A VIEW OF THE RISE OF THIS REVIVAL OF SPIRITUAL RELIGION
IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, AND
OF THE PRINCIPAL AGENTS BY WHOM IT WAS
PROMOTED IN EUROPE AND AMERICA;
WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF
rhe Doctrine and Polity of Episcopal Methodism
in the United States, and the Means and Manner of its Extension
Down to A.D. 1884.
HOLLAND N. McTYEIRE, D.D.,
One ot the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
DALLAS, TEX.; RICHMOND, VA.
PUBLISHING HOUSE OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH
SMITH & LAMAR, AGENTS
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1884,
BT TaB BOOK AGeNTB or THE METHODIAT EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH,
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
T HIS work was begun at the request of the Centenary Committee, and wa
encouraged by the recommendation of the College of Bishops, of the Meth-
odist Episcopal Church, South.
Much the larger portion of the volume deals in that wherein all Methodists
agree. I have endeavored to give, along with sketches of the chief actors in pre-
paring and carrying forward the great work of God, the truths that were vital
to it, and the type of Christian experience developed by it; also the gradual and
providential evolution of the system, both in doctrine and polity; so that one who
honors the book with a perusal may come to the end, not only with a tolerably clear
understanding of the polity and doctrines of Episcopal Methodism, but, what is of
infinitely greater importance, he may obtain some personal knowledge of that way
of salvation which Wesleyans teach.
No one, with proper ideas, ever looked over a life that had been lived, or a
book that had been written, without seeing and feeling how it might have been
bettered. In giving this volume to' the public I am mindful that the proverb,
"The best is often the enemy of the good," applies to authorship as well as tz
many other things. By waiting to realize our highest ideal of excellence, we may
be restrained from making a contribution to religious literature which, however
imperfect, would be of some service.
Several local histories have been written, and well written, giving account of
iLe rise and progress of Methodism in States and Conferences. Of these I have
made mention in the following pages, and, as will be seen, have made use in the
preparation of this more general view of the Church.
Moral or abstract truth knows no point of the compass, but historical truth
does; and the truth of history proves this. Methodism in the South has suffered
injustice from the manner in which it has been presented by learned, honest, and
able writers in the North. The writer does not presume to be free fr)m the infirm-
ities to which he is liable in common with others. He proposes to tell the truth
as he sees it; and this may lead him to tell truths affecting others which they
have not seen, and to present admitted facts in a different light.
The reader is advertised that this is not a history of Southern Methodism, but of
Methodism from a Southern point of view. In4-th-South,-Methedism--ws-first
successfully planted, and from thence it spread North, and East, and-West. If all
the members claimed by all the branches be counted, there is a preponderance of
American Methodism now, as at the beginning, in the South.
Of course I am largely indebted to writers' who have gone before, and I make
my acknowledgment unreservedly of such indebtedness. The first part of the
volume treats of matters that have passed through the hands of many writers;
and in various forms of statement these stock subjects have gone into history.
Little more can now be done than to present a judicious compilation from the
best sources of information and the reader, who has not access to these or leisure
to consult them, will prefer utility here to originality.
The list of books appended indicates those most consulted, besides biographies
and autobiographies and fugitive sketches contained in newspaper files running
through many years. The Minutes and Journals of General and Annual Confer-
ences from 1773 to the present, the old Disciplines and Magazines and Reviews,
have been chief sources. This method is adopted as more convenient than bur-
dening the margin with foot-notes. When an authority is therein specifically
named it is done not )nly to show the source of information, if it be questioned
but as a suggestion to the reader to consult the same if fuller information is de
sired on the subject.
Methodism has been long enough and potent enough in the world to enter into
general history, and materials for its delineation begin now to be found every-
where. But certain writers have wrought in this mine more, and to more advan-
tage, than others. Jesse-Le-was--4he-father-of-our-Ghurch history. After-him
Dr. Nathan- Bangs gathered and compiled richly and industriously, and his
writings, without the graces of style, have a high merit. 4 i)-Abe--Stevens has
brought-all under obligations who come after him. His patience and skill in col-
lecting and sifting Methodist history, and the literary style which he has dis-
played, cannot be too much admired. The first wrote when there was no North
and no South in Methodism; the second, when these began to be; the third, when
they were realities.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the Rev. Luke Tyerman has not only giv-
en a great amount of fresh and readable matter, but has critically worked the life
out of several favorite legends that were passing into fixed history. His manner of
treating some subjects has given offense, justly or unjustly, to a few Wesleyans; but
no writer of Methodist history, since Southey, has so generally (and in his case fa-
vorably) influenced the opinion of the outside world, and given direction to the drift
of secular writers, as Mr. Tyerman. His volumes are a thesaurus. Having access
to original sources, and the taste and skill for making and combining researches,
and the candor (which, in the opinion of his critics, verges on an affectation, and
therefore an overdoing, of independence) to utter them, he has superseded many
volumes by his own. It is the quality of an Englishman (and if a fault, lean-
ing to virtue's side) to take his observations of all things in heaven and earth
from his national stand-point. With all his industry in collecting information,
and his skill in presenting it through copious volumes that never weary the read-
er, Mr. Tyerman was so unsatisfactory in his treatment of American Method-
ism, at a material point, that the New York edition of his great work required an
Appendix from an American author (Dr. Stevens) to set the English author right,
and this, the Appendix does thoroughly. If one of Tyerman's breadth and fair-
ness needs such correction, it is no strange thing if Stevens, Simpson, Porter, Dan-
iels, and others of that latitude, have not always presented Methodism at. the other
end of their country in a favorable or acceptable light. It is due to the condi-
tion of astronomers rather than to- their disposition that some constellations in
the heavens cannot be viewed from certain stations on the earth's surface.
It is hoped that this attempt by a Southern writer at a general history of
Methodism may have the result which Jesse Lee sought, as stated in his Pref-
ice: "I desire to show to all our societies and friends that the doctrines which
we held and preached in the beginning we have continued to support and main-
tain uniformly to the present day. Weh-hve-ehanged-the-economy.and discipline
of our Church at times, as we judged for the benefit and happiness of our preach-
erm and people, and the Lord has wonderfully owned and prospered us. It may
be seen from the following account how the Lord has, from the very small begin-
nings, raised us up to be a great and prosperous people. It is very certain that
the g.odness of our doctrine and discipline, our manner of receiving preachers,
and of sending them into different circuits, and the frequent changes among them
fromI one circuit to another, have greatly contributed to the promotion of religion,
the increase of our societies, and the happiness of our preachers." H. N. M.
Vandetbilt University, October 1, 1884.
A LIST OF SOME OF THE AUTHORITIES CONSULTED AND USED
A Short History of the Methodists in the United States of America: Jesse Lee. 12mo,
pages 366. Baltimore. 1810.
History of the Methodist Episcopal Church: N. Bangs, D.D. (4 vols.)
I ne Journal of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M.: Edited by John Emory. (2 vols.) 1837.
The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M.: Edited by John Emory. (7 vols.) 1835.
The Life of Rev. John Wesley, A.M.: Coke and Moore. 1792.
The Life of Rev. John Wesley, A.M.: Richard Watson; with Observations on Southey'
Life of Wesley: Edited by T. 0. Summers, D.D. Nashville, 1857.
The Life of Rev. Charles Wesley, M.A.: Thomas Jackson. (New York.)
The Life of Thomas Coke, LL.D.: Samuel Drew. 1817.
The Life of Rev. John Wesley, M.A.: John Whitehead, M.D.
The Life and Times of Bishop McKendree: Robert Paine, D.D. (2 vols.) Nashville, 1869.
Asbury's Journal, from 1771 to 1815. (3 vols.)
Biographical Sketches of Eminent Itinerant Ministers: Edited by T. 0. Summers, D.D. 1858.
The Life of Wesley, and Rise and Progress of Methodism: Robert Southey, LL.D. Amer-
ican edition, with Notes, by D. Curry, D.D. (2 vols.) 1847.
Cyclopedia of Methodism: M. Simpson, D.D., LL.D. 1878.
MeClintook and--Strong's Cyclopedia; (10 vols.)
A Hundred Years of Methodism: M. Simpson, D.D., LL.D. 1876.
The Methodist Centennial Year-book: W. H. DePuy, D.D. 1883.
A Short Manual for Centenary Year, 1884: W. P. Harrison, D.D.
Sketches of Western Methodismr: Rev. James B. Finley. 1854.
Life and Times of the Countess of Huntingdon. (2 vols.) 1844.
History of American Slavery and Methodism from 1780 to 1840: Lucms C. Matlack. 1849.
The Anti-slavery Struggle and Triumph in the Methodist Episcopal Church: L. 0. Matlack,
D.D.; with Introduction by D. D. Whedon, D.D. 1881.
Memoirs and Sermons of Whitefield: By Gillies.
Memorials of the Wesley Family: Rev. George J. Stevenson. 1876.
The Wesley Family: Adam Clarke.
The Wesley Memorial Volume: Edited by J. 0. A. Clark, D.D. 1880.
The Life and Times of the Rev. Samuel Wesley, M.A.: Rev. L. Tyerman. 1866.
The Life and Times of the Rev. John Wesley, M.A.: Rev. L. Tyerman. (3 vols.; N.Y.) 1872
The Oxford Methodists: Rev. L. Tyerman. (N. Y.) 1873.
The History of Methodism: Abel Stevens, LL.D. (3 vols.)
The History of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Abel Ste-
eas, LL.D. (4 vols.)
The History of Wesleyan Methodism: George Smith, F.A.S. (London.) 1857.
Methodist Church Property Case: Official. 1851.
American Methodism: M. L. Scudder, D.D. 1867.
Illustrated History of Methodism: Rev. W. H. Danie s, A.M. 1880.
History of Methodism in Tennessee: J. B. McFerrin, D.D. (3 vols.) 1869.
History of Methodism in Georgia and Florida: Rev. George G. Smith. 1877
History of Methodism in South Carolinas A. M. Shipp, D.D. 1883.
History of Methodism in Kentucky: A. H. Redford, D.D. (3 vols.) 1868.
History of Methodism in Texas: Rev. H. S. Thrall. 1872.
Memorials of Methodism in Virginia: W. W. Bennett, D.D. 187L
Methodism in Charleston: Rev. F. A. Mood, A.M. 1856.
Canadian Methodism: E. Ryerson, D.D, LL.D. 1882.
Memorials of the Life of Peter BOhler: Rev. J. P. Lockwood. (London.) 1868.
Memoirs of James Hutton, in Connection with the United Brethren- Daniel BenDam,
AnnalI of Southern Methodism: C. F. Deems, D.D. It is to be regretted that or y a few
volumes of this convenient and valuable collection have been published.
Wil.iam Watters (the First American Itinerant). A Short Account of his Christian Expe
rienee, etc, by himself. (Alexandria, Va.) 1806.
Rise and Progress of Methodism in Europe and America: Rev. James Youngs, A.M. (Bos
A Narrative of Events Connected with the Rise and Progress of the Protestant Episcopal
Church in Virginia: Francis L. Hawks. 1836.
Ireland and the Centenary of American Methodism: Rev. W. Crook, D.D. (Dublin.) 1866.
Life and Times of Rev. Win. Patton: D. R. McAnally, D.D. 1868.
Life of Bishop Bascom: M. M. Henkle, D.D. 1854.
Life and Times of Rev. Jesse Lee: L. M. Lee, D.D. 1848.
Life of Bishop Capers, D.D.: W. M. Wightman, D.D. 1858.
Pioneers, Preachers and People, of the Mississippi Valley: W. H. Milburn, D.D. 1860.
Methodism in its Origin and Economy: James Dixon, D.D. 1848.
Tour in America: James Dixon, D.D. (Third edition.) 1850.
Memoirs of Wesley's Missionaries to America: Rev. P. P. Sandford. 1843.
Reminiscences of Rev. Henry Boehm: J. B. Wakely, D.D. 1875.
Lost Chapters Recovered from the Early History of American Methodism: J. B. Wakelt
A Comprehensive History of Methodism: James Porter, D.D. 1876.
Hand-book of Southern Methodism: Rev. P. A. Peterson. 1883.
Pioneers of Methodism in North Carolina and Virginia: Rev. M. H. Moore. 1884.
The Disruption of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1844-1846: E. H. Myers, D.D. 1876
History of the Organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. (1845.)
History of the Methodist Protestant Church: A. H. Bassett. (1882.)
Proceedings of the Ecumenical Methodist Conference, held in City Road Chapel, London,
September, 1881. Introduction by Rev. William Arthur, M.A.; 8vo, pages 632.
The Introduction of Protestantism into Mississippi and the South-west: Rev. J. G. Jones.
1866. The MS. History of Methodism in Mississippi, by the same author, has been kindly
submitted for reference, and found to be very useful. This interesting addition to our denom.
national literature ought to be published.
The voluminous manuscripts and letters of the late Rev. William Winans, D.D, have beec
loaned the author by the kindness of his daughter, Mrs. Mary Winans Wall, of Louisiana,
Dr. Winans, with his own painstaking hand, copied the letters which he wrote, even on ordi-
nary topics, and preserved them. His times and correspondence extended through the most
important periods of our history; and just surprise has been expressed that so long a time
has elapsed since his death (1857) without any publication, in whole or in part, of his literary
The papers and correspondence of the late Bishop Soule-obligingly famnished by his
daughter, Mrs. Conwell, of Nashville, and his nephew, Rev. Francis A. Soule, of the Stale of
STew York-have been found valuable, though not extensive.
church Founderm-Providential Instruments-The Wesley Family: Its Origin
and Times. ...................................................... 13-22
Moral Condition of England at the Rise of Methodism: Causes of It-Testimony
of Secular and Religious Writers-The Effect of the Methodist Revival on the
Churches; Its Influence on the State................................23-36.
Home Training-Parsonage Life-John at School-At the University-Awak-
enings-Studying Divinity-Predestination-Difficulties About Assurance-
The Fellowship-His Father's Curate-Cutting Off Acquaintances-Charles
Wesley Awakened-The Holy Club-Whitefield and Other Members-Orig-
inal Methodists-What Lack I Yet?..............................54-62.
Breaking up of the Epworth Family-Death and Widowhood-The Parents-
The Daughters and their History...................................63-70.
rhe Oxford Family Broken up-Glances at the History of its Several Members-
The Georgia Colony-Why the Wesleys went as Missionaries.......... 71-83
Voyage to Georgia-The Moravians-Lessons in a Storm-Reaches Savannah,
Labors There-The Indians-A Beginning Made-The Wesleys Leave Geor-
Whitefield: His Conversion and Preaching; Goes to Savannah-Orphan Asylum:
What was Accomplished by this Charity...........................97-105.
John Wesley's Experience; His Reflections-Peter Bohler: His Doctrine and
Life-Conversion of the Two Brothers: Effect Upon their Ministry. .106-122.
Christian Experience: Its Place in Methodism-The Almost Christian-Wesley's
Conversion; His Testimony-The Witness of the Holy Spirit-The Witness of
Our Own Spirit-Joint Testimony to Adoption.....................123-14L
Wesley Visits Herrnhut-Experiences of the Brethren-Wesley Returns to
England; Begins His Life-work-Whitefield-The Pentecostal Season-Shut
out of the Churches-The Messengers Let Loose-Field-preaching Inaugu-
rated.............................. .... .....................142-153.
Difficulties and Triumphs of Field-preachers--Bodily Agitations: How Accounted
for-Active Enemies--Lukewarm Friends-The Word Prevails.. 1'4-164.
Church Building-Titles of Property-The Foundry-Religious Societies-Fetter-
lane-Threats of Excommunication: How Treated-Separation from the Mora-
vians-Strange Doctrines-Stillness-Means of Grace..............165-177.
Lay Preaching: How Begun; Its Necessity and Right-Conservatism Inwrought
into Methodism-Qualification of the "Unlearned" Preacher........ 178-185.
Whitefield Returns to America-Lays the First Brick of the Orphan-house-An
Old Friend-Concerning the Collection-Success of his Ministry-" Poor Rich-
ard" Gives the Contents of his Wallet-Separation between Wesley and White-
field-Painful Facts-Profitable Consequences ................... 186-199.
Christian Fellowship Provided for-Bands, Love-feasts, Class-meetings-Origin of
these Means of Grace-The Work Extends-Epworth-Wesley Preaches on
his Father's Tombstone; Buries his Mother-Newcastle-Cornwall-Discipline
-First Annual Conference-The Organization Complete........... 200-215.
Methodism in Ireland-Friendly Clergy-Hymn-making-Marriage of Charles
Wesley-Education-Kingswood School-Theological and Biblical-Using the
Press-Making and Selling Books-Marriage of John Wesley....... 216-228.
Temporary Decay of Whitefield's Popularity; Visits Scotland; Third Visit to
America-Morris's Reading-house m Virginia-Samuel Davies-Commissary
at Charleston tries to Suspend-No Intolerance in that Colony-South Carolina
Unfavorable for This-Whitefield Buys a Plantation-Preaching to Negroes-
Chaplain to Countess of Huntingdon; Among the Great............229-240.
Honorable Women not a Few-The Conversion of a Countess-Her Devotion to
Methodism; Espouses the Calvinistic Side; Her Work-Chapels-Trevecca
College-Dartmouth-Newton-An Archbishop Reproved-Forced out of the
Establishment-Her Death .....................................241-249.
The Opening in the Colonies-Intolerance in Virginia-Patrick Henry on the Par-
sons-Tobacco-Whitefield's Sixth Visit-Strawbridge-First Society and First
Methodist Meeting-house in America-Orphan-house-The Founder's Com-
fort-Whitefield's Last Visit; his Death; his Will-EFeunt Omnes... 250-21iP
Arminian Methodism Planted-First Laborers: Strawbridge; Embury; Williams,
King-These Irregulars Occupying the Ground and Preparing the Way-Which
was the First-The Log Meeting-house-The Grave of Strawbridge.. .261-278.
The New Circuit-Eight Missionaries Sent to It-What Became of Them--The War
-Asbury Alone Left-The two Blunders-Wesley's Calm Address.. .279-292.
Francis Asbury: His Preparation and Ministry-Troubles of Administration-
Revival in the Old Brunswick Circuit-Devereux Jarratt-The Preachers
Called OuT--Watters, Dromgoole, Gatch, Bruce, Ellis, Ware, and their Fellow-
The Question of the Ordinances-Destitution-Clamor of the People for the Sac-
raments-Deferred Settlement-Temporary Division-The Concession for
Peace-After Long Waiting-Prospect of Supply.................. 314-322.
Primitive Church Government-Philanthrophy-The Sum of all Villainies-
Book Reviews on Horseback-West India Missions Planted-Christian Per-
fection-A Scheme of Absorption-The Calvinistic Controversy-Fletcher's
Checks-Deed of Declaration-John Fletcher-Thomas Coke-Ordinations
for America.................................................. 323-344.
