REV. JOHN WESLEY, A.M.
SOMETIME FELLOW OF LINCOLN COLLEGE, OXFORD.
WITH THE LAST CORRECTIONS OF THE AUTHOR.
WESLEYAN CONFERENCE OFFICE,
2, CASTLE-STREET, CITY-ROAD;
SOLD AT 26, PATERNOSTER ROW.
[ENTERED AT ST ATIONERS' RALL.]
HAYMAN, CHRISIT AND LILLY' LTD.,
RATrON wORKS, 113-115, FARRINGDON ROAD, LONDON, .C,.
A Letter to the Author of The Enthusiasm of Method-
ists and Papists Compared" ........................... 1
A Second Letter to Ditto ............... ............ 15
A Second Letter to the Lord Bishop of Exeter ............ 61
A Letter to the ev. Mr. Baiy, of Cork.................. G6
A Letter to the Rev. Mr. Potter ............................ 89
A Letter to the Rev. Mr. Downes............... ......... 96
A Letter to the Rev. Dr. Home .......................... 110
A Letter to the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Gloucester 117
A Short Address to the Inhabitants of Ireland ........... 17
A Letter to the Rev. Mr. Fleury .......................... 179
The Doctrine of Original Sin, according to Scripture,
Reason, and Experience ............................. 191
PREFACE .......... ....................................... 192
TIE PAST AND PRESENT STATE OF MANKIND ..... ..... 106
THE SCRIPTURAL METHOD OF ACCOUNTING FOR THIS,
DEFENDED......... ... ..... ....... ...... ...... %,238
AN ANSWER TO DR. TAYLOR'S SUPPLEMENT.
SECTION I. Of Imputed Guilt ........................ 314
SECTION IT. Of the Nature and Design of our Afflic-
tions and M mortality .................................... 317
III. The Argument taken from the Cala-
mities and Sinfulness of Mankind considered ...... 320
IV. Some Consequences of the Dbctrine of
Original Sin .............................. ........... 326
V. A General Argument taken from what
God has declared concerning Mankind, at the
Restoration of the World after the Deluge ........ 328
VI. The notion of Adam's being a Federal
Head, or Representative of Mankind, considered... 332
VII. Of the Formation of our Nature in
the W omb .. ............ ......... ........ .......... 334
VIII. Of Original Righteousness........... 339
EXTRACTS FROM DR. WATTS AND MR. HEBDEN ......... 353
DO THE PRESENT MISERIES OF MAN ALONE PROVE IIIS
APOSTASY FROM GOD? .................................... 382
A PLAIN EXPLICATION OF THE DOCTRINE OF IMPUTED
SIN AND IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS ..................... 393
THE DOCTRINE OF ORIGINAL SIN.......................... 397
THE DOCTRINE OF ORIGINAL SIN, EXPLAINED AND VIN-
DICATED ................................. ............. 415
THE DOCTRINE OF ORIGINAL SIN, EXTRACTED FROM
MR. BOSTON'S FOURFOLD STATE OF MAN ............... 434
A Letter to the Rev. John Taylor, D.D. ................... 465
An Extract of a Letter to the Rev. Mr. Law ............ 466
Thoughts upon Jacob Behmen .............................. 509
A Specimen of the Divinity and Philosophy of the highly-
illuminated Jacob Behmen ..................... ... 514
TO THE AUTHOR OF
"THE ENTHUSIASM OF METHODISTS AND
Ayedum I Pauca accipe contra.*-Hoz.
1. IN your late pamphlets you have undertaken to prove,
that Mr. Whitefield aind I are gross enthusiasts; and that our
"whole conduct is but a counterpart of the most wild fana-
ticisms of the most abominable communion in its most corrupt
ages." (Preface, p. 3.)
You endeavour to support this charge against us by quota-
tions from our own writings, compared with quotations from
celebrated writers of the Romish communion.
2. It lies upon me to answer for one. But I must not
burden you with too long an answer; lest, "for want either
of leisure or inclination," ibidd. p. 5,) you should not give
this, any more than my other tracts, a reading. In order
therefore to spare both you and myself, I shall consider only
your First Part; -and that as briefly as possible. Accordingly, I
shall not meddle with your other quotations; but, leaving them
to whom they may concern, shall only examine whether those
you have made from my writings prove the charge of enthu-
siasm or no.
This I conceive will be abundantly sufficient to decide the
question between you and me. If these do prove the charge,
I am cast; if they do not, if they are the words of truth and
soberness, it will be an objection of no real weight against
sentimentsjust in themselves, though they should also be found
in the writings of Papists; yea, of Mahometans or Pagans.
Taus translated by Boseawen:-
"Now hear what briefly I reply."-ELlT.
VOL. IX. B
8. Let the eight pages you borrow stand as they are. I pre-
sume they will do neither good nor harm. In the tenth you
say, The Methodists act on the same plan with the Papists;
not, perhaps, from compact and design; but a similar con-
figuration and texture of brain, or the fumes of imagination,
producing similar effects. From a commiseration of horror,
arising from the grievous corruptions of the world, perhaps
from a real motive of sincere piety, they both set out with warm
pretences to a reformation." Sir, this is an uncommon thought,
-that sincere piety should arise from the configuration and
texture of the brain !" as well as, that pretencess to a refor-
mation" should spring from a real motive of sincere piety !"
4. You go on: Both commonly begin their adventures
with field-preaching." (Enthusiasm, &c., p. 11.) Sir, do you
condemn field-preaching toto genere, as evil in itself? Have a
care! or you (I should say, the gentleman that assists you)
will speak a little too plain, and betray the real motives of his
sincere antipathy to the people called Methodists.
Or do you condemn the preaching on Hannam-Mount, in
particular, to the colliers of Kingswood? If you doubt whether
this has done any real good, it is a very easy thing to be in-
formed. And I leave it with all impartial men, whether the
good which has in fact been done by preaching there, and which
could not possibly have been done any other way, does not
abundantly "justify the irregularity of it." (Page 15.)
5. But you think I am herein inconsistent with myself.
For I say, "The uncommonness is the very circumstance that
recommends it." (I mean, that recommended it to the colliers
in Kingswood.) And yet I said, but a page or two before, We
arc not suffered to preach in the churches; else we should
prefer them to any places whatsoever."
Sir, I still aver both the one and the other. I do prefer the
preaching in a church when I am suffered: And yet, when I
am not, the wise providence of God overrules this very cir-
cumstance for good; many coming to hear, because of the
uncommonness of the thing, who would otherwise not
have heard at all.
6. Your Second charge is, that I abuse the Clergy, throw
out so much gall of bitterness against them, and impute this
black art of calumny to the Spirit and power given from God."
Sir, I plead Not Guilty to the whole charge. And you have
not cited one line to support it. But if you could support it,
what is this to the point in hand ? I presume calumny is not
enthusiasm. Perhaps you will say, "But it is something as
bad." True; but it is nothing to the purpose : Even the
imputing this to the Spirit of God, as you here represent it, is
an instance of art, not of enthusiasm.
7. You charge me, Thirdly, with "putting on a sanctified
apppl.rance, in order to draw followers, by a demure look,
precise behaviour, and other marks of external piety. For
which reason," you say, Mr. Wesley made and renewed that
noble resolution, not willingly to indulge himself in the least
levity of behaviour, or in laughter, no, not for a moment; to
speak no word not tending to the glory of God, and not a
tittle of worldly things." (Pages 18, 19.)
Sir, you miss the mark again. If this sanctified appear-
ance was put on to draw followers," if it was for this reason"
(as you flatly affirm it was) tuat Mr. Wesley made and
renewed that noble resolution ;" (it was made eleven or twelve
years before, about the time of my removal to Lincoln
College;) then it can be no instance of enthusiasm, and so
does not fall within the design of your present work; unless
your title-page does not belong to your book; for that
confines you to the enthusia-m of the Methodists.
8. But to consider this point in another view : You accuse
me of putting on a sanctified appearance, a demure look,
precise behaviour, and other marks of external piety." How
are you assured, Sir, this was barely external, and that it was
a bare appearance of sanctity ? You affirm this as from per-
sonal knowledge. Was you then acquainted with me three or
four and twenty years ago? He made and renewed that noble
resolution," in order to draw followers." Sir, how do you
know that? Are you in God's place, that you take upon you
to be the searcher of hearts? That noble resolution, not.
willingly to indulge himself in the least levity of behaviour."
Sir, I acquit you of having any concern in this matter. But I
appeal to all who have the love of God in their hearts, whether
this is not a rational, scriptural resolution, worthy of the voca-
tion wherewith we are called.-" Or in laughter, no, not for a
moment." No, nor ought I to indulge it at all; if 1 am con-
scious to myself, it hints my soul. In which let every man
judge for himself. To speak no word not tending to the glory
of God." A peculiar instance of enthusiasm this "And not
a tittle of worldly things." The words immediately following
are, "Others may, nay, must. But what is that to me?"
(words which, in justice, you ought to have inserted,) who was
then entirely disengaged from worldly business of every kind.
Notwithstanding which, I have often since engaged therein,
when the order of Providence plainly required it.
9. Though I did not design to meddle with them, yet I
must here take notice of three of your instances of Popish
enthusiasm. The First is, that" Mechtildis tortured herself for
having spo en an idle word." (Page 19.) (The point of com-
parison lies, not in torturing herself, but in her doing it on
such an occasion.) The Second, that not a word fell from
St. Katherine of Sienna, that was not religious and holy."
The Third, that "the lips of Magdalen di Pazzi were never
opened but to chant the praises of God." I would to God the
comparison between the Methodists and Papists would hold in
this respect! yea, that you and all the Clergy in England
were guilty of just such enthusiasm!
10. You cite as a Fourth instance of my enthusiasm, that I
say, "A Methodist (a real Christian) cannot adorn himself, on
any pretence, with gold or costly apparel." (Page 21.) If this
he enthusiasm, let the Apostle look to it. Dis words are clear
and express. If you can find a presence to set them aside, do.
I cannot; nor do I desire it.
11. l v seeming contempt of money," (page 26,) you urge
as a Fifth instance of enthusiasm. Sir, I understand you.
You was obliged to call it se miug, lest you should yourself
confute the allegation brought in your title-page. But if it
be only seeming, whatever it prove besides, it cannot prove that
I am an enthusiast.
12. Hitherto you have succeeded extremely ill. You have
brought five accusations against me; and have not been able
to make one good. However, you are resolved to throw dirt
enough, that some may stick. So you are next to prove
upon me, "a restless impatience and insatiable thirst of tra-
velling, and undertaking dangerous voyages, for the con-
version of infidels; together with a declared contempt of all
danger, pains, and sufferings; and the designing, loving,
and praying for ill usage, persecution, martyrdom, death, and
hell." (Page 27.)
In order to prove this uncommon charge, you produce four
scraps of sentences, (page 31,) which you mark as my words,
though, as they stand in your book, they are neither sense nor
grammar. But you do not refer to the page, or even the treatise,
where any one of them may be found. Sir, it is well you hide
your name, or you would be obliged to hide your face from
every man of candour or even common humanity.
13. Sometimes indeed," you say, "Mr. Wesley complains
of the scofl' both of the great vulgar and the small ;" (page 32;)
to prove which, you disjoint and murder (as your manner is)
another of my sentences. But at other times the note is
changed, and till he is despised, no man is in a state of salva-
tion.'" The niti is changed! How so? When did I say
otherwise than I do at this day, viz., "that none are children
of God but those who are hated or despised by the children
of the devil? "
I must beg you, Sir,in your Third Part to inform your reader,
that, whenever any solecism or mangled sentences appear in
the quotations from my writings, they are not chargeable upon
me; that if the sense be mine, (which is not always; sometimes
you do me too much honour, even in this,) yet I lay no claim
to the manner of expression; the English is all your own.
14. Corporal severities or mortification by tormenting the
flesh," (page 31,) is the next thing you charge upon me.
Almost two sentences you bring in proof of this. The one,
"Our bed being wet," (it was in a storm at sea,) "I laid me
down on the floor, and slept sound till morning; and I believe
I shall not find it needful to go to bed, as it is called, any
more." But whether I do or not, how will you prove, that
my motive is, to "gain a reputation for sanctity?" I desire
(if it be not too great a favour) a little evidence for this.
The other fragment of a sentence speaks "of bearing cold on
the naked head, rain and wind, frost and snow." (Page 32.)
True; but not as matter of mortification, by tormenting the
flesh." Nothing less. These things are not spoken of there
as voluntary instances of mortification; (you yourself know
perfectly well, they are not, only you make free with your
friend;) but as some of the unavoidable inconveniences which
attend preaching in the open air.
Therefore you need not be so "sure that the Apostle con-
demns that aet<8ta, owua70ro, 'not sparing the body,' as useless
and superstitious; and that it is a false show of humility."
(Page 33.) Humility is entirely out of the question, as well as
chastity, in the case of hardships endured (but not properly
chosen) out of love to the souls for which Christ died.
15. You add a word or two of my "ardent desire of going
to hell," which, you think, I adopted from the Jesuit Nierem-
berg." (Page 34.) Sir, I know not the man. I am wholly a
stranger both to his person and to his doctrine. But if this is
his doctrine, I disclaim it from my heart. I ardently desire,
that both you and I may go to heaven.
But Mr. Wesley says, 'A poor old man decided the ques-
tion of disinterested love. He said, I do not care what place I
am in. Let God put me where he will, or do with me what he
will, so I may set forth his honour and glory.'" (Page 35.)
He did so. And what then? Do these words imply "an
ardent desire of going to hell ? I do not suppose the going
to hell ever entered into his thoughts. Nor has it any place
in my notion of disinterested love. How you may understand
that term, I know not.
But you will prove I have this desire, whether I will or no.
You are sure this was my "original meaning," (page 36,) in
the words cited by Mr. Church,
"Doom, if thou canst, to endless pain,
Or drive me from thy face."
"God's power or justice," you say, "must be intended; be-
cause he speaks of God's love in the very next lines,
'But if thy stronger love constrains,
Let me be sded by grace.'"
Sir, I will tell you a secret. Those lines are not mine. How-
ever, I will once more venture to defend them, and to aver, that
your consequence is good for nothing: If this love is spoken of
in the latter lines, then it is not in the former." No! Why not ?
I take it to be spoken of in both. The plain meaning of which
is, If thou art not love, I am content to perish. But it thou
art, let me find the effects thereof; let me be saved by grace."
16. You next accuse me of maintaining a stoical insensi-
bility. This objection, also, you borrow from Mr. Church.
You ought likewise to have taken notice, that I had answered.
it, and openly disowned that doctrine; I mean, according to
the rules of common justice. But that is not your failing.
17. Part of your thirty-ninth page runs thus: With respect
to all this patient enduring hardships, &c., it has been
remarked by learned authors, that 'some persons, by consti-
tutional temper, have been fond of bearing the worst that
could befal them; that others, from a sturdy humour, and the
force of education, have made light of the most exquisite
tortures; that when enthusiasm comes in, in aid of this natural
or acquired sturdiness, and men fancy they are upon God's
work, and entitled to his rewards, they are immediately all on
fire for rushing into sufferings and pain.'"
I take knowledge of your having faithfully abridged-your
own book, shall I say, or the learned Dr. Middleton's? But
what is it you are endeavouring to prove?
Quorsum hIec tam pulida tendant? *
The paragraph seems to point at me. But the plain, natural
tendency of it is, to invalidate that great argument for Christi-
anity which is drawn from the constancy of the martyrs. Have
you not here also spoken a little too plain? Had you not
better have kept the mask on a little longer?
Indeed, you lamely add, The solid and just comforts which
a true martyr receives from above are groundlessly applied to
the counterfeit." But this is not enough even to save appear
18. You subjoin a truly surprising thought: "It may more-
over be observed, that both ancient and modern enthusiasts
always take care to secure some advantage by their sufferings."
(Page 40.) O rare enthusiasts! So they are not such fools
neither as they are vulgarly supposed to be. This is just of a
piece with the "cunning epileptic demoniacs," in your other
performance. And do not you think, (if you would but speak
all that is in your heart, and let us into the whole secret,) that
there was a compact, likewise, between Bishop Hooper and
his executioner, as well as between the ventriloquist and the
But what advantage do they take care to secure ? a good
salary? a handsome fortune? No; quite another matter;
"free communications with God, and fuller manifestations of
his goodness." (Ibid.) I dare say, you do not envy them, no
Thus translated from the Latin of Horace by Francis:-
This putid stuff ? "-EoDr.
more than you do those "self-interested enthusiasts" of old
who "were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might
obtain a better resurrection."
19. You proceed to prove my enthusiasm from my notions
of conversion. And here great allowances are to be made,
because you are talking of things quite out of your sphere;
you are got into an unknown world Yet you still talk as
magisterially as if you was only running do n the Fathers of
the primitive Church.
SAnd, First, you say, I "represent conversion as sudden and
instantaneous." (Ibid.) Soft and fair! Do you know what
conversion is? (A term, indeed, which I very rarely use,
because it rarely occurs in the New Testament.) "Yes; it
is to start up perfect men at once.' (Page 41.) Indeed, Sir,
it is not. A man is usually converted long before he is a
perfect man. It is probable most of those Epheslans to whom
St. Paul directed his Epistle were converted. Yet they were
not come" (few, if any) to a perfect man, to the measure of
tne stature of the fulness of Christ."
20. I do not, Sir, indeed, I do not undertake to make you
understand these things. I am not so vain as to think it is in
my power. It is the utmost of my hope to convince you, or,
at least, those who read your works, that you understand just
nothing about them.
To put this out of dispute, you go on: '"Thus faith and
being born of God are said to be an instantaneous work, at
once, and in a moment, as lightning. Justification, the same as
regeneration, and having a lively faith, this always in a
moment." (Ibid.) I know not which to admire most, the
English or the sense, which you here father upon me; but,
in truth, it is all your own; I do not thus confound faith and
being born of God. I always speak of them as different things;
it is you that thus jumble them together. It is you who dis-
cover justification also to be the same as regeneration, and
having a lively faith. I take them to be three different things;
so different as not ever to come under one genus. And yet
it is true, that each of these, "as far as I know," is at first
experienced suddenly; although two of them (I leave you to
find out which) gradually increase from that hour.
21. "After these sudden conversions," say you, "they receive
their assurances of salvation." (Page 43.) Sir, Mr. Bedford's
ignorance in charging this doctrine upon me might beinvolun-
tary, and I am persuaded was real. But yours cannot be so.
It must be voluntary; if it is not rather affected. For you
had before you, while you wrote, the very tract wherein I
corrected Mr. Bedford's mistake, and explicitly declared,
" The assurance whereof I speak is not an assurance of salva-
tion." And the very passages you cite from me prove the
same; every one of which (as you yourself know in your own
conscience) relates wholly and solely to present pardon, not
to future salvation.
Of Christian perfection (page 45) I shall not say anything
to you, till you have learned a little heathen honesty.
22. That this is a lesson you have not yet learned, appears,
also, from your following section; wherein you roundly
affirm, "Whatever they think, say, or do," (that is, the
Methodists, according to their own account,) "is from God.
And whatever opposeth is from the devil." I doubt not but
Mr. Church believed this to be true when he asserted it.
But this is no plea for you; who, having read the answer to
Mr. Church, still assert what you know to be false.
"Here we have," say you, the true spirit and very
essence ot enthusiasm, which sets men above carnal reason-
ing, and all conviction of plain Scripture." (Page 49.) It
may, or may not; that is nothing to me. I am not above
either reason or Scripture. To either of these I am ready to
submit. But I cannot receive scurrilous invective, instead
of Scripture; nor pay the same regard to low buffoonery, as
to clear and cogent reasons.
23. With your two following pages I have nothing to do.
But in the fifty-second I read as follows: "'A Methodist,'
says Mr. Wesley, went to receive the sacrament; when God
was pleased to let him see a crucified Saviour.'" Very well;
and what is this brought to prove? Why, (1.) That I am an
enthusiast: (2.) That I "encourage the notion of the real,
corporal presence, in the sacrifice of the mass." How so?
Why, "this is as good an argument for transubstantiation
as several produced by Bellarmine." (Page 57.) Very likely
it may; and as good as several produced by you for the
enthusiasm of the Methodists.
24. In that seraphic rhapsody of divine love," as you
term it, which you condemn in the lump, as rant and mad-
ness, there are several scriptural expressions, both from the
Old and New Testament. At first I imagined you did not
know them; those being books which you did not seem to be
much acquainted with. But upon laying circumstances
together, I rather suppose you was glad of so handsome an
opportunity to make as if you aimed at me, that you might
have a home stroke at some of those old enthusiasts.
25. The next words which you cite from me, as a proof of
my enthusiasm, are, "The power of God was in an unusual
manner present." (Page 61.) I mean, many found an unusual
degree of that peace, joy, and love, which St. Paul terms,
"'the fruit of the Spirit." And allthese, in conformity to his
doctrine, I ascribe to the power of God. I know you, in
conformity to your principles, ascribe them to the power of
nature. But I still believe, according to the old, scriptural
hypothesis, that whenever, in hearing the word of God, men
are filled with peace and love, God confirms that word by
the Holy Ghost given unto those that hear it."
26. As a further proof of my enthusiasm you mention
"special directions, mission, and calls by immediate revela-
tion." (Page 67.) For an instance of which, you cite those
words, "I know, and am assured, that God sent forth his
light and his truth." I did know this. But do I say, "by
immediate revelation ?" Not a tittle about it. This is your
own ingenious improvement upon my words.
However, it was by a special direction. For your own
words in the same paragraph are, From the direction I
received from God this day, touching au affair of the greatest
importance.'" (Pages 68, 69.)
What, are these words in the same paragraph with those,
" I know and am assured, God sent forth his light and his
truth ?" Why their. do you tear the paragraph in two, and
put part in your sixty-seventh, part in your sixty-eighth and
sixty-ninth pages? 0, for a plain reason,-to make it look
like two instances of enthusiasm, otherwise it could have
made but one at the most.
But you cannot make out one, till you have proved that
these directions were by immediate revelation. I never
affirmed they were. I now affirm they were not. Now, Sir,
make your best of them.
You add, "Let me mention a few directions coming by
way of command: Mr. Wesley says, I came to Mr. Dela-
motte's, where I expected, a cool reception; but God had pre-
pared the way before me.' (Page 69.) What, by a com-
mand to Mr. Delamotte ? Who told you so ? Not I, nor
any one else, only your own fruitful imagination.
27. Your next discovery is more curious still: That
" itinerants order what they want at a public-house, and then
tell the landlord that he will be damned if he takes anything
of them." (Page 69.)
I was heating my brain to find out what itinerant this
should be; as I could not but imagine, some silly man or
other, probably styling himself a Methodist, must somewhere
or other have given some ground for a story so punctually
delivered. In the midst of this, a letter from Cornwall
informed me, it was I: I myself was the very man, and ac-
quainted me with the place, and the person to whom I said it.
But as there are some particulars in that letter (sent without
a name) which I did not well understand, I transcribe a few
words of it, in hopes that the author will give me fuller
"As to the Bishop's declaring what the landlord of Mitchel
says, in respect to your behaviour, I do not at all wonder at
the story." The Bishop's declaring Whom can he mean ?
Surely not the Right Reverend Dr. George Lavington, Lord
Bishop of Exeter When, or to whom, did he declare it ? at
Truro in Cornwall? or in Plymouth, at his Visitation ? to all
the Clergy who were assembled before God to receive his
pastoral instructions? His Lordship of Exeter must cer-
tainly have more regard to the dignity of the episcopal office!
