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My days of praise shall ne'er be past,
Or immortality endures.
And earth and seas, with all their train :
And none shall find his promise vain. Another time, he was feebly endeavouring to speak, beginning, “Nature is Nature is.” One that was present, added, “Nearly exhausted, but you are entering into a new nature, and into the society of blessed spirits.” He answered, “Certainly;" and clasped his hands together, saying, “ Jesus !” The rest could not be well heard, but his lips continued moving as in fervent prayer.
When he got into his chair, he appeared to change for death : but, regardless of his dying frame, he said, with a weak voice, “Lord, thou givest strength to those that can speak, and to those that cannot. Speak, Lord, to all our hearts, and let them know that thou loosest the tongue.”
He then sung
To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Who sweetly all agree, Here his voice failed him, and after gasping for breath, he said, “ Now we have done- -Let us all go.” He was then laid on the bed, from which he rose no more. After lying still, and sleeping a little, he desired those who were present to pray and praise. They knelt down, and the room seemed to be filled with the Divine presence. A little after he said, “Let me be buried in nothing but what is woollen, and let my corpse be carried in my coffin into the chapel.” Then, as if done with all below, he again begged they would pray and praise. Several friends that were in the house being called up, they all kneeled down to prayer, at which time his fervour of spirit was visible to every one present. But in particular parts of the prayer, his whole soul seemed to be engaged in a manner which evidently showed how ardently he longed for the full accomplishment of their united desires. And when Mr. Broadbent, who did not long survive him, was praying in a very expressive manner, that if God was about to take away their father to his eternal rest, he would be pleased to continue and increase his blessing upon the doctrine and discipline, which he had long made his aged servant the means of propagating and establishing in the world; such a degree of fervour accompanied his loud amen, as was every way expressive of his soul's being engaged in the answer of the petitions.
On rising from their knees, he took hold of all their hands, and with the utmost placidness saluted them, and said, “ Farewell, farewell."
A little after, a person coming in, he strove to speak, but could not. Finding they could not understand him, he paused a little, and with all the remaining strength he had, cried out, " The best of all is, God is with us :' And then lifting up his dying arm in token of victory, and raising his feeble voice with a holy triumph not to be expressed, he again repeated the heart-reviving words, “ The best of all is, God is with us.”
Seeing some persons standing by his bedside, he asked, “Who are these ?” And being informed who they were ; Mr. Rogers said, “Sir, we are come to rejoice with you; you are going to receive your crown.”
“ It is the Lord's doing,” he replied, " and marvellous in our eyes." On being told that his sister-in-law Mrs. Wesley was come, he said, “ He giveth his servants rest.” He thanked her, as she pressed his hand, and affectionately endeavoured to kiss her. On wetting his lips, he said, “We thank thee, O Lord, for these and all thy mercies : Bless the Church and King; and grant us truth and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord, for ever and ever !!*
At another time he said, “He causeth his servants to lie down in peace.” Then pausing a little, he cried, “The clouds drop fatness !" And soon after, “ The Lord is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge !” He then called those present to prayer: And though he was greatly exhausted, he appeared still more fervent in spirit. These exertions were however too much for his feeble frame ; and most of the night following, though he often attempted to repeat the Psalm before mentioned, he could only utter
I'll praise I'll praiseOn Wednesday morning the closing scene drew near. Mr. Bradford, his faithful friend, prayed with him, and the last word he was heard to articulate was, “ Farewell !” A few minutes before ten, while sevé. ral of his friends were kneeling around his bed ; without a lingering groan, this man of God, this beloved Pastor of thousands, entered into the joy of his Lord.
At the desire of many friends, his corpse was placed in the New Chapel, and remained there the day before his interment. His face during that time had the trace of a heavenly smile upon it, and a beauty which was admired by all that saw it. The crowds which came to see him, while he lay in his coffin, were so great, that his friends, apprehensive of a tumult if he was interred at the usual time, determined to bury him, contrary to their first resolution, between five and six in the morning; of which no notice was given till late the preceding evening; notwithstanding which, the intelligence had so far transpired, that some hundreds attended at that early hour. These, with many tears, saw his dear remains deposited in the vault which he had some years before prepared for himself, and for those Itinerant preachers who should die in London. From those whom he loved in life he chose not to be divided in death.
The funeral service was read by the late Rev. Mr. Richardson, who had served him as a son in the gospel for nearly thirty years, and who now lies with him in the same vault. When Mr. Richardson came to that part of the service, “For as much as it hath pleased Almighty God to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother,” &c, he substituted, with the most tender emphasis, the epithet “Father” instead of “ Brother;" which had so powerful an effect on the congregation, that from silent tears they seemed universally to burst out into loud weeping. * This was his constant thanksgiving after meals.
Mr. Southey has repeated, after Mr. Hampson, " That he had a Bible in one hand, and a white handkerchief in the other; and the old clerical cap on his head." As I was an eyewitness, I may state that there is no truth at all in this account. He had no clerical cap, old or new, in his possession ; and his friends had too much sense to put any thing into the hands of a corpse.