The Christmas Conference-Events Before and After-Organization and Church
Extension-Asbury Crossing the Mountains-Methodism Planted on the South-
ern Frontier-on the Western, on the Northern, and in Nova Scotia... 345-370
The Sunday Service-Cokesbury College-Slavery and Emancipation-A New
Term of Communion Proposed-How Received-West India Missions-In-
consistent and Hurtful Legislation-What Methodism has Done for the
Negro ........................................... .............371-389
Niesley's Request not Complied With--Leaving his Name Off the Minutes-The
Offense and Rebuke-Methodist Episcopacy the First in America-True to
the Primitive Type-Ordinations of Luther and Wesley-Charles Wesley's
The Council: Its Failure-O'Kelley's Schism-Hammett's-Charge of Heresy.--
General Conference of 1792: Some of its Work-Republican Methodists-Presid-
ing Elders: Their Office and its Duties Defined-John Wesley's Death .402-419
Jesse Lee Enters New England-Inhospitable Reception-The Difficulties- Gains
a Footing-The Need of Methodism There-Asbury Confirming the Work-
Seule, Fisk, Hedding-Boston Common-Success-Memorial........ 420-436
The Valley of the Mississippi: Occupying it-Gate-way to the North-west and
the South-west-Indian Troubles-Asbury Crossing the Wilderness-Bethel
Academy-Kentucky-Tennessee-Three Local Preachers Shaping Ohio-
Missionaries-McHenry, Burke, Wilkerson, Page, Tobias Gibson, Valentine
Annual Conferences-Boundaries and Powers Established-Locations-Chartered
Fund -Proposal to Strengthen the Episcopacy Fails -Asbury's Health
Gives Way-Helpers-Whatcoat Consecrated Bishop-McKendree in the
W est .......................................................... 464-480.
William McKendree: His Entrance upon the Ministry; Transferred to the West
-Camp-meetings-Great Revival-Bodily Agitations- Methodism Planted
in Missouri and Illinois; in Mississippi and Louisiana-Philip Cox, Enoch
George, Gwin, Walker, Blackman-Conference in Ohio-Results... .481-504.
General Conferences of 1804 and 1808-Demand for a Delegated Body-Camp-
meetings in the East-Prosperity-Bishop Whatcoat's Death-McKendree
Elected-Joshua Soule Brings in a Plan for a Delegated General Conference:
Its Defeat; Its Subsequent Adoption-Death of Bishop Coke; His Burial at
Extending the Field in Illinois and Missouri-Winans-Negro Missions-Olin-
McKendree's New Method of Presiding- Asbury Takes Final Leave of
the Conferences: State of the Western Field on his Departure -Asbury's
Death .............. .......................................520-531.
Canada Methodism: The Planting and the Separation-Clergy Reserves-Ryer-
son-Case-Bangs-Losee-Church Union in the Dominion-New Rules-
Joshua Soule Book Agent-Enoch George and R. R. Roberts elected Bishops
-A Conference down the Mississippi, organized in 1816............ 532-538
Difficulties of Planting Methodism in the South-west-Useful Local Preachers and
Laymen-Vick, Bowman, Tooley, Ford, French-From Tombigbee to Attaka-
pas-Nolley's Death-Occupation of New Orleans-Three Conferences-Lasley,
Griffin, Drake, Sellers, Hearn, Hewit, Nixon, Shrock, Owens....... .539-562.
Missionary and Tract Societies Formed-African Churches Organized-Education
-Joshua Soule Resigns an Election-Constitutional Questions'-McKendree's
Position-Methodist Protestants-Soule and Hedding Elected Bishops-Capers
Emory, Waugh, Bascom, Fisk-Canada Methodism set off...........563-575.
Indian Missions Established-Wyandots, Muskogees, Choctaws, Cherokees, Flat
heads-The Indian Mission Conference-Missions to Negro Slaves-The Begin.
ning and Progress of Plantation Missions: Difficulties of this Work. .576-590
James 0. Andrew-John Emory-Foreign Missions Inaugurated-Liberia-Bra-
zil-Coxe-Pittsa-Education-Colleges: Randolph Macon; La Grange; Dick-
inson; Wilbraham; Madison; Alleghany-John P. Durbin-Thomas A. Morris
-Death of McKendree: Taking Leave of his Brethren.............591-600.
The Struggle and Defeat of Abolitionism in the Church-Presiding Elders in the
Conflict-General Conference Refuises to Change the Discipline-Restates its
Posit .an-Despairing to Accomplish their Purpose, Abolitionists Secede-The
Wesleyan Methodist Church Organized-Peace and Prosperity ...... 601-612,
Texas Independence-The Republic Open to the Gospel-First Missionaries.
Ruter, Fowler, Alexander-Alexander First and Last in the Field-Arkansas;
Pioneers: William Stephenson, Henry Stevenson-Local Preachers: Alford,
Kinney, Denton, the Orr Brothers-Organization of Texas Conference-Ap-
pointments-Centenary Year-Progress of the Church-General Missionary
Secretaries: Bangs, Capers, Ames............................... 613-617.
The Situation-Abolitionism a Failure in the Church, a Success Outside of it-
Meeting of General Conference in 1844-Proceedings in Bishop Andrew's
Case-The Griffith Resolution; The Finley Substitute; Drift of Debate; Ex-
tracts from a few Speeches-The Final Vote-The Protest-The Plan of Sep-
The Louisville Convention-First General Conference-Book Agency-New
Hymn-book-Bishops Capers and Paine-Troubles with the Plan in the
North- Fraternal Delegate and Business Commissioners -Rejected Ap-
pealing unto Caesar-Supreme Court Declares the Plan of Separation Valid,
and Enforces it-Southern Methodist Publishing House-Separation-Peace-
California-Conference on the Pacific Coast-Foreign Missions-China-General
Conference of 1850-Bishop Bascom: His Death-Bishops Pierce, Early, and
Kavanaugh-Education-The Old Controversy Transferred to the North: How
it Ended-Saved by War from an Impending Disaster.............652-663.
Civil War: Some of its Effects upon the Church, South-Numbers and Strength
Diminished-Peace Restored-Address of the Bishops-General Conference of
1866-Resuscitation-Legislation-Flourishing Condition of the Church, North,
in the Meantime-Lay Delegation-District Conferences-Constitutional Test
-What Became of the Negro Membership of the Church, South-Foreign
Missions-Education-General Conferences from 1870 to 1882.......664-678.
The Era of Fraternity: Correspondence Anent it-Deputations-Delegates-Joint
Commission at Cape May-Status and Basis Definitely Declared -Property
Claims Adjusted-Ecumenical Conference-City Road Chapel-London Meth-
odists-Centennary Celebration at Baltimore-From 1784 to 1884.. .679-686.
ArPENmix: Methodists Throughout the World-Religious Denominations in
the United States.................... ........................687-688.
HISTORY OF METHODISM.
Church Founders-Providential Instruments-The Wesley Family: Its Origin
IT was not new doctrine but new life the first Methodists
sought for themselves and for others. To realize in the
hearts and conduct of men the true ideal of Christianity, to main-
tain its personal experience, and to extend it-this was their de-
sign; and their system of government grew up out of this, and
was accordingly shaped by it.
The mission of Luther was to reform a corrupted Christianity;
that of Wesley, to revive a dying one. Lutheranism dealt- more
with controversy; Wesleyanism, with experience. The abuses
and errors of Rome, its defiant attitude and oppressive rule, made
combatants of the Reformers. Their prayer was, "Teach my
hands to war, and my fingers to fight." The Methodists came
forth as evangelists. They persuaded men. With existing insti-
tutions and creeds they had no quarrel. In their bosoms there
was no rankling grudge against authorities; there was no particle
of that venom which, wherever it lodges, infects and paralyzes
the religious affections." Their controversy was not with Church
or State authorities, but with sin and Satan; and their one-object
was to save souls.
The way of a Dissenter is to begin by finding fault with others,
"We begin," they said, "by finding fault with ourselves." Meth
odists never sympathized with those who deny the "form of god-
liness: it is decent in their eyes and useful, and they cared for
it; but they were more careful to have "the power thereof."
Whenever the Lord would do a work in the earth, a man is got
ready; and the study of that man and of his providential prepa-
ration is a fit introduction to the history of the work. St. Paul's
truism, "For every house is builded by some man," is not con-
tradicted by what follows-"but he that built all things is God."
The word founder grates harshly upon some ears when it is ap-
14 History of Methodism.
plied to the Church, but ecclesiastical history justifies it. With-
out irreverence, and without derogating from the honor of its
divine Head, men may be called founders of those various sects
by which the Church is seen to exist in the world. Such instru-
ments God has raised up all along the ages, and their lives and
labors have made eras. "The Lord built him a Solomon, that
Solomon might build him a house;" and Solomon's genius
was seen in every part of the sacred Temple. The Lutheran,
Presbyterian, Congregational, Protestant Episcopal, Moravian,
.ind Baptist Churches all bear the impress of those master-build-
srs who, under God, shaped their polity, formulated their creeds,
and illustrated their spirit.
If the four Gospels show the individuality of their inspired
authors, and the style of the man is seen in the deliverance of
the apostle, we may not be surprised if the character of founders
can be traced in the religious bodies to which they stand thus
providentially related. This admission of the human element is
agreeable to the divine origin and authority of the Church. Its
truths abide, its principles change not, for they are of God; but
the bringing them to bear upon the world, for its salvation, ac-
cording to times and circumstances, is of human devising under
the promise of gracious guidance. Bible doctrines cannot be
increased or diminished; but they may be arranged and pre-
sented with more or less force, clearness, and consistency by the
various schools of religious thought whose nomenclature testifies
to their parentage.
T-he-hisatory.o Methodism cannot-be-gi-ven -without a biography
of4hnmt-Wesley ...To him belongs the distinction of Founder.
Great men by a natural law come forward in groups; but to in-
sure the success and unity of a movement, there must be a soli-
tary preeminence. While Charles Wesley, George Whitefield,
John Fletcher, and Thomas Coke were mighty auxiliaries, it is
R round John Wesley that the religious movement of the eighteenth
century, called Methodism, centers. He-wes-br-nJ.une-17,1703
.-th~sofa o-Samnuel Wesley, rector of Epworth, in Lincolnshire,
The founder of Methodism makes once an allusion to his
"grandfather's father" -Bartholomew. It was during the
closing years of the long reign of Elizabeth that Bartholomew
Wesley was born-about the year 1600. While at the university
The Wesley Family. 15
he applied himself to the study of physic, as well as of divinity;
and the knowledge which he acquired was of great advantage to
him in the dark days of his after-life. In 1640 he was inducted
to the rectory of Charmouth, and in 1650 to that of Catherston;
both of which he held until 1662, when, having espoused the side
of the Puritans, Bartholomew Wesley, like many others, was
driven from his rectories by the Act of Uniformity. After this,
though he preached occasionally, he had to support himself and
his family by the practice of physic.*
At the restoration of the Stuarts in the person of Charles II.
(1661), the High-church party, with king and court on their side,
set about the suppression of Presbyterians, Independents, and
all Non-conformists. The Act of Uniformity was enforced in its
rigor, and upward of two thousand ministers, with their fami-
lies, were ejected from their livings.
A glance at some of the ministers ejected and silenced shows
how this act impoverished the pulpit of that day: Edmund Cala-
my, who studied at the rate of sixteen hours a day, and was one
of the most popular preachers in the capitol; Matthew Pool, who
spent ten years upon his "Synopsis Criticorum," in five volumes
folio; John Goodwin, the Arminian author of "Redemption
Redeemed;" John Owen, Stephen Charnock, John Flavel; Rich-
*The author of "Memorials of the Wesley Family" has gone back of that:
"The father of Bartholomew Wesley was Sir Herbert Westley, of Westleigh, in
the county of Devon. His mother was Elizabeth de Wellesley, of Dangan, in
Ireland. What we have hitherto known of this distinguished.family has marked
them as remarkable for learning, piety, poetry, and music. We must now add
these other equally peculiar characteristics, loyalty and chivalry. Taking one
step only backward in tracing their genealogy, we find in both the father and
mother of Bartholomew Wesley persons who were permitted intercourse with the
leading minds of the age, and who were privileged to take an active part in mold-
ing that age in its moral, religious, and social aspects. A knight of the shire
was a person of distinction and influence. The issue of the marriage of Sir Her-
bert and Elizabeth Wesley was three sons, named respectively William, Harphan.
and Bartholomew. The two elder of these appear to have died without issue.
Bartholomew married the daughter of Sir Henry Colley, of Kildare, Ireland. In
person.he was-of small'stature-; called 'the puny parson.' The average height of
4ij.KAsleys.was from five feet four to five feet six inches. Between this limited
range stood Samuel Wesley, rector of Epworth, and his two sons, John and Charles.
The same standard of height characterizes those descendants of the family who
still survive, belonging to the Epworth branch." And John says-of himself: "In
the year 1769 I weighed one hundred and twenty-two pounds; in'the year-1o788 I
weighed not a po-nd more nor a pound less."
16 History ofJ Methodism.
ard and Joseph Alleine, whose well-known practical writings have
been blessed to thousands; Richard Baxter, Philip Henry, and
B]y-At-off. Uniformity- it -was -provided that "every parson,
aier er"ministerw~hatsoe.er,-,now. enjoying any ecclesias-
tical benefice or promotion, within this realm of England," who
aetoe@ted-.r-refused to declare-publicly, before his congregation,
hbis.."unfeigned assent-and consent to the use of all things con-
tained and prescribed" in the Book of Common Prayer, before-.
Me '-st Bartholomew .(1662), should be deprived of his
place. All school-masters who refused to subscribe to this dec-
laration were to suffer three months' imprisonment. It also
provided that if any minister, not episcopally ordained, should
presume to administer the sacrament of the Lord's Supper after
St. Bartholomew's day (August 24), he should, for every such
offense, forfeit the sum of 100; and if he presumed to lecture
or preach in any church, chapel, or other place of worship what-
ever, within the realm of England, he should suffer three months'
imprisonment in the common jail.
In 1664 the Conventicle Act was passed, which provided that
" every person above sixteen years of age present at any meeting
of more than five persons besides the household, under a pretense
of any exercise of religion, in other manner than is the practice
of the Church of England, shall, for the first offense, be sent to
gaol three months, till he pay a 5 fine; for the second offense,
six months, till he pay a 10 fine; and for the third offense, be
transported to some of the American plantations." To complete
the triumph of the oppressor, and to deprive both ministers and
people of any comfort, as Non-conformists, Parliament in 1665
added outrage to injury, by passing the execrable Five Mile Act,
which provided that it should be a penal offense for any Non-con-
formist minister to teach in a school, or to come within five miles
(except as a traveler in passing) of any city, borough, or corpo-
rate town, or of any place in which he had preached or taught
since the passing of the Act of Uniformity.
In 167b the Test Act was passed, which provided that all who
refused to take the oaths and to receive the sacrament, accord-
ing to the rites of the Church of England, should be debarred
from public employment. This was the last turn of the screw.
The Revolution of 1688 dethroned the Stuarts, and the Act of
The Wesley Family.
Toleration became law in 1689, securing liberty in the worship
of God to Protestant Dissenters.
John, the only son of the ejected Bartholomew Wesley,-was
born about the year 1636. Even when a boy at school he had
deep religious convictions and began to keep a diary of God's
gracious dealings with him, which, with slight interruptions,
was continued to the end of his life. At the usual age he was
entered a student of Oxford and became M.A. At one time he
strongly wished to go as a missionary to Maryland, in America.
Probably the expense of such a journey presented difficulties
which he found it impossible to surmount. He was never epis-
copally ordained, but was ordained in the same way as Timothy
-by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery, and possibly
without even that much ceremony. He passed his examination
before Cromwell's "Triers," and was appointed to a living in
May, 1658. A man of "gifts and grace," his ministry was the
means of converting sinners in every place in which it was exer-
cised, and he preached in many places. Under the -persecutions
tha4f-followed the Restoration, he was four times imprisoned, one
imprisonment extending till very near the day when the Act of
Uniformity finally expelled both father and son. He came joy-
fully home, and preached each Lord's-day till August 17, 1662,
when he delivered his farewell sermon to a weeping audience,
from Acts xx. 32: "And now, brethren, I commend you to God,
and to the word of his grace." J-aen Wesley died about the age
o-'forty-three, and left behind him several sons and daughters.
George, his fourth son, emigrated to America. The faithful
widow survived for half a century.
Dr. A. Clarke calls attention to the fact that the grandfather of
the founder of Methodism was a lay preacher and an itinerant
evangelist. Indeed, we find in this John Wesley's history an
epitome of the later Methodism. Samuel, his son, was educated
at the Free School at Dorchester. Young Wesley remained here
until he was a little more than fifteen years of age, when he was
sent to an academy in London, where he continued until he had
nearly arrived at the age of twenty-one. He came into the world
four months after that dark day of St. Bartholomew, when his
father and his grandfather, with two thousand other godly
ministers of Christ, were ejected from their churches and driven
from their homes Like them he was intended for the Christian
18 History of Methodism.
ministry; but, considering the treatment which they had experi-
enced at the hands of the episcopal party, it was scarcely probable
that their youthful descendant would feel a wish to enter the min-
istry of the Established Church. His father and his grandfathers,
though they had all been the occupants of Church livings, were,
so far as prelacy and the use of the liturgy are concerned, Dis-
senters; and his sympathies were with them. He acknowledges
that when at the Dissenters' School "he was forward enough to
write lampoons and pasquils against Church and State, "was
fired with hopes of suffering;" and often wished to be brought
before kings and rulers, because he thought what he did was done
for the sake of Christ." Subsequently, by a course of reading
and reasoning, he was led to change his opinions, and formed
a resolution to renounce the Dissenters and attach himself to
the Established Church.
He lived at that time with his mother and an old aunt, both of
whom were too strongly attached to the Dissenting doctrines to
have borne, with any patience, the disclosure of his design. He
therefore got up early one morning, and, without acquainting
any one with his purpose, set out for Oxford, and entered him-
self at Exeter College. To ride to college was a thing not to be
thought of : to use his own expression, he "footed it." His books,
his clothes, and his other luggage, were all probably carried in
a knapsack on his back. Samuel Wesley entered college as a
servitw.-- A servitorr" is a student who-attends -and waits on
other-seholars or students, and- receives; as a compensation, his
jmant Lne@e. Such was the position of young Wesley. He was
determined to secure the benefits of a university education; and,
in the absence of money and of friends, he became a servant in
order to find himself bread. There was no disgrace in this; and
yet it is not difficult to imagine that, notwithstanding his clever-
ness, he would be subjected to taunts from beardless youths,
who, in all respects except one, were his inferiors. A young man,
twenty-one years of age, respectably connected, but poor as pov-
erty could make him, he resolved upon the acquisition of aca-
demic fame; and, in the struggle, patiently, if not cheerfully,
submitted to annoyances for the sake of obtaining that upon
which his heart was set. Besides attending to the humiliating
duties of a servitor, he composed exercises for those who had
more money than mind, and gave instructions to others whr
The Wesley Family.
wished to profit by his lessons; and thus, by toil and frugality,
the fatherless and friendless scholar not only managed to sup-
port himself, but when he retired from Oxford, in 1688, with
B.A. attached to his name, he was seven pounds fifteen shillings
richer than he was when he entered it in 1683. Nor is this all.