28. But to proceed: I was not offended with the Mora-
vians" for warning men "against mixing nature with
grace;" (page 71;) but for their doing it in such a manner
as tended to destroy all the work of grace in their souls. I
did not blame the thing itself, but their manner of doing it; and
this you know perfectly well: But with you, truth must always
give way to wit. At all events, you must have your jest.
29. Had you had any regard to truth, or any desire to
represent things as they really are, when you repeated Mr.
Church's objection concerning lots, you would have acknow-
ledged that I have answered it at large. When you have
replied to that answer, I may add a word more.
30. You are sadly at a loss under the article of ecstasies
and raptures, to glean up anything that will serve your pur-
pose. At last, from ten or twelve.tracts, you pick out two
lines; and those tl-e same you had mentioned before: "My
soul was got up into the holy mount. I had no thought of
coming down again into the body." And truly you might
as well have let these alone; for if by "ecstasy" you mean
trance, here is no account of any such ; but only of one re-
joicing in God with joy unspeakable and full of glory."
With the "girl of seven years old (page 77) I have
nothing to do; though you honestly tack that relation to the
other, in order to make me accountable for both. But all is
fair toward a Methodist.
31. What I assert concerning Peter Wright (page 79) is
this: (1.) That he gave me that relation. (Whether I believed
it or no, I did not say.) (2.) That he died within a month
after. Now, Sir, give us a cast of your office. From these
two propositions extract a proof of my being an enthusiast.
You may full as easily prove it from these, as from the
words you quote next: God does now give remission of
sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and often in dreams
and visions of God." "But afterwards," you say, "I speak
more distrustfully." (Page 79.) Indeed I do not; but 1
guard against enthusiasm in those words, part of which you
have recited. The whole paragraph runs thus:-
"From those words, Beloved, believe not every spirit;
but try the spirits, whether they be of God,' I told them
they were not to judge of the spirit whereby any one spoke,
either by appearances, or by common report, or by their own
inward feelings; no, nor by any dreams, visions, or revela-
tions, supposed to be made to their soLls, any more than by
their tears, or any involuntary effects wrought upon their
bodies. I warned them, all these were in themselves of a
doubtful, disputable nature; they might be from God, and
they might not; and were therefore not simply to be relied
on, any more than simply to be condemned, but to be tried by
a farther rule; to be brought to the only certain test, the law
and the testimony." Sir, can you show them a better way ?
32. The last proof that you produce of my enthusiasm, is,
my talking of the great work which God is now beginning
to work upon earth." (Page 80.) I own the fact. I do
talk of such a work. But I deny the consequence: For if
God has begun a great work, then the saying He has, is no
To bring sinners to repentance, to save them from their
BISHOP LAVINGTON. 13
sins, is allowed by all to be the work of God. Yea, and to
save one sinner is a great work of God; much more to save
But many sinners ae saved from their sins at this day, in
London, in Bristol, in Kingswood, in Cornwall, in Newcastle-
upon-Tyne, in Whiteh ven, in many other parts of England,
in Wales, in Ireland, in Scotland, upon the continent of
Europe, in Asia, and in America. This I term "a great
work of God;" so gr at as I have not read of for several
You ask, how I knov so great a work is wrought now-" by
inspiration ?" No; bt by common sense. I know it by the
evidence of my own eyes and ears. I have seen a considerable
part of it; and I have abundant testimony, such as excludes
all possible doubt, for w hat I have not seen.
33. But you are so fa from acknowledging anything of this,
as to conclude, in full triumph, that "this new dispensation
is a composition of enthusiasm, superstition, and imposture."
(Page 81.) It is not clear what you mean by a new dispen-
sation. But the clear and undeniable fact stands thus: A.
few years ago, Great Britain and Ireland were covered with
vice from sea to sea. Very little of even the form of religion
was left; and still less of the power of it. Out of this dark-
liess God commanded light to shine. In a short space lHe
called thousands of sinners to repentance. They were not only
reformed from their outward vices, but likewise changed in
their dispositions and tempers; "filled with a serious, sober
sense of true religion," with love to God and all mankind,
with an holy faith, producing good works of every kind,
works both of piety and mercy.
What could the god of this world do in such a case, to
prevent the spreading of this "serious, sober religion?" The
same that lie has done from the beginning of the world. To
hinder the light of those whom God hath thus changed, from
shining before men, he gave them all in general a nick-name;
he called them Methodists. And this name, as insignificant
as it was in itself, effectually answered his intention. For by
this means, that light was soon obscured by prejudice, which
could not be withstood by Scripture or reason. By the odious
and ridiculous ideas affixed to that name, they were con-
demned in the gross, without ever being heard. So that now
14 LETTER TO BISHOP LAVINGTON.
any scribbler, with a middling share of low wit, not incum-
bered with good nature or modesty, may raise a laugh on
those whom he cannot confute, and run them down whom he
dares not look in the face. By this means even a Comparer
of Methodists and Papists may blaspheme the great work of
God, not only without blame, but with applause; at least
from readers of his own stamp. But it is high time, Sir, you
should leave your skulking-place. Come out, and let us look
each other in the face. I have little leisure, and less inclina-
tion, for controversy. Yet I promise, if you will set your
name to your Third Part, I will answer all that shall concern
me, in that, as well as the preceding. Till then
I remain, Sir,
Your friend and well-wisher,
February 1, 1749-50.
WHEN you come to relate those "horrid and shocking
things," there may be a danger you are not aware of. Even
you yourself may fall (as little as you intend or suspect it)
into seriousness. And I am afraid, if once you put off your
fool's coat, if you stand naked before cool and sober reason,
you yourself may appear as inconsiderable a creature, to use
your own phrase, as if your name was Perronet."
TO THE AUTHOR OF
"THE ENTHUSIASM OF METHODISTS AND
ecce ilerum Crispinus! *-JUVENAL.
TO THE RIGHT REVEREND THE LORD BISHOP
1. I was grieved when I read the following words in the
Third Part of the Enthusiasm of Methodists and Papi-ts com-
pared:"-"A sensible, lionestwoman told theBishop of Exeter,
in presence of several witnesses, that Mr. John Wesley came
to her house, and questioned her, whether she had 'an assur-
ance of her salvation.' Her answer was, that she hoped she
should be saved, but had no absolute assurance of it.' 'Why
then,' replied he, 'you are in hell, you are damned already.'
This so terrified tLe poor woman, who was then with child,
that she was grievously afraid of miscarrying, and could not, in
a long time, recover her right mind. For this, and the Meth-
odistsasking her to live upon free cost, she determined to admit
no more of them into her house. So much is her own account
to his Lordship, on whose authority it is here published."
2. This renewed the concern I felt some time since, when I
was informed (in letters which I have still by me) of your
Thus trandated by Gifford:-
Agaiu Crispinus comes I "-EDIT.
Lordship's publishing this account, both at Plymouth in
Devonshire, and at Truro in Cornwall, before the Clergy
assembled from all parts of those counties, at the solemn season
of your Lordship's visiting your diocese. But I was not
informed that your Lordship showed a deep concern for the
honour of God, which you supposed to be so dreadfully violated,
or a tender compassion for a Presbyter whom you believed to
be rushing into everlasting destruction.
3. In order to be more fully informed, on Saturday, August
25, 1750, Mr. Trembath, of St. Ginnys, Mr. Haime, of Shaftes-
bury, and I, called at Mr. Morgan's, at Mitchel. The servant
telling me her master was not at home, I desired to speak
with her mistress, the honest, sensible woman." I imme-
diately asked, "Did I ever tell you or your husband that you
would be damned if you took any money of me?" (So the
story ran in the first part of the Comparison; it has now
undergone a very considerable alteration.) "Or did you or
he ever affirm," (another circumstance related at Truro,) "that I
was rude with your maid?" She replied, vehemently, Sir,
I never said you was, or that you said any such thing. And I
do not suppose my husband did. But we have been belied as
well as our neighbours." She added, When the Bishop
came down last, he sent us word that he would dine at our
house; but he did not, being invited to a neighboring gentle-
man's. He sent for me thither, and said, Good woman, do
you know these people that go up and down? Do you know
Mr. Wesley? Did not he tell you, you would be damned if
you took any money of him ? And did not he offer rudeness
to your maid ?' I told him, 'No, my Lord; he never said
any such thing to me, nor to my husband that I know of. He
never offered any rudeness to any maid of mine. I never saw
or knew any harm of him: But a man told me once (who I
was told was a Methodist Preacher) that I should be damned
if I did not know my sins were forgiven.'"
4. This is her own account given to me. And an account
it is, irreconcilably different (notwithstanding some small
resemblance in the last circumstance) from that she is affirmed
to have given your Lordship. Whether she did give that
account to your Lordship or no, your Lordship knows best.
That the Comparer affirms it, is no proof at all; since he will
affirm any thing that suits his purpose.
5. Yet I was sorry to see your Lordship's authority cited on
TO BISHOP LAVINGTON.
such an occasion; inasmuch as many of his readers, not con-
sidering the man, may think your Lordship did really counte-
nance such a writer; one that turns the most serious, the most
awful, the most venerable things into mere farce ; that makes
the most essential parts of real, experimental religion matter
of low buffoonery; that, beginning at the very rise of it in
the soul, namely, "repentance towards God, a broken and a
contrite heart," goes on to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ,"
whereby he that believeth is born of God," to the love of
God shed abroad in the heart," attended with peace and
joy in the Holy Ghost,"-to our subsequent "wrestling not"
only with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers
and wicked spirits in high places,"-and thence to perfect
love," the "loving the Lord our God with all our heart,
mind, soul, and strength; and treats on every one of these
sacred topics with the spirit and air of a Merry Andrew.
What advantage the common enemies of Christianity may
reap from this, your Lordship cannot be insensible.
6. Your Lordship cannot but discern how the whole tenor of
his book tends to destroy the Holy Scriptures, to render them
vile in the eyes of the people, to make them stink in the nostrils
of infidels. For instance: After reading his laboured ridicule
of the sorrow and fear which usually attend the first repent-
ance, (called by St. Chrysostom, as well as a thousand other
writers, the pangs or throes of the new birth,") what can an
infidel think ot those and the like expressions in Scripture: "I
have roared for the very disquietness of my heart: Fearfulness
and trembling are come upon me, and an horrible dread hath
overwhelmed me? After his flood of satire on all kind of con-
flicts with Satan, what judgment can a Deist form of what St.
Paul speaks concerning the various wrestling of a Christian
with the wicked one? Above all, how will his bringing the
lewd heathen poets to expose the pure and spiritual love of
God, naturally cause them to look with the same eyes on the
most elevated passages of the inspired writings? What can bh
more diverting to them than to apply his yXwcvrntcpov epnproT,
" bitter-sweet of love," to many expressions in the Canticles?
(On which, undoubtedly, he supposes the Fair Circassian to
be a very just paraphrase!) Ay," say they, the very case:
'Stay me with apples; for I am sick of love.' "
7. Probably the Comparer will reply, "No; I do not ridicule
VOL. IX. C
18 SECOND LETTER
tile things themselves; repentance, the new birth, the fight of
faith, or the love of God; all which I know are essential to
religion; but only the folly and the enthusiasm which are
blended with these by the Methodists." But how poor a pre-
tence is this 1 Had this really been the case, how carefully
would he have drawn the line under each of these heads,-
between the sober religion of a Christian, and the enthusiasm
6f a Methodist! But has he done this? Does he take particular
care to show under each what is true, as well as what is false,
religion ? where the former ends and the latter begins ? what
are the proper boundaries of each ? Your Lordship knows he
does not so much as endeavour it, or take any pains about it;
but indiscriminately pours the flood out of his unclean mouth,
upon all repentance, faith, love, and holiness.
8. Your Lordship will please to observe that I do not here
touch in the least on the merits of the cause. Be the
Methodists what they may, fools, madmen, enthusiasts, knaves,
impostors, Papists, or anything, yet your Lordship perceives
this does not in any degree affect the point in question: Still
it behoves every Christian, nay, every reasonable Heathen, to
consider the subject he is upon, and to take care not to bring
this into contempt, (especially if it be of the last importance,)
however inexcusable or contemptible his opponents may be.
9. This consideration, my Lord, dwelt much upon my mind
when I read the former parts of the Comparison. I immediately
saw there was no encountering a buffoon by serious reason and
argument. This would naturally have furnished both him and
his admirers with fresh matter of ridicule. On the other hand,
if I should let myself down to a level with him, by a less serious
manner of writing than I was accustomed to, I was afraid of
debasing the dignity of the subject. Nay, and I knew not but
I might catch something of his spirit. I remembered the ad-
vice, Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be
like unto him." (Prov. xxvi. 4.) And yet I saw there must be an
exception in some cases, as the words immediately following
show : Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise
in his own conceit." I conceive, as if he had said, Yet it is
needful, in some cases, to answer a fool according to his folly,'
otherwise he will be 'wiser in his own conceit, than seven men
that can render a reason.'" I therefore constrained myself to
approach, as near as I dared, to his own manner of writing.
TO BISHOP LAVINGTON.
And I trust the occasion will plead my excuse with your
Lordship, and all reasonable men.
10. One good effect of my thus meeting him on his own
ground is visible already. Instead of endeavouring to defend,
he entirely gives up, the First Part of his Comparison.
Indeed, I did not expect this, when I observed that the Third
Part was addressed to me. I took it for granted, that he had
therein aimed at something like a reply to my answer: But
going on, I found myself quite mistaken. He never once
attempts a reply to one page, any otherwise than by screaming
out, Pertness, scurrility, effrontery;" and in subjoining
that deep remark, Paper and time would be wasted on such
stuff." (Third Part, preface, p. 15.)
11. I cannot but account it another good effect, that he is
something less confident than he was before. He is likewise
not more angry or more bitter, for that cannot be, but a few
degrees more serious: So that I plainly perceive this is the
way I am to take if I should have leisure to answer the Third
Part; although it is far from my desire to write in this
manner ; it is as contrary to my inclination as to my custom.
12. But is it possible that a person of your Lordship's cha-
racter should countenance such a performance as this ? It
cannot be your Lordship's desire to pour contempt on all
that is truly venerable among men to stab Christianity to
the heart, under a colour of opposing enthusiasm; and to
increase and give a sanction to the profaneness which already
overspreads our land as a flood.
13. Were the Methodists ever so bad, yet are they not too
despicable and inconsiderable for your Lordship's notice?
"Against whom. is the King of Israel come out ? against a flea?
against a partridge upon the mountains?" Such they undoubt-
edly are, ifthat representation ofthem bej ust which the Corn parer
has given. Against whom (if your Lordship espouses his cause)
are you stirring up the supreme power of the nation ?i Against
whom does your Lordship arm the Ministers of all denomina-
tions, particularly our brethren of the Established Church ?
inciting them to paint us out to their several congregations as
not fit to live upon the earth. The effects of this have already
appeared in many parts both of Devonshire and Cornwall.
Nor have I known any considerable riot in any part of
England, for which such preaching did not pave the way.
20 SECOND LETTER
14. I beg leave to ask, would it be a satisfaction to your
Lordship if national persecution were to return ? Does your
Lordship desire to revive the old laws, de hetretico combu-
rendo ? Would your Lordship rejoice to see the Methodists
themselves tied to so many stakes in Smithfield? Or would
you applaud the execution, though not so legally or decently
performed by the mob of Exeter, Plymouth-Dock, or Laun-
ceston ? My Lord, what profit would there be in our blood ?
Would it be an addition to your Lordship's happiness, or any
advantage to the Protestant cause, or any honour either to
our Church or nation ?
15. The Comparer, doubtless, would answer, "Yes; for it
would prevent the horrid consequences of your preaching."
My Lord, give me leave to say once more, I willingly put the
whole causeupon this issue. What arethe general consequences
of our preaching ? Are there more tares or wheat ? more good
men destroyed, (as Mr. Church once supposed,) or wicked
men saved? The last places in your Lordship's diocese, where
we began constant preaching, are near Liskeard in Cornwall,
and at Tiverton in Devonshire. Now, let any man inquire
here, (1.) What kind of people were those a year ago, who now
constantly hear this preaching? (2.) What are the main
doctrines the Methodists have been teaching this twelvemonth?
(3.) What effect have these doctrines had upon their hearers?
And if you do not find, (1.) That the greater part of these
were, a year or two ago, notoriously wicked men: (2.) Yet
the main doctrines they have heard since were, "Love God
and your neighbour, and carefully keep His commandments:"
And, (3.) That they have since exercised themselves herein,
and continue so to do;-I say, if any reasonable man, who
will be at the pains to inquire, does not find this to be an
unquestionable fact, I will openly acknowledge myself an
enthusiast, or whatever else he shall please to style me.
16. I beg leave to conclude this address to your Lordship
with a few 'more words transcribed from the same letter: "Allow
Mr. Wesley," says Mr. Church, but these few points, and he
will defend his conduct beyond exception." (Second Letter to
Mr. Church, Vol. VIII. p. 477.) That is most true. If I have
indeed been advancing nothing but the true knowledge and
* Concerning the burning of heretics.-EDIT.
TO BISHOP LAVINGTON.
love of God; if God has made me an instrument in reforming
many sinners, and bringing them to inward and pure reli-
gion; and if many of these continue holy to this day, and free
from all wilful sin; then may I, even I, use those awful words,
" He that despiseth me, despiseth Him that sent me." But I
never expect the world to allow me one of these points. How-
ever, I must go on as God shall enable me. I must lay out
whatsoever talents he entrusts me with, (whether others will
believe I do it or no,) in advancing the true Christian know-
ledge of God, and the love and fear of God among men; in re-
forming (if so be it please him to use me still) those who are yet
without God in the world ; and in propagating inward and pure
religion, righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."
Sincerely wishing your Lordship all happiness in time and
Your Lordship's most obedient servant,
November 27, 1750.
1. You have undertaken to prove, (as I observed in my
former letter, a few sentences of which I beg leave to repeat,)
that the whole conduct of the Methodists is but a counter-
part of the most wild fanaticisms of Popery." (Preface to the
First Part, p. 3)
You endeavour to support this charge by quotationsfrom our
own writings, compared with quotations from Popish authors.
It lies upon me to answer for one. But in order to spare
both you and myself, I shall at present consider only your
Second Part, and that as briefly as possible. Accordingly, I
shall not meddle with your other quotations, but, leaving
them to whom they may concern, shall examine whether
those you have made from my writings prove the charge for
which they were made or no.
If they do, I submit. But if they do not, if they are "the
words of truth and soberness," it is an objection of no real
weight against any sentiment, just in itself, though it should
also be found in the writings of Papists; yea, of Mahometans
2. In your first section, in order to prove the "vain boast-
ing of the Methodists," you quote a part of the following
sentence: "When hath religion, I will not say, since the
Reformation, but since the time of Constantine the Great,
made so large a progress in any nation, within so short a
space?" (I beg any impartial person to read the whole pas-
sage, from the eighty-fourth to the ninetieth page of the
Th rd Appeal.*) I repeat the question, giving the glory to
God ; and, I trust, without either boasting or ent.iusiasm.
In your second, you cite (and murder) four or five lines
from one of my Journals, as instances of the persuasive
eloquence of the Methodist Preachers." (Pages 1, 9.) But it
unfortunately happens, that neither of the sentences you
quote were spoke by any Preacher at all. You know full
well the one was used only in a private letter; the other by a
woman on a bed of sickness.
3. You next undertake to prove the most insufferable
pride and vanity of the Methodists." (Section iii., p. 12, &c.)
For this end you quote five passages from my Journals, and
one from the Third Appeal.
The first was wrote in the anguish of my heart, to which I
gave vent (between God and my own soul) by breaking out,
not into confidence of boasting," as you term it, but into
those expressions of bitter sorrow : I went to America to
convert the Indians. But O who shall convert me ?"
(Vol. I. p. 74.) Some of the words which follow you have
picked out, and very honestly laid before your reader, without
ciher the beginning or end, or one word of the occasion or
manner wherein they were spoken.
Your next quotation is equally fair and generous: "Are
they read in philosophy? So was 1," &c. (Ibid. p. 76, &c.)
This whole string of self-commendation," as you call it,
being there brought, ex professor, to prove that, notwith-
standing all this, which I once piqued myself upon, I was at
that hour in a state of damnation !
The third is a plain narrative of the manner wherein many
of Bristol expressed their joy on my coming unexpectedly
into the room, after I had been some time at London. (Vol. I.
p. 311.) And this, I conceive, will prove the charge of high
treason, as well as that of insufferable pride and vanity."
You say, fourthly, "A dying woman, who had earnestly
SVol. VIII. pp. 205-2 9 of the present Edltion.--Elni.
TO BISHOP LAVINGTON. 2S
desired to see me, cried out, as I entered the room, 'Art thou
some, thou blessed of the Lord ? '" (Ibid. p. 320.) She did
so. And what does this prove ?
The fifth passage is this: In applying which my soul was
so enlarged, that methought I could have cried out, (in
another sense than poor vain Archimedes,) Give me where
to stand; and I will shake the earth.' My meaning is, I
found such freedom of thought and speech, (jargon, stuff,
enthusiasm to you,) that methought, could I have then spoken
to all the world, they would all have shared in the blessing.
4. The passage which you quote from the Third Appeal, I
am obliged to relate more at large:-
There is one more excuse for denying this work of God,
taken from the instruments employed therein; that is, that
they are wicked men; and a thousand stories have been
handed about to prove it.
Yet I cannot but remind considerate men, in how remark-
able a manner the wisdom of God has, for many years,
guarded against this pretence, with regard to my brother and
me in particular." "This pretence, that is,'of not employing
fit instruments.' These words are yours, though you insert
them as mine. The pretence I mentioned, was, "that they
were wicked men." And how God guarded against this, is
shown in what follows: "From that time, both my brother
and I, utterly against our will, came to be more and more
observed and known; till we were more spoken of than per-
haps two so inconsiderable persons ever were before in the
nation. To make us more public still, as honest madmen at
least, by strange concurrenceof providence, overturningall
our preceding resolutions, we were hurried away to America."
Afterward it follows: "What persons could, in the nature
of things, have been (antecedently) less liable to exception,
with regard to their moral character at least, than those the
all-wiseGod hathnow employed? Indeed Icannot devise what
manner of men could have been more unexceptionable on all
accounts. HadGod ended uswithgreater natural oracquired
abilities, thisverything might have been turned into anobjec-
tion. Had we been remarkably defective, it would have
been matter of objection on the other hand. Had we been
Dissenters of anykind,or even Low-Churchmen (so called),it
would have been a great stumbling-block in the wayof those
who are zealous for the Church. And yet had we continued in
the impetuosity of our High-Church zeal, neither should we
have been willing to converse with Dissenters, nor they to
receive any good at our hands." Sir, why did you break off
your quotation in the middle of this paragraph, just at, "more
unexceptionable on all accounts ?" Was it not on purpose to
give a wrong turn to the whole? to conceal the real and
obvious meaning of my words, and put one upon them that
never entered into my thoughts ?
5. You have reserved your strongreasonforthelast, namely,
my own confession: "Mr. Wesley says himself, 'By the most
infallible of proofs, inward feeling, I am convinced of pride,
&c.'" Sir,be pleased to decipher that &c. Or I will spare you
the pains, and do it myself, by reciting the whole sentence:-
By the most infallible of proofs, inward feeling, I am
(1.) Of unbelief, having no such faith in Christ as will
prevent my heart from being troubled, which it could not be,
if I believed in God, and rightly believed also in him.
