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grounds,' I thought the hint was good. So we went over the grounds to the far end of the town, where one waited, and undertook to guide us to Oakhill.
“I was riding on in Shepton-lane, it being now quite dark, when he cried out, • Come down! come down from the bank! I did as I was desired; but the bank being high, and the side almost pefpendicular, I came down all at once, my horse and I tumbling one over another. But we both rose unhurt. In less than an hour, we came to Oakhill, and the next morning to Bristol.”
On his return from Ireland, he visited Cornwall, and August 15, 1750, observes, "By reflecting on an odd book, which I had read in this journey, The General Delusion of Christians with regard to Prophecy,' I was fully convinced of what I had long suspected; 1. That the Montanists, in the second and third centuries, were real Scriptural Christians : And 2. That the grand reason why the miraculous gifts were so soon withdrawn, was, not only that faith and holiness were well nigh lost, but that dry, formal, orthodox men began even then to ridicule whatever gifts they had not themselves, and to decry them all, as either madness or imposture."*
On his return from Cornwall, he preached in the street at Shaftesbury; but none made any noise, or spake one word, while he called the wicked to forsake his way. When he was returned to the house where he lodged, a constable came, and said, “ Sir, the Mayor discharges you from preaching in this borough any more.” Mr. Wesley replied, "While King George gives me leave to preach, I shall not ask leave of the Mayor of Shaftesbury."
September 8, he came to London, and received the following account of the death of one of the travelling preachers :-“John Jane was never well after walking from Epworth to Hainton, on an exceeding hot day, which threw him into a fever. But he was in great peace and love, even to those who greatly wanted love to him. He was some time at Alice Shadforth's house, with whom he daily talked of the things of God, spent much time in private prayer, and joined likewise with her in prayer several times in a day. On Friday, August 24, he sat in the evening by the fireside ; about six he fetched a deep sigh, and never spoke more. He was alive till the same time on Saturday, when, without any struggle or sign of pain, with a smile on his face, he passed away. His last words were, 'I find the love of God in Christ Jesus.'
“All his clothes, linen and woollen, stockings, hat, and wig, are not thought sufficient to answer his funeral expenses, which amount to one pound, seventeen shillings, and three pence. All the money he had was, one shilling and four pence.”—“Enough,” adds Mr. Wesley, “ for any unmarried Preacher of the Gospel to leave to his executors !"+
* The Montanists were a sect of Christians, which sprung up about the year of Christ 171. They took their name from Montanus, a Phrygian by birth. They made no alteration in the creed or articles of belief then commonly received. They were abstemious and moral in their conduct. They maintained, that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost were not withdrawn from the faithful and pious; and that they had among themselves the gift of prophecy, &c. It is to be lamented, that, at this early period of Christianity, Christian principles and Christian practice, or morality, were too much separated; and that whoever differed from the rulers of the church, were immediately branded with the name of heretics; their principles and practices were represented with little or no regard to truth; and all manner of evil was spoken of them, to deter the people from going near them.
† Mr. Southey seems to think, that the crucifixion to the world, manifest in Mr. Jane, drose from his devotedness to Mr. Wesley; and supposes St. Francis himself would have
Mr. Wesley spent the remainder of the year, 1750, in London, Bristol, and the neighbouring places ; and in preparing several books for the use of the children at Kingswood School.
Mr. Wesley had many correspondents ; and it often surprised his friends, that he could answer one fourth of the letters he received. But by never losing any time, he was enabled to get through this duty also, and could say with the Trojan hero, “ Nec me labor iste gravabit.” He was often fatigued, but his labour never saddened him : He served a good Master.
Writing to a friend on the subject of reproof, and of remedying things that were amiss, he observes, “Come on, now you have broke the ice, and tell me the other half of your mind. I always blamed you for speaking too little, not too much. When you spoke most freely, as at Whitehaven, it was best for us both.
“ I did not always disbelieve, when I said nothing. But I would not attempt a thing, till I could carry it. Tu quod scis, nescis, (to be as though I knew not what I really know,] is a useful rule, till I can remedy what I know. As you observe, many things are remedied already, and many more will be. But you consider, I have none to second me. They who should do it, start aside as a broken bow."