Whilst occupied with his daily duties, his benevolent heart
would not permit him to live wholly to himself. He yearned to
benefit others; and it is a remarkable coincidence that the obl
jects of his sympathy were of the same class as those who, forty-
five years afterward, were visited and helped by his sons, John
and Charles, and the other Oxford Methodists. "Notwithstand-
ing the weightiness of his college work, and the lightness of his
college purse," he found time to visit the wretched inmates of
Oxford jail, and relieved them as far as he was able. Writing
to his two sons, in 1730, when they had begun of their own ac-
cord to visit the same prison-house, he says: "Go on, in God's
name, in the path to which your Saviour has directed you, and
that track wherein your father has gone before you; for when
[ was an undergraduate at Oxford I visited those in the castle
there, and reflect on it with great satisfaction to this day. Walk
as prudently as you can, though not fearfully, and my heart and
prayers are with you." *
Samuel Wesley was ordained a priest of the Church of En-
gland in 1689, twelve days after the Prince and Princess of
Orange were declared by Parliament to be King and Queen of
Great Britain. As a proof of his loyalty, he wrote the first de-
fense of the government that appeared after William and Mary's
accession. At the time he entered upon his ministerial career,
there were in the English Church some of the most distin-
guished divines that it has ever had: Stillingfleet; Tillotson,
whose sermons were regarded as a standard of finished oratory;
Thomas Kenn, author of the "Morning and Evening Hymns;"
Robert South, William Fleetwood; Gilbert Burnei, -auther--of
thlifistr-y-of the-Beformation;" William Beveridge; Daniel
Whitby-I wh-oi -7, published -in twovolnumes foli-'his-"-Com-
Samuel Wesley's first appointment was a curacy, with an in-
come of 28 a year. He was then appointed chaplain on board
a man-of-war, where he began his poem on the Life of Christ,
*The Life and Times of Rev. Samuel Wesley, M.A.
20 History of Methodism.
His ecclesiastical income for these few years' services that he
rendered was small, but he increased the amount by his indus-
try and writings. It was while he held such uncertain posi-
tions that he married, he and his wife living in lodgings
until after the birth of their first-born. The-young-4dy-who
beome-b wifes SweSesitnna -the youngest and twenty-fourth
child&4e her mother, and the twenty-fifth child-of-her father, Dr.
SamauelAJnnesley, one of the leading Non-conformist aministers
Susanna Annesley, in person, is said to have been both grace-
ful and beautiful. The accomplishments of her mind were of the
highest order, and for womanly virtues she has probably never
been surpassed. She be rthre-mether.- of nineteen children,
and was remarkable for her system and success in teaching and
training them. "No man," says Southey, "was ever more suit-
ably mated than Samuel Wesley. The wife whom he chose was,
like himself, the child of a man eminent among the Non-conform-
ists; and, like himself, in early life she had chosen her own path.
.... She had reasoned herself into Socinianism, from which her
husband reclaimed her. She was an admirable woman, an obedient
wife, an exemplary mother, and a fervent Christian. The mar-
riage was blessed in all its circumstances; it was contracted in
the prime of their youth; it was fruitful; and death did not di-
vide them till they were both full of days."
The mother of Samuel Wesley was the daughter of a distin-
guished and learned man, John White, a "perpetual fellow" of
one of Oxford's oldest colleges. She was the niece of another
*He was born in 1620, and closed a useful ministry of fifty-five years in 1696.
From his early childhood his heart was set on preaching; and, to qualify himself
for that sacred work, he began, when he was only five or six years old, seriously
to read the Bible; and such was his ardor that he bound himself to read twenty
chapters daily, a practice which he continued to the end of life. At fifteen years
of age he went to Oxford, where he took the degree of LL.D. In 1648 lie
preached the fast-day sermon before the House of Commons, which by order was
printed. He had two of the largest congregations in London. Samuel Annesley
was of so hale and hardy a constitution as to endure the coldest weather without
using either gloves or fire. For many years he seldom drank any thing but water,
and, to the day of his death, he could read the smallest print without spectacles.
A short time before he died his joy was such that he exclaimed, "I cannot con-
tain it! What manner of love is this to a poor worm? I cannot express the
thousandth part of the praise due to Christ. I'll praise thee, and rejoice that
there are others that can praise thee better." His last words were: "I shall be
satisfied when I awake in Thy likeness-satisfied satisfied." (Tyerman.)
The Wesley Famzly. 21
man of mark, the celebrated Dr. Thomas Fuller, the Church
historian. It is an interesting fact that the father of Susanna
Wesley's mother was named John White, also. He entered Ox-
ford at seventeen. In 1640 he was elected Member of Parlia-
ment, and joined in all the proceedings which led to the over-
throw of the Established Church. He was appointed chairman
of the Committee for Religion, and was also a member of the
Westminster Assembly of Divines. In a speech of his, made
in the House of Commons and published in 1641, he contends
that the office of bishop and presbyter is the same; and that the
offices of chancellors, vicars, surrogates, and registrars are all
of human origin and ought to be abolished, as being altogether
superfluous and of no service to the Church; that episcopacy
had been intrusted with the care of souls for more than eighty
years; and now, as a consequence, nearly four-fifths of the
churches throughout the kingdom were held by idle or scandal-
ous ministers. And what though such ministers be reported to
their bishops? The most they got, he said, was a mild reproof;
whereas the same bishops were quick-sighted and keen-scented
to hunt down any man that preached the true gospel, and to
silence or expel hijm.-These two John Whites do not appear to
have been akin to each other, but their blood met in the founder
The first home of Samuel and Susanna Wesley was South
Ormsby. Withdrawn from London, and settled down to the se-
clusion of a small country village, he had ample opportunity to
study, read, write, and preach. He was then twenty-eight years
old, and his wife was in her twenty-second year, with their infant
son Samuel just turned four months old. The rectory-house
was little better than a mud-built hut, and in that hovel Samuel
Wesley and his noble young wife lived five years. Here the
rector's wife brought him one child additional every year, and
did her best to make 50 per annum go as far as possible; and
here he wrote some of the most able works he ever published.
The-work by which-he is best known-was published in-1693, and
-' ait'e,4, "The Life of our Blessed Lord and Swviour Jesus
Ehrist. A heroic poem in ten books, dedicated to her Most
Sacred Majesty Queen Mary." The queen, to whom it was ded-
icated, conferred on him the living of Epworth, in the county of
Lincoln, "without any solicitation on his part, or Without his
22 History of Methodism.
once thinking of such a favor." The living was in itself a good
one, being worth, in the currency of those times, about 200 a
year, and Samuel Wesley's family was already large. Ht) was in
\, debt, and the fees necessary to be paid before entering on the
living added to his debt. On his tombstone it is inscribed that
) he was thirty-nine years rector of that parish.
John Wesley was born there, June 17, 1703, and his .brother
Ghales,. December 18, 1707. It was a great advantage to have
\, :; had such an ancestry; the laws of heredity could hardly present
a richer and finer combination. Greater still was the advantage
of being born and brought up under the influences of the Ep-
worth parsonage. It was a household that seems to have been
-rovidentially constituted for preparing chosen instruments.
The moral elevation and intellectual vigor of the father and an
elder brother, the refining power of variously gifted sisters, the
uncommon mother, the honest struggles with poverty, and th(
opportune openings for such higher education as could not be
imparted at home, all conspired to prepare instruments "fit for
the kingdom of God."
[This Chapter is compiled from The Wesley Memoria. Volume; Memorials of the Wesley
family; Smith's History of Wesleyan Methodism; Taylor's Wesley and Methodiam; and
ryerman's Life and Times )f Rev. Samuel We.sle M A.]
Moral Condition of England at the Rise of Methodism: Causes of It-Testimony
of Secular and Religious Writers-The Effect of the Methodist Revival on
the Churches; Its Influence on the State.
f E---, the- Reforrmati-n"mWTl-w '39lvffcatim-by
1 Faith; but this truth was, to a lamentable degree, soon lost
sight of in the struggle it brought on with the power of popery.
Ecclesiastical revolution, more than evangelical revival, occupied
men's minds. There was a relapse into formalism, of which the
best that could be said was-it was not papal formalism. The
Lutheran movement, to its great spiritual disadvantage, was com-
plicated with State-churchism. It lacked gospel discipline. To a
deputation from Moravia, urging upon him the necessity of com-
bining scriptural discipline and Christian practice with sound doc-
trine, Luther replied: "With us things are not sufficiently ripe
for introducing such holy exercises in doctrine and practice as
we hear is the case with you. Our cause is still in a state of im
maturity, and proceeds slowly; but do you pray for us."
This imperfection in the Reformation on the Continent was not
lessened by the manner of its introduction into England. That
libidinous and cruel monarch, Henry VIII., was probably not
much attracted by its spiritual aspect; but he was well pleased
with a doctrine that justified him in repudiating the pope. This
lie himself became head of the Established Church in his-own
realm, and got good riddance of a horde of foreign ecclesiastics
hard to govern and greedy of revenues.
The truth of God will make its way even under many and
heavy disadvantages. Two years later (1536) an English version
of the Bible was first printed; and the doctrines of the Reforma-
tion were about this time faithfully preached by Cranmer, Ridley,
Latimer, and other pious ministers. During the short reign of
Edward VI. the reformed doctrines obtained extensive influence,
and copies of the Scriptures were circulated as freely as the state
of learning and the circumstances of the people would allow.
Thirty-five editions of the New Testament and fourteen of the
complete Bible were printed and published in England during
the six years and a half of the young king's reign.
24 History of Methodzsm.
The dawning hope which these propitious circumstances justi-
fied was obscured by the death of this prince and-4ht-dcession
rf-VMry (168).-She-restored-the-papa- authority. Hooper,
Crainmei,- Ridleyr-Latimer, a'nd--mmany- others; were burned; and
hundreds more perished in loathsome prisons and by various
other hardships and tortures.
Mryt..died,,..a -Elizabet eeeed"the throne- (1558). Her
grand purpose appears to have been to reestablish the Reforma-
tion; and so far as legislation can change the religion of a country,
this was accomplished, and the whole form of religion was estab-
lished substantially as it is found at present in the English
Church.* With the accession of Elizabeth gospel truth wa.;
again preached; but on the settlement of the national Church, not
a few of the most pious and spiritually-minded of the Protest-
ants were lost to her pulpits, because so many rites and usages,
which they deemed remnants of popery, were retained. A high
Puseyite authority says: The Protestant confession was drawn up.
with the purpose of including Catholics; "t and thus two wrongs
were perpetrated: elements of antichristian error were retained,
and conscientious followers of Christ were excluded. Notwith-
standing this, there was a great circulation of gospel truth, which
germinated and produced fruit during that and the following.
The rapid growth of Puritanism during this reign greatly con-
tributed to the events which afterward occurred. Much popular
discontent prevailed with the but partial purification of the
Church from papal errors, and Puritanism began its work of pro-
test, reformation, and honest rebellion.
Th1.clefat o.f i beth--d610)-endd the Tudor dynasty and
pled1a James~I. L,of the house- of Stuart, on the-throne-of--Er-
glaam4and-brought it and Scotland under the same king. This
reign gave the world the present English Bible-an incalculable
benefit to the advancement of religion. It also furnished the
Book of Sports by royal declaration (1618), for the purpose of
But the depth of this outward change is best seen in the faet that out of nine
thousand four hundred beneficed clergymen in the kingdom, only fifteen bishops,
twelve archdeacons, fifteen heads of colleges, fifty canons, and eighty parochial
priests-in all one hundred and seventy-two persons-quitted their preferments
rather than change their religion from the extreme popery of Mary's reign to.
what is called the thorough Protestantism of that of Elizabeth.
1 Oxford Tracts for hle Tim es, No. XC. I Oeorsre ,Smith, F.A.S.
Moral Condition of England. 25
promoting Sunday amusements. By this means free and full
liberty and encouragement were given for the "dancing of men
and women, archery for men, leaping, vaulting, May-games,
Whitsun-ales, morris-dancers, May-poles, and other sports, after
the Church services on Sundays." And his majesty's pleasure
was declared to be that the bishops should take measures for
constraining the people to conform to these practices.
Charles I. succeeded his father (1625); weak in judgment, pas-
sionate in temper, and obstinate in disposition. Like all his
family, he was fond of arbitrary government, and had an evident
partiality for popery. His queen was a papist. This king found
himself an heir to huge debts, and all the embarrassments which
royal wants involve. Unskillful in government, he soon became
embroiled in difficulties with his Parliament. That typical High-
churchman, Archbishop Laud, was his trusted counselor and his
chief calamity. Through the piety and energy of the Puritans,
and the zeal for Calvinistic tenets with which they now began to
be inflamed, the people were to a greater extent than ever hostile
to the State Church, and disposed to regard the government
which patronized and sustained it as partial and unjust. Laud
urged his royal master to exasperating persecutions and consci-
entiously encouraged his popish proclivities. The civil wars
began, and both lost their heads.
The House of Commons was now the government. The Pres-
byterians were paramount in it, and proceeded to remodel the
Church on the plan of the Westminster Assembly of Divines.
It was ordered that the Solemn League and Covenant should be
taken by all persons above the age of eighteen; and, as this in-
strument bound all who received it to endeavor to extirpate Epis-
copal Church government, its enforcement led to the ejection of
one thousand six hundred beneficed clergymen from their livings.
But if we may rely on the testimony of Burnet, Baxter, and others,
all the ejections of the period did not take place on political or secta-.
rian grounds, many having been occasioned by the gross ignorance,
shameful neglect of duty, or notorious immorality of the ministers.
Puritanism, with all its virtues, had strong and persistent vices.
It early created a High-churchism of its own, and claimed as ex-
clusive scriptural authority for presbytery as its Episcopal antag-
onists, "the judicious Hooker" and others, have asserted for
prelacy There was, indeed, scarcely any part of ecclesiastical
26 History of Methodism.
polity, except prelacy, against which Puritans had inveighed
when in subjection that they did not adopt and practice when
in power. Milton declares that the men who had preached so
earnestly against the avarice and pluralities of bishops and other
ministers, as soon as they had the power, began to practice with
the most grasping cupidity all the abuses which they had con-
demned. Those who had pleaded so earnestly for liberty of con-
science, and who had deprecated the interference of the civil powers
in matters purely religious, now that they were at the helm of
affairs, were of another mind.
Oliveroewell--ad-thapredominant element-of Ahe army
leaed-toilndependeniey,, ad coming- into supreme powerhe pro-
claimed and practiced freedom4e-wer~shp-Ei d. The nation wai
weary of intestine strife; and, without having obtained civil liberty
by the bloody struggle, sat down contentedly under his sway, in the
enjoyment of religious toleration. The transfer of power from
the Presbyterian to the Independent body does not appear to have
made any immediate alteration in the organization of the State
Church, beyond a device that deprived presbyteries of the right
of approving or rejecting ministers. The Protector appointed
thirty-eight persons, whom he called "Triers," selected from the
Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Baptists, and Independents, who
were to examine and receive all candidates for the ministry.
Their instructions required them to judge whether they could
approve every such person, for "the grace of God in him, his
holy and unblamable conversation, as also for his knowledge and
utterance, able and fit to preach the gospel." Five of these com-
missioners were sufficient to approve a minister.
The Commonwealth proceeded to prohibit immorality by law.
Vice was punished with Draconian severity. Adultery was a
capital crime for the first offense. Fornication was punished
with-.three months' imprisonment for he& -first offense; for the
second, with death. Public amusements, from masques in the
mansions of the great down to wrestling and grinning matches
on village greens, were vigorously attacked. All the May-poles
in England were ordered to be hewn down, the play-houses dis-
mantled, .the spectators fined, and the actors whipped at the cart's
tail. Magistrates dispersed festive meetings, and put fiddlers in
the stocks. The external appearance of religion was so rigidly
enforced as to be largely productive of hypocrisy.
Moral Condition of England. 27
Under the Commonwealth, Oliver Cromwell extended his coun-
try's prowess and wealth. The stern virtues of his Roundheads
and Ironsides made themselves felt at home and abroad. Effem-
inate vice became unfashionable, and much was done during this
period to promote and establish a thoroughly Protestant feeling
and judgment, and to extend real religion among the people. But
the country, at length, became impatient of enduring this govern.
ment. The people saw that they had only changed an heredi-
tary monarchy for the rule of an absolute governor, and this con
viction prepared the way for the Restoration. On the death of
Cromwell, his son Richard was declared Lord Protector in his
stead; but the reins of power soon fell from his feeble grasp. He
retired into private life, and Charles II., eldest son of the late
king, was placed on the throne.
One of the most fatal errors ever made in political affairs was
committed in the hasty restoration of this monarch. If ordinary
caution had been used, the constitutional liberty of the country
might have been placed on a firm foundation. But this favor-
able opportunity was thrown away. Instead of being restored
under such guarantees as were calculated to secure the liberty
of the subject and the freedom of religion, Charles was placed
on the throne with such precipitancy that the event assumed
rather the appearance of a triumph of those principles and prac-
tices which caused the ruin of his father.
By order of Parliament the Solemn League and Covenant,* the
well-known symbol of Presbyterian ascendency-which had been
taken down from the walls of the House of Commons-was burned
by the common hangman; the hangman first tearing the docu-
*The Solemn League and Covenant was a contract agreed to by the Scots, in the
year 1638. In 1643 it was brought into England; and it was enacted, by a joint
ordinance of both Houses of Parliament, "that the League and Covenant should
be solemnly taken and subscribed, in all places throughout the kingdom of En.
gland and dominion of Wales, by all persons above the age of eighteen." Accord-
ingly, it was signed by most of the members of the two houses of legislature, y all
the Divines of the Assembly then sitting at Westminster, and by a large number of
the people in general. Two of the principal vows were: 1. That the party taking
and subscribing the Covenant would endeavor to "bring the Churches of God in all
the three kingdoms to the nearest conjunction and uniformity in religion, confes-
don of faith, and form of Church government,.as the [Presbyterian] Directory pre
scribes for worship and catechising." And, 2. That he would "endeavor, without
respect of persons, to extirpate popery and prelacy." (Geo. Smith, F.A.S., whose
admirable history of England, in the times preceding Methodism, we follow.)
28 History of Methodism.
ment into pieces, and then burning the fragments in succession
-he all the while lifting up his hands and eyes in pious indigna-
tion, until not a shred was left. After a futile (and on the part
of the king and court an insincere) effort for a bill of Comprehen-
sion, giving to Protestant Non-conformists the same considera-
tion that had been allowed to Romanists or papal Non-conform-
ists in the ecclesiastical scheme of Elizabeth, the .-Restoration be-
gan to bring forth its fruit. The party in power, not satisfied
with restoring the expelled bishops and ministers of the Church,
proceeded to make direct aggression on the religious and civil
liberties of those who differed from them.