"(2.) Of pride throughout my life past, inasmuch as I
thought I had what I find I have not." (Vol. I. p. 72.)
Now, Sir, you have my whole confession. I entreat you
to make the best of it.
But I myself "acknowledge three Methodists to have
fallen into pride." Sir, I can tell you of three more. And
yet it will not follow, that the doctrines I teach lead men
into horrid pride and blasphemy."
6. In the close of your fourth section, you charge me with
f' shuffling and prevaricating with regard to extraordinary
gifts and miraculous powers." Of these I shall have occasion
to speak by and by. At present I need only return the compli-
ment, by charging you with gross, wilful prevarication, from
the beginningof your book to the end. Some instances of this
have appeared already. Many more will appear in due time.;
7. Your fifth charges me with an "affectation of prophesy-
ing." Your first proof of it is this:-
"It was about this time that the soldierwas executed. For
some time I had visited him every day. But when the love of
Godwas shed abroad in his heart,Itold him,'Do not expect to
see me any more: I believe Satanwill separate usforaseason.'
Accordingly, the next day, I was informed, the commanding
TO BISHOP LAVINGTON.
officer had given strict orders, that neither Mr. Wesley, nor
any of his people, should be admitted." (Vol. I. p. 266.) I
did believe so, having seen many such things before; yet with-
out affecting a spirit of prophecy.
But that I do claim it, you will prove, Secondly, from my
mentioning "the great work which God intends, and is now
beginning, to work over all the earth." By what art you ex-
tract such a conclusion out of such premises, I know not.
That God intends this, none who believe the Scripture doubt.
And that he has begun it, both in Europe and America, any,
who will make use of their eyes and ears, may know without
any "miraculous gift of prophesying."
8. In your sixth section, you assert, that I lay claim to other
miraculous gifts. (Page 45.) As you borrow this objection
from Mr. Church, I need only give the same answer I gave
"'I shall give,'" says Mr. Church, "'but one account
more, and that is, what you give of yourself.' The sum whereof
is, 'At two several times, being ill, and in violent pain, I prayed
to God, and found immediate ease.' I did so. I assert the
fact still. But if these,' you say, are not miraculous cures,
all this is rank enthusiasm.'
"I will put your argument in form:-
He that believes those are miraculous cures which are not
is a rank enthusiast:
"But you believe those to be miraculous cures which are not:
Therefore you are a rank enthusiast.
Before I answer, I must know what you mean by miracu-
lous: If you term everything so which is not strictly account-
able for by the ordinary course of natural causes,' then I deny
the latter part of the second proposition. And unless you can
make this good, unless you can prove the effects in question
are strictly accountable for by the ordinary course of natural
causes, your argument is nothing worth." (First Letter to
Mr. Church, Vol. VIII. p. 412.)
Having largely answered your next objection relating to
what I still term a signal instance of God's particular provi-
dence," (Ibid. pp. 410,452,) I need only refer you to those an-
swers, not having leisure to say the same thing ten times over.
Whether I sometimes claim, and sometimes disclaim, mira-
cles, will be considered by and by.
In your seventh section, you say," I shall now give some
account of their grievous conflicts and combats with Satan."
(Page 51, &c.) 0 Sir, spare yourself, if not the Methodists!
Do not go so far out of your depth. This is a subject you
are as utterly unacquainted with, as with justification, or the
But I attend your motions. Mr. Wesley," you say, "was
advised to a very high degree of silence. And he spoke to none
at all for two days, and travelling fourscore miles together.
The same whim," you go on, "has run through several
of the religious orders. Hence, St. Bonaventura says, that
silence in all the religious is necessary to perfection. St.
Agatho held a stone in his mouth for three years, till he had
learned taciturnity. St. Alcantara carried several pebbles in
his mouth, for three years likewise, and for the same reason.
Theon observed a continual silence for thirty years. St.
Francis observed it himself, and enjoined it upon his brethren.
The rule of silence was religiously observed by St. Dominic."
I have repeated more of your words than I otherwise
should, in order to show to a demonstration, that a man of a
lively imagination may run a parallel to any length, without
any foundation in nature.
You begin, "The same whim which led Mr. Wesley to
observe an absolute silence for two days;" and so run on to
St. Bonaventura, St. Agatho, and I know not whom. But did
Mr. Wesley observe an absolute silence for two days ? No;
not for one hour. My words, I spoke to none at all for
fourscore miles together," (Vol. I. p. 313,) imply neither more
nor less than that I spoke to none concerning the things of
God," as it is in the words immediately preceding. And you
know this as well as I. But it is all one for that. Wit, not
truth, is the point you aim at.
My supposed inconsistency, with regard to the Moravians,
which you likewise drag in (as they say) by head and shoulders,
I have shown, again and again, to be no inconsistency at all;
particularly in both the Letters to Mr. Church.
10. Well, but as to conflicts with Satan: "Nor can Mr.
Wesley," you say, escape the attacks of this infernal spirit,"
namely, "suggesting distrustful thoughts, and buffeting him
with inward temptations." Sir, did you never hear of any one so
attacked, unless among the Papists or Methodists? How deeply,
TO BISHOP LAVINGTON.
then are you experienced both in the ways of God, and the
devices of Satan !
You add, with regard to a case mentioned in the Fourth
Journal, Vol. I. p. 271," Though I am not convinced that these
fits of laughing are to be ascribed to Satan, yet I entirely
agree, that they are involuntary and unavoidable." I am
glad we agree so far. But I must still go farther: I cannot
but ascribe them to a preternatural agent; having observed
so many circumstances attending them which cannot be
accounted for by any natural causes.
Under the head of conflicts with Satan, you observe farther,
Mr. Wesley says, while he was preaching, the devil knew
his kingdom shook, and therefore stirred up his servants to
make a noise; that, September 18, the prince of the air made
another attempt in defence of his tottering kingdom; and that
another time, the devil's children fought valiantly for their
master." I own the whole charge; I did say all this. Nay,
and if need were, I should say it again.
You cite one more instance from my Fourth Journal:
" The many-headed beast began to roar again." So your head
is so full of the subject, that you construe even poor Horace's
bellua multorum capitum* into the devil l
These are all the combats and conflicts with Satan which
you can prove I ever had. O Sir. without more and greater
conflicts than these, none shall see the kingdom of God.
11. In the following sections, you are equally out of your
element. The first of them relates to "spiritual desertions;"
(Section viii., p. 75, &c.;) all which you make the subject of
dull ridicule, and place to the account of enthusiasm. And
the case of all you give in the following words: We may
look upon enthusiasm as a kind of drunkenness, filling and
intoxicating the brain with the heated fumes of spirituous
particles. Now, no sooner does the inebriation go off, but a
coldness and dulness takes place."
12. As wildly do you talk of the doubts and fears incident to
those who are weak in faith." (Section ix., p. 79, &c.) I
cannot prevail upon myself to prostitute this awful subject, by
entering into any debate concerning it with one who is inno-
cent of the whole affair. Only I must observe that a great part of
Rendered by Boscawen,-"A many-headed beast.'-.EIT.
what you advance concerning me is entirely wide of the ques-
tion. Such is all you quote from the First, and a considerable
part of what you quote from my Second, Journal. This you
know in your own conscience; for you know I speak of myself
during the whole time, as having no faith at all. Conse-
quently, the rising and failings" I experienced then have
nothing to do with those "doubts and fears which many go
through, after they have by faith received remission of sins."
The next words which you cite, "thrown into great per-
plexities," I cannot find in the page you refer to, neither those
that follow. The sum of them is, that at that time I did not
feel the love of God, but found deadness and wanderings in
public prayer, and coldness even at the holy communion."
Well, Sir, and have you never found in yourself any such
coldness, deadness, and wanderings? Iam persuaded you have.
And yet surely your brain is always cool and temperate! never
"intoxicated with the heated fumes of spirituous particles I"
13. If you quote not incoherent scraps, (by which you may
make anything out of anything,) but entire connected sen-
tences, it will appear that the rest of your quotations make no
more for your purpose than the foregoing. Thus, although I
allow, that on May 24, "I was much buffeted with tempta-
tions; but I cried to God, and they fled away; that they re-
turned again and again; I as often lifted up my eyes, and he
sent me help from his holy place;" (Vol. I. p. 103;) it will
only prove the very observation I make myself: I was fight-
ing both under the law and under grace. But then I was some-
times, if not often, conquered; now I was always conqueror."
That sometime after, I was strongly assaulted again, and
after recovering peace and joy, was thrown into perplexity
afresh by a letter, asserting that no doubt or fear could con-
sist with true faith; that my weak mind could not then bear
to be thus sawn asunder," will not appear strange to any who
are not utter novices in experimental religion. No more than
that, one night the next year, "I had no life or spirit in me,
and was much in doubt, whether God would not lay me aside,
and send other labourers into his harvest."
14. You add, "He owns his frequent relapses into sin, for
near twice ten years. Such is the case of a person who tells us
that he carefully considered every step he took; one of inti-
mate communication with the Deity !" Sir, I did not tell you
TO BISHOP LAVINGTON.
that; though, according to custom, you mark thewords as mine.
It is well for you, that forging quotations is not felony.
My words are, "0 what an hypocrite have I been (if this
be so) for near twice ten years! But I know it is not so. I
know every one under the law is even as I.was;" namely, from
the time I was twelve years old, till considerably above thirty.
And is it strange," you say, "that such a one should be
destitute of means to resolve his scruples? should be ever at
variance with himself, and find no place to fix his foot ?"
Good Sir, not too fast. You quite outrun the truth again.
Blessed be God, this is not my case. I am not destitute of
means to resolve my scruples. I have some friends, and a
little reason left. I am not ever at variance with myself; and
have found a place to fix my foot:-
Now I have found the ground wherein
Firm my soul's anchor may remain;
The wounds of Jesus, for my sin
Before the world's foundation slain.
And yet one of your assertions I cannot deny; namely,
that you could run the parallel between me and numbers
of fanatical Papists :" And that not only with regard to my
temper, but my stature, complexion, yea, (if need were,) the
very colour of my hair.
15. In your next section, you are to give an account of the
"spiritual succours and advantages received either during
these trials or very soon after." (Section x. p. 92, &c.) It is
no wonder you make as lame work with these, as with the
conflicts which preceded them. "As the heart knoweth its
own bitterness, so a stranger doth not intermeddle with his
joy." But it is no business of mine, as you have not done
me the honour to cite any of my words in this section.
. 16. "The unsteadiness of the Methodists, both in senti-
ments and practice," (section xi. p. 95, &c.,) is what you next
undertake to prove. Your loose declamation with which you
open the cause, I pass over, as it rests on your own bare
word; and haste to your main reason, drawn from my
sentiments and practice with regard to the Moravians.
He represents them," you say, in the blackest colours;
yet declares, in the main, they are some of the best people
in the world. His love and esteem for them increases more
and more. Iis own disciples among the Methodists go over
to them in crowds. But still Methodism is the strongest
barrier against the Moravian doctrines and principles."
Sir, I bear you witness you have learned one principle, at
least, from those with whom you have lately conversed;
namely, that no faith is to be kept with heretics; of which
you have given us abundant proof. For you know I have
fully answered every article of this charge; which you repeat,
as if I had not opened my lips about it. You know that there
is not one grain of truth in several things which you here
positively assert. For instance: His love and esteem of
them increases more and more." Not so; no more than my
love and esteem for you. I love you both; but I do not much
esteem either. Again: His own disciples among the
Methodists go over to them in crowds." When? Where ? I
know not that ten of my disciples, as you call them, have gone
over to them for twice ten months. O Sir, consider! How do
you know hut some of your disciples may tell your name ?
17. With the same veracity you go on: In The Character
of a Methodist,' those of the sect are described as having all the
virtues that can adorn the Christianl profession. But in their
'Journals' you find them waspish, condemning all the world,
except themselves; and among themselves perpetual broils
and confusions, with various other irregularities and vices."
I answer, (1.) The tract you refer to (as is expressly declared
in the preface) does not describe what the Methodists are
already; but what they desire to be, and what they will be
then when they fully practise the doctrine they hear. (2.) Be
pleased to point the pages in my Journals which mention
those (' various irregularities and vices." Of their perpetual
broils and confusions" I shall speak under their proper head.
You add: Sometimes they are so far from fearing death,
that they wish it: But the keenness of the edge is soon
blunted. They are full of dreadful apprehensions that the
Clergy intend to murder them." Do you mean me, Sir ? I
plead, Not Guilty. I never had any such apprehension. Yet
I suppose you designed the compliment for me, by your
dragging in two or three broken sentences from my First
Journal. But how little to the purpose I seeing at the time
that was written, I had never pretended to be above the fear
of death. So that this is no proof of the point in view,-of
the unsteadiness of my sentiments or practice."
TO BISHOP LAVINGTON.
18. You proceed: "One day they fancy it their duty to
preach; the next, they preach with great reluctance." Very
true! But they fancy it their duty still; else they would
not preach at all. This, therefore, does not prove any in-
equality either of sentiment or practice.
"Mr. Wesley is sometimes quite averse from speaking,
and then perplexed with the doubt, Is it a prohibition from
the good Spirit, or a temptation from nature and the evil one ?"
Just of a piece with the rest. The sentence runs thus: I
went several times with a design to speak to the sailors, but
could not. I mean, I was quite averse from speaking. Is not
this what men commonly mean by, I could not speak ? And
is this a sufficient cause of silence or no ? Is it a prohibition
from the good Spirit, or a temptation from nature or the evil
one?" Sir, I was in no doubt at all on the occasion. Nor did I
intend to express any in these words; but to appeal to men's
conscience, whether what they call "a prohibition fromthegood
Spirit," be not a mere "temptation from nature or the evilone."
19. In the next section you are to show the art, cunning,
and sophistry of the Methodists, who, when hard pressed by
argument, run themselves into inconsistency and self-contradic-
tion; and occasionally either defend or give up some of their
favourite notions and principal points." (Section xii. p. 102.)
I dare say, Sir, you will not put them to the trial. Argu-
ment lies out of the way of one,
Qui captat risus Kominum famawmpe dicacis.*
But to the proof: Mr. Wesley," you say, "at one time declares
for a disinterested love of God ; at another, declares, There is
no one caution in all the Bible against the selfish love of God."
Nay, Sir, I will tell you what is stranger still: Mr. Wesley
holds, at one time, both sides of this contradiction. I now
declare both that all true love is disinterested, 'seeketl not
her own;' and that there is no one caution in all the Bible
against the selfish love of God."
What, have I the art to slip out of your hands again?
" Pardon me," as your old friend says, for being jocular."
20. You add, altius insurgcns :t Eut it is a considerable
* One that afects the droli, and loves to raise a horse-laugh
t lisinig to more Lialted straius.-l DIr;
offence to charge another wrongfully, and contradict himself
about the doctrine of assurance." To prove this upon me,
you bring my own words: "The assurance we preach is of
quite another kind from that Mr. Bedford writes against.
We speak of an assurance of our present pardon; not, as he
does, of our final perseverance." (Vol. I. p. 160.)
Mr. Wesley might have considered," you say, "that
when they talk of 'assurance of pardon and salvation,' the
world will extend the meaning of the words to our eternal
state." I do consider it, Sir; and therefore I never use that
phrase either in preaching or writing. "Assurance of pardon
and salvation is an expression that never comes out of my
lips; and if Mr. Whitefield does use it, yet he does not preach
such an assurance as the privilege of all Christians.
"But Mr. Wesley himself says, that, though a full assur.
ance of faith does not necessarily imply a full assurance of
our future perseverance, yet some have both the one and the
other.' And now what becomes of his charge against Mr.
Bedford ? And is it not mere evasion to say afterwards,
'This is not properly an assurance of what is future ? '"
Sir, this argument presses me very hard I May I not be
allowed a little evasion now ? Come, for once I will try to
do without it, and to answer flat and plain.
And I answer, (1.) That faith is one thing; the full assur-
ance of faith another. (2.) That even the full assurance of
faith does not imply the full assurance of perseverance: This
bears another name, being styled by St. Paul, the full assur-
ance of hope." (3.) Some Christians have only the first of
these; they have faith, but mixed with doubts and fears.
Some have also the full assurance of faith, a full conviction of
present pardon; and yet not the full assurance of hope; not
a full conviction of their future perseverance. (4.) The faith
which we preach, as necessary to all Christians, is the first of
these, and no other. Therefore, (5.) It is no evasion at all to
say, "This (the faith which we preach as necessary to all
Christians) is not properly an assurance of what is future."
And consequently, my charge against Mr. Bedford stands
good, that his Sermon on Assurance is an ignoratio elenchi, an
"ignorance of the point in question," from beginning to end.
Therefore, neither do I "charge another wrongfully, nor
contradict myself about the doctrine of assurances."
TO BISHOP LAVINGTON.
- 21. To prove my art, cunning, and evasion, you instance
next in the case of impulses and impressions. You begin,
"' With what pertinacious confidence have impulses, impres-
sions, feelings, &c., been advanced into certain rules of con-
duct Their followers have been taught to depend upon
them as sure guides and infallible proofs."
,To support this weighty charge, you bring one single scrap,
about a line and a quarter, from one of my Journals. The
words are these: By the most infallible of proofs, inward
feeling, I am convinced." Convinced of what? It immedi-
ately follows, Of unbelief, having no such faith as will pre-
vent my heart from being troubled."
I here assert, that inward feeling or consciousness is the
most infallible of proofs of unbelief,-of the want of such a
faith as will prevent the heart's being troubled. But do I
here advance impressions, impulses, feelings, &c., into cer-
tain rules of conduct?" or anywhere else? You may just
as well say, I advance them into certain proofs of transub-
Neither in writing, in preaching, nor in private conversa-
tion, have I ever taught any of my followers to depend upon
them as sure guides or infallible proofs of anything.
Nay, you yourself own, I have taught quite the reverse;
and that at my very first setting out. Then, as well as ever
since, I have told the societies, they were not to judge by
their own inward feelings. I warned them, all these were in
themselves of a doubtful, disputable nature. They might be
from God, or they might not, and were therefore to be tried
by a further rule, to be brought to the only certain test, the
law and the testimony." (Vol. I. p. 206)
This is what I have tauhit from first to last. And now,
Sir, what becomes of your heavy charge? On which side
lies the "pertinacious confidence" now ? How clearly have
you made out my inconsistency and self-contradiction and
that I "occasionally either defend or give up my favourite
notions and principal points "
22. Inspiration, and the extraordinary calls and guidance
of the Holy Ghost, are" what you next affirm to be given
up." (Section xiii. p. 106, &c.) Not by me. I do not" give
up" one tittle on this head, which I ever maintained. But.
observe: Before you attempt to prove my "giving them up,"
you are to prove that I laid claim to them; that I laid claim
VOL. IX. D
to some extraordinary inspiration, call, or guidance of the
You say, my "concessions on this head" (to Mr. Church)
"are ambiguous and evasive." Sir, you mistake the fact. I
make no' coi cessions at all, either to him or you. I give up
nothing that ever I advanced on this head; but when Mr.
Church charged me with what I did not advance, I replied,
I claim no other direction of God's, but what is common
to all believers. I pretend to be no otherwise inspired than
you are, if you love God." Where is the ambiguity or
evasion in this ? I meant it for a flat denial of the charge.
23. Your next section spirit tragicum satis,* charges the
Methodists "with scepticism and infidelity, with doubts and
denials of the truth of Revelation, and Atheism itself." (Sec-
tion xiv. p. 110, &c.) The passages brought from my Jour-
nals to prove this charge, which you have prudently transposed,
I beg leave to consider in the same order as they stand there.
Tne First you preface thus: "Upon the people's ill usage
(or supposed ill usage) of Mr. Wesley in Georgia, and their
speaking of all manner of evil falsely (as he says) against
him; and trampling under foot the word, after having been
very attentive to it; what an ,emotion in him is hereby
raised! 'I do hereby bear witness against myself, that I
could scarce refrain from giving the lie to experience, and
reason, and Scripture, all together.'"
The passage, as I wrote it, stands thus: "Sunday, March 7.
I entered upon my ministry at Savannah. In the Second
Lesson, (Luke xviii.,) was our Lord's prediction of the treat-
ment which he himself, and consequently his followers, were
to meet with from the world.
Yet notwithstanding these plain declarations of our Lord,
notwithstanding my own repeated experience, notwithstanding
the experience of all the sincere followers of Christ, whom I
ever talked with, read or heard of, nay, and the reason of the
thing, evincing to a demonstration, that all who love not the
light must hate him who is continually labouring to pour it in
upon them ; I do here bear witness against myself, that, when
I sa' the number of people crowding into the church, the
deep attention with which they received the word, and the
seriousness that afterwards sat on all their faces; I could
This quotation fiom Horace is thus translate, by Francis:
"It breathes the spirit of the tragic sceue."-EurT.
TO BISHOP L&VINGTOtN.
scarce refrain from giving the lie to experience, and reason,
and Scripture, all together. I could hardly believe that the
greater, the far greater, part of this attentive, serious people,
would hereafter trample under foot that word, and say all
manner of evil falsely of him that spoke it." (Vol. I. p. 27.)
Sir, does this prove me guilty of scepticism or infidelity;
of doubting or denying the truth of Revelation? Did I
speak this, "upon the people using me ill, and saying all
manner of evil against me??" Or am I here describing "any
emotion raised in me hereby? Blush, blush, Sir, if you
can blush. You had here no possible room for mistake.
You grossly and wilfully falsify the whole passage, to support
a groundless, shameless accusation.
24. The second passage (written January 24, 1737-8) is
this: "In a storm, I think, What if the gospel'be not true?
Then thou art of all men most foolish? For what hast thou
given thy goods, thy ease, thy friends, thy reputation, thy
country, thy life? For what art thou wandering over the
face of the earth? A dream; a cunningly devised fable."
(Vol. I. p. 74.)
I am here describing the thoughts which passed through my
mind when I was confessedly an unbeliever. But even this
implies no scepticism, much less Atheism; no "denial of the
truth of Revelation ;" but barely such transient doubts as, I
presume, may assault any thinking man that knows not God.
The third passage (which you tack to the former, as if they
were one and the same) runs thus: I have not such a peace
as excludes the. possibility either of doubt or fear. When
holy men have told me I had no faith, I have often doubted
whether I had or no. And those doubts have made me very
uneasy, till I was relieved by prayer and the Holy Scrip-
tures." (Vol. I. p. 162.)
Speak frankly, Sir: Does this prove me guilty of scepticism,
infidelity, or Atheism ? What else does it prove ? Just nothing
at all, but the pertinacious confidence of him that cites it.
25. You recite more at large one passage more. The
whole paragraph stands thus:-
"St. Paul tells us, The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
peace, longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, temperance.' Now,
although, by the grace of God in Christ, I find a measure of
some of these in myself, viz., of peace, longsuffering, gentle-
I SECOND IETTERt
ness, meekness, temperance; yet others I find not. I cannot
find in myself the love of God or of Christ. Hence my dead-
ness and wanderings in public prayer. Hence it is that, even
in the holy communion, I have rarely any more than a cold
attention. Hence, when I hear of the highest instance of
God's love, my heart is still senseless and unaffected. Yea,
at this moment, (October 14, 1738,) I feel no more love to
Him, than one I had never heard of." (Vol. T. p. 162,)
To any who knew something of inward religion I should have
observed, that this is what serious Divines mean by desertion.
