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.