The effects of these measures were dreadful. Great numbers
were imprisoned; pious persons were driven to meet for wor-
ship in solitude and at midnight; and many sought deliver-
ance from such tyranny by emigrating to the American Colonies.
A host of conscientious ministers were driven from their
churches, and as far as the power of the Crown could effect its
object, all classes of Non-conformists were silenced. Men of great
learning and religion were turned out of parsonage, glebes, and
tithes, and then harried by laws that were a refinement of cruelty.
And yet a pitiful picture might be drawn of the clergymen who,
twenty years previously, had been expelled from the same
churches by the Puritans, when men of learning and religion
were in many instances succeeded by "mere rhapsodists and
ramblers," "cried up as rare soul-saving preachers." Not a few
venerable and worthy ministers, then expelled by the rough hand
of violence, "lingered out their lives, worried, and worn out with
fears, anxieties, necessities, rude affronts, and remediless afflic-
tions." Such a marked retaliation as this had never before been
known in the history of the Protestant Church. Hundreds of the
men who lately protested against granting toleration were now
compelled piteously, but in vain, to beg for liberty of conscience.
The Restoration removed even the appearance of morality.
It opened wide the flood-gates of licentiousness and vice. The
conrt became a royal brothel. The play-house became the temple
of England. Th king wan ooa med-el uarry ir el-
,'dgad.taae.heen,the father of-at least eleven children-born-of
s~eI.4jiffer~et countesses, who-lived- successively ,wi~.jhtimas
miatnesss, although heohad,.aq.ue.enm the whole -time-who-had-ro-
mrewt.aad mix up with-these-women at court. In all the relations
Moral Condition of England. 29
of life, public and private, he was unprincipled, profligate, false,
and corrupt; whilst, from the example of his debauched and
licentious court, public morals contracted a taint which it re-
quired little less than a century to obliterate, and which for a
time paralyzed the character of the nation. For nearly a gener-
ation-during twenty-eight years-the people of England were in
this state of religious retrogression. All the influences that were
invested with power, and allowed freedom of action on the pub-
lic mind, were malign in their tendency. Charl I ied-(165)
begging. forgiveness of his neglected queen, .blessing his-bastard
children, asking for kindness to be shown to his mistresses- and
eoiving-from -a-pepish priest the Romish communion, -extreme
unction, and a popish pardon.
His brother, the Duke of York, an avowed papist, succeed-
ed to the throne as James II. That he might bring in his own
sort and place them in the universities and the courts and the
churches, he presented the rare phenomenon of a Roman Cath-
olic king contending for liberty of conscience for all his sub-
jects! To this end he attempted-Stuart-like-to dispense with
the laws of the realm by his royal prerogative. The perfidy and
pig-headed obstinacy of James II., united with the judicial cru-
elties that disgraced his brief reign, led to his expulsion. The
army, the navy, the Church, and the people, simultaneously
abandoned the infatuated monarch, who, finding himself without
any support, sought refuge in France.
William and Mary were, in consequence of the abdication of
James, raised to the throne; but the nation did not on this occa-
sion repeat the blunder which it had made on the restoration of
the Stuarts. Before offering the Prince of Orange the scepter,
both Houses waited on him and tendered a Declaration of
Rights, which was accepted and became law. By this measure,
constitutional liberty was secured; the succession to the throne
became limited to Protestant princes; and other alterations of a
liberal character followed.
In the year (1689) which followed the accession of William and
Mary, an Act was passed which gave toleration to Protestant
Dissenters. Yet their accession made another division in the
English Church. Many ministers belonging to the High-ch'arch
party, regarding the hereditary right to the throne as divine and
indefeasible, refused to take the oath of allegiance to William,
30 History of Methodism.
and were consequently expelled from their offices and livings,
under the name of Non-jurors. The Archbishop of Canterbury,
four bishops, and about fourteen hundred clergymen, suffered
deprivation for this cause. Anne ascended the throne at the
death of William (1702). Her reign was distinguished by the
military triumphs of Marlborough, and the brilliant wit and
raillery of what has been commonly called the Augustan age of
literature. George I., of Hanover, great-grandson of James I.,
succeeded (1714) on the death of Anne. He died of apoplexy,
in 1727, whilst traveling with one of his mistresses, the Duchess
of Kendal, to Hanover, and was succeeded by his son, George II.
These events placed the country in the civil, political, and
religious position in which it was found at the origin of Meth-
odism. Such influences crowded into the history of one hundred
and fifty years must have had their effect on the moral character
of a people, and should be taken into account in order to the
formation of a just idea of the period when Wesley and his
helpers began their work. Prelates and other ecclesiastical
dignitaries were embroiled in political strife-intense partisans.
The majority of the clergy were ignorant, worldly-minded, and
many of the-se a-lized-their profession by open'timnmorality;
and it may be said, without any breach of charity, that very few,
even of the best of them, had correct views respecting the aton-
ing sacrifice of Christ, or understood the nature of the great
cardinal doctrine of the Reformation-justification by faith.
Arianism and Socinianism, such as was taught by Clarke and
Priestley, had become fashionable even among Dissenters. The
higher classes laughed at piety, and prided themselves on being
above what they called its fanaticism; the lower classes were
grossly ignorant, and abandoned to vice.
From the Restoration down to the rise of Methodism, Church-
men and Non-conformists bear concurrent testimony respecting
the decayed condition of religion and morals. The pathetic
.amentation of Bishop Burnet has often been quoted. He
I am rnow in the seventieth year of my age; and as I cannot speak long in the
world in any sort, so I cannot hope for a more solemn occasion than this of speak-
ing with all due freedom, both to the present and to the succeeding ages. There-
fore I lay hold on it, to give a free vent to those sad thoughts that lie on my mind
both day and night, and are the subject of many secret mourning. I cannot look on
without the deepest concern, when I see the imminent ruin hanging over this
Situation at the Rise of Methodism. 31
Church, and, by consequence, over the whole Reformation. The outward state of
things is black enough, God knows; but that which heightens my fears rises chiefly
from the inward state into which we are unhappily fallen. I will, in examining
this, confine myself to the clergy. Our Ember-weeks are the burden and grief of
my life. The much greater part of those who come to be ordained are ignorant to a
degree not to be apprehended by those who are not obliged to know it. The easi-
est part of knowledge is that to which they are the greatest strangers; I mean the
plainest part of the Scriptures, which they say, in excuse for their ignorance, that
their tutors in the universities never mention the reading of to them; so that they
can give no account, or at least a very imperfect one, of the contents even of the
Gospels. Those who have read some few books, yet never seem to have read the
Scriptures. Many cannot give a tolerable account even of the Catechism itself,
how short and plain soever. This does often tear my heart.
Burnet complains further of his clergy: "Politics and party
eat out among us not only study and learning, but that which is
the only thing that is more valuable- a true sense of religion."
Speaking on the subject, Macaulay says: "It is true that at
that time (1685) there was no lack in the English Church of min-
isters distinguished by abilities and learning; but these men
were to be found, with scarce a single exception, at the univer-
sities, at the great cathedrals, or in the capitol."
And a shrewd critic of the following century remarks on the
effect of test-oaths and shifting majorities upon religious integ-
rity : The great numbers who went through a nominal conver-
sion in order to secure an estate, or to enter a profession, grad-
ually lowered the theological temperature. Sobriety and good
sense were the qualities most valued in the pulpit, and enthusi-
asm and extravagance were those which were most dreaded. The-
habit- of -extempore preaching almost died out after Burnet.
Tillotson set the example of written discourses, which harmon-
ized better with the cold and colorless theology that prevailed." *
Natural religion was the favorite study of the clergy-" the
darling topic of the age." In the advertisement to his "Analogy
Between Religion and the Constitution and Course of Nature,"
designed to meet the prevalent infidelity, Bishop Butler says :
It is come, I know not how, to be taken for granted by many persons that
Christianity is not so much a subject of inquiry but that it is now at length dis-
covered to be fictitious; and, accordingly, they treat it as if, in the present age, this
were an agreed point among all people of discernment; and nothing remained but
to set it up as a principal subject of mirth and ridicule, as it were, by way of re-
prisals, for having so long interrupted the pleasures of the world.
*Lecky: History of England in the Eighteenth Century, Vol. II., Chap. IX.
History of Methodism.
Archbishop Seeker, but one year before that which is commem-
orated as the epoch of Methodism, observes:
Men have always complained of their own times, and always with too much
reason. But though it is natural to think those evils the greatest which we feel
ourselves, and therefore mistakes are easily made in comparing one age with an-
other, yet in this we cannot be mistaken, that an open and professed disregard
for religion is become, through a variety of unhappy causes, the distinguishing
character of the present age; that this evil is grown to a great height in the me-
tropolis of the nation; is daily spreading through every part of it; and, bad in
itself as any can be, must of necessity bring in all others after it. Indeed, it hath
already brought in such dissoluteness and contempt of principle in the higher
part of the world, and such profligate intemperance and fearlessness of committing
crimes in the lower, as must, if this torrent of impiety stop not, become absolutely
fatal. Christianity is now ridiculed and railed at with very little reserve, and the
teachers of it without any at all.
Dr. Isaac Watts, in his preface to "An Humble Attempt To-
ward the Revival of Practical Religion (1731), testifies of the
religious declension: "It is a general matter of mournful obser-
vation amongst all that lay the cause of God to heart; and, there-
fore, it cannot be thought amiss for every one to use all just and
proper efforts for the recovery of dying religion in the world."
A late writer, not prejudiced in favor of Methodism, admits
that when Wesley appeared the Anglican Church was "an eccle-
siastical system under which the people of England had lapsed
into heathenism, or a state hardly to be distinguished from it;"
and that Methodism "preserved from extinction and reanimated
the languishing Non-conformity of the last century, which, just
at the time of the Methodistic revival, was rapidly in course to
be found nowhere but in books."*
"It was," to use Wesley's own words, "just at the time when
we wanted little of filling up the measure of our iniquities, that
two or three clergymen of the Church of England began rehe-
inently to call sinners to repentance."
Voltaire did not speak without apparnt-easoen-wheon-he pre-
dictedg., hat,-Christianity would be overth-ewaBthreagheut -the
world.inA&alAtdge ration. He was struck by the contrast be-
tween the English and French pulpits: "Discourses aiming at
the pathetic and accompanied with violent gestures would ex-
cite laughter in an English congregation. A sermon in France
is a long declamation, scrupulously divided into three parts, and
*Isaac Taylor: Wesley and Methodism.
Effect of the Methodist Revival.
delivered with enthusiasm. In-Englanda-sermonis a solid but
dry dissertation which a man reads to the people, without gest
are and without any particular exaltation-of-the-viiee."
A historian of authority, often quoted, after declaring that
"in the middle classes a religious revival burst forth," in the first
half of the last century, "which changed after a time the whole
tone of English society," adds:
But during the fifty years which preceded this outburst we see little save a re-
volt against religion and against Churches, in either the higher classes or the
poor. Of the prominent statesmen of the time, the greater part were unbeliev
ers in any form of Christianity, and distinguished for the grossness and immo-
rality of their lives. Drunkenness and foul talk were thought no discredit tc
Walpole. A later prime-minister, the Duke of Grafton, was in the habit of an-
pearing at the play with his mistress. Purity and fidelity to the marriage-vow
were sneered out of fashion; and Lord Chesterfield, in his letters to his son, instructs
him in the art of seduction as a part of a polite education.*
The secular historians of this period, after their own manner
and from their points of view, set the case in a strong light.
Lecky, who will hardly be accused of "evangelical" principles,
nor counted as a partisan of Methodism, testifies:
Yet cold, selfish, and unspiritual as was the religion of England from the Rev-
olution till the Methodist movement had pervaded the Establishment with its
spirit, it was a period that was not without its distinctive excellences.
* There was little dogmatic exposition, and still less devotional literature, but
the assaults of the deists were met with masterly ability. To this period belong
the Alciphron of Berkeley, the Analogy of Butler, the Credibility of the Gospels
by Lardner, and the Evidential writings of Sherlock, Leslie, and'Leland. The
Plergy of the great cities were often skillful and masculine reasoners. Those
of the country discharged the official duties of religion, mixing without scruple in
country business and country sports. Their standard was low; their zeal was lan-
guid; but their influence, such as it was, was chiefly for good. That in such a so-
ciety a movement like that of Methodism should have exercised a great power is
not surprising. The secret of its success was merely that it satisfied some of the
strongest and most enduring wants of our nature which found no gratification in
the popular theology, and that it revived a large class of religious doctrines which
had been long almost wholly neglected. The utter depravity of human nature,
the lost condition of every man who is born into the world, the vicarious atone-
ment of Christ, the necessity to salvation of a new birth, of faith, of the constant
and sustaining action of the Divine Spirit upon the believer's soul, are doctrines
which in the eyes of the modern Evangelicals constitute at once the most vita)
and the most influential portions of Christianity; but they are doctrines which,
during the greater part of the eighteenth century, were seldom heard from a
Church of England pulp.t.
*Green: History of the English People, Vol. IV, Book VIIL
34 History of Methodism.
"The splendid victories by land and sea, and the dazzling epi.
sodes," in the reign of George II., "must yield," says Lecky, "in
real importance to that religious revolution which shortly before
had begun by the preaching of the Wesleys and Whitefield. The
creation of a large, powerful, and active sect, extending over both
hemispheres, and numbering many millions of souls, was but
one of its consequences. It also exercised a profound and last-
ing influence upon the spirit of the Established Church, upou
the amount and distribution of the moral forces of the nation,
and even upon the course of its political history."
The same author thus describes the teaching of the pulpit
"when the new movement began:"
The essential and predominating characteristics of the prevailing theology were
the prominence that was given to external morality as distinguished both from
dogma and from all the forms of emotion, and the assiduity with which the preach-
ers labored to establish the purely rational character of Christianity. It was the
leading object of the skeptics of the time to assert the sufficiency of natural relig-
ion. It was the leading object of a large proportion of the divines to prove that
Christianity was little more than natural religion accredited by historic proofs and
enforced by the indispensable sanctions of rewards and punishments. Beyond a
belief in the doctrine of the Trinity and a general acknowledgment of the verac-
ity of the Gospel narratives, they taught little that might not have been taught by
disciples of Socrates and Plato. They labored to infuse a higher tone into the so-
cial and domestic spheres, to make men energetic in business, moderate in pleas.
ure, charitable to the poor, upright, honorable, and dutiful ir every relation of
life. While acknowledging the imperfection, they sincerely respected the essen-
tial goodness of human nature, dwelt much upon the infallible authority of the
moral sense, and explained away or simply neglected all doctrines that conflicted
with it. A great variety of causes had led to the gradual evanescence of dogmat-
ic teaching and to the discredit into which strong religious emotions had fallen.*
At the risk of anticipating a portion of our history, the follow-
ing remarks of this popular and philosophic historian on Pitt
and Wesley are here presented for the light-direct and indi-
rect-which they throw upon the subject:
Under the influence of many adverse circumstances, the standard of morals had
been greatly depressedsince the Restoration; and in the early Hanoverian period
the nation had sunk into a condition of moral apathy rarely paralleled in history.
But from about the middle of the eighteenth century a reforming spirit was once
moif abroad, and a steady movement of moral ascent may be detected. .The influence
of Pitt in politics and the influence of Wesley and his followers in religion were
the earliest and most important agencies in effecting it. In most respects
Pitt and Wesley were, it is true, extremely unlike. But with all these differ-
*History of England in the Eighteenth Century, Vol. II., Chap. IX.
Effect of the Methodist Revival. 35
ences, there was a real analogy and an intimate relation between the work of
these two men. The religious and political notions prevailing in the early Han-
overian period were closely connected. The theological conception which looked
upon religion as a kind of adjunct to the police-force, which dwelt almost exclu-
sively on the prudence of embracing it, and on the advantages it could confer, and
which regarded all spirituality and all strong emotions as fanaticism, corresponded
very faithfully to that political system under which corruption was regarded as
the natural instrument, and the maintenance of material interests the supreme
end of government; while the higher motives of political action were systemat-
ically ridiculed and discouraged. By Wesley in the sphere of religion, by Pitt
in the sphere of politics, the tone of thought and feeling was changed. It was
felt that enthusiasm, disinterestedness, and self-sacrifice had their place in poli-
tics; and although there was afterward, for short periods, extreme corruption,
public opinion never acquiesced in it again.*
Green, in his "History of the English People,"t presents
with equal clearness the fact that the Wesleyan revival was a
necessary condition for purifying political life.
Horace Walpole, whose power ran through three reigns-from
Anne to George II.-was the standing representative of polit-
ical cynicism, of that unbelief in high sentiment and noble aspi-
rations which had followed the crash of Puritanism. In the
talk of patriotism and public virtue he saw nonsense. "Men
would grow wiser," he said, and come out of that." Bribery
And borough-jobbing were his base of power. Green says:
Rant about ministerial corruption would have fallen flat on the public ear had
.,ot new moral forces, a new sense of social virtue, a new sense of religion, been
stirring, however blindly, in the minds of Englishmen. The stir showed itself /4
markedly in a religious revival which began in a small knot of Oxford students, I
whose-revolt-against the religious deadness of their times expressed itself in ascet-
ic observances, an enthusiastic devotion, and a methodical regularity of life which
gained them the nickname of "Methodists." Three figures detached themselves
from the group as soon as, on its transfer to London, in 1738, it attracted public
attention by the fervor and even extravagance of its piety; and each found his
special work in the task to which the instinct of the new movement led it from
the first-that of carrying religion and morality to the vast masses of population
which lay concentrated in the towns, or around the mines and collieries of Corn-
wall and the north. Whitefield was, above all, the preacher of themevvaL
Speech was governing English politics; and the religious power of speech was
shown when a dread of "enthusiasm" closed against the new apostles the pulpits
3f the Established Church and forced them to preach in the fields. Their voice
,as soon heard in the wildest and most barbarous corners of the land, in the
dens of London, or in the long galleries where, in the pauses of has labor, the
Cornish miner listens to the sobbing of the sea.
Ibid., Vol UI., Chap. VIII. f Vol. IV, Book VIII.
History of Methodism.
Such eulogies on Wesley and his co-laborers come late, but
are none the less significant. They contrast gratefully with the
scurrillous literature that greeted the Founder of Methodism
when his work began. The test of Gamaliel has been applied:
"But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it;" and historians
announce the verdict of a century of facts.
We close the chapter with other quotations from this author,
who has studied Wesley and Wesleyanism: "He was oldei
than any of his colleagues at the start, and he outlived them
all. His life, indeed, almost covers the century. No man
ever stood at the head of a great revolution whose temper
was so anti-revolutionary. When Whitefeid-+egan- his ser-
monii-ih4hefieklds, Wesley- could-not at first reconcile himself to
tha&tstrange way.' He fought against the admission of laymen
as preachers until he found himself left with none but laymen
to preach. He broke with the Moravians who had been the
earliest friends of the new movement, when they endangered its
safe conduct by their contempt of religious forms. He broke
with Whitefield when the great preacher plunged into an extrav-
agant Calvinism. But the same practical temper of mind which
led him to reject what was unmeasured, and to be the last to
adopt what was new, enabled him at once to grasp and organize
the novelties he adopted. -m lf b -he-most un-
ead.c n fie4-1 reaelrh- .and-his- journal for half a century is
lile-mor.~e than-a&ecord of fresh'-Journeys and-f4resh sermons.