But all expressions of this kind are jargon to you. So, allow-
ing it to be whatever you please, I ask only, Do you know
how long I continued in this state? how many years, months,
weeks, or days ? If not, how can you infer what my state of
mind is now, from what it was above eleven years ago ?
Sir, I do not tell you, or any man else, that "I cannot
now find the love of God in myself;" or that now, in the
year 1751, I rarely feel more than a cold attention in the
holy communion: So that your whole argument, built on
this supposition, falls to the ground at once.
26. Sensible, I presume, of the weakness of this reason,
you immediately apply to the passions, by that artful remark:
" Observe, reader, this is the man who charges our religion
as no better than the Turkish pilgrimages to Mecca, or the
Popish worship of our Lady of Loretto !" Our religion!
How naturally will the reader suppose, that I fix the charge
either on the Protestant religion in general, or on that of
the Church of England in particular But how far is this
from the truth I
My words concerning those who are commonly called reli-
gious are, Wherein does their religion consist ? in right-
eousness and true holiness; in love stronger than death;
fervent gratitude to God, and tender affection to all his
creatures? Is their religion the religion of the heart; a
renewal of the soul in the image of God ? Do they resemble
Him .they worship? Are they free from pride, from vanity,
from malice, from envy; from ambition and avarice, from
passion and lust, from every uneasy and unlovely temper?
Alas! I fear neither they (the greater part at least) nor you
have any more notion of this religion, than the peasant that
holds the plough, of the religion of a Gymnosophist.
"It is well if the genuine religion of Christ has any more
TO BISHOP LA VINGTON.
alliance with what you call religion, than with the Turkish
pilgrimages to Mecca, or the Popish worship of our Lady of
Loretto. Have not you substituted,, in the place of the reli-
gion of the heart, something, I do not say, equally sinful, but
equally vain and foreign to the worshipping of God in spirit
and in truth ? What else can be said even of prayer, public
or private, in the manner wherein you generally perform it?
as a thing of course, running round and round, in the same
dull.track, without either the knowledge or the love of God;
without one heavenly temper, either attained or improved ? "
(Farther Appeal, Third Part, Vol. VIII. p. 202.)
Now, Sir, what room is there for your own exclamations?
-" What sort of heavenly temper is his? How can he pos-
sibly, consistently with charity, call this our general perform-
ance?" Sir, I do not. I only appeal to the conscience of
you, and each particular reader, whether this is, or is not, the
manner wherein you (in the singular number) generally per-,
form public or private prayer. How, possibly, without
being omniscient, can he affirm, that we (I presume you mean
all the members of our Church) pray without one heavenly
temper? or know anything at all of our private devotions?
How monstrous is all this I Recollect yourself, Sir. If
your terror is real, you are more afraid than hurt. I do not
affirm any such thing. I do not take upon me to know any-
thing at all of your private devotions. But I suppose I may
inquire, without offence, and beg you seriously to examine,
yourself before God.
So you have brought no one proof, that scepticismm, infi-
delity, and Atheism are either constituent parts or genuine
consequences of Methodism." Therefore your florid decla-
mation, in the following pages, is entirely out of its place.
And you might have spared yourself the trouble of account-
ing for what has no being, but in your own imagination.
27. You charge the Methodists next with an uncharitable
spirit." (Section xv. p. 115, &c.) All you advance in proof
of this, as if it were from my writings, but without naming
either page or book, I have nothing to do with. But what-
ever you tell me where to find, I shall carefully consider.
I observe but one single passage of this sort; and that you
have worn threadbare already: "By the most infallible of
proofs, inward feeling, I am convinced of levity and luxuri-
ancy of spirit, by speaking words not tending to edify; but
most by my manner of speaking of my enemies." Sir, you
may print this, not only in italics, but in capitals, and yet it
would do you no service. For what I was convinced of then
was not uncharitableness, but, as I expressly -mentioned,
"levity of spirit."
28. Of the same uncharitable nature," you say, is their
application of divine judgments to their opposers." (Section
xvi. p. 119, &c.) You borrow two instances from Mr. Church:
But you omit the answers, which I shall therefore subjoin.
His words are, You describe Heaven as executing judg-
ments, immediate punishments, on those who oppose you.
You say, 'Mr. Mother was taken ill this day. I believe it
was the hand of God that was upon him.'" (First Letter to
MIr. Church, Vol. VIII. p. 409.) "I do; but I do not say,
as a judgment for opposing me. That you say for me."
"Again, you mention," says Mr. Church, as an awful
providence, the case of 'a poor wretch, who was last week
cursing and blaspheming, and had boasted to many, that he
would come on Sunday, and no man should stop his mouth;
but on Friday God laid his hand upon him, and on Sunday
he was buried.' I do look on this as a manifest judgment
of God on a hardened sinner for his complicated wickedness."
To repeat these objections, without taking the least notice of
the answers, is one of the usual proofs of your charitable spirit.
29. You pass on to the Methodists' uncharitable custom
of summoning their opponents to the bar of judgment."
(Section xvii. p. 123, &c.)
You bring two passages from my writings to prove this. The
First is, Calling at Newgate, (in Bristol,) I was informed, that
the poor wretches under sentence of death were earnestly desir-
ous to speak with me; but that Alderman Beecher had sent an
express order that they should not. I cite Alderman Beecher
to answer for these souls at the judgment-seat of Christ."
Why do you leave out those words, for these souls ?
Because they show the sentence means neither more nor
less than, "If these souls perish, he, not I, must answer for
them at the great day."
The Second passage is still more wide from the point.
The whole of it is as follows :-
I have often inquired, who were the authors of this report,
(that I was a Papist,) and have generally found, they were
either bigoted Dissenters, or (I speak it without fear or favour)
TO BISHOP LAV1NSaToN.
Ministers of our own Church. I have also frequently con.
sidered, what possible ground or motive they could have thus to
speak; seeing few men in the world have had occasion so
clearly and openly to declare their principles as I have done,
both by preaching, printing, and conversation, for several years
last past. And I can no otherwise think, than that either they
spoke thus (to put the most favourable construction upon it)
from gross ignorance.; they knew not what Popery was; they
knew not what doctrines these are which the Papists teach; or
they wilfully spoke what they knew to be false, probably
thinking thereby to do God service. Now, take this to your-
selves, whoever ye are, high or low, Dissenters or Churchmen,
Clergy or laity, who have advanced this shameless charge, and
digest it how you can.
"But how have ye not been afraid, if ye believe there is a
God, and that he knoweth the secrets of your hearts, (I speak
now to you Preachers, more especially, of whatever denomina-
tion,) to declare so gross, palpable a lie, in the name of the God
of truth? I cite you all, before 'the Judge of all the earth,'
either publicly to prove your charge, or, by publicly retracting
it, to make the best amends you can, to God, to me, and to the
world." (Vol. I. p. 219.)
Sir, do I here "summon my opponents to the bar of judg-
ment?" So you would make me do, by quoting only that scrap,
"I cite you all, before 'the Judge of all the earth!'" You
then add, with equal charity and sincerity, Here you have
the true spirit of an eithusiast, flushed with a modest assur-
ance of his own salvation, and the charitable prospect of the
damnation of others." O Sir, never name modesty more!
Here end your laboured attempts to show the uncharitable
spirit" of the Methodists; who, for anything you have shown
to the contrary, may be the moAt charitable people under the
30. You charge the Methodists next with violation and
contempt of order and authority;" (Section xviii. p. 124,)
namely, the authority of the governors of the Church. I have
answered every article of this charge, in the Second and Third
Parts of the "Farther Appeal," and the "Letter to Mr.
Church." When you have been so good as to reply to what
is there advanced, I may possibly say something more.
What you offer of your own upon this head, I shall
consider without delay:-
Women and boys are actually employed in this ministry
of public preaching." Please to tell me where. I know them
not, nor ever heard of them before.
You add, what is more marvellous still, "I speak from per-
sonal knowledge, thatsometimes, a little before delivering of the
elements at the communion, three or four Methodists together
will take it into their heads to go away; that sometimes, while
the sentences of the offertory were reading, they have called out
to the Minister who carried the bason, reproaching him for ask-
ing alms of them; that sometimes, when the Minister has deli-
vered the bread into their hands, instead of eating it, they would
slip it into their pockets." Sir, you must show your face, before
these stories will find credit on your bare asseveration.
Yet they are surprised," you say, that every man in his
senses does not, without the least hesitation, join them."
Sir, I am surprised (unless you are not in your senses) at
your advancing such a barefaced falsehood.
31. You go on : Under this head may, not improperly, be
considered their undutiful behaviour to the civil powers."
*What proof have you of this? Why, a single sentence, on
which I laid so little stress myself, that it is only inserted by
way of parenthesis, in the body of another sentence: "Ye
learned in the law, what becomes of algna Charta, and of
English liberty and property? Are not these mere sounds,
while, on any pretence, there is such a thing as a press-gang
suffered in the land ?"
SUpon this you descant: "The legislature has, at several
times, made Acts for pressing men. But no matter for this;'
touch but a Methodist, and all may perish, rather than a soldier
be pressed. He who had before bound himself not to speak a
tittle of worldly things is now bawling for liberty and property."
Very lively this But I hope, Sir, you do not offer it by way
of argument. You are not so unlearned in the law, as not to
know, that the legislature is out of the question. The legis-
lature, six years ago, did not appoint press-gangs, but legal
officers to press men. Consequently, this is no proof (and find
another if you can) of our undutiful behaviour to the civil
32. Another natural consequence," you say, of Method-
ism, is their mutual jealousies and envyings, their manifold
divisions, fierce and rancorous quarrels, and accusations of
one another." (Vol. I. p. 252.)
TO BISHOP LAVINGTON.
SI shall carefully attend whatever you produce on this head:
And if you prove this, I will grant you all the rest.
You First cite those words: "Musing on the things that were
past, and reflecting howmanythat came after me were preferred
before me, I opened my Testament on those words: 'The Gen-
tiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to
righteousness; but Israel, which followed after the law of righ-
teousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.' "
And how does this prove the manifold divisions and
rancorous quarrels of the Methodists ?
Your Second argument is: "Mr. Whitefield told me, he and
I preached two different gospels;" (his meaning was, that he
preached particular, and I universal, redemption;) "and
therefore he would not join with me, but publicly preach
against me." (Section xix. p. 341, &c.)
Well, Sir, here was doubtless a division for a time; but no
fierce and rancorous quarrel yet.
You say, Thirdly, They write and publish against each
other." True; but without any degree either of fierceness
You assert, Fourthly, "Mr. Wesley, in his sermon 'On
Free Grace,' opposes the other for the horrible blasphemies
of his horrible doctrine."
Sir, away with your flourishes, and write plain English.
I opposed the doctrine of predestination, which he held. But
without any degree either of rancour or fierceness. Still,
therefore, you miss the mark.
You quote, Fifthly, these words: I spent an hour with
Mr. Stonehouse. O what *rOavoXoyia, persuasiveness of
speech,' is here Surely all the deceivableness of unright-
eousness." (Vol. I. p. 290.) But there was no fierceness or
rancour on either side.
The passage, a fragment of which you produce as a Sixth
argument, stands thus: "A few of us had a long conference
together. Mr. C. now told me plainly, he could not agree
with me, because I did not preach the truth, particularly with
regard to election." He did so; but without any rancour. We
had a long conference; but not a fierce one. (Vol. I. p. 293.)
You, Seventhly, observe, What scurrility of language the
Moravians throw outagainstMr. Wesley!" Perhaps so. But this
will not.prove that the Methodists quarrel with each:other."
And how does he turn their own artillery upon them I "
This is your Eighth argument. But if I do, this no more
proves the "mutual quarrels of the Methodists," than my
turning your own artillery upon you.
33. Having, by these eight irrefragable arguments, clearly
carried the day, you raise your crest, and cry out, Is this
And reign such mortal feuds in heavenly minds?"
Truly, Sir, you have not yet brought one single proof (and
yet, I dare say, you have brought the very best you have) of
any such feuds among the Methodists as may not be found
among the most heavenly-minded men on earth.
But you are resolved to pursue your victory, and so go on:
"What are we to think of these charges of Whitefield, and
Wesley, and the Moravians, one against another?" The Mora-
vians, Sir, are out of the question; for they are no Methodists;
and as to the rest, Mr. Whitefield charges Mr.Wesley with hold-
ing universal redemption, and I charge him with holding parti-
cular redemption. This is the standing charge on either side.
And now, Sir, what are we to think ?" Why, that you have
not proved one point of this charge against the Methodists.
However, you stumble on: "Are these things so? Are
they true, or are they not true ? If not true, they are grievous
calumniators; if true, they are detestable sectarists. Whether
true or false, the allegation stands good of their fierce and
rancorous quarrels, and mutual heinous accusations."
Sir, has your passion quite extinguished your reason ? Have
fierceness and rancour left you no understanding? Otherwise,
how is it possible you should run on at this senseless, shameless
rate ? These things are true which Mr. Whitefield and Wes-
ley object to each other. He holds the decrees; I do not: Yet
this does not prove us detestable sectarists." And whether
these things are true or false, your allegation of our "fierce and
rancorous quarrels, and mutual heinous accusations," cannot
stand good, without better proof than you have yet produced.
34. Yet, with the utmost confidence, quasi re bene gesta,*
you proceed, "And how stands the matter among their dis-
ciples ? They are all together by the ears, embroiled and
broken with unchristian quarrels and confusions."
* As though you had accomplished some mighty affair.-ETrr.
IHow do you prove this? Why thus: "Mr. Wesley's
Fourth Journal is mostly taken up in enumerating their
wrath, dissensions, and apostasies." No, Sir, not a tenth
part of it; although it gives a full and explicit account of the
greatest dissensions which ever were among them.
But to come to particulars: You First cite these words,
"At Oxford, but a few who had not forsaken them."
My words are, "Monday, October 1, 1738. I rode to
Oxford, and found a few who had not yet forsaken the
assembling themselves together." This is your First proof
that the Methodists are all together by the ears." Your
Second is its very twin-brother. "Tuesday, 2. I went to
many who once heard the word with joy; but when the sun
arose they withered away.'" (Vol. I. p. 227.)
Your Third is this: "Many were induced (by the
Moravians) to deny the gift of God, and affirm they never
had any faith at all." (Ibid. p. 248.) You are at liberty to
enjoy this argument also; and let it prove what it can prove.
You, Fourthly, cite these words: Many of our sisters are
shaken, grievously torn by reasoning. But few come to
Fetter-Lane, and then after their names are called over they
presently depart. Our brethren here (those who were pros-
elytes to the Moravians) have neither wisdom enough to
guide, nor prudence enough to let it alone. They (the
Moravians) have much confounded'some of our sisters, and
many of our brothers are much grieved." (Ibid. p. 255.)
This proves thus much, that one society was at that time
divided ; hut not that the Methodists, in general, were, even
then, all together by the ears."
The passage you quote, in the Fifth place, is, "I believe-
arc determined to go on according to Mr. Mother's direction,
and I suppose (says the writer of the letter) above half our
brethren are on their But they are so very confused,
they do not know how to go on, and yet are unwilling to be
taught, except by the Moravians." (Ibid.)
Add to this: (I recite the whole passages in order; not as
you had mangled, and then jumbled them together:)
"Wednesday, December 19. I came to London, though
with a heavy heart. Here I found every day the dreadful
effects of our brethren's reasoning and disputing with each
other. Scarce one in ten retained his first love; and most of
the rest were in the utmost confusion," (they were so; more or
less, for several months,) biting and devouring one another."
r'This also proves so much, neither more nor less, that some
of the Methodists were then in confusion. And just so much
is proved by your Sixth quotation: f' Many were wholly un-
settled;" (by the Moravians, taking advantage of my absence,)
"and lost in vain reasoning and doubtful disputations ;--
iot likely to come to any true foundation." (Ibid. p. 259.)
Your Seventh quotation (I recite the whole sentence) runs
thus: "April 19. I received a letter informing me that our
poor brethren at Fetter-Lane were again in great confusion.".
This quotation proves just as much as the preceding; or as
the following: The plague" (of false stillness) "was now
spread to them also;". namely, to the "little society at
Islington." (Ibed. p. 269.)
Your Ninth is this: I went to the society, but I found their
hearts were quite estranged. Friday, 4. I met a little handful'
of them, who still stand in the old paths." (Ibid. p. 280.)
Thus far you have been speaking of the Methodists in
London. And what have you proved concerning them? Only:
that the Moravians, mixing with them twelve years ago, while
they were young and unexperienced, set them a disputing with
each other, and thereby occasioned much confusion for several
months. But you have not proved that the Methodists in
general were, even then, all together by the ears; and much
less, that they have been so ever since, and that they are so now.
35. I now attend you to Kingswood. Not to Bristol and
Kingswood," which you artfully join together. The society.
at Bristol was no more concerned with the disputes in
Kingswood, than with those in London.
Here the First quotation, though containing but two lines,
is extracted from three different paragraphs; in one of which I
say: "I had many unpleasing accounts (in December, 1740)
concerning our little society in Kingswood." In the Second:
"I went to Kingswood, if haply I might repair the breaches
which had been made" by the Predestinarian Preachers. In
the Third: I laboured to heal the jealousies and misunder-
standings which had arisen." (Vol. I. p. 293.)
SThe Second passage, part of which you quote, is this: I
returned early in the morning to Kingswood; but my con,
gregation was gone to hear Mr. C.; so that I had not above
two or three men, and as many women." (Ibid. p. 294.)
TO 'BISHOP LAVIOTON.
The Third is, January 1. I explained, 'If any miian be in
Christ, he is a new creature.' But many of our brethren had
no ears to hear, having disputed away both their faith and
love." (Ibid. p. 295.)
The Fourth, February 21. I inquired concerning the divi-
sions and offences which began afresh to break out in Kings-
wood. In the afternoon I met a few of the Bands; but it was
a cold, uncomfortable meeting." (Ibid. p. 299.)
You have picked out here and there a word from several
pages, in order to furnish out a Fifth quotation. The most
material part of it is this : Saturday, 28. I read the follow-
ing paper at Kingswood: 'For their scoffing at the word and
Ministers of God, for their backbiting and evil-speaking, I
declare the persons above-mentioned to be no longer members
of this society.'" (Ibid. p. 801.)
And we had great reason to bless God, that, after fifty-
two were withdrawn, we have still upwards of ninety left."
(Ibid. p. 302.)
Who those other forty were, that," you say, "left them,"
I know not. Perhaps you may inform me.
Upon the whole, all these quotations prove only this: That
about eleven years ago, Mr. C., falling into predestination, set
the society in Kingswood a disputing with each other, and
occasioned much confusion for some months. But still you
have not gone one step toward proving, (which is the one
point in question,) that the Methodists in general were, even
then, "all together by the ears;" and much less, that they
have been so ever since, and that they are so now.
However, you fail not to triumph, (like Louis le Grand,
after his victory at Blenheim,) What shall we say now ? Are
these the fruits of Methodism? No, Sir. They are the fruits
of opposing it. They are the tares sown among the wheat.
You may hear of instances of the same kind, both in earlier
and later ages.
You add, "This is bad enough; but it is not the worst. For
consider, what becomes of those that leave them ?" Why, Sir,
what, if "their last end be worse than their first ?" Will you
charge this upon me? By the same rule, you must have charged
upon the Apostles themselves whatever befelthose who, having
"known the way of righteousness," afterwards turned back
from the holy commandment once delivered to them."
36. You conclude this section: Mr. Wesley will probably
say,' Must I be answerable for the Moravians, against whom I
have preached and written?' True, since he and the Mora-
vians quarrelled. But who gives them a box on the ear with
the one hand, and embraces them with the other? Who first
brought over this wicked generation ? Who made a Moravian
his spiritual guide ? Who fanaticized his own followers, and de-
prived them of their senses ? Whose societies (by his own con-
fession) run over in shoals to Moravianism forty or fifty at a
lime? Would they have split upon this rock, if they had not
been first Methodists ? Lastly: Where is the spawn of Mora-
vianism so strongly working as in the children of Methodism ?"
Sir, you run very fast. And yet I hope to overtake you
by and by. Mr. Wesley," you say, "has preached against
the Moravians, since he quarrelled with them." Sir, I never
quarrelled with their persons yet: I did with some of their
tenets long ago. He gives them a box on the ear with the
one hand, and embraces them with the other." That is, I
embrace what is good among them, and at the same time re-
prove what is evil. Who first brought over this wicked
generation?" Not I, whether they be wicked or not. I
once thought I did; but have since then seen and acknow-
ledged my mistake. "Who made a Moravian his spiritual
guide?" Not 1; though I have occasionally consulted several.
" Who fanaticized his own followers, and deprived them of
their senses ?" Not I. Prove it upon me if you can. "Whose
societies (by his own confession) run over in shoals to Mora-
vianism, forty or fifty at a time?" Truly, not mine. Two.
and-fifty of Kingswood society ran over to Calvinism, and, a
year before, part of Fetter-Lane society gradually went over
to the Moravians. But I know none of ours that went over
" in shoals." They never, that I remember, gained five at a
time; nor fifty in all, to the best of my knowledge, for
these last ten years. Would they" (of Fetter-Lane) have
split on this rock, if they had not first been Methodists ?"
Undoubtedly theywould; for several of them had not first been
Methodists. Mr. Viney, for instance, (as well as several
others,) was with the Germans before ever he saw me.
"Lastly : Where is the spawn of Moravianism working so
strongly as in the children of Methodism ? If you mean
the errors of Moravianism, they are not working at all in the
generality of the children of Methodism ; the Methodists
TO BISHOP LAVINGTON.
in general being thoroughly apprized of, and fully guarded
So much for your modest assertion, that the Methodists in
general are all together by the ears; the very reverse of
which is true. They are in general in perfect peace.. They
enjoy in themselves "the peace of God, which passeth all
understanding." They are at peace with each other; and, as
much as lieth in them, they live peaceably with all men.
37. Your next charge is, that "Methodism has a tendency
to undermine morality and good works." (Section xx. p. 146,
&c.) To prove this you assert, (1.) "That the Methodists
are trained up to wait in quietness for sudden conversion;
whence they are naturally led to neglect the means of salva-
tion." This is a mistake all over. For neither are they
taught to wait in quietness (if you mean any more than
patience by that term) for either sudden or gradual conver-
sion; neither do they, in fact, neglect the means. So far
from it, that they are eminently exact in the use of them.
You assert, (2.) The doctrine of assurance of pardon and
salvation, present and future, causes a false security, to the
neglect of future endeavours." Blunder upon blunder
again. That all Christians have an assurance of future sal-
vation, is no Methodist doctrine; and an assurance of pre-
sent pardon is so far from causing negligence, that it is of
all others the strongest motive to vigorous endeavours alter
You assert, (3.) "Impulses and impressions being made
the rule of duty, will lead into dangerous errors." Very
true: But the Methodists do not make impulses and impress.
sions the rule of duty. They totally disclaim any other rule
of duty than the written word.
You assert, (1.) "A claim of unsinning perfection" (I
mean by perfection, the loving God with all our heart)
" drives some into frenzies, others into despair." Sir, I
doubt the fact.