The inscription on the coffin was,
JOHANNES WESLEY, A. M.
An. Æt. 88.*
To the Memory of
This great light arose,
To enlighten these nations,
And to revive, enforce and defend,
primitive church :
For more than half a century:
And, to his inexpressible joy,
And their efficacy witnessed
As well in the Western World as in these kingdoms:
made, by the singular grace of God,
To the joy of future generations!
Give God the glory!
and his life together;
March 2, An. Dom. 1791,
The following is a copy of his last Will and Testament:
“ In the name of God, Amen! “I, JOHN WESLEY, Clerk, some time Fellow of Lincoln College, 0x ford, 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 85l.t 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 ;I 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.
* John Wesley, Master of Arts, formerly Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, died on the 2d day of March, 1791, in the eighty-eighth year of his age.
+ Two thousand pounds had been secured to Mr. Charles Wesley on his marriage, to which the stock of books, which was all the property that Mr. John Wesley possessed, was made liable, and from which one hundred pounds a year was paid as the interest. Mr. Wesley determined to pay off the principal, and three hundred pounds were actually paid at the time of his death. That Mrs. Wesley and her family might not suffer any loss, or be at any uncertainty, the conference being happily united in the work, resolved to act according to Mr. Wesley's intention. They accordingly borrowed the remaining seventeen hundred pounds, and paid it to Mrs. Wesley, in the presence of Mr. Charles Wesley's executors.
| Above a year and a half after the making of this will, Mr. Wesley executed a deed, in which he appointed seven gentlemen, viz. Dr. Thomas Coke, and Messrs. Alexander Ma. ther, Peard Dickenson, John Valton, James Rogers, Joseph Taylor, and Adam Clarke, trustees for all his books, pamphlets
, and copy-right, for carrying on the work of God by Itinerant preachers, according to the enrolled deed, which we have already mentioned. But Dr. Coke being in America at the time of Mr. Wesley's death, the deed was suffered to lie dormant till his return. The three executors then took the advice of two of the most eminent counsellors in the kingdom, who informed them that the deed was of a testament. ary nature, and therefore superseded the will with respect to the books, &c. The deed
“ 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, Dr. 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 granddaughters, Mary and Jane Smith.
"I give all my manuscripts to Thomas Coke, Dr. Whitehead, and Ilenry Moore, to be burnt 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 at 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 Eliz. 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 poor 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) 401., to Mr. Creighton, aforesaid, 401., and to the Rev. Mr. Heath 601.
“ 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 Dickinson, 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. was then presented to the judge of the prerogative court of Canterbury, who received it as the third codicil of Mr. Wesley's will: on which the three executors delivered up their general probate, and received a new one limited to those particulars which were not mentioned in the deed. At the same time a probate was granted by the court to the seven trustees, constituting them executors for all the books, pamphlets, and copy-right, of which Mr. Wesley died possessed; and empowering them to pay all his debts and legacies This testamentary deed has been faithfully executed.—Dr. Whitehead has, however, indulged himself on this occasion, in his usual strain of calumny. He strives to represent this deed as being imposed on Mr. Wesley during the days of his weakness: he does not, however, bring forward any evidence. The fact is, Mr. Wesley, fearing lest any of his heirs at law should possess themselves of that property which he considered as sacred to God and his work, strengthened his will by this additional instrument. He accordingly ordered the deed to be prepared immediately after the conference at Bristol, in the year 1790, and upon bis Coming to London in the month of October following, he immediately executed it.
“ I likewise appoint Henry Brooke, painter, Arthur Keen, gent., and Wm. Whitestone, stationer, all of Dublin, to receive the annuity of 51. (English) left to Kingswood School by the late Roger Shiel, Esq.
“I give 6l. 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 recompense till the resurrection of the just. 64 Witness my hand and seal, the 20th day of February, 1789.
“ JOHN WESLEY.” (seal.) “ Signed, sealed, and delivered, by the said Testator as for his last Will and Testament, in the presence of us
“ WILLIAM CLULOW,
66 ELIZABETH CLulow." “ Should there be any part of my personal estate undisposed of by this my Will, I give the same unto my two nieces E. Ellison, and S. Collet, equally.
1 JOHN WESLEY." « WILLIAM CLULOW, 6. ELIZABETH CLULOW."
6. 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.
" JOHN WESLEY."
A REVIEW OF MR. WESLEY'S LABOURS AS A WRITER, AND AS A MI.
NISTER OF CHRIST-TESTIMONIES OF EMINENT MEN CONCERNING HIM-CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS ON THE FELLOWSHIP AND DISCIPLINE ESTABLISHED IN THE SOCIETIES.
Those who have hitherto considered Mr. Wesley as a writer, have fallen under great mistakes. There was a unity in his character, of · which they were either totally ignorant, or not sufficiently sensible; and without this it was not possible to do him justice. In the year 1725, he tells us he made a resolution to dedicate all his life to God,--all his thoughts, words, and actions ; being thoroughly convinced there was no medium; but that every part of his life, not some only, must either be a sacrifice to God or to himself, that is, in effect, to the devila