When once driven to employ lay helpers in his ministry, he
made their work a new and attractive feature in his system. The
great body which he thus founded numbered one hundred thou-
sand at his death, and now counts its members in England and
America by millions. But the Methodists themselves were the
least result of the Methodist revival. Its action upon the Church
broke the lethargy of the clergy; and the 'Evangelical' move-
ment, which found representatives like Newton and Cecil within
the pale of the Establishment, made the fox-hunting parson and
the absentee rector at last impossible. A new philanthropy re-
formed our prisons, infused clemency and wisdom into our penal
laws, abolished the slave-trade, and gave the first impulse to
I [ome Training-Parsonage Life--At School-At the University-Awakeningp
-Studying Divinity-Predestination-Difficulties About Assurance-Ordinaw
L ET us return to the Epworth parsonage. Samuel Wesley,
the stalwart Churchman, is diligent; never unemployed,
never triflingly employed.
Dr. Whitehead says of him: "As a pastor, Samuel Wesley was
indefatigable in the duties of his office; a constant preacher, feed-
ing the flock with the pure doctrines of the gospel, according to
his ability; diligent in visiting the sick, and administering such
advice as their situations required; and attentive to the conduct
of all who were under his care; so that every one in his parish
became an object of his concern. No1Tsrangrs could.sattle.with-
in its limits but he presently knew it, and made himself acquaint-
ed with them."
He undertook to work the land of the rectory, but was a bad
manager, and debts grew faster than crops. His barn fell, his
flax got burned. The rector's temper, along with his Tory pol-
itics, made him unpopular; his cattle were stabbed in the field,
his house-dog was maimed. Once his house was partially burned,
and on another occasion was entirely destroyed by fire-whether
by accident or incendiarism will never be known.
After a hotly-contested election, Mr. Wesley, for a debt of 30,
was put into prison by an unfriendly creditor, where he remained
three months, until friends who were able to help came to his
relief. "Now I am at rest," he wrote from the prison to the
Archbishop of York, "for I am come to the haven where I have
long expected to be; and I do n't despair of doing good here, and
it may be more in this new parish than in my old one." He
I sad prayers daily, and preached on Sundays. He was consoled
by the fortitude of his noble wife. Money she had none-not a
coin; the household lived on bread and milk, the produce of the
Epworth glebe; but she did what she could to help her husband
in his strait-she sent him her little articles of jewelry, includ-
ing her wedding-ring; but these he sent her back, as things far
38 History of Methodism.
too sacred to be used in relieving his necessities. "'T is not
every one," he wrote again to the archbishop, who could bear
these things; but I bless God my wife is less concerned with
suffering them than I am in writing, or than I believe your Grace
will be in reading them. Most of my friends advise me to
leave Epworth, if ever I should get from hence. I confess I
am not of that mind, because I may yet do good here; and ik
is like a coward to desert my post because the enemy fire thick
Dr. A. Clarke assures us that Samuel Wesley had a large share
of vivacity; that in conversation he was entertaining and instruct-
ive, having a rich fund of anecdote, and of witty and wise say-
ings. There is a grim humor in the way he tells of his debt
troubles. His income was 200; but deducting taxes, poor as-
sessments, sub-rents, tenths, procurations, and synodals, the,Ep-
worth living brought not more than about 130 a year. Writing
to his patron, the archbishop (1701), he details these expenses,
I have had but three children born since I came hither about three years
since, but another coming, and my wife incapable of any business in my family
as she has been for almost a quarter of a year, yet we have but one maid-servant
to retrench all possible expenses. Ten pounds a year I allow my mother, to
help to keep her from starving. All which together keeps me necessitous, espe-
cially since interest-money begins to pinch me, and I am always called on for
money before I make it, and must buy every thing at the worst hand; whereas,
could I be so happy as to get on the right side of my income, I should not fear,
by God's help, but to live honestly in the world, and to leave a little to my chil-
dren after me. I think, as 'tis, I could perhaps work it out in time, in half a
dozen or half a score years, if my heart should hold so long; but for that, God's
will be done!*
Notwithstanding all these things, Samuel Wesley held on his
way. Leaving the care of household and the education of chil-
dren to his excellent wife, he not only discharged his clerical
duties with diligence, but, unchecked by poverty or persecution,
*A few days after, another letter followed to the archbishop: "This comes as a
rider to the last, by the same post, to bring such news as I presume will not be
unwelcome to a person who has so particular a concern for me. Last night my
wife brought me a few children. There are but two yet, a boy and a girl, and I
think they are all at present. .. . Wednesday evening my wile and I
clubbed and joined stocks, which came but to six shillings, to send for coals.
Thursday morning I received the ten pounds, and at night my wife was delivered.
Glory be to God 9r his unspeakable goodness!"
Samuel Wesley ana His Books. 39
persevered in a course of literary labor of vast magnitude. Be-
sides a great number of smaller but respectable publications, he
dedicated his Life of Christ," in verse, to Queen Mary; his
History of the Old and New Testaments to Queen Anne; and
his elaborate Latin dissertations on the Book of Job to Queen
Caroline-three successive queens of Great Britain. His great-
est literary work was Dissertationes in Librum Jobi," a large-
size folio book of six hundred pages. He was employed upon
this remarkable production for more than five and twenty years,
and death found him plodding away at the unfinished task. It
is written in Latin, intermixed with innumerable Hebrew and
Greek quotations. The list of subscribers for it includes the
first characters in the realm-princes, prelates, poets, and phi-
losophers. Pope was intimate with the rector, and in a letter to
Swift, soliciting his interest for the book, says of its author: I
call him what he is, a learned man, and I engage you will approve
his prose more than you formerly did his poetry." The illus-
trations, or "sculptures," were numerous, unique, and costly.
While the author was giving minute directions about engraving
Job's war-horse and the Poetica Descriptio Monstri," the wolf
was at his door. The rectory had been rebuilt within a year
after it was burned; but the rector was so impoverished that
thirteen years afterward his wife declares that the house was
still not half furnished, and she and her children had not more
than half enough of clothing. This extract from one of her let-
ters tells its own story: "The late Archbishop of York once
said to me (when my master was in Lincoln castle), Tell me,
Mrs. Wesley, whether you ever really wanted bread?' 'My
lord,' said I, 'I will freely own to your Grace that, strictly
speaking, I never did want bread. But then I had so much care
to get it before it was eat, and to pay for it after, as has often
made it very unpleasant to me; and I think to have bread on such
terms is the next degree of wretchedness to having none at all.'"
Th a mother of nineteen children, ten of whom were reared to
maturity, the wife of a poor clergyman, Mrs. Wesley was placed
in circumstances sufficiently trying to call forth aM the resources
of the greatest and most cultivated Christian mind. And it is not
saying too much to add that her resources never failed her. She
conducted household affairs with judgment, precision, diligence,
gad economy. Her children found in her a devoted, talented.
40 History of Methodism.
and systematic teacher. When rising into life, her sons as well
as daughters had in their mother an able and affectionate coun-
selor, correspondent, and friend. Her most distinguished son,
in later years, mentions the calm serenity with which his moth-
er transacted business, wrote letters, and conversed, surrounded
by her thirteen children." She was a woman that lived by rule;
she methodized every thing so exactly that to each operation she
had a time, and time sufficient to transact all the business of the
family. As to the children, their going to rest, rising in the
morning, dressing, eating, learning, and exercise, she managed
by rule, which was never suffered to be broken unless in case of
It was not until after her children had reached mature years
that the system by which she managed her household was com-
mitted to writing. These are some of the principal rules which
she says, I observed in educating my family:"
The children were always put into a regular method of living, in such things
as they were capable of, from their birth; as in dressing and undressing, chang-
ing their linen, etc. Wheanturned a-year.old-(and-some before) they were taught
tofear-the-red-and-to-ery-softLyby-whih.ameans-they escaped abundance of cor-
a. ticn.ad. -tlteyTightewise have -had,;-and4 hat most odious noise of the
cryingAke children was rarely heard in the house, but the family usually lived in
aasaiaslquietness as if there had not been a child among them.
As soon as they were grown pretty strong, they were confined to three meals a
day. At dinner their little table and chairs were set by ours, where they could
be overlooked; and as soon as they could handle a knife and fork they were set to
our table. 'u'y were c-rver sultered to choose their meat, but always made to eat
At six, as soon as family prayer was over, they had their supper; at seven the
maid washed them, and, beginning at the youngest, she undressed and got them
all to bed by eight, at which time she left them in their several rooms awake, for
tf wag no, sulh thing allwped of inomijeaoasisng,-b "me Hd -tH-t
In order to form the minds of children, the first thing to be done is to conquer
tho~r will and bring them to an obedient temper. To inform the understanding
is a work of time, and must with children proceed by slow degrees, as they are
able to bear it; but the subjecting the will is a thing which must be done at once,
and the sooner the better, for by neglecting timely correction they will contract a
st'.u bornness and. obstinacy which are hardly ever after conquered, and never
without using such severity as would be as painful to me as to the child. In the
esteem of the world they pass for kind and indulgent whom I call cruel parents,
who permit their children to get habits which they know must be afterward bro-
ken. Noy, a t y-fhe nd a "eate th i We n
thi -hth"ejijWinahi. erbey have severe)yJ,4a tli doing. When
Mrs. Wesley-Her Family Government. 41
a child is corrected it must be conquered; and this will be no hard matter to do
if it be not grown headstrong by too much indulgence. And when the will of a
child is totally subdued, and it is taught to revere and stand in awe of the parents,
then a great many childish follies and inadvertences may be passed by. I insist
upon conquering the will of children betimes, because this is the only strong and
rational foundation of a religious education, without which both precept and ex-
ample will be ineffectual. But when this is thoroughly done, then a child is ca-
pable of being governed by the reason and piety of its parents, till its own under-
standing comes to maturity, and the principles of religion have taken root in the
which they were made to say at rising and bed-time constantly, to which as
they grew bigger were added a short prayer for their parents, and some collects, a
short catechism, and some portion of Scripture, as their memories could bear.
They were very early made to distinguish the Sabbath from other days, before
they could well speak or go. They were as soon taught to be still at family
prayers, and to ask a blessing immediately after, which they used to do by signs
before they could kneel or speak.
They were quickly made to understand they might have nothing they cried for.
They were not suffered to ask even the lowest servant for aught without saying,
'Pray give me such a thing;" and the servant was chid if she ever let them omit
Taking God's name in vain, cursing and swearing, profanity, obscenity, rude,
ill-bred names, were never heard among them; nor were they ever permitted to
call each other by their proper names without the addition of brother or sister.
There was no such thing as loud talking or playing allowed of, but every one
was kept close to business for the six hours of school. And it is almost incredible
what a child may be taught in a quarter of a year by a vigorous application, if it
have but a tolerable capacity and good health. Kezzy excepted, all could read
better in that time than the most of women can do as long as they live.
For some years we went on very well. Never were children in better order.
Never were children better disposed to piety, or in more subjection to their par-
ents, till that fatal dispersion of them after the fire into several families. In those
they were left at full liberty to converse with servants, which before they had
always been restrained from, and to run abroad to play with any children, good or
bad. They soon learned to neglect a strict observance of the Sabbath, and got
knowledge of several songs and bad things which before they had no notion of.
That civil behavior which made them admired when they were at home by all
who saw them was in a great measure lost, and a clownish accent and many rude
ways were learnt, which were not reformed without some difficulty.
When the house was rebuilt, and the children all brought home, we entered on
a strict reform; and then was begun the custom of singing psalms at beginning
a.il leaving school, morning and evening. Then also that of a general retirement
at five o'clock was entered upon, when the oldest took the youngest that could
speak, and the second the next, to whom they read the psalms for the day and a
chapter in the New Testament-as in the morning they were directed to read the
iwalus and a chapter in the Old Testament, after which they went to their pri.
vqte prayers, before they got their breakfast or came into the family.
42 History of Methodism.
There were several by-laws observed among us.
First. It had been observed that cowardice and fear of punishment often lead
children into lying, till they get a custom of it which they cannot leave. To pre-.
rent this, a law was made that whoever was charged with a fault of which they
were guilty, if they would ingenuously confess it and promise to amend, should
not be beaten. This rule prevented a great deal of lying.
Se nond. That no sinful action, as lying, pilfering, disobedience, quarreling, etc.,
should ever pass unpunished.
Third. That no child should be ever chid or beat twice for the same fault, and
that if they amended they should never be upbraided with it afterward.
Fourth. That every signau act of obedience, especially when it crossed upon
their own inclinations, should be always commended.
Fifth. That if ever any child performed an act of obedience, or did any thing
with an intention to please, though the performance was not well, yet the obedi-
ence and intention should be kindly accepted, and the child with sweetness di.
rected how to do better for the future.
Sixth. That propriety be inviolably preserved, and none suffered to invade the
property of another in the smallest matter, though it were but of the value of a
farthing, or a pin, which they might not take from the owner without, much less
against, his consent. This rule can never be too much inculcated on the minds of
children; and from the want of parents or governors doing it as they ought pro
ceeds that shameful neglect of justice which we may observe in the world.
The day before a child began to study, the house was set
in order, every one's work appointed, and a charge given that
none should come into the room from nine till twelve, or from
two till five, which were the school-hours. One day was allowed
the pupil to learn his letters, and each of them did in that time
know them all except two, who were a day and a half at the task,
"for which," she says, "I then thought them very dull." Sam-
uel, who was the first child thus taught, learned the alphabet in
a few hours. The day after he was five years old he began to
study, and as soon as he knew the letters he proceeded to spell
out the first chapter of Genesis. The same method was ob.
served by them all.*
Book-knowledge was only a part of the course of education
embraced by Mrs. Wesley's system. She knew that for the
trnths of the gospel to find a lodgment in the heart they must
1* personally and directly applied. For this purpose she ar-
*Samuel, the eldest son, was born whilst Mr. Wesley was a curate in London,
five other children-all daughters-of whom three died, were born at South Orms-
by; and afterward thirteen more were born at Epworth. Of the whole, three
boys, Samuel, John, and Charles; and seven girls, Emilia, Susanna, Mary, Mehet-
abel, Anne, Martha, and Keziah, reached maturity, and were all married, except
Mrs. Wesley and the Curate.
ranged a special private conference with each child once in every
week. Her own account of this plan is thus expressed: "I take
such a portion of time as I can best spare every night to discourse
with each child by itself on something that relates to its princi-
pal concerns. On Monday I talk with Molly, on Tuesday with
Hetty, Wednesday with Nancy, Thursday with Jacky, Friday
with Patty, Saturday with Charles, and with Emilia and SL-key
together on Sunday." These conversations disclosed to the
mother the real thoughts and feelings of her children respecting
Nearly twenty years afterward, John Wesley, at Oxford, was,
by correspondence, inquiring for direction from his mother on the
subject of a complete renunciation of the world. Urging his
claim for just a little time to be given by her to this point, he
says in his letter: "In many things you have interceded for me
and prevailed. Who knows but in this too you may be success-
ful? If you can spare me only that little part of Thursday even-
ing which you formerly bestowed upon me in another manner, I
doubt not it would be as useful now for correcting my heart as
it was then for forming my judgment."
On three several occasions, Samuel Wesley was elected proc-
tor, or convocation man, for the diocese of Lincoln. These at-
tendances at convocation brought upon him an expenditure of
150, which he could ill afford to bear. Being so much in Lon-
don, he required a curate to supply his place at Epworth. Oii
one occasion, when Wesley returned from London, the parishion-
ers complained that the curate had "preached nothing to his
congregation except the duty of paying their debts and behaving
well among their neighbors." The complainants added: "We
think, sir, there is more in religion than this." The rector re-
plied: There certainly is; I will hear him myself." The curate
was sent for, and was told that he must preach next Lord's-day,
the rector at the same time saying: "I suppose you can prepa e
a sermon upon any text I give you." "Yes, sir," replied the
ready curate. "Then," said Wesley, "prepare a sermon on He-
brews xi. 6,' Without faith it is impossible to please God."'" The
time arrived, and the text being read with great solemnity, the
curate began his brief sermon, by saying: "Friends, faith is a
most excellent virtue, and it produces other virtues also. In par-
Stevenson's Memorials of the Wesley Family.
History of Methodism.
ticular, it makes a man pay his debts;" and thus he fell into the
worn rut and kept on to the end.
It is not likely that the ministry of such a man would satisfy
the enlightened mind and religious heart of Susanna Wesley;
nor is it to be wondered at that she should try to supply its de-
fects by reading to her children and to her neighbors, on Sunday
evenings, the best sermons to be found in her husband's library.
The congregations of the rector's wife were probably larger
than those of the rector's curate. Inman heard of these gather-
ings, and wrote the rector, complaining that Mrs. Wesley, in his
absence, had turned the parsonage into a conventicle; that the
Church was likely to be scandalized by such irregular proceed-
ings, and that they ought not to be tolerated. Mr. Wesley wrote
to his wife; and an extract from her reply gives us a hint of his
objections and a history of her irregular way of doing good:
I heartily thank you for dealing so plainly and faithfully with me in a matter
of no common concern. The main of your objections against our Sunday evening
meetings are, first, that it will look particular; secondly, my sex.
As to its looking particular, I grant it does; and so does almost every thing thai
is serious, or that may any way advance the glory of God or the salvation of souls,
if it be performed out of a pulpit, or in the way of common conversation; because
in our corrupt age the utmost care and diligence have been used to banish all dis-
course of God or spiritual concerns out of society, as if religion were never to ap-
pear out of the closet, and we were to be ashamed of nothing so much as of pro-
fessing ourselves to be Christians. To your second, I reply that as I am a woman
so I am also mistress of a large family. And though the superior charge of the
souls contained in it lies upon you, as head of the family, and as their minister,
yet in your absence I cannot but look upon every soul you leave in my care as a tal-
ent committed to me, under a trust, by the great Lord of all the families of heaven
and earth. I thought it my duty to spend some part of the day in reading to and
instructing my family, especially in your absence, when, having no afternoon serv-
ice, we have so much leisure for such exercises; and such time I esteem spent in
a way more acceptable to God than if I had retired to my own private devotions.