You asset, (5.) "The Moravian Methodists trample down
morality, and multitudes of the Wesleyans have been in-
fected." The Moravian Methodists You may as well say,
the Presbyterian Papists. The Moravians have no connexion
with the Methodists. Therefore, whatever they do, (though
you slander them too,) they and not we are to answer for.
The Methodists at present, blessed be God, are as little
infected with this plague (of condemning or neglecting good
works) as any body of people in England or Ireland.
38. From these loose assertions you proceed to quotations
from my writings, every one of which I shall consider, to
show that, not in one or two, but in every one, you are a
wilful prevaricator and false accuser of your neighbour.
You say, First, "The Moravians." Hold, good Sir! you
are out of the way already. You well know, the Moravians
are to answer for themselves. Our present question concerns
the Methodists only.
You say, Secondly, "A general temptation prevails among
the societies of Methodists, of leaving off good works." (Vol.
I. p. 273.) Sir, you are wrong again. The societies of
Methodists are not there spoken of; but the single society
of Fetter-Lane. Among these only that temptation then
You quote, Thirdly, as my words, "The poor, confused,
shattered society had erred from the faith." My own words
are, "I told the poor, confused, shattered society, wherein
they had erred from the faith; ibidd. p. 274;) namely, with
.regard to the ordinances; not in general, as your way of
expressing it naturally imports. Nor had all the society
erred even in this point. Many of them were still unshaken.
You quote, Fourthly, "A woman of Deptford spoke great
words and true. She ordered Mr. Humphreys to leave off
Must not every reader suppose, as you have placed these
words, that they were all spoke at one time? and that the
"great words and true" were those whereby she "ordered
Mr. Humphreys to leave off doing good ?"
What then must every honest man think of you, when he
observes, that one half of the sentence (which you thus art-
fully put together) stands in another page, and at a consider-
a le distance from the other? and that I immediately subjoin
to the latter clause, We talked largely with her, and she was
humbled to the dust, under a deep sense of the advantage
Satan had gained over her."
You quote, Fifthly, a part of the following sentence, to
prove that I "undermine morality and good works:"
His judgment concerning holiness is new. He no longer
judges it to be an outward thing, to consist either in doing no
harm, in doing good, or in using the ordinances of God." (And
TO BISHOP LAVINGTON.
yet how strongly do I insist upon all these! Sir, do not you
know this?) He sees it is the life of God in the soul, the
image of God fresh stamped on the heart." It is so. Sir,
can you deny it? What then will you prove by this ?
You quote, Sixthly, part of these words:-
"They speak of holiness as if it consisted chiefly, if not
wholly, in these two points: First, the doing no harm:
Secondly, the doing good, as it is called; that is, the using the
means of grace, and helping our neighbour." (Vol. I. p. 225.)
And this you term, "disparaging good works!" Sir,
these things, considered barely as to the opus operatum, are
not good works. There must be something good in the heart,
before any of our works are good. Insomuch that, "though
I give all my goods to feed the poor, and have not" this, "it
profiteth me nothing."
You observe, by the way, "The Mystic divinity was once
the Methodists' doctrine." Sir, you have stepped out of the
way, only to get another fall. The Mystic divinity was -never
the Methodists' doctrine. They could never swallow either
John Tauler or Jacob Behmen; although they often advised
with one that did.
39. You say, Seventhly, "I do not find that Mr. Wesley
has ever cited those express passages of St. James." Sir,
what if I had not? (I mean in print.) I do not cite every
text from Genesis to the Revelation. But it happens I have.
Look again, Sir; and, by and by, you may find where.
You say, Eighthly, "Mr. Wesley affirms, that the condition
of our justification is faith alone, and not good works."
Most certainly I do. And I learned it from the Eleventh
and Twelfth Articles, and from the Homilies of our Church.
If you can confute them, do. But I subscribe to them, both
with my hand and heart.
You say, Nidthly, Give me leave to make a remark. The
Methodists'wandered many years in the new path of salvation
by faith and works, which was the-time, too, of their highest
glory and popularity. During this time, they were seducing
their disciples into the most destructive errors." Excuse me,
Sir. While they preached salvation by faith and works, they
had no disciples at all, unless you term a few pupils such; nor
had they any popularity at all. They then enjoyed (what they
always desired) a quiet, retired life. But whatever disciples we
VOL. IX. E
had, they were not seduced by us into the error ofjustification
by works. For they were in it before ever they saw our face,
or knew there were such men in the world.
You say, Tenthly, "Mr. Wesley only contends, that it is
possible to use them without trusting in them." Not in that
page; because the proposition I am confuting is, "It is not
possible to use them without trusting in them." (Vol. I. p. 258.)
You added, "And now, are not such disparaging expres-
sions (a mere possibility of using them without trusting in
them) "a great discouragement to practice ? "
O Sir, when will you deviate into truth? Dare you affirm,
without any regard to God or man, "Mr. Wesley only
contends for a mere possibility of using the means without
trusting in them ? "
To go no farther than the very first page you refer to, (vol.
I. p. 258,) my express words are these:-
I believe the way to attain faith is to wait for Christ in
using all the means of grace.
Because I believe, these do ordinarily convey God's grace
even to unbelievers." Is this contending only for a mere
possibility of using them without trusting in them?"
Not only in this, and many other parts of the Journals, but
in a sermon wrote professedly on the subject, I contend that
all the ordinances of God are the stated channels of his grace
to man; and that it is our bounden duty'to use them all, at
all possible opportunities. So that to charge the Methodists
in general, or me in particular, with undervaluing or dis-
paraging them, shows just as much regard for justice and
truth, as if you was to charge us with Mahometanism.
40. Tedious as it is to wade through so many dirty pages,
I will tollow you step by step, a little farther. Your Eleventh
proof, that we undermine morality and good works," is
drawn Trom the following passage:-
I know one 'under the law' is even as I was for near
twice ten years. Every one when he begins to see his fallen
state, and to feel the wrath of God abiding on him, relapses into
the sin that most easily besets him, soon after repenting of it.
Sometimes he avoids, and at many other times he cannot per-
suade hi mself to avoid, the occasions of it. Hence his relapses
are frequent, and, of consequence, his heart is hardened more
:and more. Nor can he, with all his sincerity, avoid any one of
TO DhSIlOP LAVINGTON.
these four marks of hypocrisy, till, 'being justified by faith,'
he 'hath peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.'"
(Vol. I. p. 222.)
You, Sir, are no competent judge in the cause. But to
ar.y who has experienced what St. Paul speaks in his seventh
chapter to the Romans, I willingly submit this whole question.
You know by experience, that if anger was the sin that did so
easily beset you, you relapsed into it for days, or months, or
years, soon after repenting of it. Sometimes you avoided the
occasions of it; at other times you did not. Hence your relapses
were frequent, and your heart was hardened more and more:
And yet all this time you was sincerely striving against sin;
you could say, without hypocrisy, "The thing which I do, I
allow not; the evil which I would not, that I do. To will is
even now present with me; but how to perform that which is
good I find not."
But the Jesuits, you think, "could scarce have granted sal-
vation upon easier terms. Have no fear, ye Methodists." Sir,
I do not grant salvation, as you call it, upon so easy terms. I
believe a man in this state is in a state of damnation. Have
no fear I say you? Yea, but those who are thus "under the
law" are in fear all the day long. "Was there ever so pleasing
a scheme?" Pleasing with a vengeance I As pleasing as to he
in the belly of hell. So totally do you mistake the whole matter,
not knowing what you speak, nor whereof you affirm.
You are, indeed, somewhat pitiable in speaking wrong on this
head, because you do it in ignorance. But this plea cannot be
allowed when you gravely advance that trite, threadbare objec-
tion concerning the Lord's supper, without taking any notice
that I have answered it again and again, both to Mr. Church
and to the late Lord Bishop of London.
41. Your Thirteenth proof is this: Mr. Wesley has taught
us that infirmities are no sins." Sir, you have taught me to
wonder at nothing you assert; elke I should wonder at this.
The words I suppose you refer to, stand in the sermon "On
Salvation by Faith;" though you do not choose to show your
reader where they may be found: He that is by faith born of
God sinneth not, (1.) By any habitual sin: Nor, (2.) By aiy
wilful sin: Nor, (3.) By any sinful desire; for he continually
desireth the holy and perfect will of God: Nor, (4.) Doth he
.siu by infirmities, whether in act, word, or thought; for his
DZ SECOND LETTER
infirmities have no concurrence of his will, and, without this,
they are not properly sins." And this, you seriously declare,
"is a loop-hole to creep out of every moral and religious
In the same paragraph, you say I have strongly affirmed
that all our works and tempers are evil continually; that our
whole heart is altogether corrupt and abominable, and conse-
quently our whole life; all our works, the most specious of
them, our righteousness, our prayers, needing an atonement
themselves." (Vol. I. pp. 76, 97, 161, 214.)
I do strongly affirm this. But of whom? In all these places,
but the last, of myself only. In every one, but this, I speak in
the singular number, and of myself when confessedly an unbe-
liever. And ofwhom do I speak in that last place? Of unbe-
lievers, and them only. The words are, All our tempers and
works in our natural state are only evil continually."
Now, Sir, where is your loop-hole to creep out? If you have
none, I fear every impartial man will pass sentence upon you,
that you have no regard either to moral or religious obligations.
I have now weighed every argument you have brought, to
prove that the "Methodists undermine morality and good
works." A grievous charge indeed But the more inexcusable
is he who advances it, but is not able to make it good in any
one single instance. Pardon my pertness, Sir, in not barely
affirming, (that is your manner,) but proving, this: Nay, and
in telling you, that you cannot make amends to God, to me, or
to the world, without a retractation as public as your calumny.
42. You add, How the case stands, in fact, as to the num-
ber of converts among the Methodists, and real reformation of
life to the certain and known duties of the gospel, is matter of
difficult determination." Not at all. What is easier to be deter-
mined, than, (I.) That A. B. of Exeter, or Tiverton, was for
many years a notorious drunkard, common-swearer, or Sab-
bath-breaker ? (2.) That he is not so now; that he is really
reformed from drunkenness, swearing, Sabbath-breaking, to
sobriety and the other certain and known duties of the gospel?
But from what inquiry you "can make, there is no reason
to think them, for the generality,better than their neighbours."
Better than thew neighbours? Why, are they no worse than
their neighbours? Then, what have you been doing all this
time? But whether they are better or worse than their neigh-
bours, they are undeniably better than themselves: I mean,
TO BISHOP LAVINGTON.
better than they were before they heard this preaching "in
the certain and known duties of the gospel."
But you desire us to "consider their black art of calumny;
their uncharitableness; their excessive pride and vanity;
their scepticism, doubts, and disbelief of God and Christ;
their disorderly practices, and contempt of authority ; their
hitter envying and inveterate broils among themselves; their
coolness for good works." Sir, we will consider all these,
when you have proved them. Till then this is mere brutum
43. You proceed: If we take Mr. Wesley's own account,
it falls very short of any considerable reformation." You
mean, if we take that part of his account which you arb
pleased to transcribe. Atlicam elegantiam! t But let any
impartial man read my whole account, and then judge.
However, hence you infer that the new reformers have
made but a slow and slight progress in the reformation of
As a full answer to this I need only transcribe a page or
two from the last Appeal," pp. 237, 238, &c.:-
God begins a glorious work in our land. You set your-
self against it with your might; to prevent its beginning
where it does not yet appear, and to destroy it wherever it
does. In part you prevail. You keep many from hearing
the word that is able to save their souls. Others who have
heard it, you induce to turn back from God, and to list under
the devil's banner again. Then you make the success of your
own wickedness an excuse for not acknowledging the work of
God! You urge, 'that not many sinners were reformed!
and that some of those are now as bad as ever '
"Whose fault is this? Is it ours, or your own? Why
have not thousands more been reformed ? Yea, for every one
who is now turned to God, why are there not ten thousand ?
Because you and your associates laboured so heartily in the
cause of hell; because you and they spared no pains, either
to prevent or to destroy the work of God. By using all the
power and wisdom you had, you hindered thousands from
hearing the gospel, which they might have found to be the
power of God unto salvation. Their blond is upon your heads.
By inventing, or countenancing, or retailing lies, some refined,
some gross and palpable, you hindered others from profiting
Harmless artillery.-EDIT. t Attic elegance.--Eor.
by what they did hear. You are answerable to God for these
souls also. Many who began to taste the good word and run
the way of God's commandments, by various methods you
prevailed on to hear it no more. So they soon drew back to
perdition. But know, that, for every one of these also, God
will require an account of you in the day of judgment !
"And yet, in spite of all the malice and wisdom and
strength, not only of men, but of principalities and powers,'
of the rulers of the darkness of this world,' of the wicked
spirits in high places,' there are thousands found, who are
' turned from dumb idols to serve the living and true God.'
What a harvest then might we have seen before now, if all who
say they are 'on the Lord's side,' had come, as in all reason
)hey ought, 'to the help of the Lord against the mighty!'
Yea, had they only not opposed the work of God, had they
only refrained from his messengers, might not the trumpet
of God have been heard long since in every corner of our
land ? and thousands of sinners in every county been brought
to fear God and honour the King? '"
44. Without any regard to this, your next assertion is,
"That the Methodists are carrying on the work of Popery."
(Section xxi. p. 16-1, &c.) Thisalso being a charge of a very
high nature, I shall particularly consider whatever you
advance in defence of it.
Your First argument is, "They have a strain of Jesuitical
sophistry, artifice, and craft, evasion, reserve, equivocation,
and prevarication." So you say. But you do not so much
as aim at any proof.
Your Second argument is, Mr. Wesley says, where a
Methodist was receiving the sacrament, God was pleased to
let him see a crucified Saviour." Sir, Mr. W. does not say
this. It is one that occasionally wrote to him. But if he
had, what would you infer? that he is a Papist? Where is
the consequence ? Why, you say, Was not this as good an
argument for transubstantiation, as several produced by the
Papists ?" Yes, exactly as good as either their arguments
or yours; that is, just good for nothing.
Your Third argument runs thus: "We may see in Mr.
W.'s writings, that he was once a strict Churchman, but gra-
dually put on a more catholic spirit, tending at lengtn to
Roman Catholic. He rejects any design to convert others
from any communion; and consequently not from Popery."
TO BISHOP LAVINGTON.
This is half true, (which is something uncommon with you,)
and only half false. It is true, that, for thirty years last past,
I have gradually put on a more catholic spirit; finding
more and more tenderness for those who differed from me,
either in opinions or modes of worship. But it is not true
that I "reject any design of converting others from any com-
munion." have, by the blessing of God, converted several
from Popery, who are now alive and ready to testify it.
Your Fourth argument is, That in a Collection of Prayers,
I cite the words of an ancient Liturgy, For the faithful
departed." Sir, whenever I use those words in the Burial
Service, I pray to the same effect: That we, with all those
who are departed in thy faith and fear, may have our perfect
consummation and bliss, both in body and soul: Yea, and
whenever I say, "Thy kingdom come;" for I mean both
the kingdom of grace and glory. In this kind of general
prayer, therefore, for the faithful departed," I conceive
myself to be clearly justified, both by the earliest antiquity,
by the Church of England, and by the Lord's Prayer;
although the Papists have corrupted this scriptural practice
into praying for those who die in their sins.
45. Your Fifth argument is, That they use private confes-
sion, in which every one is to speak the state of his heart,
with his several temptations and deliverances, and answer as
many searching questions as may be. And what a scene," say
you, is hereby disclosed What a filthy jakes opened, when
the most searching questions are answered without reserve "
Hold, Sir, unless you are answering for yourself: This un-
doubtedly you have a right to do. You can tell best what is in
your own heart. And I cannot deny what you say: It may be
a very filthy jakes," for aught I know. But pray do not mea-
sure others by yourself. The hearts of believers are purified
through faith." When these open their hearts one to another,
there is no such scene disclosed. Yet temptations to pride in
various kinds, to self-will, to unbelief in many instances,
they often feel in themselves, (whether they give any place
to them or no,) and occasionally disclose to their brethren.
But this has no resemblance to Popish confession ; of which
you are very sensible. For you cite my own words: The
Popish confession is, the confession made by a single person to
a Priest. Whereas, this is the confession of several persons
conjointly, not to a Priest, but to each other." You add, Will
Mr. W. abide by this, and freely answer a question ? I will.
For I desire only, by manifestation of the truth, to com-
mend myself to every man's conscience in the sight of God."
Your question is, "After private confessions taken in their
Bands, are not reports made to Mr. W. ? I answer, No;
no reports are made to me of the particulars mentioned in
private Bands. "Are no delinquents, male and female,
brought before him separately, and confessed by him ?" No;
none at all. You ask, How then do I know the outward
and inward states of those under my care?" I answer, By
examining them once a quarter, more or less, not separately,
but ten or fifteen together.
Therefore, every unprejudiced person must see that there
is no analogy between the Popish confession to a Priest, and
our confessing our faults one to another, and praying one for
another, as St. James directs. Consequently, neither does
this argument, though urged with all your art and force,
amount to any shadow of proof, that the Methodists are
carrying on the work of Popery."
46. Your Sixth argument, such as it is, stands thus:
"Another tendency to Popery appears by the notion of a
single drop of Christ's blood being a sufficient atonement for
the sins of the whole world. For, however pious this may
appear, it is absolutely false and Papistical." Sir, this argu-
ment is perfectly new, and entirely your own. It were great
pity to disturb you in the enjoyment of it.
A Seventh argument you ground on those words in the
"Plain Account of the People called Methodists:" It is a
point we chiefly insist upon, that orthodoxy or right opinions is
a very slender part of religion, if any part of it at all." The
plain consequence whereof is," (so you affirm,) that teaching
and believing the fundamental errors of Popery, with the whole
train of their abominations and idolatries, are of very little
moment, if any." Strain again, Sir; pull hard, or you will
never be able to drag this conclusion out of these premises.
I assert, (1.) That in a truly righteous man, right opinions
are a very slender part of religion. (2.) That in an irreligious,
a profane man, they are not any part of religion at all; such a
man not being one jot more religious because lie is orthodox."
Sir, it does not follow from either of these propositions, that
wrong opinions are not an hinderance to religion; and much
less, that "teaching and believing the fundamental errors of
TO BISHOP LAVINGTON.
Popery, with the whole train of their abominations and idol-
atries." practisedd, I presume you mean, as well as taught and
believed,) are of very little moment, if any."
I am so far from saying or thinking this, that, in my
printed letter to a Priest of that communion, (did you never
read it, or hear of it before ?) are these express words: I
pity you much, having the same assurance, that Jesus is the
Christ, and that no Romanist can expect to be saved, accord-
ing to the terms of his covenant." (Vol. I. p. 220.) Do you
term this "an extenuation of their abominations; a reducing
them to almost a mere nothing?"
47. You argue, Eighthly, thus : "The Methodist doctrine
of impressions and assurances holds equally for Popish enthu-
siasts." This needs no answer; I have already shown that
the Methodist doctrine in these respects is both scriptural
Your Ninth argument is, "Their sudden conversions stand
upon the same footing with the Popish." You should say,
"are a proof that they are promoting Popery." I leave you
to enjoy this argument also.
But the dreadful one you reserve for the last; namely,
our recommending Popish books. One is the Life of Mr.
de Renty, of which Mr. Wesley has published an extract."
To prove your inimitable fairness here, you scrape up again
all the trash wherein the weak writer of that Life abounds,
and which I had pared off and thrown away. Sir, could you
find nothing to your purpose in the extract itself? I fancy
you might; for I have purposely left in two or three parti-
culars, to show of what communion he was, which I did not
think it right to conceal.
You go on : "Francis of Sales is another Papist, much
commended by Mr. W.; and who, he doubts not, is in
Abraham's bosom. Ie is the Methodists' bosom friend."
I believe he is in Abraham's bosom; but he is no bosom
friend of the Methodists. I question whether one in five
hundred of them has so much as heard his name. And as for
me, neither do I commend him much, nor recommend him at
all. His Life I never saw, nor any of his Works, but his In-
troduction to a Holy Life." This the late Dr. Nichols trans,
lated into English, published, and strongly recommended,
Therefore, if this be a proof of promoting Popery, that censure
falls, not on me, but him.
I have now considered all the arguments you have brought
to prove that the Methodists are carrying on the work of
Popery. And I am persuaded, every candid man, who
rightly weighs what has been said with any degree of atten-
tion, will clearly see, not only that no one of those arguments
is of any real force at all, but that you do not believe your-
self; you do not believe the conclusion which you make as if
you would prove: Only you keep close to your laudable
resolution of throwing as much dirt as possible.
48. It remains only to gather up some of your fragments,
as still further proofs of your integrity.
You graciously say, I do not lay much stress upon the
charge of some of the angry Moravians against Mr. W. and
brother, for preaching Popery." Sir, if you had, you would
only have hurt yourself. For, (1.) The Moravians never,
that I know of, brought this charge at all. (2.) When Mr.
C., and two other Predestinarians, (these were the persons,)
affirmed they had heard both my brother and me preach
Popery, they meant neither more nor less thereby than the
doctrine of universal redemption.
Some connexion between the doctrines of Methodists and
Papists hath been shown through this whole Comparison."
Shown! But how ? By the same art of wire-drawing and
deciphering, which would prove an equal connexion between
the Methodists and Mahometans.
"Jesuits have often mingled, and been the ringleaders,
among our enthusiastic sectaries." Sir, I am greatly obliged
to you for your compliment, as well as for your parallel of
Mr. Faithful Commin.
And pray, Sir, at what time do you think it was that I
first mingled with those enthusiastic sectaries? when I came
back from Germany, or when I returned from Georgia, or
while I was at Lincoln College? Although the plot itself
might be laid before, when I was at Christ Church, or at the
But "a Jesuit's or enthusiast's declaring against Popery is
no test of their sincerity." Most sure; nor is a nameless per-
son's declaring against Methodism any proof that he is not a
Jesuit. I remember well, when a well-dressed man, taking his
stand not far from Moorfields, had gathered a large company,
and was vehemently asserting, that those rogues, the Method.
TO BIsIOP LAVINGTON.
ists, were all Papists;" till a gentleman coming by, fixed his
eye on him, and cried, Stop that man I know him person-
ally; he is a Romish Priest."
I know not that anything remains on this head which bears
so much as the face of an argument. So that, of all the charges
you have brought, (and truly you have not been sparing,)
there is not one wherein your proof falls more miserably short
than in this, that "the Methodists are advancing Popery."
49. I have at length gone through your whole performance,
weighed whatever you cite from my writings, and shown at
large how far those passages are from proving all, or any part,
of your charge. So that all you attempt to build on them, of
the pride and vanity of the Methodists ; of their shuffling and
prevaricating; of their affectation of prophesying; laying claim
to the miraculous favours of Heaven ; unsteadiness of temper;
unsteadiness in sentiment and practice; art and cunning;
giving up inspiration and extraordinary calls; scepticism, in-
fidelity, Atheism ; uncharitableness to their opponents; con-
tempt of order and authority ; and fierce, rancorous quarrels
with each other; of the tendency of Methodism to undermine
morality and good works; and to carry on the good work of
Popery :-All this fabric falls to the ground at once, unless you
can find some better foundation to support it. (Sections iii.-
vi.; ix., xi.-xv.; xviii.-xxi.)