The following abstract from a letter written to Mr. Wesley, by one who loved and highly esteemed him, may show that he had some friends who spake their minds freely, when they saw any thing which, in their judgment, deserved censure or blame : “ I love, I honour, I reverence you," says the writer, for your great worth, wisdom, and high office; yet I have not that fellowship with you, that I once had with T. S.Í bave loved your company, loved your conversation, admired your wis. dom, been greatly blessed under your discourses and exhortations ; and yet we are two spirits ! I think you have the knowledge of all experience, but not the experience of all you know. You know, speaking with limitation, the heights and depths, the beginning and end of true religion. You know the fallen state of man, his inability to rise again ; the freeness of redeeming love, and the mighty workings of the Holy Ghost. You know the heaven and happiness of man is to feel a change of nature, to enjoy deep communion with God, and to walk in love with all around. All these things you know, partly by the information of others, and partly from experience. But, I think, your experience is buried in your extensive knowledge.* I think you feel not, abidingly, a deep sense of your own spiritual weakness, the nearness of Christ to save, nor a sweet communion with God, by the Holy Ghost. You have the appearance of all Christian graces; but they do not, I think, spring from a deep experience, or change of nature. A good natural temper of mind, with great abilities, will mimic grace; but grace is more than outward; it brings the soul to a deep union with God and its fellow Christians. One outward proof, from which I think I judge aright, is the want of sympathy in your discourses and conversation. Those who attend to an inward work, more than to an outward, pass through many been satisfied with such a disciple. We give him credit for a higher principle: He had learned of the same Master.
* Never was a character more mistaken. I had the advantage which Mr. Briggs had not, and I know that this great man was a little child among those he loved, and that he even lay at their feet, and gladly learned of them, when he saw they had the wisdom from above,'
weighty and grievous conflicts, from the stubbornness of their own nature, or the subtilty of the devil, so that often they go on lamenting and weeping, and yet trusting in God. When do you feelingly and with tears address yourself unto such ?—That the cause, the only cause of my disunion with you may be in myself, I cannot but allow. My ignorance, my weakness, my aptness to mistake, is great! My judgment is often biassed by circumstances too immaterial to be the ground of determination; and therefore often, yea mostly, rather than be in danger of judging amiss, I remain in doubtful silence.
Mr. Wesley really felt all this, and sympathized with all those who fought this good fight of faith. But his duties were so great, so public, so constant, that he could not let out his feelings as the Pastor of a separate congregation might.
January 30, 1751.-Mr. Wesley, at the pressing request of Dr. Isham, then Rector of Lincoln College, set out early in the morning to vote for a Member of Parliament. It was a severe frost, the wind northwest, full in his face, and the roads so slippery, that the horses could scarcely keep their feet. Nevertheless, about seven in the evening, he, and those with him, (for he seldom travelled alone,) came safe to Oxford. A congregation was waiting for him, whom he immediately addressed in those awful words, "What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul ??— The next day he went to the schools, where the Convocation met. “ But,” says he, “I did not find that decency and order which I expected. The gentleman for whom I voted was not elected; yet I did not repent of my coming : I owe much more than this to that generous, friendly man, who now rests from his labours.” Mr. Wesley means Dr. Morley, who so generously assisted him with his interest when he was elected Fellow of Lincoln College.
It does not appear, that Mr. Charles Wesley kept a regular Journal, from the
1749. His Journal fails with the constancy of his itinerant labours. Sensible and pious readers will easily account for thiş. It seems, he considered it a conscientious duty to record those arduous exertions, with the dangers and gracious deliverances that accompanied them. It did not appear to him necessary to record the common routine of duty, however important to himself. Those who knew him do not need to be told, that he was deeply imbued with a modest and retired spirit: Not that kind of modesty which is the offspring of fear or self-seeking, but that which, in the most fearless efforts for truth, revolts from every kind of ostentation. He had deep self-knowledge, and even an undue love of retirement, arising, I believe, from a natural melancholy, which only divine grace could counteract. He became, at this period, a domestic man, and was soon the father of a family. There was no provision, at that time, for a family itinerating ; his labours, therefore, in that line, were, from this time, occasional, and seldom continued long, when necessity or plain duty did not call for them. Those occasional labours he has recorded; but he was too well aware of what the satirist has said, concerning the “importance of a man to himself," either to trouble or amuse the world with an account of common occurrences, however interesting. He kept a Diary during his life, of daily events, written in shorthand, which he showed to me, and by which he VOL. IT,
could review his mercies, and excite his spirit to thankfulness, but without any thought of its ever meeting the public eye, and which therefore has, very properly I think, been withheld from it. I shall proceed to give the remains of his labours, as an Itinerant, which will not be found uninteresting.
The marriage of Mr. C. Wesley does not appear to have long interrupted his labours. April 29, about three weeks after he was married, he wrote thus to his brother : “I hope this will find you prospering in Ireland. I left Garth yesterday se'nnight. Mr. Gwynne, with Sally and Betty, accompanied me to Abergavenny. There I left them on Saturday morning, and got hither, (Bristol,) by one o'clock. Overriding occasioned a fever.— I was too eager for the work, and therefore believe, God checked me by that short sickness. Till Wednesday evening at Weaver's Hall, my strength and understanding did not return; but from that time, the Lord has been with us of a truth. More zeal, more life, more power, I have not felt for some years, (I wish my mentioning this may not lessen it,) so that hitherto marriage has been no hinderance. You will hardly believe it sits so light upon me.