This was the beginning of my present practice; other people coming in and join.
ing with us was purely accidental. Our lad told his parents-they first desired to
be admitted; then others who heard of it begged leave also. I chose the best and
most awakening sermons we had. Last Sunday, I believe, we had above two hun-
dred hearers, and yet many went away for want of room. We banish all temporal
concerns from our society; none is suffered to mingle any discourse about them
with our reading and singing. We keep close to the business of the day, and as
soon as it is over they all go home. And where is the harm of this? As for your
proposal of letting some other person read, alasi you do not consider what a peo-
ple these are. I do not think one man among them could read a bermon without
spelling a good part of it; and how would that edify the rest? . . If you
Burning of Epworth Parsonage.
do, after all, think fit to dissolve this assembly, do not tell me that you desire me
to do it, for that will not satisfy my conscience; but send me your positive command,
in such full and express terms as may absolve me from all guilt and punishment,
for neglecting this opportunity of doing good, when you and I shall appear before
the great and awful tribunal of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It has been well remarked that when, in this characteristic
letter, she said, "Do not tell me that you desire me to do it, but
send me your positive command," Susanna Wesley was bringing
to its place a corner-stone of the future Methodism. John and
Charles Wesley were present at these irregular meetings-the
first Methodist meetings ever held-Charles a child of four years
old, and John a boy of nine.
On February 9, 1709, at midnight, when all the family were in
bed, Samuel Wesley was startled by a 'cry of fire, out-of-doors.
His wife and her eldest daughters rose as quickly as possible.
He then burst open the nursery door, where in two beds ere
sleeping five of his children and their nurse. The nurse seized
Charles, the youngest, and bid the others follow. Three of the
children did as they were bidden; but John (six years old) was
left sleeping. The wind drove the flames inward with such vio-
lence that egress seemed impossible. Some of the children now
escaped through the windows, and the rest through a little door
into the garden. Mrs. Wesley was not in a condition either to
climb to the windows or get to the garden door; and, ill clad as
she was, she was compelled to force her way to the main entrance
through the fury of the flames, which she did, suffering no fur-
ther harm than scorching.
When Mr. Wesley was counting heads to see if -all his fam-
ily were safe, he heard a cry issuing from the nursery, and found
that John was wanting. He attempted to ascend the stairs, but
they were all on fire, and were insufficient to bear his weight.
Finding it impossible to render help, he knelt down and com-
mended the soul of his child to God. Meanwhile the child had
mounted a chest which stood near the window, and a person in
the yard saw him, and proposed running to fetch a ladder. An-
other seeing there was no time for that, proposed to fix himself
against the wall, and that a lighter man should be set upon his
shoulders. This was done-the child was pulled through the
window; and, at the same instant, the roof fell with a fearful
crash, but fortunately fell inward, and thus the two men and
the rescued child were saved from perishing. When the child
History of Methodism.
was taken to an adjoining house, the devout rector cried: "Come,
neighbors, let us kneel down; let us give thanks to God; he has
given me all my eight children; let the house go; I am rich
enough." The memory of his deliverance, on this occasion, is
preserved in one of John's early portraits, which has below the
head the representation of a house in flames, with the motto,
"Is not this a brand plucked from the burning?"*
The rector writes: "When poor Jackey was saved, I could not
believe it till I had kissed him two or three times. My wife
asked, 'Are your books safe?' I told her it was not much, now
she and the rest were preserved alive. Mr. Smith, of Gains-
borough, and others, have sent for some of my children. I had
finished my alterations in the 'Life of Christ' a little while
since, and transcribed three copies of it; but all is lost. God
be praised! I hope my wife will recover and not miscarry, but
God will give me my nineteenth child. When I came to her
her lips were black. I did not know her. Some of the chil-
dren are a little burned, but not hurt or disfigured. I only got
a small blister on my hand. The neighbors send us clothes, for
it is cold without them."
Mr. and Mrs. Wesley, aware of their inability to lay up fort-
unes for their children, resolved that they should enjoy the ad-
vantages of education. The daughters were well instructed by
their mother; and their three sons were all graduates of the Uni-
versity of Oxford. Samuel Wesley, junior, was educated at
Westminster School; and in 1711 was elected to Christchurch,
Oxford, where he took his degree. He was eminent for his learn-
ing, and was an excellent poet, with great power of satire, and
*Because of this narrow escape, his mother's mind appears to have been drawn
out with unusual earnestness in concern for John. One of her written medita-
tions, when he was eight years old, shows how much her heart was engaged in
forming his mind for religion. This is the meditation: "Evening, May 17th,
1711. Son John. What shall I render unto the Lord for all his mercies? The
little unworthy praise that I can offer is so mean and contemptible an offering
that I am even ashamed to tender it. But, Lord, accept it for the sake of Christ,
and pardon the deficiency of the sacrifice. I would offer thee myself, and all that
Lhol hast given me; and I would resolve-O give me grace to do iti -that the
residue of my life shall be devoted to thy service. And I do intend to be more
particularly careful of the soul of this child, that thou hast so mercifully provided
for, than ever I have been; that I may do my endeavor to instill into his mind the
principles of thy true religion, and virtue. Lord, give me grace to do it sincerely-
and prudently, and bless my attempts with good success"
The Wesley Brothers at School. 47
an elegant wit. He held a considerable rank among the literary
men of the day.*
As a High-churchman, he greatly disapproved of the conduct
of his brothers when they began to itinerate. He also objected
to the doctrines they preached. Probably the last letter written
by his trenchant pen was in reply to one sent him from Bristol
by his brother, dated May 10th, 1739, in which he gives instances
of instantaneous conversion resulting from his preaching in
that city. Doubting Samuel wrote to John: "I must ask a few
more questions. Did these agitations ever begin during the use
of any collects of the Church, or during the preaching of any ser-
mon that had been preached within consecrated walls without
that effect, or during tho inculcating any other doctrine besides
that of your new birth?"
Charles was sent to Westminster School in the year 1716, be-
ing then eight years of age. John had then been about two
years at the Charterhouse School in London. At Westminster,
Charles was placed under the care of his brother Samuel, who
was one of the ushers in that establishment, and, for a time, bore
the expense of Charles's maintenance and education. Samuel
made him an excellent classical scholar and a "Churchman."
When John was at the Charterhouse, the elder boys were ac-
customed, in addition to their other tyranny, to take the portions
of animal food provided for the younger scholars. In conse-
quence of this he was limited for a considerable time to a small
daily portion of bread as his only solid food. There was one
thing, however, which contributed to his general flow of health,
and to the establishment of his constitution; and that was his
invariable attention to a strict command of his father that he
should run round the Charterhouse garden, which was of con
siderable extent, three times every morning.
From early childhood he was remarkable for his sober and
studious disposition, and seemed to feel himself answerable'to
his reason and conscience for every thing he did. Such was his
consistency of conduct that his father admitted him to the com-
*In 1736 he published a quarto volume of poetry. Among these pieces we
have a paraphrase on Isaiah xl. 6-8, occasioned by the death of a young lady, and
which is found in the hymn-books, beginning, "The morning flowers display their
. sweets." He was also the author of, "The Lord of Sabbath let us praise;" "Hail.
God the Son, in glory crown'd;" "Hail, Holy Ghost, Jehovah, third;" "The Sun
of righteousness appears," etc.
48 History of Methodism.
munion-table when he was only eight years old. Between the
age of eight and nine the small-pox attacked him. At the time
his father was in London, and his mother writing him remarks:
"Jack has borne his disease bravely, like a man, and indeed like
a Christian, without complaint." The great privilege of being a
Charterhouse scholar he owed to a nobleman's friendship for his
father. There he remained six years, making such progress that
in 1720 he was elected on this foundation to Christchurch, Ox-
ford, one of the noblest colleges in that illustrious seat of learn-
ing; and here he continued until after his ordination in 1725.
In reference to this period he writes: "I still said my prayers,
both in public and private, and read with the Scriptures several
other books of religion, especially comments on the New Testa-
ment. Yet I had not all this while so much as a notion of inward
holiness; nay, went on habitually and, for the most part, very
contentedly in some or other known sin-though with some in-
termission and short struggles, especially before and after the
holy communion, which I was obliged to receive thrice a year."
He often struggled with financial difficulty, and more than
once, when requesting his sisters to write to him, playfully re-
marks that though he was "so poor," he "would be able to spare
the postage for a letter now and then." The 40 per annum
which belonged to him as a Charterhouse scholar was barely suf-
ficient to meet all the expenses of a young Oxford student of that
day. His financial embarrassments are often and painfully re-
ferred to in the family correspondence.
From the age of eleven to twenty-one, John Wesley's religious
experience seems to have suffered much loss. He was now the
gay and sprightly young man, with a turn for wit and humor.
He had already begun to amuse himself occasionally with writ-
ing verses, some in a vein of trifling elegance, others either im-
itations or translations of the Latin. Once, however, he wrote
an imitation of the sixty-fifth Psalm, which he sent to his father,
who said: I like your verses on the sixty-fifth Psalm, and would
not have you bury your talent."
Of his steadfastness in orthodox views there can be no doubt.
Infidelity was all abroad, even in his college; but it seems not
to have touched him. Occasionally the leaven of Pharisaism
wrought in him, but he had in him nothing of the vulgar, mate-
rialistic Sadduca a His faculty of belief was sound and soundly
John a Student of Divinity.
exercised. Conscience, however tender, was never allowed to in.
rude into the office of judgment. The patience and fairness with
which he inquired into, and reported, many things made the im-
prefssion on some that he believed them all.*
There is no evidence that when John Wesley went to Oxford
he intended to become a minister of the Established Church.
He might intend to devote himself, like his brother Samuel, to
tutorship; or he might contemplate some other mode of mainte-
nance. Certain it is that it was not until about the beginning
of 1725, when he had been more than four years at college, that
he seems to have been seriously exercised on the subject. The
thought of obtaining ordination gave an abrupt turn to his stud-
*The ghost-story has entered into all Wesleyan biographies. It was during
John's residence at the Charterhouse that mysterious noises were heard in Ep-
worth rectory. The often told story need not be repeated; but there can be no
question that the Charterhouse youth was impressed. He took the trouble of oh.
training minute particulars from his mother, and his four sisters, and others, com-
petent witnesses. The learned Priestley obtained the family letters and journals
relating to these curious fai,. and gave them to the world as the best authenticated
and best told story of the kind extant. They call to mind things described by
Cotton Mather, in the witchcraft of New England. Sometimes moans were heard,
as from a person dying; at others, it swept through the halls and along the stairs,
with the sound of a person trailing a loose gown on the floor; the chamber walls,
meanwhile, shook with vibrations. Before "Jeffrey" (as the children called it)
came into any room, the latches were frequently lifted up, and the windows clat-
tered. It seemed to clap the doors, draw the curtains, and throw the man-servant's
shoes up and down. Once it threw open the nursery door. The mastiff barked
violently at it the first day, yet whenever it came afterward he ran off whining,
to shelter himself. These noises continued about two months, and occurred, the
latter part of the time, every day. The family soon came to consider them amus-
ing freaks, as they were never attended with any serious harm; they all, never-
theless, deemed them preternatural. Adam Clarke believed them to be demoniacal.
It was evidently, says Southey, a Jacobite goblin, and seldom suffered Mr. Wesley
to pray for the Hanover king without disturbing the family. John says it gave
"thundering knocks" at the Amen, and the loyal rector, waxing angry at the in-
sult, sometimes repeated the prayer with defiance. Priestley supposed them a trick
of the servants. Isaac Taylor thinks that the strange Epworth episode so laid
open Wesley's faculty of belief that ever after a right-of-way for the supernatural
was opened through his mind to the end of life. Southey argues that such occur-
rences have a tendency to explode the fine-spun theories of materialists who deny
another state of being, and to bring men to the conclusion that there are more
things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in their philosophy. Tyerman
says: "We have little doubt that the Epworth noises deepened and most power,
fully increased Wesley's convictions of the existence of an unseen world, and. iv
this way, exercised an important influence on the whole of his future life."
History of Methodism.
ies and his manner of life. He consulted his parents, and both
gave characteristic advice. His father, beginning thus, "As to
what you mention of entering into holy orders, it is indeed a
great work, and I am pleased to find you think it so," hints that
in his judgment it was rather too early for his son to take that
solemn obligation on him, and advises that he perfect himself in
Hebrew, etc. His mother urges her son to greater application
in the study of practical divinity, which, of all other studies, I
humbly conceive to be the best for candidates for orders," and
concludes by saying that she had noticed of late an alteration in
his temper, and trusted that it might proceed from the operations
of the Holy Ghost. She exhorts him:
And now, in good earnest, resolve to make religion the business of your life;
for, after all, that is the one thing which, strictly speaking, is necessary; all things
hide are comparatively little to the purposes of life. I heartily wish you would
now enter upon a strict examination of yourself, that you may know whether you
have a reasonable hope of salvation by Jesus Christ. If you have, the satisfaction
of knowing it will abundantly reward your pains; if you have not, you will find a
more reasonable occasion for tears than can be met with in a tragedy.
This excellent advice was not lost upon him; and, indeed, his
mother's admirable letters were among the principal means, un-
der God, of producing that still more decided change in his views
which soon afterward began to display itself. The young scholar
threw his whole strength into his work, and devoted himself with
intense diligence to the study of practical divinity, giving spe-
cial attention to those books which were likely to guide him to a
sound judgment.in spiritual matters, and to lead his affections
toward God With this view he carefully studied Thomas A
Kempis on "The Imitation of Christ," Bishop Taylor's "Rules
of Holy Living and Dying," and William Law's "Serious Call
to a Devout and Holy Life." From these impressive books he
learned that true religion does not consist in orthodox opinions,
nor in correct moral conduct, nor in conformity to the purest
modes of worship, necessary as these things are in their place;
but in the possession and exercise of the mind that was in Christ.
He was anxious, beyond expression, to attain inward and out-
ward holiness as the great end of his being. Wesley writes:
I began to see that true religion was seated in the heart, and that God's law
extended to all our thoughts as well as words and actions. I was, however, angry
at Kempis for being too strict; though I read him only in Dean Stanhope's trans-
lation. Yet I had frequently much sensible comfort in reading him, such as I was
John a Student of Divinity. 51
an utter stranger to before. Meeting likewise with a religious friend, which I
never had till now, I began to alter the whole form of my conversation, and to set in
earnest upon a new life. I set apart an hour or two a day for religious retirement.
I communicated every week. I watched against all sin, whether in word or deed.
I began to aim at, and to pray for, inward holiness. So that now, doing so much
and living so good a life, I doubted not that I was a good Christian.
In reference to Taylor's "Holy Living and Dying," he ob-
In reading several parts of this book, I was exceedingly affected; that part in
particular which relates to purity of intention. Instantly I resolved to dedicate
all my life to God-all my thoughts, and words, and actions-being thoroughly
convinced there was no medium; but that every part of my life (not some only)
must either be a sacrifice to God, or myself-that is, in effect, the devil.
But some of Taylor's opinions provoked the dissent of the de-
vout student, and led him more definitely to doctrines which were
to be vital in the theology of Methodism. The Bishop, in com-
mon with most theologians of his day, denied that the Christian
could usually know his acceptance with God. Wesley replied:
" If we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us (which he will not do
unless we are regenerate), certainly we must be sensible of it.
If we can never have any certainty of our being in a state of
salvation, good reason it is that every moment should be spent,
not in joy, but in fear and trembling; and then, undoubtedly, in
this life we are of all men most miserable."
He is feeling after the doctrine of assurance. His mother, to
whom his difficulties were stated, omits to afford him any assist-
ance on the point of the possibility of obtaining a comfortable
persuasion of .being in a state of salvation, through the influence
of the Holy Spirit; which he supposed to be the privilege of a
real believer, though as yet he was greatly perplexed as to the
means of attaining it. She says:
I do n't well understand what he [Taylor] means by saying, "Whether God
has forgiven us or no, we know not." If he intends such a certainty of pardon as
cannot possibly admit of the least doubt or scruple, he is infallibly in the right;
for such an absolute certainty we can never have till we come to heaven. But if
he means no more than that reasonable persuasion of the forgiveness of sins, which
a true penitent feels when he reflects on the evidences of his own sincerity, he is
certainly in the wrong, for such a firm persuasion is actually enjoyed by a man in
this life. The virtues which we have by the grace of God acquired are not of so
little force as he supposes; for we may surely perceive when we have them in any
Mother and son had not yet distinguished between the witness
of our own spirit and the witness of the Spirit itself. In his re.
52 History of Methodism.
ply he makes the important distinction between assurance of
present and assurance of future salvation; by confounding which,
so many, from their objection to the Calvinistic notion of the in-
fallible perseverance of the saints, have given up the doctrine of
That we can never be so certain of the pardon of our sins as to be assured they
will never rise up against us, I firmly believe. We know that they will infallibly
do so if ever we apostatize; and I am not satisfied what evidence there can be cf
our final perseverance till we have finished our course. But I am persuaded we
may know if we are now in a state of salvation, since that is expressly promised
in the Holy Scriptures to our sincere endeavors; and we are surely able to judge
of our own sincerity.
The latter part of this extract will, however, show how much
he had yet to learn in Methodist theology.
On the witness of the Spirit he is not so clear as he is in
his dissent from the tenet of "final perseverance." The time
approaches for ordination, and he is naturally exercised over the
article on predestination. He wrote:
As I understand faith to be an assent to any truth upon rational grounds, I do
not think it possible, without perjury, to swear I believe any thing unless I have
reasonable grounds for my persuasion. Now, that which contradicts reason cannot
be said to stand upon reasonable grounds; and such, undoubtedly, is every propo-
sition which is incompatible with the divine justice or mercy. What, then, shall
I say of predestination? If it was inevitably decreed from eternity that a detei-
minate part of mankind should be saved, and none besides, then a vast majority of
the world were only born to eternal death, without so much as a possibility of
avoiding it. How is this consistent with either divine justice or mercy? Is it mer-
ciful to ordain a creature to everlasting misery? Is it just to punish a man for
crimes which he could not but commit? That God should be the author of sin and
injustice, which must, I think, be the consequence of maintaining this opinion, is a
contradiction to the clearest ideas we have of the divine nature and perfections.
His mother confirmed him in these views, and expressed hei
abhorrence of the Calvinistic theology. Meanwhile she tried to
solve some of his scruples respecting the article on predestina-
tion; and wrote him a long letter, from which we give the follow.
. Such studies tend more to confound than to inform the understanding, and
young people had better let them alone. But since I find you have some scruples
concerning our article, Of Predestination, I will tell you my thoughts of the mat-
ter. If they satisfy not, you may desire your father's direction, who is surely bet-
ter qualified for a casuist than I.
The doctrine of predestination, as maintained by the rigid Calvinists, is very
shocking, and ought to be abhorred, because it directly charges the Most High God
with being the author of sin. I think you reason well and justly against it; for it
is certainly inconsistent with the justice and goodness of God to lay any man undei
either a physical or moral necessity of committing sin, and then to punish him foi
doing it. I firmly believe that God, from eternity, has elected some to eternal life;
but then I humbly conceive that this election is founded on his foreknowledge,
according to Romans viii. 29, 30. Whom, in his eternal prescience, God saw would
make a right use of their powers, and accept of offered mercy, he did predestinate
and adopt for his children. And that they may be conformed to the image of his
only Sur, he calls them to himself, through the preaching of the gospel, and, in-
ternally by his Holy Spirit; which call they obeying, repenting of their sins and
believing in the Lord Jesus, he justifies them, absolves them from the guilt of all
their sins, and acknowledges them as just and righteous persons, through the mer-
its and mediation of Jesus Christ. And having thus justified, he receives them
to glory-to heaven.