50. These things being so, what must all unprejudiced men
think of you and your whole performance? You have ad-
vanced a charge, not against one or two persons only, but indis-
criminately against a whole body of people, of His Majesty's
subjects, Englishmen, Protestants, members, I suppose, of your
own Church: a charge containing abundance of articles, and
most of them of the highest and blackest nature. You have
prosecuted this with unparalleled bitterness of spirit and acri-
mony of language; using sometimes the most coarse, rude,
scurrilous terms, sometimes the keenest sarcasms you could
devise. The point you have steadily pursued in thus prose-
cuting this charge, is, First, to expose the whole people to the
hatred and scorn of all mankind; and, next, to stir up the
civil powers against them. And when this charge comes to
be fairly weighed, there is not a single article of it true!
The passages you cite to make it good are one and all such as
prove nothing less than the points in question; most of them
such as you have palpably maimed, corrupted, and strained to
60 SECOND LETTER TO BISHOP LAVINGrON.
a sense never thought of by the writer; many of them such
as are flat against you, and overthrow the very point they are
brought to support. What can they think, but that this is the.
most shocking violation of the Christian rule, Thou shalt
love thy neighbour as thyself;" the most open affront to all
justice, and even common humanity; the most glaring insult
upon the common sense and reason of mankind, which has
lately appeared in the world ?
If you say, "But I have proved the charge upon Mr.
Whitefield;" admit you have, (which I do not allow,) Mr.
Whitefield is not the Methodists; no, nor the societies under
his care; they are not a third, perhaps not a tenth, part of
the Methodists. What then can excuse your ascribing their
faults, were they proved, to the whole body ? You indict ten
men. Suppose you prove the indictment upon one, will you
therefore condemn the other nine ? Nay, let every man bear
his own burden, since every man must give an account of
himself to God.
I had occasion once before to say to an opponent, You
know not to show mercy." Yet that gentleman did regard
truth and justice. But you regard neither mercy, justice, nor
truth. To vilify, to blacken, is your one point. I pray God
it may not be laid to your charge May He show you mercy,
though you show none !
I am, Sir,
Your friend and well-wisher,
TIE LORD BISHOP OF EXETER:
IN ANSWER 10 HIS LOEDSHIP'S LATE LETTER.
IN my late Letter to your Lordship I used no ceremony;
(I suppose it was not expected from one who was so deeply
injured;) and I trust I used no rudeness: If I did, I am ready
to ask your Lordship's pardon.
That Letter* related to a matter of fact published on your
Lordship's authority, which I endeavoured to falsify, and your
Lordship now again endeavours to support.
The facts alleged are, First, that I told Mrs. Morgan, at
Mitchel, "You are in hell; you are damned already." Secondly,
that I asked her to live upon free cost. Thirdly, that she deter-
mined to admit no more Methodists into her house.
At first I thought so silly and improbable a story neither
deserved nor required a confutation; but when my friends
thought otherwise, I called on Mrs. Morgan, who denied she
ever said any such thing. I wrote down her words; part of
which I transcribed in my letter to your Lordship, as follows:-
On Saturday, August 25, 1750, Mr. Trembath, of St. Gin-
nys,Mr. Haime, of Shaftesbury, and I, called at Mr. Morgan's,
at Mitchel. The servant telling me her master was not at home,
I desired to speak with her mistress, the honest, sensible
woman.' I immediately asked, 'Did I ever tell you or your
husband, that you would be damned if you took any money of
me ?' (So the story ran in the first part of the Comparison;'
it has now undergone a very considerable alteration.) Or did
The Bishop of Exeter's Letter, pp. 2, 8.
62 SECOND LETTER TO
you or he ever affirm,' (another circumstance related at Truro,)
'that I was rude with your maid ?' She replied, vehemently,
'Sir, I never said you was, or that you said any such thing.
And I do not suppose my husband did. But we have been
belied as well as our neighbours.' She added,' When the
Bishop came down last, he sent us word he would dine at
our house; but he did not, being invited to a neighboring
gentleman's. He sent for me thither, and said, Good woman,
do you know these people that go up and down ? Do you
know Mr. Wesley ? Did not he tell you, yu would be
damned if you took any money of him? And did not he offer
rudeness to your maid ? I told him, No, my Lord; he never
said any such thing to me, nor to my husband that I know of.
He never offered any rudeness to any maid of mine. I never
saw or knew any harm of him: But a man told me once, (who
I was told was a Methodist Preacher,) that I should be damned
if I did not know my sins were forgiven.' "
Your Lordship replies, I neither sent word that I would
dine at their house, nor did I send for Mrs. Morgan; every
word that passed between us was at her own house at Mitchel."
'(Page 7.) I believe it; and consequently, that the want of
exactness in this point rests on Mrs. Morgan, not on your
Your Lordship adds, The following attestations will suffi-
ciently clear me from any imputation, or even suspicion, of
having published a falsehood." I apprehend otherwise; to
wave what is past, if the facts now published by your Lordship,
or any part of them, he not true, then certainly your Lordship
will lie under more than a suspicion of having published a
The attestations your Lordship produces are, First, those
of your Lordship's Chancellor and Archdeacon: Secondly,
those of Mr. Bennet.
The former attests, that in June or July, 1748, Mrs. Mor-
gan did say those things to your Lordship. (Page 8.) I believe
she did, and therefore acquit your Lordship of being the in-
ventor of those falsehoods.
Mr. Bennet avers, that, in January last, Mrs. Morgan re-
peated to him what she had before said to your Lordship.
(Page 11.) Probably she might; having said those things
once, I do not wonder if she said them again.
THE BISHOP OF EXETER.
Nevertheless, before Mr. Trembath and Mr. Haime she
denied every word of it.
To get over this difficulty, your Lordship publishes a
Second Letter from Mr. Bennet, wherein he says, On
March 4th, last, Mrs. Morgan said, 'I was told by my ser-
vant, that I was wanted above stairs; where, when I came,
the chamber door being open, I found them' (Mr. Wesley
and others) round the table on their knees."' He adds,
That Mrs. Morgan owned one circumstance in it was true;
but as to the other parts of Mr. Wesley's letter to the Bishop,
she declares it is all false."
I believe Mrs. Morgan did say this to Mr. Bennet; and
that therefore neither is he the maker of a lie." But he is
the relater of a whole train of falsehoods, and those told
merely for telling sake. I was never yet in any chamber at
Mrs. Morgan's. I was never above stairs there in my life.
On August 25, 1750, I was below stairs all the time I was in
the house. When Mrs. Morgan came in, I was standing in
the large parlour; nor did any of. us kneel while we were
under the roof. This both Mr. Trembath and Mr. Haime
can attest upon oath, whatsoever Mrs. Morgan may declare
to the contrary.
But she declared farther, (so Mr. Bennet writes,) That
Mr. John Wesley, some time ago, said to a maid of hers
such things as were not fit to be spoken;" (page 11;) and
Mr. Morgan declared that he "did or said such indecent
things to the above-named maid (the same fact, I presume,
only a little embellished) in his chamber, in the night, that
she immediately ran down stairs,. and protested she would
not go near him or any of the Methodists more." (Page 12.)
To save trouble to your Lordship, as well as to myself, I
will put this cause upon a very short issue : If your Lordship
will only prove that ever I lay one night in Mrs. Morgan's
house, nay, that ever I was in the town of Mitchel after sun-
set, I will confess the whole charge.
What your Lordship mentions by the way," I will now
consider: "Some of your western correspondents imposed
upon the leaders of Methodism, by transmitting to London a
notoriously false account of my Charge to the Clergy. After-
wards the Methodists confessed themselves to have been
deceived; yet some time after, the Methodists at Cork, in
64 SECOND LETTER TO THE BISHOP OF EXETER.
Ireland, your own brother at the head of them, reprinted the
same lying pamphlet, as my performance." (Pages 4, 5.)
My Lord, I know not who are your Lordship's Irish cor-
respondents; but here are almost as many mistakes as lines.
For, (1.) They were none of my correspondents who sent
that account to London. (2.) It was sent, not to the leaders
of Methodism, but to one who was no Methodist at all.
(3.) That it was a false account, I do not know: But your
Lordship may easily put it out of dispute. And many have
wondered, that your Lordship did not do so long ago, by
printing the Charge in question. (+.) I did never confess it
was a false account; nor any person by my consent, or with
my knowledge. (5.) That account was never reprinted at
Cork at all. (6.) When it was reprinted at Dublin, your
Lordship had not disowned it. (7.) My brother was not in
Dublin, when it was done; nor did either he or I know of it
till long after.
Therefore, when my brother was asked, how he could re-
print such an account, after your Lordship had publicly
disowned it, I do not at all wonder, that "he did not offer a
single word in answer."
Whether this, as well as my former Letter, be "mere rant
and declamation," or plain and sober reason, I must refer to
the world, and your Lordship's own conscience.
Your Lordship's most obedient servant,
May 8, 1752.
THE REVEREND MR. BAILEY, OF CORK.
IN ANSWER TO
A LETTER TO THE REV. JOHN WESLEY.
LIMERICK, June 8, 1750.
1. Why do you not subscribe your name to a performance
so perfectly agreeing, both as to the matter and form, with
the sermons you have been occasionally preaching for more
than a year last past ? As to your seeming to disclaim it by
saying once and again, I am but a plain, simple man;" and,
"The doctrine you teach is only a revival of the old Antino-
mian heresy, I think they call it;" I presume it is only a
pious fraud. But how came so plain and simple a man to
know the meaning of the Greek word Philalethes? Sir,
this is not of a piece. If you did not care to own your
child, had not you better have subscribed the Second (as well
as the First) Letter, George Fisher ?*
2. I confess you have timed your performance well. When
the other pointless thing was published, I came unluckily to
Cork on the self-same day. But you might now suppose I
was at a convenient distance. However, I will not plead this
as an excuse for taking no notice of your last favour; although,
to say the truth, I scarce know how to answer it, as you
write in a language I am not accustomed to. Both Dr. Tucker,
Dr. Church, and all the other gentlemen who have wrote to
me in public for some years, have wrote as gentlemen, having
some regard to their own, whatever my character was. But
as you fight in the dark, you regard not what weapons you
The Letter thus subscribed was published at Cork, on May 80th last.
VOL. IX. F
use. We are not, therefore, on even terms; I cannot answer
you in kind; I am constrained to leave this to your good
allies of Blackpool and Fair-Lane.*
I shall first state the facts on which the present controversy
turns; and then consider the most material parts of your
First. I am to state the facts. But here I am under a
great disadvantage, having few of my papers by me. Excuse
me therefore if I do not give so full an account now, as I may
possibly do hereafter; if I only give you for the present the
extracts of some papers which were lately put into my hands.
1. "THOMAS JONES, of Cork, merchant, deposes,
"That on May 3, 1749, Nicholas Butler, ballad-singer,
came before the house of this deponent, and assembled a
large mob: That this deponent went to Daniel Crone, Esq.,
then Mayor of Cork, and de-ired that he would put a stop
to those riots; asking, at the same time, whether he gave
the said Butler leave to go about in this manner : That Mr.
Mayor said, he neither gave him leave, neither did he hinder
him : That in the evening Butler gathered a larger mob
than before, and went to the house where the people called
Methodists were assembled to hear the word of God, and, as
they came out, threw dirt and hurt several of them.
That on May 4, this deponent, with some others, went to
the Mayor and told what had been done, adding,' If your Wor-
ship pleases only to speak three words to Butler, it will all be
over:' That the Mayor gave his word and honour there should
be no more of it, he would put an entire stop to it: That, not-
withstanding, a larger mob than ever came to the house the
same evening: That they threw much dirt and many stones at
the people, both while they were in the house, and when they
came out: That the mob then fell upon them, both on men and
women, with clubs, hangers, and swords; so that many of them
were much wounded, and lost a considerable quantity of blood.
That on May 5, this deponent informed the Mayor of all,
and also that Butler had openly declared there should be a
greater mob than ever there was that night: That the Mayor
promised he would prevent it: That in the evening Butler did
bring a greater mob than ever: That this deponent, hearing the
* (elbrated parts of Cork.
THE REV. MR. BAILY.
Mayor designed to go out of the way, set two men to watch
him, and, when the riot was begun, went to the ale-house, and
inquired for him : That the woman of the house denying he
was there, this deponent insisted he was, declared he would
not go till he had seen him, and began searching the house:
That Mr. Mayor then appearing, he demanded his assistance
to suppress a riotous mob: That when the Mayor came in
sight of them, he beckoned to Butler, who immediately came
down from the place where he stood: That the Mayor then
went with this deponent, and looked on many of the people
covered with dirt and blood : That some of them still remained
in the house, fearing their lives, till James Chatterton and
John Reilly, Esqrs., Sheriffs of Cork, and Hugh Millard,
junior, Esq., Alderman, turned them out to the mob, and
nailed up the doors.
2. "ELIZABEIT HOLLERAN, of Cork, deposes,
"That on May 3, as she was going down to Castle-Street,
she saw Nicholas Butler on a table, with ballads in one hand,
and a Bible in the other: That she expressed some concern
threat; on which Sheriff Reilly ordered his bailiff to carry
her to Bridewell: That afterward the bailiff came and said,
his master ordered she should be carried to gaol: And that
she continued in gaol from May 3, about eight in the evening,
till between ten and twelve on May 5.
3. "JoHN STOCKDALE, of Cork, tallow-chandler, deposes,
That on May 5, while he and others were assembled to hear
the word of God, Nicholas Butler came down to the house
where they were, with a very numerous mob: That when this
deponent came out, they threw all manner of dirt and abun-
dance of stones at him: That they then beat, bruised, and cut
him in several places: That seeing his wife on the ground,
and the mob abusing her still, he called out and besought
them not to kill his wife: That on this one of them struck
him with a large stick, as did also many others, so that he was
hurt in several parts, and his face in a gore of blood.
4. "DANIEL SULLIVAN, of Cork, baker, deposes,
"That every day but one from the sixth to the sixteenth
of May, Nicholas Butler assembled a riotous mob before this
deponent's house: That they abused all who came into the
shop, to the great damage of this deponent's business: That,
on or about the fifteenth, Butler swore he would bring a moh
the next day, and pull down his house; That, accordingly, on
the sixteenth he did bring a large mob, and beat or abused all
that came to the house: That the Mayor walked by while the
mob was so employed, but did not hinder them: That after-
wards they broke his windows, threw dirt and stones into his
shop, and spoiled a great quantity of his goods.
DANIEL SULLIVAN is ready to depose farther,
"That, from the sixteenth of May to the twenty-eighth, the
mob gathered every day before his house: That on Sunday,
28, Butler swore they would come the next day, and pull down
the house of that heretic dog; and called aloud to the mob,
'Let the heretic dogs indict you: I will bring you all off
without a farthing cost.'
That, accordingly, on May 29, Butler came with a greater
mob than before: That he went to the Mayor and begged him
to come, which he for some time refused to do; but after much
importunity, rose up, and walked with him down the street:
SThat when they were in the midst of the mob, the Mayor said
aloud,' It is your own fault for entertaining these Preachers:
If you will turn them out of your house, I will engage there
shall be no more harm done; but if you will not turn them
out, you must take what you will get:' That upon this the mob
set up an huzza, and threw stones faster than before; that
he said, 'This is fine usage under a Protestant Government!
It I had a Priest saying mass in every room of it, my house
would not be touched:' That the Mayor replied,' The Priests
are tolerated, but you are not; you talk too much: Go in,
and shut up your doors!' That, seeing no remedy, he did so;
and the mob continued breaking the windows and throwing
stones in till near twelve at night.
That on May 31, the said Sullivan and two more went and
informed the Mayor of what the mob was then doing: That it
was not without great importunity they brought him as far as
the Exchange: That he would go no farther, nor send any
help, though some that were much bruised and wounded came
by: That some hours after, when the mob had finished their
work, he sent a party of soldiers to guard the walls.
5. JoHN STOCKDALE deposes farther,
That on May 31,he withotherswas quietlyhearing the word
of God, when Butler and his mob came down to the house: That
as theycame out,themob threwshowersof dirt and stones: That
many were hurt, many beat, bruised, and cut; among whom was
THE IREV. MR. BAILEY.
this deponent, who was so bruised and cut, that the effusion of
blood from his head could not be stopped foraconsiderable time.
6. JoHN M'NERNY, of Cork, deposes,
That on the 31st of May last, as this deponent with others
was hearing a sermon, Butler came down with a large mob:
That the stones and dirt coming in fast, obliged the congrega-
tion to shut the doors, and lock themselves in : That the mob
broke open the door; on which this deponent endeavoured to
escape through a window : That not being able to do it, he
returned into the house, where he saw the mob tear up the
pews, benches, and floor; part of which they afterwards burned
in the open street, and carried away part for their own use.
7. "DANIEL SULLIVAN is ready to depose farther,
That Butler, with a large mob, went about from street to
street, and from house to house, abusing, threatening, and
beating whomsoever he pleased, from June 1st to the 16th,
when they assaulted, bruised, and cut Ann Jenkins; and
from the 16th to the 30th, when a woman whom they had
beaten, miscarried, and narrowly escaped with life."
Some of the particulars were as follows:-
THOMAS BURNET, of Cork, nailer, deposes,
That on or about the 12th of June, as this deponent was
at work in his master's shop, Nicholas Butler came with a great
mob to the door, and seeing this deponent, told him he was an
heretic dog, and his soul was burning in hell: That this depo-
nent asking,' Why do you use me thus?' Butler took up a
stone, and struck him so violently on the side, that he was
thereby rendered incapable of working for upwards of a week:
That he hit this deponent's wife with another stone, without
any kind of provocation; which so hurt her, that she was
obliged to take to her bed, and has not been right well since.
"ANN COOSHEA, of Cork, deposes,
That on or about the 12th of June, as she was standing
at her father's door, Nicholas Butler, with a riotous mob,
began to abuse this deponent and her family, calling them
heretic bitches, saying they were damned and all their souls
were in hell: That then, without any provocation, he took up
Sa great stone, and threw it at this deponent, which struck
her on the head with such force that it deprived her of her
senses for some time.
"ANN WRIGHT, of Cork, deposes,
"That on or about the 12th of June, as this deponent was
in her own house, Butler and his mob came before her door,
calling her and her family heretic bitches, and swearing he
would make her house hotter than hell-fire: That he threw
dirt and stones at them, hit her in the face, dashed all the
goods about which she had in her window, and, she really
believes, would have dashed out her brains, had she not
quitted her shop, and fled for her life.
MARGARET GRIFFIN, of Cork, deposes,
"That on the 24th of June, as this deponent was about
her business, Butler and his mob came up, took hold on her,
tore her clothes, struck her several times, and cut her mouth ;
that after she broke from him, he and his mob pursued her to
her house, and would have broken in, had not some neigh-
bours interposed : That he had beat and abused her several
times before, and one of those times to such a degree, that
she was all in a gore of blood, and continued spitting blood
for several days after.
JACOB CONNER, clothier, of Cork, deposes,
"That on the 24th of June, as he was employed in his
lawful business, Butler and his mob came up, and, without
any manner of provocation, fell upon him: That they beat
him till they caused such an effusion of blood as could not be
stopped for a considerable time: And that he verily believes,
had not a gentleman interposed, they would have killed him
on the spot.
9. ANN HUGHES, of Cork, deposes,
"That on the 29th of June, she asked Nicholas Butler, why
he broke open her house on the 21st: That hereon he called.
her many abusive names, (being attended with his usual
mob,) dragged her up and down, tore her clothes in pieces,
and with his sword stabbed and cut her in both her arms.
"DANIEL FILTS, blacksmith, of Cork, deposes,
That on the 29th of June, Butler and a riotous mob came
before his door, called him many abusive names, drew his
hanger, and threatened to stab him : That he and his mob the
next day assaulted the house of this deponent with drawn
swords: And that he is persuaded, had not one who came by
prevented, they would have taken away his life.
10. "MARY FULLER, of Cork, deposes,
That on the 30th of June, Butler, at the head of his mob,
came between nine and ten at night to the deponent's shop,
with a naked sword in his hand; that he swore he would cleave
THE REV. MR. BAILEY.
the deponont's skull, and immediately made a full stroke at her
head ; whereupon she was obliged to fly for her life, leaving her
shop and goods to the mob, many of which they hacked and
hewed with their swords, to her no small loss and damage.
HENRY DUNKLE, joiner, of Cork, deposes,
That on the 30th of June, as he was standing at the
widow Fuller's shop window, he saw Butler, accompanied
with a large mob, who stopped before her shop: That after
he had grossly abused her, he made a full stroke with his
hanger at her head, which must have cleft her in two, had not
this deponent received the guard of the hanger on his shoulder:
That presently after, the said Butler seized upon this depo-
nent: That he seized him by the collar with one hand, and
with the other held the hanger over his head, calling him all
manner of names, and tearing his shirt and clothes: And
that, had it not been for the timely assistance of some neigh-
bours, he verily believes he should have been torn in pieces.
MARGARET TRIMNELL, of Cork, deposes,
"That on the 30th of June, John Austin and Nicholas
Butler, with a numerous mob, came to her shop: That, after
calling her many names, Austin struck her with his club on
the right arm, so that it has been black ever since from the
shoulder to the elbow: That Butler came next, and with a
great stick struck her a violent blow across tLe back: That
many of them then drew their swords, which they carried
under their coats, and cut and hacked her goods, part of
which they threw out into the street, while others of them
threw dirt and stones into the shop, to the considerable
damage of her goods, and loss of this deponent."
11. It was not for those who had any regard either to their
persons or goods, to oppose Mr. Butler after this. So the
poor people patiently suffered whatever he and his mob were
pleased to inflict upon them, till the Assizes drew on, at which
they doubted not to find a sufficient, though late, relief.
Accordingly, twenty-eight depositions were taken, (from
the foul copies of some of which the preceding account is
mostly transcribed,) and laid before the Grand Jury,
August 19. But they did not find any one of these bills.
Instead of this, they made that memorable presentment
which is worthy to be preserved in the annals of Ireland to
all succeeding generations:-
We find and present Charles Wesley to be a person of ill
fame, a vagabond, and a common disturber of His Majesty's
peace; and we pray he may be transported.
We find and present James Williams," &c.
"We find and present Robert Swindle," &c.
"We find and present Jonathan Reeves," &c.
We find and present James Wheatly," &c.
"We find and present John Larwood," &c.
"We find and present Joseph M'Auliff," &c.
"We find and present Charles Skelton," &c.
We find and present William Tooker," &c.
"We find and present Daniel Sul ivan," &c.
12. Mr. Butler and his mob were now in higher spirits than
ever. They scoured the streets day and night; frequently
hallooing, as they went along, "Five pounds for a Swaddler's
head !"* their chief declaring to them all, he had full liberty
now to do whatever he would, even to murder, if he pleased;
as Mr. Swain, of North Abbey, and others are ready to testify.
13. The Sessions, held at Cork on the 5th of October fol-
lowing, produced another memorable presentment.
"We find and present John Horton to be a person of ill
fame, a vagabond, and a common disturber of His Majesty's
peace; and we pray that he may be transported."
But complaint being made of this above, as wholly illegal,
it vanished into air.
14. Some time after, Mr. Butler removed to Dublin, and
began to sing his ballads there. But having little success,
he returned to Cork, and in January began to scour the
streets again, pursuing all of this way," with a large mob
at his heels, armed with swords, staves, and pistols. Com-
plaint was made of this to William Holmes, Esq., the present
Mayor of Cork. But there was no removal of the thing
complained of; the riots were not suppressed: Nay, they not
only continued, but increased.
