent this time partly in speaking severally to all the members of the society, partly in making a full inquiry into those devices of Satan whereof I had scarce ever heard or read before. And I believe they were now thoroughly discovered and brought to nought. O may they never more deceive the hearts of the simple!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Of course the Presbyterians can use our preaching-house

Sat 25 Sep 1790: Mr. Hay, the Presbyterian Minister of Lewensmead meeting, came to desire me to let him have the use of our preaching-house on Sundays, at those hours when we did not use it ourselves, (near ten in the morning and two in the afternoon,) while his House was re-building. To this I willingly consented, and he preached an excellent sermon there the next day at two. I preached at five in the morning; to more than the House would well contain.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Danger of Riches

Fri 24 Sep 1779: James Gerrish, Junior, of Rode near Frome, was for several years zealous for God. But he too grew rich, and grew lukewarm, till he was seized with a consumption. At the approach of death, he was ‘horribly afraid’; he was ‘in the lowest darkness and in the deep’. But he ‘cried unto God in his trouble’ and was ‘delivered out of his distress’. He was filled with peace and joy unspeakable, and so continued till he went to God. His father desired I would preach his funeral sermon, which I accordingly did this day at Rode. I concluded the busy day with a comfortable watch-night at Kingswood.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Make your will before you sleep

Thu 23 Sep 1779: I preached in the afternoon near the Fishponds. The people here had been remarkably dead for many years. But since that saint of God, Bathsheba Hall, with her husband, came among them, a flame is broke out. The people flock together in troops and are athirst for all the promises of God.
In the evening one sat behind me in the pulpit at Bristol who was one of our first masters at Kingswood. A little after he left the school, he likewise left the society. Riches then flowed in upon him; with which, having no relations, Mr. Spencer designed to do much good—after his death. ‘But God said unto him, Thou fool!’ Two hours after, he died intestate and left all his money to—be scrambled for!
Reader! If you have not done it already, make your will before you sleep!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

JW forgot to ask the Great Physician

Wed 22 Sept 1756: I was considering I had not yet asked help of the Great Physician, and I resolved to delay no longer. In that hour I felt a change. I slept sound that night and was well the next day. [See Thurs16 below]
Thu 16 Sep: I walked over to Bishop Bonner’s,1 and preached to a large and serious congregation. I found some faintness, the sun being extremely hot; but more in walking from thence to Westminster, where I preached at seven. In the night my old disorder returned and gradually increased, in spite of all medicines. However, on Sunday and Monday it was so far suspended that I abated nothing of my usual employment.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Detestable practice of cheating the King

Tue 21 Sep 1762: I rode on to Port-Isaac. Here the stewards of the eastern Circuit met. What a change is wrought in one year's time! That detestable practice of cheating the King is no more found in our societies. And since that accursed thing has been put away, the work of God has everywhere increased. This society, in particular, is more than doubled: And they are all alive to God.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tottering over the grave

Sun-Wed 19-22 Sep 1779: The rain would not suffer me to preach abroad. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I examined the society and found a large number had been called home this year. A few are still tottering over the grave; but death hath lost its sting.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wesley Electrocuted

Sun 19 Sep 1773: I thought myself able to speak to the congregation, which I did for half an hour; but afterwards I found a pain in my left side and in my shoulder by turns, exactly as I did at Canterbury twenty years before. In the morning I could scarce lift my hand to my head; but, after being electrified, I was much better; so that I preached with tolerable ease in the evening; and the next evening read the letters, though my voice was weak. From this time I slowly recovered my voice and my strength, and on Sunday preached without any trouble.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It tired but did not hurt me

Sat 18 Sep 1773: I went to Kingswood, and found several of the children still alive to God. I gave them a short exhortation, which tired but did not hurt me.

Friday, September 17, 2010

How strange a providence is this

Fri 17 Sep 1762: At one I preached in Illogan; at six near Redruth, at a gentleman’s house, in a large court, shaded with trees. It was so calm that hardly a leaf moved. Saturday I preached once more in the street at Redruth, and in St. Agnes in the evening. I preached again at eight in the morning, and afterwards heard an excellent sermon at church, preached by the Rector, Mr. Walker, elder brother to the late Mr. Walker of Truro. He likewise gave notice of his design to preach, in the afternoon, a funeral sermon for Mr. Phelps, his late Curate, a man eminently humble, serious, and zealous for God. He was snatched away by a fever three weeks since, as was his predecessor, Mr. Vowler, three or four years before; another upright, zealous servant of God, and indefatigable in his labour. How strange a providence is this! Who can account for it? Did the God of love take them away, that they might not, out of zeal for him, continue to oppose their fellow-labourers in the Gospel?
Mr. Walker gave him his due praise, in a strong and pathetic sermon, well wrote and well pronounced; concluding with, "God grant me, (and I believe you will all join in the petition,) like him to live, like him to die."
Just as the Service was ended, it began to rain. The wind also was exceeding high; this created some difficulty. No house could contain the people, neither could I preach, as before, on the top of the hill. I therefore made a halt at the bottom. The congregation gathered round me in a few minutes. We were tolerably sheltered from the wind, and the rain ceased till I had done. I particularly advised all that feared God to confirm their love to each other, and to prevoke each other, not to doubtful disputations, but to love, and to good works.
The night came on soon after we were on horseback, and we had eight miles to ride. In about half an hour, it was so dark, I could not see my hand, and it rained incessantly. However, a little after eight, God brought us safe to Cubert.