This is the sum of what I believe concerning predestination, which I think is
agreeable to the analogy of faith; since it does in nowise derogate from the glory
of God's free grace, nor impair the liberty of man. Nor can it with more reason
be supposed that the prescience of God is the cause that so many finally perish
than that our knowing the sun will rise to-morrow is the cause of its rising.
John Wesley substantially adopted these predestinarian views,
as may be seen in his sermon on the text expounded in the fore-
going letter; but his notions of that faith by which a sinner is
justified were, at present,Afar from being clear.
The time for his ordination was now at hand, and the
money question required attention. His father writes: "I will
assist you in the charges for ordination, though I am myself
just now struggling for life. The 8 you may depend on this
next week, or the week after." And John Wesley was ordained
deacon, September 19, 1725.
[Tae materials of this Chapter are drawn chiefly from Whitehead's Life of Wesley;
9tevens's History of Methodism; and Tyerman's Life and Times of Rev. John Wesley, M.A.1
The Fellowship-His Father's Curate-Cutting Off Acquaintances-Chailes
Awakened-The Holy Club-Whitefield and Other Members-Original Meth-
odists-What Lack I Yet?
SIX months after his ordination, one of the fellowships of Lin-
coln College being vacant, Wesley became a candidate for it
His previous seriousness had been the subject of much banter
and ridicule, and appears to have been urged against him in the
election by his opponents; but his reputation for learning and
diligence, and the excellence of his character, triumphed. Here
again money was wanted to bear the expenses of installation, and
the father, as usual, strained himself to help. The academic dis-
tinction achieved was most gratifying to the family, and the sub-
stantial income attached to the fellowship put an end to his
wants. Wesley hereafter could mai tain himself comfortably,
and help others also. Henceforth, lie said, he "was entirely
free from worldly cares, for his income was ready for him on
stated days, and all he had to do was to count it and carry it
home." His mother, with a full heart, thanked Almighty God
for his "good success;" and his exultant father wrote:
DEAR MR. FELLOW ELECT OF LINCOLN: I have done more than I could for
you. The last 12 pinched me so hard that I am forced to beg time of your
brother Sam till after harvest, to pay him the 10 that you say lie lent you. Nor
shall I have as much as that, perhaps not 5, to keep my family till after lar-
vest; and I do not expect that I shall be able to do any thing for Charles when
he goes to the university. What will be my own fate God only knows. Sed pas.
Ti graviora. Wherever I am, my Jack is fellow of Lincoln.
His literary character was now established at the university.
All parties acknowledged him to be a man of talents and of
learning; while his skill in logic was known to be remarkable.
Thz ..r..... 1 that th.n- lh h' WoT nnlP- _n n I. ..j-.l... j_11
md M"udu u urf th4" ulBBio .
Wesley, about this period, undertook to rid himself of unprof-
itable acquaintances. He writes:
When it pleased God to give me a settled resolution to be not a nominal
but a real Christian (being then about twenty-two years of age), my acquaint-
Charles at Christchurch College. 55
dancee were as ignorant of God as myself. But there was this difference-]
knew my own ignorance; they did not know theirs. I faintly endeavored to help
them, but in vain. Meantime I found, by sad experience, that even their haradess
conversation, so called, damped all my good resolutions. I saw no possible way
of getting rid of them unless it should please God to remove me to another col-
lege. He did so, in a manner utterly contrary to all human probability. I was
elected fellow of a college [Lincoln] where I knew not one person. I foresaw
abundance of people would come to see me, either out of friendship, civility, or
curiosity; and that I should have oflbrs of acquaintance new and old; but I had
now fixed my plan. I resoyved-te-4tanoe-Ba.quainaertaey-c. ee)rbh4~loice;
uand-tywlswithe.By-Aeoiusldihelp.me.on nmy...watdeaven. In consequence
of this, I narrowly observed the temper and behavior of all that visited me. I
saw no reason to think that the greater part of these truly loved or feared God;
therefore, when any of them came to see me, I behaved as courteously as I could;
but to the question, "When will you come to see me?" I returned no answer.
When they had come a few times, and found I still declined returning the visit, I
saw them no more. And I bless God this has been my invariable rule for about
three-score years. I knew many reflections would follow, but that did not move
me, as I knew full well it was my calling to go through evil report and good
He laid down a severe and systematic course of study, took
pupils, wrote sermons, kept fast-days, and was much in prayer.
The rector of Epworth became less able than formerly to attend
to the duties of his parish, and earnestly desired his son John to
assist him as his curate. He complied with his father's wishes,
and left Oxford for this purpose in August, 1727; and only for
priest's orders and Master's degree did he visit Oxford during
the next two years. He labored diligently.
What were the results? W yi ii U ils-te ."I
preachd m h, lbut nw n c lr L-i f-myj rb. Indeed, it could not
be that I should; for I neither laid the foundation of repentance
nor of believing the gospel; taking it for granted that all to
whom I preached were believers, and that many of them needed
no repentance." Meanwhile Charles, five years his junior, had
been elected to Christchurch College, and entered it about the
time John left it. For some months after his arrival in Oxford,
though very agreeable in his spirit and manners, he was far from
being earnest in his application to study; the strict authority
over him which his brother Samuel exercised, as his tutor and
guardian, being now withdrawn. He says: My first year at
college I lost in diversions; the next I set myself to study.'
He pursued his studies diligently," says John, and led a reg-
alar. harmless life; but if I spoke to him about religion, he would
66 History of Methodism.
warmly answer, What, would you have me to be a saint all at
once?' and would hear no more."*
Such was the state of the two brothers when John left Oxford
to become his father's curate. But soon after that event, and
apparently without the intervention of any particular means,
Charles Wesley also became deeply serious, and earnestly de-
sired to be a spiritual worshiper of God. Believing that the
keeping of a diary would further his designs, and knowing that
his brother had kept such a record for some years, he.,wrote to
him, requesting his advice:
I would willingly write a diary of my actions, but do not know how to go
about it. What particulars am I to take notice of? . *. If you woulh
direct me to the same or like method to your own I would gladly follow it. fo-
I am fully convinced of the usefulness of such an undertaking. I shall be at
a stand till I hear from you. .. I firmly believe that God will establish
what he hath begun in me; and there is no one person I would so willingly have
to be the instrument of good to me as you. It is owing, in great measure, to
somebody's prayers (my mother's, most likely) that I am come to think as I do!
for I cannot tell myself how or when I awoke out of my lethargy; only that it
was not long after you went away.t
This letter was written in the beginning of 1729.
No sooner had Charles Wesley become devout than he longed
to be useful to those about him. HI-beganto attendheW ly
af metsan-idieeditwoor -three- other students to attend
Swit mi.- The regularijyof-their behavior leda young colle-
gian- to call them Metihodists .and "as the name was new and
quiai.,-it-elave to them immediately, and from that time-all-that
had-a~ny-eonnection with them Were thus distinguished."
The Oxford Methodists. t The Life and Times of Rev. John Wesley, A.M.
1 The name was in use in England long before it was applied to Wesley and
his friends. In 1693 a pamphlet was published with the title, "A War among
the Angels of the Churches: wherein is shewed the Principles of the New Meth-
odists in the great point of Justification. By a Country Professor of Jesus Christ."
And even as early as 1639, in a sermon preached at Lambeth, the following per-
fumod eloquence occurs: "Where are now our Anabaptists, and plain, pack-staff
Methodists, who esteem all flowers of rhetoric in sermons no better than stinking
weeds, and all elegance of speech no better than profane spells?" Wesley's own
definition, as found in his Dictionary, published in 1753: "A Methodist--one that
lives according to the method laid down in the Bible." "The name of Meihod-
ist," it is observed by one of Wesley's correspondents, "is not a new name never
before given to any religious people. Dr. Calamy, in one of his volumes of the
ejected ministers, observes, They called those who stood up for God, Methodists"
The First Methodists. 57
The duties of his fellowship recalled John from the country
late in 1729, and the rector of Lincoln put eleven pupils under
his care immediately. In this employ," he says, I continued
till 1735, when I went as a missioner to Georgia." On his return
to Oxford he naturally took the lead of the little band of Meth-
odists. They rallied round him at once, feeling his fitness to
direct them. He was their master-spirit, and soon compacted
the organization and planned new methods of living and work-
ing. The first Me odist-werehe-W eyswith .Robert
Kirkham and William Morgan. To these were subsequently
added Whitefield, Clayton, Broughton, Ingham, Hervey, White-
lamb, Hall, Gambold, Kinchin, Smith, Salmon, Wogan, Boyce,
Atkinson, and others. Some of them made history. John Gain-
bold became a Moravian bishop, but like the leaders of the Holy
Club, it was not until after years of laborious endeavor to estab-
lish a righteousness of his own that he was led to submit to
the righteousness of God, by faith of Jesus Christ."' He gives
an original and inside view of the organization:
About the middle of March, 1730, I became acquainted with Mr. Charles Wes-
ley of Christ College. I was just then come up from the country, and had made
a resolution to find out some pious persons to keep company with. I had been,
for two years before, in deep melancholy. No man did care for my soul; or none
at least understood its paths. One day an old acquaintance entertained me with
some reflections on the whimsical Mr. Wesley, his preciseness and pious extrava-
gances. Upon hearing this, I suspected he might be a good Christian. I therefore
went to his room, and without any ceremony desired the benefit of his conversation.
[ had so large a share of it henceforth that hardly a day passed, while I was at col-
lege, but we were together once, if not oftener. After some time he introduced
me to his brother John, of Lincoln College. "For," said he, "he is somewhat
older than I, and can resolve your doubts better." This, as I found afterward,
was a thing which he was deeply sensible of; for I never observed any person
have a more real deference for another than he constantly had for his brother. .
I shall say no more of Charles, but that he was a man-made for friendship; who,
by his cheerfulness and vivacity, would refresh his friend's heart; and by a habit
of openness and freedom, leave no room for misunderstanding.
The Wesleys were already talked of for some religious practices, which were
first occasioned by Mr. Morgan, of Christchurch. From these combined friends
began a little society; for several others, from time to time, fell in; most of them
only to be improved by their serious and useful discourse; and some few espous-
ing all their resolutions and their whole way of life.
Mr. John Wesley was always the chief manager, for which he was very fit; for
he not only had more learning and experience than the rest, but he was blest with
such activity as to be always gaining ground, and such steadiness that he lost none.
What proposals he made to any were sure to charm them. because he was so much
58 History of Methodism.
in earnest; nor could they afterward slight them, because they saw him always the
same. To this 1 may add that he had, I think, something of authority in his
countenance; though, as he did not want address, he could soften his manner, and
point it as occasion required.
It was their custom to meet most evenings either at his chamber or one of the
others, where, after some prayers (the chief object of which was charity), they ate
their supper together, and he read some book. But the chief business was to re-
view what each had done that day, in pursuance of their common design, and to
consult what steps were to be taken the next. Their undertaking included several
particulars: To converse with young students, to visit the prisons, to instruct some
poor families, and to take care of a school and a parish work-house.
They took great pains with the younger members of the university, to rescue
them from bid company, and encourage them in a sober, studious life. If they
had some interest with any such, they would get them to breakfast, and over a
dish of tea, endeavor to fasten some good hint. For some years past lie and
his friends read the New Testament together at evening. After every portion of
it, having heard the conjectures the rest had to ofler, lie made his observations on
the phrase, design, and difficult places. One or two wrote these down from his
mouth. He laid much stress upon seli-examination. He taught them to take
account of their actions in a very exact manner by writing a constant diary.
Ther, to keep in their minds an awful sense of God's presence, with a constant
dependence on his help, lie advised them to ejaculatory prayers. They had a
book of Ejaculations relating to the chief virtues, and lying by them as they stood
at their studies, they at intervals snatched a short petition out of it. But at last,
instead of that variety, they contented themselves with the following aspirations
(containing acts of faith, hope, love, and self-resignation at the end of every hour):
"Consider and hear me," etc. The last means lie recommended was meditation
Their usual time for this was the hour next before dinner. After this lie com-
mitted them to God. What remained for him to do was to encourage them in the
discomforts and temptations they might feel, and to guard them against all spirit-
ual delusions. In this spiritual care of his acquaintance, Mr. Wesley persisted
amidst all discouragements. He overlooked not only one's absurd or disagreea-
ble qualities, but even his coldness and neglect of him, if lie thought it might be
conquered. He helped one in things out of religion, that lie might be more wel-
come to help him in that. His knowledge of the world and his insight into
physic were often of use to us.
A meditative piety did not cover the whole ground of the Ox-
ford Methodists. They studied how to do good in the prisons
and among the poor. Doubtless methods and their results were
often discussed. Gambold continues his account:
When a new prisoner came, their conversation with him for four or five times
was particularly close and searching. Whether lie bore no malice toward those
that did prosecute him, or any others? The first time, after professions of good-
will, they only inquired of his circumstances in the world. Such questions
imported friendship, and engaged the man to open his heart. Afterward they
entered upon such inquiries as most concern a prisoner: Whether he submitted to
Th7e "Holy Club." 59
-his disposal of Providence; whether he repented of his past life; last of all
they asked him whether lihe constantly used private prayer, and whether he had
ever conununicated. Thus, most or all the prisoners were spoken to in the;r
turns. But, if any one was either under sentence of death, or appeared to have
some intentions of a new life, they came every day to his assistance; and partook
in the conflict and suspense of those who should now be found able, or not able, to
lay hold on salvation. In order to release those who were confined for small debts,
and were bettered by their affliction, and likewise to purchase books, physic, and
other necessaries, they raised a small fund, to which many of their acquaintance
contributed quarterly. They had prayers at the Castle most Wednesdays-and
Friday, a sermon on Sundays, and the Sacrament.-oneeiaewniath When they un-
dertook any poor family, they saw them at least once a week; sometimes gave them
money, admonished them of their vices, read to them, and examined their chil-
dren. The school was, I think, of Mr. Wesley's own setting up. At all events,
he paid the mistress and clothed some, if not all, of the children. When they
went thither they inquired how each child behaved, saw their work (for some
could knit and spin), heard them read, heard them their prayers and catechism,
and explained part of it. In the same manner they taught the children in the
work-house, and read to the old people as they did to the prisoners.
Though some practices of Mr. Wesley and his friends were much blamed, they
seldom took any notice of the accusations brought against them; but if they made
any reply it was commonly such a plain and simple one as if there was nothing
more in the case, but that they had heard such doctrines of their Saviour, and be-
lieved and done accordingly.
In August, 1732, Wesley was made a member of The Society
for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge; and during his
stay in London, received from Clayton a long letter, a few sen-
tences from which will help to give the reader an insight into
the prison-work of the Oxford Methodists:
All the felons were acquitted, except Salmon, who is to be tried at Warwick;
and the sheep-stealer, who is burnt in the hand, and is a great penitent. Jempro
is discharged, and I have appointed Harris to read to the prisoners in his stead.
Two of the felons likewise have paid their fees and are gone out, both of them
able to read mighty well. There are only two in the gaol who want this accom-
plishment-John Clanville, who reads but moderately; and the horse-stealer, who
cannot read at all, though lie knows all his letters and can spell most of the mon-
osyllables. I hear them both read three times a week, and I believe Salmon hean
them so many times daily. The woman, who was a perfect novice, spells tolerably ;
and so does one of the boys; and the other makes shift to read with spelling every
word that is longer than ordinary. They can both say their catechism to tile end
of the commandments, and can likewise repeat the morning and evening prayer
for children in Ken's Manual.*
In all this the world saw naught but oddity and folly, and called
these hard-working tutors and godly students "Bible bigots," and
Tyerman's Oxford Methodists.
History of Methodism.
"Bible moths." In the university John Wesley and his friends
became a common topic of mirth, and were jeeringly designated
" The Holy Club." John consulted his father, and was encour-
aged: "As to your designs and employment, what can I say less
than Valde probo [I strongly approve]; and that I have the high-
est reason to bless God that he has given me two sons together at
Oxford, to whom he has granted grace and courage to turn the
war against the world and the devil? I hear my son John has
the honor of being styled the 'Father of the Holy Club;' if it be
so, I must be the grandfather of it; and I need not say that I
had rather any of my sons should be so dignified and distin-
guished than to have the title of His Holiness."
Once during John Wesley's absence from Oxford, the little
band, through persecution and desertion, was greatly weakened;
at another time he returned to find it reduced from twenty-seven
to five-showing clearly that he was the soul of the movement.
In 1732 James Hervey, author of the Meditations," joined them.
His very popular and peculiar style of writing turned the atten-
tion of the upper classes of society to religious subjects perhaps
more than any other writer of his time. Tho next year ,-o
-Grlgo Whmtofied. Though thzy dXnrge&-fiy
wl, tey-lived-lh, hJ dlt ."
Whitefield has left a characteristic account of his connection
with the "Holy Club." He was born in 1714, at the Bell Inn,
Bristol. "If I trace myself," he says, "from my cradle to my
manhood, I can see nothing in me but a fitness to be damned."
Yet Whitefield could trace early moving of his heart, which
satisfied him in after-life that "God loved him with an everlast-
ing love, and had separated him even from his mother's womb,
for the work to which he afterward was pleased to call him."
He had a devout disposition and a tender heart, so far as these
terms can fitly characterize unregenerate men.
When about fifteen years old he put on his blue apron and his
snuffers," washed mops, cleaned rooms, and became a "common
drawer." He gave evidence of his natural powers of eloquence in
school declamations, and while in the Bristol Inn composed two
or three sermons. Hearing of the possibility of obtaining an
education at Oxford, as a "poor student," he prepared himself
and went thither, and was admitted a servitor of Pembroke Col.
lege. The Methodists were not only the common butt of Oxford
Experiences of the Oxford Methodist. 63
ridicule, but their fame had spread as far as Bristol before White-
field left his home. He had "loved them," he tells us, before he
entered the university. He longed to be acquainted with them,
and often watched them passing through the sneering crowds, to
receive the sacrament at St. Mary's; but he was a poor youth,
the servitor of other students, and shrunk from obtruding him-
self upon their notice. At length a woman, in one of the work-
houses, attempted to cut her throat; and Whitefield, knowing that
both the Wesleys were ready for every good work, sent a poor
aged apple-woman to inform Mr. Charles Wesley of it, charging
her not to discover who sent her. She went, but contrary to
orders told his name, and this led Charles to invite him to break-
fast next morning. He was now introduced to the rest of the
Methodists, and lie also, like them, "began to live by rule, and
pick up the very fragments of his time, that not a moment might
be lost." Being in great distress about his soul, he lay whole
days prostrate on the ground, in silent or vocal prayer; he chose
the worst sort of food; he fasted twice a week; he wore woolen
gloves, a patched gown, and dirty shoes; and, as a penitent,
thought it unbecoming to have his hair powdered.