15. From the beginning of February to the end, His
Majesty's peace was preserved just as before; of which it
may be proper to subjoin two or three instances, for the
information of all thinking men:-
"WILLIAM JEWELL, clothier, of Shandon Church-Lane,
"That Nicholas Butler, with a riotous mob, several times
A name first given to Mr. Cennick, from his first preaching on those words.
"Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."
THE REV. IMR. BAILY.
assaulted this deponent's house: That particularly on the
23d of February, he came thither with a large mob, armed
with clubs and other weapons: That several of the rioters
entered the house, and swore, the first who resisted, they
would blow their brains out: That the deponent's wife, en-
deavouring to stop them, was assaulted and beaten by the said
Butler; who then ordered his men to break the deponent's
windows, which they did with stones of a considerable weight.
MARY PHILIPS, of St. Peter's Church-Lane, deposes,
That on the 26th of February, about seven in the evening,
Nicholas Butler came to her house with a large mob, and
asked where her husband was: That as soon as she appeared,
he first abused her in the grossest terms, and then struck her
on the head, so that it stunned her; and she verily believes,
had not some within thrust to and fastened the door, she
should have been murdered on the spot."
It may suffice for the present to add one instance more:-
ELIZABETH GARDELET, wife of Joseph Gardelet, Corporal,
in Colonel Pawlet's regiment, Captain Chatlton's company,
That on February 28, as she was going out of her lodgings,
she was met by Butler and his mob: That Butler, without
any manner of provocation, immediately fell upon her, striking
her with both his fists on the side of the head, which knocked
her head against the wall: That she endeavoured to escape
from him; but he pursued her, and struck her several times
in the face: That she ran into the school-yard for shelter;
but he followed, and caught hold of her, saying, You whore,
you stand on consecrated ground,' and threw her with such
force across the lane, that she was driven against the opposite
wall : That when she had recovered herself a little, she made
the best of her way to her lodging; but Butler still pursued,
and overtook her as she was going up the stairs: That he
struck her with his fist on the stomach; which stroke knocked
her down backwards; that falling with the small of her back
against the edge of one of the stairs, she was not able to rise
again: That her pains immediately came upon her, and about
two in the morning she miscarried."
16. These, with several more depositions to the same effect,
were, in April, laid before the Grand Jury. Yet they did not
find any of these bills 1 But they found one against Daniel
Sullivan, the younger, (no Preacher, but a hearer of the people
called Methodists,) who, when Butler and his mob were dis-
charging a shower of stones upon him, fired a pistol, without
any ball, over their heads. If any man has wrote this story to
England, in a quite different manner, and fixed it on a young
Methodist Preacher, let him be ashamed in the presence of God
and man, unless shame and he have shook hands and parted.
17. Several of the persons presented as vagabonds in
autumn appeared at the Lent Assizes. But none appearing
against them, they were discharged, with honour to themselves,
and shame to their prosecutors; who, by bringing the matter
to a judicial determination, plainly showed, there is a law
even for Methodists; and gave His Majesty's Judge a full
occasion to delare the utter illegality of all riots, and the
inexcusableness of tolerating (much more causing) them on
any pretence whatsoever.
18. It was now generally believed there would be no more
riots in Cork; although I cannot say that was my opinion.
On May 19, I accepted the repeated invitation of Mr. Alderman
Pembrock, and came to his house. Understanding the place
where the preaching usually was, would by no means contain
those who desired to hear me, at eight in the morning I went
to Hammond's Marsh. The congregation was large and
deeply attentive. A few of the rabble gathered at a distance;
but by little and little they drew near, and mixed with the
congregation. So that I have seldom seen a more quiet and
orderly assembly at any church in England or Ireland.
19. In the afternoon a report being spread abroad, that the
Mayor designed to hinder my preaching on the Marsh, I desired
Mr. Skelton and Jones to wait upon him, and inquire concerning
it. Mr. Skelton asked if my preaching there would be offensive
to him; adding, "If it would, Mr. W. would not do it." He
replied warmly, Sir, I will have no mobbing." Mr. S. said,
" Sir, there was none this morning." Hie answered, "There
was. Are there not churches and meeting-houses enough ?
I will have no more mobs and riots." Mr. S. replied, Sir,
neither Mr. W. nor they that heard him made either mobs or
riots." He answered plain, I will have no more preaching;
and if Mr. W. attempts to preach, I am prepared for him."
I did not conceive till now, that there was any real meaning
in what a gentleman said some time since; who being told,
THE REV. MR BAILEY.
" Sir, King George tolerates Methodists," replied, Sir, you
shall find, the Mayor is King of Cork."
20. I began preaching in our own house soon after five. Mr.
Mayor meantime was walking in the 'Change, where he gave
orders to the drummers of the town, and to his sergeants,-
doubtless, to go down and keep the peace They came down,
with an innumerable mob, to the house. They continued
drumming, and I continued preaching, till I had finished my
discourse. When I came out, the mob immediately closed me
in. I desired one of the sergeants to protect me from the
mob; but he replied, Sir, I have no orders to do that."
When I came into the street, they threw whatever came to
hand. I walked on straight through the midst of them, looking
every man in the face, and they opened to the right and left, till
I came near Dant's Bridge. A large party had taken possession
of this, one of whom was bawling out, Now, high for the
Romans !" When I came up, these likewise shrunk back,
and I walked through them into Mr. Jenkins's house.
But many of the congregation were more roughly handled;
particularly Mr. Jones, who was covered with dirt, andescaped
with his life almost by miracle. The main body of the mob
then went to the House, brought out all the seats and benches
tore up the floor, the door, the frames of the windows, and
whatever of wood-work remained, part of which they carried off
for their own use, and the rest they burnt in the open street.
21. Monday, 21. I rode on to Bandon. From three in the
afternoon till after seven, the mob of Cork marched in grand
procession, and then burnt me in effigy near Dant's Bridge.
Tuesday, 22. The mob and drummers were moving again
between three and four in the morning. The same evening the
mob came down to Hammond's Marsh, but stood at a distance
from Mr. Stockdale's house, till the drums beat, and the
Mayor's sergeants beckoned to them; on which they drew
up, and began the attack. The Mayor, being sent for, came
with a party of soldiers. Mr. Stockdale earnestly desired
that he would disperse the mob, or at least leave the soldiers
there to protect them from the rioters. But he took them
all away with him; on which the mob went on, and broke
all the glass and most of the window-frames in pieces.
22. Wednesday, 23. The mob was still patrolling the
streets; abusing all that were called Methodists; and threat-
ening to murder them, and pull down their houses, if they
did not leave this way."
'hursday, 24. They again assaulted Mr. Stockdale's house,
broke down the boards he had nailed up against the windows,
destroyed what little remained of the window-frames and
shutters, and damaged a considerable part of his goods.
Fi iday, 25, and again on Saturday, 26, one Roger O'Ferrall
fixed up an advertisement at the public Exchange, (as he had
also done for several days before,) that he was ready to head
any mob, in order to pull down any house that should dare
to harbour a Swaddler.
23. Sunday, 27. I wrote the following letter to the Mayor:-
AN hour ago I received A Letter to Mr. Butler, just
reprinted at Cork. The publishers assert, 'It was brought
down from Dublin to be dis ributed among the society. But
Mr. Wesley called in as many as he could.' Both these
assertions are absolutely false. I read some lines of that
letter when I was in Dublin, but never read it over before this
morning. Who the author of it is, I know not. But this I
know; I never called in one; neither concerned myself about it;
much less brought any down to distribute among the society.
"Yet I cannot but return my hearty thanks to the gentle-
men who have distributed them through the town. I believe
it will do more good than they are sensible of. For though
I dislike its condemning the Magistrates and Clergy in general,
(several of whom were not concerned in the late proceedings,)
yet I think the reasoning is strong and clear; and that the
facts referred to therein are not at all misrepresented, will
sufficiently appear in due time.
I fear God and honour the King. earnestly desire to
be at peace with all men. I have not willingly given any
offence, either to the Magistrates, the Clergy, or any of the
inhabitants of the city of Cork; neither do I desire anything
of them, but to be treated (I will not say, as a Clergyman, a
gentleman, or a Christian, but) with such justice and
humanity as are due to a Jew, a Turk, or a Pagan.
"Your obedient servant,
THE REV. MR. BAILY.
II. 1. Your performance is dated, May 28th, the most
material parts of which I am now to consider.
It contains, First, a charge against the Methodist Preachers:
Secondly, a defence of the Corporation and Clergy of Cork.
With regard to your charge against those Preachers, may I
take the liberty to inquire why you drop six out of the eleven
that have been at Cork, viz., Mr. Swindells, Wheatly, Lar-
wood, Skelton, Tucker, and Haughton ? Can you glean up
no story concerning these; or is it out of mere compassion
that you spare them ?
2. But before I proceed, I must beg leave to ask, Who is this
evidence against the other five ? Why, one that neither dares
show his face, nor tell his name, or the place of his abode; one
that is ashamed (and truly not without cause) of the dirty work
he is employed in; so that we could not even conjecture who
he was, but that his speech bewrayeth him. How much credit
is due to such an evidence, let any man of reason judge.
3. This worthy witness falls foul upon Mr. Cownly, and
miserably murders a tale he has got by the end. (Page 13.)
Sir, Mr. M. is nothing obliged to you for bringing the charac-
ter of his niece into question. He is perfectly satisfied that
Mr. C. acted, in that whole affair, with the strictest regard
both to honour and conscience.
You next aver, that Mr. Reeves asked a young woman,
whether she had a mind to go to hell with her father."
(Page 16.) It is possible. I will neither deny nor affirm it
without some better proof. But, suppose he did; unless I
know the circumstances of the case, I could not say whether
he spoke right or wrong.
4. But what is this to the "monstrous, shocking, amazing
blasphemy, spoken by Mr. Charles Wesley? who one day,"
you say, "preaching on Hammond's Marsh, called out, 'Has
any of you got the Spirit? and when none answered, said,
'I am sure some of you have got it; for I feel virtue go out
of me.'" (Page 18.) Sir, do you expect any one to believe this
story ? I doubt it will not pass even at Cork : unless with
your wise friend, who said, Methodists! Ay, they are the
people who place all their religion in wearing long whiskers."
5. In the same page, you attack Mr. Williams for applying
those words, I thy Maker am thy husband." Sir, by the
same rule that you conclude "these expressions could only
flow from a mindfull of lascivious ideas." you may conclude
the forty-fifth Psalm to be only a wanton sonnet, and the
Canticles a counterpart to Rochester's Poems.
But you say, le likewise "made use of unwarrantable expres-
sions, particularly with regard to faith and good works; and the
next day denied that he had used them." (Pages 10, 11.) Sir,
your word is not proof of this. Be pleased to produce proper
vouchers of the facts; and I will then give a farther answer.
Likewise, as to his "indecent and irreverent behaviour at
church, turning all the Preacher said into ridicule, so that
numbers asked, in your hearing, why the Churchwardens did
not put the profane, wicked scoundrel in the stocks; my
present answer is, I doubt the facts. Will your "men of
undoubted character" be ,o good as to attest them ?
6. Of all these, Mr. Williams, Cownly, Reeves, Haughton,
Larwood, Skelton, Swindells, Tucker, and Wheatly, you pro-
nounce in the lump, that they are "a parcel of vagabond, illi-
terate babblers;" (pages 3, 4;1 of whom "every body that has
the least share of reason must know," that, though "they amuse
the populace with nonsense, ribaldry, and blasphemy, they are
not capable of writing orthography or good sense." Sir, that is
not an adjudged case. Some who have a little share of reason,
think they are capable both of speaking and writing good sense.
But if they are not, if they cannot write or read, they can save
souls from death; they can, by the grace of God, bring sinners
from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.
7. But they made a woman plunder her poor old husband,
and another absent herself from her husband and children."
(Pages 24, 25.) Pray, what are their names; where do they
live; and how may one come to the speech of them ? I have
heard so many plausible tales of this kind, which on examina-
tion vanished away, that I cannot believe one word of this till
I have more proof than your bare assertion.
8. So far I have been pleading for others. 'But I am now
called to answer for myself. For "Theophilus and John Wes-
ley," say you, "seem to me the same individual person." (Page
4.) They may seem so to you; but not to any who knows
either my style or manner ot writing. Besides, if it had been
mine, it would have borne my name: For I do not love fight-
ing in the dark.
But were not a great number of thcse books brought
THE REV. MR. BAILEY.
from Dublin, to be dispersed throughout the city ?" Not by
me; not by my order, nor to my knowledge. However, I thank
you again for dispersing them.
9. But "while charity stands in the front of Christian
graces, the author of such a book can have none of that grace.
For you must allow the vulgar to think." (Page 26.) Mal-a-
propos enough, a lively saying; but for any use it is of, it
may stand either in the front or rear of the sentence.
The argument itself is something new. A man knocks me
down: I cry, Help! help! or I shall be murdered." He
replies, While charity stands in the front of Christian graces,
the author cf such a cry can have none of that grace."
So now you have shown to all the world the uncharitable
and consequently unchristian spirit of Methodism." What!
because the Methodists cry out for help, before you have beat
out their brains?
What grimace is this His Majesty's quiet, loyal, Protest-
ant subjects are abused, insulted, outraged, beaten, covered
with dirt, rolled in the mire, bruised, wounded with swords and
hangers, murdered, have their houses broke open, their goods
destroyed, or carried away before their face; and all this in
open day, in the face of the sun, yet without any remedy And
those who treat them thus are charitable men brimful of
a Christian spirit! But if they who are so treated appeal to the
common sense and reason of mankind, you gravely cry, See
the uncharitable, the unchristian spirit of Methodism !"
1.0. You proceed : "But pray, what are those facts which
you say are not misrepresented? Do you mean, that Butler
was hired and paid by the Corporation and Clergy ? or, "that
this" remarkably loyal "city is disaffected to the present
Government ?" and that "a Papist was supported, nay, hired
by the chief Magistrate, to walk the streets, threatening
bloodshed and murder ? Declare openly whether these are the
facts." Sir, I understand you well; but for the present I beg
to be excused. There is a time and a place for all things.
11. I rejoice to hear the city of Cork is so "remarkably
loyal;" so entirely well-affected to the present Government."
I presume you mean this chiefly of the Friendly Society, (in
whom tle power of the city is now lodged,) erected some time
since, in opposition to that body of Jacobites commonly called,
"The Hanover Club." I suppose that zealous anti-Methodist
who, some days ago, stabbed the Methodist Preacher in the
street, and then cried out," Damn King George and all his
armies!" did this as a specimen of his eminent loyalty."
It cannot be denied that this loyal subject of King George,
Simon Rawlins by name, was, upon oath made of those words,
committed to gaol on May 31; and it was not till six days
after, that he walked in procession through the town, with
drums beating, and colours flying, and declared, at the head
of his mob, he would never rest till he had driven all these false
prophets out of Cork. How sincere they were in their good
wishes to King George and his armies, they gave a clear proof,
the 10th of this instant June, when, as ten or twelve soldiers
were walking along in a very quiet and inoffensive manner, the
mob fell upon them, swore they would have their lives, knocked
them down, and beat them to such a degree, that, on June
12, one of them died of his wounds, and another was not then
expected to live many hours.
12. But you have more proofs of my uncharitableness, that
is, supposing I am the author of that pamphlet; for you read
there, Riches, ease, and honour are what the Clergy set their
hearts upon; but the souls for whom Christ died, they leave
to the tender mercies of hell." Sir, can you deny it ? Is it not
true, literally true, concerning some of the Clergy ? You a-k,
"But ought we to condemn all, for the faults of a few?"
(Page 20.) I answer, No; no more than I will condemn all in
the affair of Cork for the faults of a few. It is you that do
this; and if it were as you say, if they were all concerned in
the late proceedings, then it would be no uncharitableness to
say, "They were in a miserable state indeed;" then they
would doubtless be "kicking against the pricks, contending
with Heaven, fighting against God."
13. I come now to the general charge against me, indepen-
dent on the letter to Mr. Butler. And, (1.) You charge me
with a frontless assurance, and a well-dissembled hypocrisy."
(Page 22.) Sir, I thank you. This is as kind, as if you was
to call me, (with Mr. Williams,) "a profane, wicked
scoundrel." I am not careful to answer in this matter:
Shortly we shall both stand at a higher bar.
14. You charge me, Secondly, with being an harebrained
enthusiast." (Page 7.) Sir, I am your most obedient servant.
But you will prove me an enthusiast: For you say (those
THE REV. MR. BAILY.
are your words) you are sent of God to inform mankind of
some other revelation of his will, than what has been left by,
Christ and his Apostles." (Page 28.) Not so. I never said
any such thing. When I do this, then call for miracles; but
at present your demand isquite unreasonable: There is no room
for it at all. What I advance, I prove by the words of Christ
or his Apostles. If not, let it fall to the ground.
15. You charge me, Thirdly, with being employed in "pro-
moting the cause of arbitrary Popish power." (Page 7.) Sir,
I plead, Not Guilty. Produce your witnesses. Prove this,
and I will allow all the rest.
You charge me, Fourthly, with holding midnight assem-
blies." (Page 24.) Sir, did you never see the word Vigil in
your Common-Prayer Book? Do you know what it means?
If not, permit me to tell you, that it was customary with the
ancient Christians to spend whole nights in prayer; and that
these nights were termed Vigilia, orVigils. Therefore for spend-
ing a part of some nights in.this manner, in public and solemn
prayer, we have not only the authority of our own national
Church, hut of the universal Church, in the earliest ages.
16. You charge me, Fifthly, with being the cause of all
that Butler has done." (Page 17.) True; just as Latimer
and Ridley (if I may dare to name myself with those venerable
men) were the cause of all that Bishop Bonner did. In this
sense, the charge is true. It has pleased God, (unto him be
all the glory !) ever by my preaching or writings, to convince
some of the old Christian scriptural doctrine, which till then
they knew not. And while they declared this to others, you
showed them the same love as Edmund of London did to their
forefathers. Only the expressions of your love were not quite
the same; because (blessed be God !) you had not the same
17. You affirm, Sixthly, that I rob and plunder the poor,
so as to leave them neither bread to eat, nor raiment to put
on." (Page 8.) An heavy charge, but without all colour of
truth. Yea, just the reverse is true. Abundance of those in
Cork, Bandon, Limerick, Dublin, as well as in all parts of
England, who, a few years ago, either through sloth or profuse-
ness, had not bread to eat, or raiment to put on, have now, by
means of the Preachers called Methodists, a sufficiency. of both.
Since, by hearing these, they have learned to fear God, they
VOL. IX. G
have learned also to work with their hands, as well as to cut
off every needless expense, to be good stewards of the mammon
18. You assert, Seventhly, that I am myself as fond of
riches as the most worldly Clergyman." (Page 21.) "Two
thousand pence a week a fine yearly revenue from assurance
and salvation tickets !" (Page 8.) I answer, (1.) What do
you mean by assurance and salvation tickets ?" Is not the
very expression a mixtureof nonsense and blasphemy? (2.) How
strangely did you under-rate my revenue, when you wrote in
the person of George Fisher You then allowed me only an
hundred pounds a year. What is this to two thousand pence
a week ? (3.) "There is not a Clergyman," you say, who
would not willingly exchange his livings for your yearly penny
contributions." (Page 21.) And no wonder: For, according
to a late computation, they amount to no less every year, than
eight hundred, eighty-six thousand pounds, besides some odd
shillings and pence; in comparison of which, the revenue of his
Grace of Armagh, or of Canterbury, is a very trifle. And yet,
Sir,so great is myregard for you, and my gratitude for your late
services, that if you will only resign your Curacy of Christ's
Church, I will make over to you my whole revenue in Ireland.
19. But the honour" I gain, you think, is even greater
than the profit." Alas, Sir, I have not generosity enough to
relish it. I was always of Juvenal's mind,-
Gloria quantalibet, quid erit, si gloria tantum est ?*
And especially, while there are so many drawbacks, so many
dead flies in the pot of ointment. Sheer honour might taste
tolerably well. But there is gall with the honey, and less of the
honey than the gall. Pray, Sir, what think you? Have I more
honour or dishnoour? Do more people praise or blame me?
How is it in Cork ? nay, to go no farther, among your own
little circle of acquaintance ? Where you hear one commend,
do not ten cry out, "Away with such a fellow from the
Above all, I do not love honour with dry blows. I do not
find it will cure broken bones. But perhaps you may think I
glory in these. O how should I have gloried, then, if your good
* What is glory, without profit too P
THE REV. MR. BAILY.
friends at Dant's Bridge had burnt my person, instead of my
We are here to set religion out of the question. You do
not suppose I have anything to do with that. Why, if so, I
should rather leave you the honour, and myself sleep in a
whole skin. On that supposition I quite agree with the epi-
Virgilii in tumulo, divini premia vatis,
Erxplical en viridem laurea lata comam.
Quid te defanctumjurat hac ? Fel;eior olins
Sub patult fayi tegmine vivus eras.*
20. Your last charge is, that "I profess myself to be a
member of the established Church, and yet act contrary to
the commands of my spiritual governors, and stab the Church
to the very vitals." (Page 27.) I answer, (1.) What "spi-
ritual governor has commanded me not to preach in any
part of His Majesty's dominions? I know not one, to this
very day, either in England or Ireland. (2.) What is it, to
"stab the Church to the very vitals ? Why, to deny her
fundamental doctrines. And do I, or you, do this? Let any
one who has read her Liturgy, Articles, and Homilies, judge,
which of us two denies, that "we are justified by faith
alone; that every believer has the inspiration of God's
Holy Spirit; that all who are strong in faith do perfectly
love him, and worthily magnify his holy name : He that
denies this, is "the treacherous son who stabs this affection-
ate and tender mother."
If you deny it, you have already disowned the Church.
But as for me, I neither can nor will; though I know you
sincerely desire I should.
Hoc Ithacus velit et magno mercentur Airidc.e
But I choose to stay in the Church, were it only to reprove
those who betray" her "with a kiss."
See the green laurel rears her graceful head
O'er Virgil's tomb I Bat can this cheer the dead P
Happier by far thou wast of old, when laid
Beneath thy spreading beech's ample shade I
t This quotation from the AEneid of Virgil is thus translated by Beresford:-
This Ithacus desires,
And Atreus' sons with vast rewards shall buy."-EDIT.
21. I come now to your defence of the Corporation and
Clergy. But sure such a defence was never seen before. For
whereas I had said, "I dislike the condemning the Magis-
trates or Clergy in general, because several of them (so I
charitably supposed) "were not concerned in the late pro-
ceedings;" you answer, Pray by all means point them out,
that they may be distinguished by some mark of honour
above their brethren." (Pages 29, 80.) What do you mean ?
If you mean anything at all, it must be that they were all
concerned in the late proceedings. Sir, if they were, (of which
I own you are a better judge than I,) was it needful to declare
this to all the world ? especially in so plain terms as these ?
Did not your zeal here a little outrun your wisdom ?
22. "But the Magistrate," you say, was only" endeavour-
ing to secure the peace of the city." (Page 6.) A very ex-
traordinary way of securing peace Truly, Sir, I cannot yet
believe, not even on your word, that "all the Magistrates,
except one," (pp. 29, 80,) were concerned in this method of
securing peace. Much less can I believe, that all the Clergy"'
were concerned in thus endeavouringg to bring back their
flock, led astray by these hirelings," (an unlucky word,)
"into the right fold."