Some farther proof I had of my heart on Saturday last, when the fever threatened most. I did not find, so far. I can say, any unwillingness to die, on account of any I should leave behind ; neither did death appear less desirable than formerly—which I own gave me great pleasure, and made me shed tears of joy. I almost believe, nothing shall hurt me ; that the world, the flesh, and the devil, shall keep their distance ; or, by assaulting, leave me more than conqueror. On Thursday, I propose setting out for London, by Oxford, with T. Maxfield. If they will give me a year of grace, I shall wonder and thank you.* I hope you came time enough to save J. Cownly,t &c. Set your time for returning; when abouts, at least. I Will you meet me at Ludlow? It is a thousand pities you should not be here, when the library makes its first appearance. The Lord cut short your work and his, and make a few weeks go as far as many months! What say you to T. Maxfield and me taking a journey, when you return, through all the Societies, Northern and Western, and settling correspondences with the Stewards, alias Booksellers ? My kindest love to Mr. Lunell, Mr. Lloyd, Mr. Fowks, Mr. Gibbons, and all friends at Cork and Dublin. We make mention of you in all our prayers ; be not unmindful of us. The Lord preserve us all to his day.”.
February 8, 1750. He observes, there was an earthquake in London. This place he reached on the 1st of March ; and, on the 8th, wrote thus to his brother: “ This morning, a quarter after five, we had another shock of an earthquake, far more violent than that of February the 9th. I was just repeating my text, when it shook the Foundery so violently, that we all expected it to fall on our heads. A great cry followed from the women and children. I immediately cried out, • Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved, and the hills be carried into the midst of the sea : For the Lord of hosts is with us ; the God of Jacob
* He alludes to that law of Moses, which ordered, that a man newly married should not go out to war for one year.
+ His fear for that good man was, that he would melt in the sun-shine of Cork, which, after the persecution was over, his brother used to call the Capua of the Preachers; alluding to Hannibal's army at that place. The people of Cork thought, they never could sufficiently show their love to the Preachers who had suffered with them, and for them, in that fiery trial.
I In this familiar way, approaching to carelessness, he often wrote to his brother.
is our refuge ! He filled my heart with faith, and my mouth with words, shaking their souls as well as their bodies. The earth moved westward, then east, then westward again, through all London and Westminster. It was a strong and jarripg motion, attended with a rumbling noise like that of thunder. Many houses were much shaken, and some chimneys thrown down, but without any farther hurt."
March 10.—He expounded the 24th chapter of Isaiah ; a chapter, He tells us, which he had not taken much notice of, till this awful provi. dence explained it.—- April 4, he says, “ Fear filled our chapel, occasioned by a prophecy of the return of the earthquake this night. I preached my written sermon on the subject, with great effect, and gave out several suitable hymns. It was a glorious night for the disciples of Jesus.—April 5. I rose at four o'clock, after a night of sound sleep, while my neighbours watched. I sent an account to M. G. as follows: • The late earthquake has found me work. Yesterday I saw the Westminster end of the town full of coaches, and crowds flying out of the reach of Divine Justice, with astonishing precipitation. Their panic was caused by a poor madman's prophecy. Last night they were all to be swallowed up! The vulgar were in almost as great consternation as their betters. Most of them watched all night; multitudes in the fields and open places ; several in their coaches : many removed their goods. London looked like a sacked city. A Lady, just stepping into her coach to escape, dropped down dead. Many came all night knocking at the Foundery door, and begging admittance for God's sake.”. These, however, were not Methodists, but others, who, under the general apprehension of danger, thought there was more safety under the roof of religious persons than elsewhere : A plain proof, that those who neglect religion, and perhaps despise the professors of it, while in health and free from apparent danger, yet when great calamities approach them, clearly discover that they think the state of religious persons better than
-Mr. C. Wesley's account of the great confusion in London, on the 4th of April, is confirmed by a letter of Mr. W. Briggs, to Mr. John Wesley, dated on the 5th of the same month, in which he says, " This great city has been, for some days past, under terrible apprehensions of another earthquake. Yesterday thousands fled out of town, it having been confidently asserted by a dragoon, that he had a revelation, that great part of London, and Westminster especially, would be destroyed by an earthquake the 4th instant, between twelve and one at night. The whole city was under direful apprehensions. Places of worship were crowded with frightened sinners, especially our two chapels, and the 'Tabernacle, where Mr. Whitefield preached. Several of the Classes came to their leaders, and desired, that they would spend the night with them in prayer ; which was done, and God gave them a blessing. Indeed all around was awful! Being not at all convinced of the prophet's mission, and having no call from any of my brethren, I went to bed at my usual time, believing I was safe in the hands of Christ; and likewise, that by doing so, I should be the more ready to rise to the preaching in the morning—which we both did ; praised be our kind Protector!" In a postscript he adds, “ Though crowds left the town on Wednesday night, yet crowds were left behind ; multitudes of whom, for fear of being suddenly overwhelmed, left their houses, and repaired to the fields, and open places in the city. Tower-hill, Moorfields, but, above all, Hyde