23. Of the Clergy you add, What need have they to rage
and foam at your preaching? Suppose you could delude the
greater part of their flocks, this could not affect their tenm-
poral interest." (Page 7.) We do not desire it should. Ve
only desire to delude all mankind (if you will term it a delu:
sion) into a serious concern for their eternal interest, for
treasure which none can take away.
Having now both stated the facts to which you referred,
and considered the most material parts of your performance,
I have only to subjoin a few obvious reflections, naturally
arising from a view of those uncommon occurrences; partly
with regard to the motives of those who were active therein;
partly to their manner of acting.
1. With regard to the former, every reasonable man will
naturally inquire on what motives could any, either of the
Clergy or the Corporation, ever think of opposing that
preaching by which so many notoriously vicious men have
been brought to an eminently virtuous life and conversation.
You supply us yourself with one unexceptionable Lnswer:
THO RhV. MR. BAILY.
"Those of the Clergy with whom I have conversed freely own
they have not learning sufficient to comprehend your scheme of
religion." (Page 30.) If they have not, I am sorry for them.
My scheme of religion is this:-Love is the fulfilling of the law.
'From the true love of God and man, directly flows every Chris-
tian grace, every holy and happy temper; and from these
springs uniform holiness of conversation, in conformity to those
great rules, Whether ye eat or drink, or whatever ye do, do
all to the glory of God;" and," Whatsoever you would that
men should do unto you, even so do unto them." But this,
you say, those of the Clergy with whom you converse have
not learning enough to comprehend." Consequently, their
ignorance, or not understanding our doctrine, is the reason
why they oppose us.
2. I learn from you, that ignorance of another kind is a
Second reason why some of the Clergy oppose us: They, like
you, think us enemies to the Church. The natural conse-
quence is, that, in proportion to their zeal for the Church,
their zeal against us will be.
3. The zeal which many of them have for orthodoxy, or
right opinions, is a Third reason for opposing us. For they
judge us heterodox in several points, maintainers of strange
opinions. And the truth is, the old doctrines of the Reforma-
tion are now quite new in the world. Hence those who revive
them cannot fail to be opposed by those of the Clergy who
4. Fourthly. Their honour is touched when others pretend
to know what they do not know themselves; especially when
unlearned and (otherwise) ignorant men lay claim to any such
knowledge. What is the tendency of all this," as you observe
on another head, but to work in men's minds a mean opinion
of the Clergy?" But who can tamely suffer this? None
but those who have the mind that was in Christ Jesus.
5. Again: Will not some say, "Master, by thus acting,
thou reproachest us? by preaching sixteen or eighteen times
a week ; and by a thousand other things of the same kind ? Is
not this, in effect, reproaching us, as if we were lazy and indo-
ent ? as if we had not a sufficient love to the souls of those
committed-to our charge?
6. May there not likewise be some (perhaps unobserved)
envy in the breast even of men that fear God? How much
more in them that do not, when they hear of the great success
of these Preachers, of the esteem and honour that are paid to
them by the people, and the immense riches which they
acquire! What wonder if this occasions a zeal which is not
the flame of fervent love?
7. Add to this a desire in some of the inferior Clergy of
pleasing their superiors; supposing these (which is no impos-
sible supposition) are first influenced by any of these motives.
Add the imprudence of some that hear those Preachers, and,
perhaps, needlessly provoke their parochial Ministers. And
when all these things are considered, none need be at a loss for
the motives on which many of the Clergy have opposed us.
8. But from what motives can any of the Corporation
oppose us? I must beg the gentlemen of this body to observe,
that I dare by no means lump them all together, as their
awkward defender has done. But this I may say without
fencec, there are some even among you who are not so
remarkably loyal as others, not so eminently well-affected to
the present Government. Now, these cannot but observe,
(gentlemen, I speak plain, for I am to deliver my own soul in
the sight of God,) that wherever we preach, many who were
his enemies before, became zealous friends to His Majesty.
The instances glare both in England and Ireland. Those,
therefore, who are not so zealously his friends have a strong
motive to oppose us ; though it cannot be expected they should
own this to be the motive on which they act.
9. Others may have been prejudiced by the artful misrepre-
sentations these have made, or by those they have frequently
heard from the pulpit. Indeed, this has been the grand foun-
tain of popular prejudice. In every part both of England and
Ireland, the Clergy, where they were inclined so to do, have
most effectually stirred up the people.
10. There has been another reason assigned for the opposi-
tion that was made to me in particular at Cork, viz., that the
Mayor was offended at my preaching on Hammond's Marsh,
and therefore resolved I should not preach at all; whereas, if I
had not preached abroad, he would have given me leave to
preach in the house. Would Mr. Mayor have given me leave
to preach in my own house? I return him most humble
thanks. But should he be so courteous as to make me the offer
even now, I should not accept it on any such terms. Greater
men than he have endeavoured to hinderme Irom calling sinners
THE REV. MR. DAILY.
to repentance in that open and public manner; but hitherto
it has been all lost labour. They have never yet been able
to prevail; nor ever will, till they can conquer King George
and his armies. To curse them is not enough.
11. Lastly. Some (I hope but a few) do cordially believe,
that private vices are public benefits." I myself heard this
in Cork, when I was there last. These, consequently, think
us the destroyers of their city, by so lessening the number of
their public benefactors, the gluttons, the drunkards, the
dram-drinkers, the Sabbath-breakers, the common swearers,
the cheats of every kind, and the followers of that ancient
and honourable trade, adultery and fornication.
12. These are the undeniable motives to this opposition.
I come now to the manner of it.
When some gentlemen inquired of one of the Bishops in
England, My Lord, what must we do to stop these new
Preachers ? he answered, "If they preach contrary to Scrip-
ture, confute them by Scripture ; if contrary to reason, confute
them by reason. But beware you use no other weapons than
these, either in opposing error, or defending the truth."
Would to God this rule had been followed at Cork But
how little has it been thought of there The opposition was
begun with lies of all kinds, frequently delivered in the name
of God : So that never was anything so ill-judged as for you
to ask, Does Christianity encourage its professors to make
use of lies, invectives, or low, mean abuse, and scurrility, to
carry on its interest?" No, Sir, it does not. I disclaim
and abhor every weapon of this kind. But with these have
the Methodist Preachers been opposed in Cork above anv
other place. In England, in all Ireland, have I neither heard
nor read any like those gross, palpable lies, those low,
Billingsgate invectives, and that inexpressibly mean abuse,
and base scurrility, which the opposers of Methodism, so
called, have continually made use of, arid which has been the
strength of their cause from the beginning.
13. If it be not so, let the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of
Cork, (for he too has openly entered the lists against the
Methodists,) the Rev. Dr. Tisdale, or any other whom his
Lordship shall appoint, meet me on even ground, writing as a
gentleman to a gentleman, a scholar to a scholar, a Clergyman
to a Clergyman. Let him thus show me wherein I have
preached or written amiss, and I will stand reproved before
all the world.
14. But let not his Lordship, or any other, continue to
put persecution in the place of reason ; either private perse-
cution, stirring up husbands to threaten or beat their wives,
parents their children, masters their servants; gentlemen to
ruin their tenants, labourers, or tradesmen, by turning them
out of their farms or cottages, employing or buying of them
no more, because they worship God according to their own
conscience; or open, barefaced, noonday, Cork persecution,
breaking open the houses of His Majesty's Protestant subjects,
destroying their goods, spoiling or tearing the very clothes
from their backs; striking, bruising, wounding, murdering
them in the streets; dragging them through the mire,
without any regard to either age or sex; not sparing even
those of tender years; no, nor women, though great with
child; but, with more than Pagan or Mahometan barbarity,
destroying infants that were yet unborn.
15. Ought these things so to be? Are they right before
God or man ? Are they to the honour of our nation ? I
appeal unto CEesar; unto His gracious Majesty King George,
and to the Governors under him, both in England and Ireland.
I appeal to all true, disinterested lovers of this their native
country. Is this the way to make it a flourishing nation?
happy at home, amiable and honourable abroad ? Men of
Ireland, judge! Nay, and is not there not some weight in
that additional consideration,-that this is not a concern
of a private nature ? Rather, is it not a common cause ?
If the dams are once broken down, if you tamely give up
the fundamental laws of your country, if these are openly
violated in the case of your fellow-subjects, how soon may
the case be your own For what protection then have any
of you left for either your liberty or property P What security
for either your goods or lives, if a riotous mob is to be both
judge, jury, and executioner?
16. Protestants! What is become of that lihertyof conscience
for which your forefathers spent their blood? Is it not an empty
shadow, a mere, unmeaning name, if these things are suffered
among you? Romans, such of you as are calm and candid
men, do you approve of these proceedings? I cannot thick
you yourselves would use such methods of convincing us, if we
think amiss. Christians of all denominations, can you reconcile
THE REV. MR. POTTER.
this to our royal law, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy-
self?" O tell it not in Gath! Let it not be named among
those who are enemies to the Christian cause; lest that worthy
name whereby we are called be still more blasphemed among
THE REVEREND MR. POTTER.
Non WICH, November 4, 1758.
1. TILL to-day I had not a sight of your sermon, "On
the Pretended Inspiration of the Methodists." Otherwise I
should have taken the liberty, some days sooner, of sending you
a few lines. That sermon, indeed, only repeats what has been
often said before, and as often answered. But as it is said again,
I believe it is my duty to answer it again. Not that I have any
acquaintance with Mr. Cayley or Osborn: I never exchanged a
word with either. However, as you lump me and them toge-
ther, I am constrained to speak for myself, and once more to
give a reason ot my hope, that I am clear from the charge you
bring against me.
2. There are several assertions in your sermon which need
tot be allowed; butthey are not worth disputing. At present,
therefore, I shall only speak of two things: (1.) Your account
of the new birth; and, (2.) "The pretended inspiration" (as
you are pleased to term it) "of the Methodists."
3. Of the new birth, you say," The terms of being regene-
rated, of being born aga n, of being born of God, are often used
to express the works of gospel righteousness." (Pages 10, 11.)
I cannot allow this. I know not that they are ever used in
Scripture to express any outward work at all. They always
express an inward work of the Spirit, whereof baptism is the
outward sign. You add, "Their primary, peculiar, and precise
meaning signifies" (a lttle impropriety of expression) "our
redemption from death, and restoration to eternal life, through
the grace of God." (Page 13.) It does not, unless by death
you mean sin; and by eternal life, holiness. The precise mean-
ing of the term is, "a new birth unto righteousness," an in-
ward change from unholy to holy tempers. You go on : This
grace our Lord here calls, 'entering into the kingdom of God.'"
If so, his assertion is, "Except a man be born again,-he
cannot" be born again. Not so. What he says is, Except a
man experience this change, he cannot enter into my kingdom.
4. You proceed : Our holy Church doth teach us, that-
by the laver of regeneration in baptism, we are received into
the number of the children of God-This is the first part of
the new birth." What is the first part of the new birth ?
baptism ? It is the outward sign of that inward and spiritual
grace ; but no part of it at all. It is impossible it should be.
The outward sign is no more a part of the inward grace than
the body is a part of the soul. Or do you mean, that
regeneration is a part of the new birth ? Nay, this is the whole
of it. Or is it the laver of regeneration which is the first
part of it ? That cannot be; for you suppose this to be the
same with baptism.
5. The second part, the inward and spiritual grace, is a
death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness." What !
Is the new birth the second part of the new birth? I appre-
hend it is the first and second part too: And surely nothing
could have prevented your seeing this, but the ardour of your
spirit, and the impetuosity with which you rush along and
trample down all before you. Your manner of writing reminds
me of an honest Quaker in Cornwall, whose words I would
recommend to your consideration. Being consulted by one
of the Friends, whether he should publish a tract which he
had read to many in private, he replied, What! Art thou
not content with laying John Wesley on his back, but thou
must tread his guts out too?"
6. So much for your account of the new birth. I am, in
the Second place, to consider the account you give of the
pretended inspiration (so you are pleased to term it) of the
The Holy Ghost sat on the Apostles with cloven tongues
as of fire;-and signs and wonders were done by their hands."
THE REV. MR. POTTER.
(Pages 16, 17, 18.) Wonders indeed For they healed the
sick by a word, a touch, a shadow I-
They spake the deal alive, and living dead.
"But though these extraordinary operations of the Spirit
have been long since withdrawn, yet the pretension to them still
subsists in the confident claim of the Methodists." This vou
boldly affirm, and I flatly deny. I deny that either I, or any in
connexion with me, (for others, whether called Methodists, or
anything else, I am no more concerned to answer than you are,)
do now, or ever did, lay any claim to these extraordinary
operations of the Spirit."
7. But you will prove it. They confidently and presump-
tuously claim a particular and immediate inspiration." (Ibid.)
I answer, First, so do you, and in this very sermon, though
you call it by another name. By inspiration, we mean that
inward assistance of the Holy Ghost, which helps our infirmi-
ties, enlightens our understanding, rectifies our will, comforts,
purifies, and sanctifies us." (Page 14.) Now, all this you claim as
well as I; for these are your own words. Nay, but you claim
a particular inspiration." So do you; do not you expect Him
to sanctify you in particular ? Yes; but I look for no imme.
diate inspiration." You do; you expect lie will immediately
and directly help your infirmities. Sometimes, it is true, He
dues this, by the mediation or intervention of other men ; but at
other times, particularly in private prayer, he gives that help
directly from himself. "But is this all you mean by particular,
immediate inspiration?" It is; and so I have declared a thou-
sand times in private, in public, by every method I could devise.
It is pity, therefore, that any should still undertake to give an
account of my sentiments, without either hearing or reading
what I say. Is this doing as we would be done to?
8. I answer, Secondly, there is no analogy between claiming
this inspiration of the Spirit, who, you allow, assists, and will
assist, all true believers to the end of the world;" (page 18;) and
claiming those extraordinary operations of the Spirit whichwere
vouchsafed to the Apostles. The former both you and I pretend
to; yea, and enjoy, or we are no believers. The latter you do
not pretend to; nor do I, nor any that are in connexion with me.
9. "But you do pretend to them. For you pray that signs
and wonders may still be wrought in the name of Jesus.'"
True; but what signs and wonders? The conversion of sin-
riers; the' healing the broken in heart; the turning men from
darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God." These
and these only are the signs and wonders which were mentioned
in that prayer. And did I not see these signs and wonders still
wrought, I would sooner hew wood, or draw water, than preach
the gospel. For those are to me very awful words which our
Lord speaks of Prophets or Teachers: "Ye shall know them "
(whether they are true or false Prophets) "by their fruits.
Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; every tree that
bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down and cast into the
fire." What fruit you have brought forth at Reymerston, I
know not; God knoweth.
10. "Your followers, however, do pretend to the grace of a
miraculous conversion." Is there any conversion that is not
miraculous? Is conversion a natural or supernatural work ? I
suppose all who allow there is any such thing believe it to be
supernatural. And what is the difference between a super-
natural and a miraculous work, I am yet to learn.
"But they say, that at such a time, and in such a manner,
the divine illumination shone upon them; Jesus knocked at the
door of their hearts, and the Holy Ghost descended upon their
souls;" that is, in plain terms, raillery apart, at a particular
time, which they cannot easily forget, God did, in so eminent a
manner as they never experienced before, enlighten their
understanding," (they are your own words,) comfort and
purify their hearts, and give his heavenly Spirit to dwell in
them." But what has all this to do with those extraordinary
operations of the Holy Spirit?
11. "Under these pretended impressions, theirnext advance
is to a call to preach the word themselves; and forth they issue,
as under the immediate inspiration of God's Spirit, with the
language of Apostles, and zeal of Martyrs, to publish the gos-
pel, as if they were among our remotest ancestors, strangers to
the name of Christ." (Pages 20, 21.)
The plain truth is this: One in five hundred of those whom
God so enlightens and comforts, sooner or later, believes it to
be his duty to call other sinners to repentance. Such an one
commonly stifles this conviction till he is so uneasy he can stifle
it no longer. He then consults one or more of those whom he
believes to be competent judges; and, under the direction of
these, goes on, step by step, from a narrower to a larger sphere
THE REV. MR. POTTER.
faction. Meantime he endeavours to use only the language
of the Apostles," to speak the things of the Spirit in the words
of the Spirit. And he longs and prays for the zeal of Mar,
tyrs," continually finding the need thereof; seeing our pres -nt
countrymen are as great strangers to the mind that was in
Christ, as our ancestors were to his name.
12. But the Holy Spirit no longer comes from heaven like
a rushing mighty wind. It no longer appears in cloven tongues,
as of fire." I wonder who imagines it does. "We now dis-
cern not between his suggestions and the motions of our own
rational nature." Many times we do not; but at other times,
God may give such peace or joy, and such love to himself and
all mankind, as we are sure are not the motions of our own
nature." "To say, then, that the Holy Spirit began his work
at such a time, and continued it so long in such a manner, is
as vain as to account for the blowing of the wind." Hold !
accounting for is not the thing. To make a parallel, it must
be, "is as vain as to say, that the wind began to blow at such
a time, and continued so long in such a manner." And
where is the vanity of this ? Why may I not say, either
that the wind began to blow at such a time, and blew so long
in such a manner; or that God began at such a time to com-
fort my soul; that He continued that consolation so long, and
in such a manner, by giving me either peace and joy in
believing, or a lively hope of the glory of God?
13. "Not that we are without a memorable instance of this
instantaneous impulse in the sudden conversion of St. Paul.'"
(Page 23.) A poor instance this.; for it does not appear that
his was a sudden conversion. It is true, "a great light
suddenly shone round about him;" but this light did not
convert him. After he had seen this, "he was three days
without sight, and neither did eat nor drink." And, probably,
during the whole time, God was gradually working in his
heart, till he "arose, and, being baptized, washed away his
sins, and was filled with the Holy Ghost."
14. But to return: "Their Teachers claim a 'particular and
immediate inspiration in their nauseous effusions." (Page 22.)
Certainly they claim either a particular and immediate inspira-
tion, (as above explained,) or none at all. But this is no other
inspiration (call it influence, if you -please, though it is a far
stronger term) than every one must have before he can either
understand, or preach, or live the gospel. "But there is not
in Scripture the least promise or encouragement to expect any
particular inspiration." Yes, surely, such an inspiration as
this; you have allowed it over and over. And what external
evidence of this would you have? I will believe you are thus
inspired, if you convert sinners to God, and if you yourself
are holy in all manner of conversation."
15. Is there "no need of this inspiration now, because the
prejudices of mankind are in favour of the gospel, and the pro-
fession of it is under the protection and encouragement of the
civil power ?" The prejudices of mankind are in favour of the
gospel What! the prejudices of the bulk of mankind? To
go no farther than England : Are the bulk of our nation preju-
diced in favour of the genuine gospel; of the holiness which it
enjoins; of chastity and temperance; of denying ourselves, and
taking up our cross daily; of dying to the world, and devoting
all our heart and all our life to God? Are they prejudiced in
favour of presenting our souls and bodies a constant, holy sacri-
fice to God? What less than this is gospel holiness? And
are the prejudices of mankind in favour of this?
16. Likewise, how far this real Christianity is "under the
protection and encouragement of the civil power," I know not.
But I know, "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall
suffer persecution," domestic persecution, if no other; for the
foes of" such "a man shall be they of his own household,
There shall be," and there are now, five in one house, three
against two, and two against three;" and that not for being
Methodists, for having a nick-name; (although that may be
the pretence, for want of a better; for who scruples to throw
a man into the ditch, and then beat him, because his clothes
are dirty") but for living godly; for loving and serving God,
according to the best light they have. And certainly these
need the assistance of God's Spirit to strengthen and comfort
them, that they may suffer all things, rather than turn aside,
in any point, from the gospel way.
17. But the Scriptures are a complete and a sufficient
rule. Therefore, to what purpose could any further inspira-
tion serve ? All farther'inspiration is unnecessary; the sup-
posed need of it is highly injurious to the written word. And
the pretension thereto (which must be either to explain or to
supply it) is a wicked presumption, with which Satan hath
filled their hearts, to lie of the Holy Ghost." (Pages 27, 28.)
THE REV. MR. POTTER.
High sounding words! But, blessed be God, they are only
brutumfulmen : They make much noise, but do not wound.
"To what purpose could any further inspiration serve?"
Answer yourself: "To enlighten the understanding, and to
rectify the will." Else, be the Scriptures ever so complete,
they will not save your soul. How, then, can you imagine it
is unnecessary ; and that the supposed need of it is injurious
to the written word?" And when you say yourself, The Spirit
is to teach us all things, and to guide us into all truth ;" judge
you, whether this is to explain, or to supply, the written
word." "O, He does this by the written word." True; but
also by his holy inspiration." So the compilers of our
Liturgy speak ; who, therefore, according to you, are guilty of
wicked presumption, with which Satan filled their hearts,
to lie of the Holy Ghost."
18. These, also, are the men upon whom you fall in the fol-
lowing warm words :-- The power of enthusiasm over an
heated imagination may be very great. But it must be under
the ferment of that old, sour leaven, hypocrisy, to rise to that
daring height." I think not: I think they were neither hypo-
crites nor enthusiasts, though they teach me to pray for, and
consequently to expect, (unless I am an hypocrite indeed,)
" God's holy inspiration," both in order to think the things
that be good," and also "perfectly to love him, and worthily
to magnify his holy name." *
19. You go on : "They boast that their heart is clean, and
their spirit right within them." Sir, did you ever read Morn-
ing Prayer on the tenth day of the month ? You then said,
" Make me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit
within me." Did you mean what you said ? If you did not, you
was guilty of the grossest hypocrisy. If you did, when did you
expect God would answerr that prayer ? when your body was in
the grave? Too late! Unless we have clean hearts before we
die, it had been good we had never been born.
20. But they boast they are pure from sin, harmless, and
undefiled." So, in a sound sense, is every true believer. Nay,
they boast that their bodies are a living sacrifice, holy, accept-
able to God." Sir, is not yours? Are not your soul and body
such a sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God ? As the Lord God
liveth, before whom we stand, if they are not, you are not a
Christian. If you are not a holy, living sacrifice, you are still
" dead in trespasses and sins." You are an alien from the
commonwealth of Israel, without" Christian "hope, without
God in the world "
21. You add, Thus have I exposed their boasted claim to
a particular and immediate inspiration." (Page 30.) No, Sir,
you have only exposed yourself; for all that we claim, you
allow. I have shown what a miserable farce is carrying on,
beneath the mask of a more refined holiness." No tittle of this
have you shown yet; and before you attempt again to show
any thing concerning us, let me entreat you, Sir, to acquaint
yourself better with our real sentiments. Perhaps you may
then find, that there is not so wide a difference as you imagined
between you and,
Your servant for Christ's sake,
LAKENHEATH, JOHN WESLEY.
November 7, 1758.
THE REVEREND MR. DOWNS,
RECTOR OF ST. MICIrAEL'S, WOOD-STREET:
OCCASIONED BY HIS LATE TRACT,
"MIETHODISM EXAMINED AND EXPOSED."
1. IN the Tract which you have just published concerning'
the people called Methodists, you very properly say," Our first
care should be, candidly and fairly to examine their doctrines.
For, as to censure them unexamined would be unjust; so to do
the same without a fair and impartial examination would be
ungenerous." And again: "We should, in the first place,
carefully and candidly examine their doctrines." (Page 68.)