This neglect of his person-lost him patronage and cut off-some-
of his pay. Charles Wesley lent him a book, The Life of God
in the Soul of Man;" and he says:
Though I had fasted, watched, and prayed, and received the sacrament so long,
yet I never knew what true religion was, till God sent me that excellent treatise
by the hands of my never-to-be-forgotten friend. In reading that "true religion
was a union of the soul with God, and Christ formed within us," a ray of divine
light was instantaneously darted in upon my soul; and from that moment, but not
till then, did I know that I must be a new creature. The first thing I was called
to give up for God was what the world calls my fair reputation. I had no sooner
received the sacrament publicly on a week-day, at St. Mary's, but I was set up as a
mark for all the polite students that knew me to shoot at. By this they knew that
I was commenced Methodist. Mr. Charles Wesley walked with me, in order to
confirm me, from the church even to the college. I confess, to my shame, I would
gladly have excused him; and the next day, going to his room, one of our fellows
passing by, I was ashamed to be seen to knock at his door. But, blessed be God,
the fear of man gradually wore off. As I had imitated Nicodemus in his coward.
ice, so, by the divine assistance, I followed him in his courage. I confessed the
Methodists more and more publicly every day. I walked openly with them, and
chose rather to bear contempt with those people of God than to enjoy the applause
of almrost-Christians for a season.
It may be inferred, but might as well be stated on the testi-
mony of John Wesley, that it was the practice of the Oxford
History of Methodism.
Methodists to give away each year all they had after providing
for their own necessities; and then, as an illustration, he adds,
in reference to himself: One of them had thirty pounds a year.
He lived on twenty-eight, and gave away forty shillings. The
next year, receiving sixty pounds, he still lived on twenty-eight,
and gave away thirty-two. The third year he received ninety
pounds, and gave away sixty-two. The fourth year he received
a hundred and twenty pounds; still he lived as before on twenty-
eight, and gave to the poor all the rest." Such was the typical
He maintained the doctrine of apostolical succession, and be-
lieved no one had authority to administer the sacraments who
was not episcopally ordained. He religiously observed saint-days
and holidays, and excluded Dissenters from the holy communion,
on the ground that they had not been properly baptized. He
observed ecclesiastical discipline to the minutest points, and
was scrupulously strict in practicing rubrics and canons.
In fasting, in mortification, in alms-giving, in well-doing, and
by keeping the whole law, he sought purity of heart and peace
of conscience. He was intensely earnest, sincere, and self-deny.
ing. In all this, while a prodigy of piety in the eyes of man, there
was a felt want of harmony with God, and a feebleness amount-
ing to impotency, in the propagation of his faith among men.
Like one of old, he could say: "I might also have confidence in
the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he
might trust in the flesh, I more." Sacramentarian, ritualist, le-
galist: "What lack I vet?"
Breaking up of the Epworth Family-Death and Widowhood-The Parents
The Daughters and their History.
mHE yor 1735. witnessed the breaking up of the two families
in which Methodism was born and nursed-one at Epworth
and the other at Oxford. After a faithful ministry of forty-seven
years, Samuel Wesley died in Apwlk He had been manifestly
ripening for his change, and in his last moments had the conso-
lation of the presence of his two sons, John and Charles. From
both of them we have accounts of the death-bed scene.
Charles, writing a long letter two days after the funeral to his
brother Samuel, says: "You have reason to envy us, who could
attend him in the last stage of his illness. The few words he
could utter I saved, and hope never to forget. Some of them
were: Nothing too much to suffer for heaven. The weaker I am
in body, the stronger and more sensible support I feel from God.
There is but a step between me and death.' The fear of death
he had entirely conquered, and at last gave up his latest human
desires of finishing Job, paying his debts, and seeing you. He
often laid his hand upon my head and said: 'Be steady. The
Christian faith will surely revive in this kingdom; you shall see
it, though I shall not.' To my sister Emily, he said: 'Do not be
concerned at my death; God will then begin to manifest himself
to my family.' On my asking him whether he did not find him-
self worse, he replied: '0 my Charles, I feel a great deal; God
chastens me with strong pain, but I praise him for it, I thank
him for it, I love him for it!' Onfth4-24th his voice failed him,
and nature seemed entirely spent, when, on my brother's asking
whether he was not near heaven, he answered distinctly, and
with the most of hope and triumph that could be expressed iL
sounds,' Yes, I am.' He spoke once more, just after my brothel
had used the commendatory prayer; his last words were, 'Now
you have done all!'"
John Wesley, in his sermon on Love, preached at Savannah
1736), adverts to his father's death: When asked, not long be.
fore his release, 'Are the consolations of God small with you?'
he replied aloud, 'No, no, no!' and then calling all that were
History of Methodism.
near him by their names, he said:' Think of heaven, talk of heav-
en; all the time is lost when we are not thinking of heaven.'"
In his controversy with Archbishop Secker (1748), on the doc-
trine of the witness of the Spirit, he cites personal experience:
My father did not die unacquainted with the faith of the gospel, of the primi-
tive Christians, or of our first Reformers; the same which, by the grace of God, I
preach, and which is just as new as Christianity. What he experienced before J
know not; but I know that, during his last illness, which continued eight months,
he enjoyed a clear sense of his acceptance with God. I heard him express it more
than once, although, at that time, I understood him not. "The inward witness,
son, the inward witness," said he to me, "that is the proof, the strongest proof of
Christianity." And when I asked him (the time of his change drawing nigh),
"Sir, are you in much pain?" he answered aloud with a smile: "God does chas-
ten me with pain-yea, all my bones with strong pain; but I thank him for all, I
bless him for all, I love him for all!" I think the last words he spoke, when I
had just commended his soul to God, were, "Now you have done all I" and, with
the same serene, cheerful countenance, he fell asleep without one struggle, or sigh,
or groan. I cannot therefore doubt but the Spirit of God bore an inward witness
with his spirit that he was a child of God.
In the long sickness that preceded death the good old rectoi
had occasion to acknowledge the kindness of his people. He
outlived the brutal hostility with which he was met during the
first years of his residence at Epworth, and his dozen communi-
cants had increased to above a hundred. One of his sayings was,
"The Lord will give me at the last all my children, to meet in
heaven." Torim-'b ngs-tnhedistinctiB-ef--beig-^thel-ather
of theB reate9-e, age ie-of-medern-times; and -of the best sa-
credo-poet that-hlas-nfourished-duri ngthe-Gh'ristian era." That
the three sons of Epworth parsonage became polished shafts is
largely due to the scholarly inspiration and care of their father.
He had, under great difficulties, obtained a university education
himself, and could not be content with a less heritage for them.
Samuel Wesley was buried in his church-yard; and upon the
tombstone his widow had these words inscribed as part of the
epitaph: "As he lived so he died, in the true catholic faith of
the Holy Trinity in Unity, and that Jesus Christ is God incar-
nate, and the only Saviour of mankind."
Methodism owes a debt to endowed scholarships, fellowships,
and institutions of learning. Without them, Samuel Wesley and
his sons, with George Whitefield, must have gone without the
educational outfit which, under God, so mightily prepared them
for their life-work. John was maintained six years at Char-
Death of Mrs. Wesley.
terhouse, and thence sent forward to Oxford upon this founda-
tion As fellow of Lincoln College, he matured and enlarged
his post-graduate attainments, and upon this income initiated
Mel hodism before it was organized so as to support its ministry.
In the same way Charles, after becoming a "king's scholar," at
Westminster, went through that fine training-school, and aftei-
ward graduated at the university. The income of Epworth was
utterly nuable to bear these charges. The arrangement that made
it possible for the elder Wesley and for George Whitefield to get
through as servitorss" is part of the same wisdom that lays a
"foundation" to bless the ages. Let o- th1ihk, if- hga,-rif
'Meto thout-thesefourmnen; and think-of thesefour men
Those dying-words to his children, "The Christian faith will
surely revive in this kingdom; you shall see it, though I shall
not," were prophetic. Seven years afterward, John stood on that
tombstone and preached the gospel to great and awakened mul-
titudes, "with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven."
A veil is drawn over the parting from old Epworth. Neither
of the sons could be prevailed on to succeed their father in the
rectory, and so the connection of the family with the spot en-
deared by associations extending over forty years comes to an end.
Beautiful in sorrow, and with the weight of years added to her
solitary condition, the mother leaves the memorable place to spend
the seven years of her earthly pilgrimage as a widow in about
equal portions with four of her children, Emilia, Samuel at Tiv-
erton, Martha, and John in London. In-he-ar-change she
gathered her five living daughters around her at the Foundry,
and, nat fm ar- mwhar enmmmpd th in pp1poful
quaet she-eoethe-fourney-of-Jiferaftes-a-glzriw 1e et uf-
feri~ngeareereof-sev eyhree-yo. They stood round the bed,
and fulfilled her last request, uttered a little before she lost her
speech: "Children, as soon as I am released, sing a psalm of
praise to God." Released was her beautiful thought of death.*
*Dr. Adam Clarke, in summing up the incidents of her life, says: "I have been
acquainted with many pious females; I have read the lives of others; but such a
woman, take her for all in all, I have not heard of, I have not read of, nor with
her equal have I been acquainted. Such a one Solomon has described at the end
of his Proverbs; and adapting his words I can say, 'Many daughters have done
virtuously, but Srs rTA WESLEY has excelled them all.'"
66 History of Methodism.
Still further anticipating history, before taking final leave of
the family, we glance at the seven daughters-gifted, cultivated,
affectionate, and some of them beautiful women. What unhappy
marriages, leading to unhappy lives! This may not be accounted
for on the theory that over-education unfitted them for their
social sphere. Let us rather look for the cause in a state of
things that has not wholly disappeared in our own day-the few
suitable avenues that were open to educated women for self-sup
port. Emily, the oldest, was a woman in whom virtue, form, and
wit were combined in harmony. She had an exquisite taste for
music and poetry. Her brother John pronounced her the best
reader of Milton he had ever heard.
Her letters to her brothers are fine specimens of writing. She
was occasionally impatient at the straits of the situation, and no
wonder. The money spent on "those London journeys" and
convocations of blessed memory would, in her opinion, have
been better spent in quieting "endless duns and debts," and in
buying clothes for the family.
While John was playing at ritualism, he seems to have pro-
posed to her confession and penance. The reply is thoroughly
Now what can I answer? To indicate my own piety looks vain and ridiculous;
to say I am in so bad a way as you suppose me to be would perhaps be unjust t,
myself and unthankful to God. To lay open the state of my soul to you, or an)
of our clergy, is what I have no manner of inclination to at present, and believe I
ever shall. Nor shall I put my conscience under the direction of mortal man,
frail as myself. To my own Master I stand or fall; yea, I shall not scruple to say
that all such desires in you, or any other ecclesiastic, seem to me to look very much
like Church tyranny, and assuming to yourselves a dominion over your fellow-
creatures which never was designed you by God.
She married a dull and thriftless man-a "tradesman without
a trade"-and by keeping a scantily furnished boarding-school,
she supported herself and him. For many years a "widow
indeed," she was useful in her brother's classes," and died at
From injury received in infancy, Mary grew up deformed in
body and short in stature, but beautiful in face and in mind.
This condition exposed her to unseemly remarks from the igno-
rant and vulgar when she walked abroad. She alone seems to
have been married to suit herself and others; but in one short
year mother and babe lay in the same grave. When Charlas
The Wesley Daughters. 67
was passing through college, worrying with a short purse, she
wrote: "Dear brother, I beg you not to let the present straits
you labor under narrow your mind, or render you morose or
churlish in your converse with your acquaintance, but rather re-
sign yourself and all your affairs to Him who best knows what
is fittest for you, and will never fail to provide for whoever sin-
cerely trusts in him. I think I may say I have lived in a state
of affliction ever since I was born, being the ridicule of mankind
and the reproach of my family, and I dare not think God deals
hardly with me." A lovely character, her death was rich in ele-
gies from the gifted family.
Anne was so matched as to lead a quiet if not happy life. Her
husband was kind, but intemperate. Susanna's husband was
rich, but coarse and depraved. The rector spoke of him as the
"wen of my family;" and the rector's wife, in the anguish of a
mother's heart, wrote to a childless relative:
My second daughter, Sukey, a pretty woman, and worthy a better fate, rashly
threw away herself upon a man (if a man he may be called who is little inferior
to the apl state angels in wickedness) that is not only her plague, but a con-
stant affliction to the family. 0 sir! 0 brother! happy, thrice happy, are vnt;
happy is my sister, that buried your children in infancy! secure from temptation,
secure from guilt, secure from want or shame, or loss of friends! They are safe
beyond the reach of pain or sense of misery; being gone hence, nothing can touch
them further. Believe me, sir, it is better to mourn ten children dead than -one
living; and I have buried many.
His conduct to his wife is represented as harsh and despotic,
and under his unkindness she well-nigh sunk into the grave."
At last she fled from him, and found a peaceful death with her
children. Some of her last words, after she had been speech-
less for some time were, "Jesus is here! Heaven is love!"
Wesleyan missionaries to the West Indies, and ministers for the
Established Church, were of her offspring.*
In Hetty [Mehetabel] nearly all the graces and gifts of hei
brothers and sisters were combined. Her personal appearance,
accomplishments, and mental endowments were remarkable,
*The bad, rich man, her husband, became beggarly poor at the last, and also
penitent. Charles Wesley says (London, April 11, 1760): "Yesterday evening I
buried my brother Ellison. He believed God, for Christ's sake, had forgiven him.
I felt a most solemn awe overwhelming me while I committed his bidy to the
earth. He is gone to increase my father's joy in paradise, who often said every
one of his children would be saved, for God had given them all to him in answer to
prayer. God grant I may not be the single exception!"
68 History of Methodism.
even for the Wesley family. At the age of eight years she had
made such proficiency in classical knowledge that she could read
the Greek Testament. Good judges pronounced her poetic gift
equal to her younger brother's. Her fancy, wit, and gen-
ius outran her judgment, and caused her parents both anxiety
and trouble. Her ill-fated marriage took place during the year
1725. Never perhaps were two persons, united in marriage,
more unsuited to each other. Her husband was illiterate, vul-
gar, and unkind; of loose habits, and given to drink.
The following verses were breathed out of Hetty's soul on the
early death of her first-born. In an ill-spelled note, the father
conveyed the sad news to the two brothers, and adds a postscript:
PS.-Ive sen you Sum Verses that my wife maid of Dear Lamb Let me hear
from one or both of you as Soon as you think Conveniant. W. W.
A MOTHER'S ADDRESS TO HER DYING INFANT.
Tender softness! infant mild!
Perfect, purest, brightest child!
Transient luster! beauteous clay
Smiling wonder of a dayl
Ere the last convulsive start
Rend thy unresisting heart;
Ere the long-enduring swoon
Weigh thy precious eyelids down;
Ah, regard a mother's moan,
Anguish deeper than thy own!
Fairest eyes! whose dawning light
Late with rapture blest my sight,
Ere your orbs extinguished be,
Bend their trembling beams on me!
Drooping sweetness! verdant flower,
Blooming, withering in an hourly
Ere thy gentle breast sustains
Latest, fiercest, mortal pains,
Hear a suppliant! let me be
Partner in thy destiny:
That whenever the fatal cloud
Must thy radiant temples shroud;
When deadly damps, impending now,
Shall hover round thy destined brow,
Diffusive may their influence be,
And with the blossom blast the tree!
With a degree of perverseness, Hetty held out long, but finally
and heartily became a Methodist, and died well. By and by thp
Martha Outlives the Lpworth Family. 69
dolt and drunkard, who had wearied and worried the life out of
her, came to his end praying and repenting, and her forgiving
brothers ministered to him and buried him.*
At a time when she believed and hoped that she should soon
be at peace in the grave, she composed this epitaph for herself:
Destined while living to sustain
An equal share of grief and pain.
All various ills of human race
Within this breast had once a place.
Without complaint she learned to bear
A living death, a long despair;
Till hard oppress'd by adverse fate,
O'ercharged, she sunk beneath the weight,
And to this peaceful tomb retired,
So much esteem'd, so long desired.
The painful, mortal conflict's o'er;
A broken heart can bleed no more.
The youngest of the family died unmarried, after a disap-
pointment that embittered her life. Her death was witnessed
by Charles, who had often wept and prayed with her. He
writes (March 10, 1741): Yesterday morning sister Kezzy died
in the Lord Jesus. He finished his work and cut it short in
mercy. Full of thankfulness, resignation, and love, without
pain or trouble, she commended her spirit into the hands of Je-
sus, and fell asleep."
Martha was the counterpart of John. The points of similar-
ity in person, manners, habits of thought, patient endurance,
and in other respects, were so marked that Dr. Adam Clarke,
who had an intimate personal knowledge of both, has said that
if they could have been seen dressed alike it would .not have
been possible to distinguish the one from the other. Her letters
to her brothers make a part of that admirable correspondence
by which the current of love and mutual confidence was kept
flowing through every member of the family. Writing to John
when he was standing for his fellowship, she says: "I believe
you very well deserve to be happy, and I sincerely wish you may
be so, both in this life and the next. For my own particular, I
have long looked upon myself to be what the world calls ruined--
that is, I believe there will never be any provision made for me;
but when my father dies I shall have my choice of three things:
Stevenson's Memorials of the Wesley Family.
History of Methodism.
starving, going to a common service, or marrying meanly, as my
sisters have done; none of which I like." Ske-married-Westrey
.Hlln-rfergyman-a -eOxomni7pd one of~-the'originat "H'oly
3tlb-4-He-is- described by Dr. A. Clarke as "'a curate in the
,Cahch b ufmEpg ioraviar-&,Quietistaa-Deist
inhis'-teaehi.ng-and illustrated by-his praet6ite. Her--h-sbas d
deserted-her, her children died. She was never known to speak
unkindly of him, even at the worst. She was the friend of
Samuel Johnson, and often took tea with the literary Jove, who
enjoyed her Christian refinement and quiet wisdom; and these
occasions furnished Boswell with quotable paragraphs. To one
speaking of her severe trials she replied: "Evil was not kept
from me; but evil has been kept from harming me." Even
when reproving sin, she was so gentle that no one was ever known
to be offended thereby. Her kindly nature remained unchanged
to the end of life, and she lived to be eighty-five -outliving
all the Epworth family. John Wesley remembered his sister
in his will, leaving her a legacy of 40, to be paid out of the
proceeds of the sale of his books. Her last illness was brief;
she had no disease, but a mere decay of nature. She spoke of
her dissolution with the same tranquillity with which she spoke
of every thing else. A little before her departure she said: "I
have now a sensation that convinces me that my departure is
near; the heart-strings seem gently but entirely loosened." Her
niece asked her if she was in pain. "No, but a new feeling."
Just before she closed her eyes she bid her niece come near;
she pressed her hand, and said: "I have the assurance which I
have long prayed for. Shout! "-and expired. Her remains
were interred in the City Road burial-ground, in the same vault
with her brother; and on her tomb is the following inscription:
"She opened her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue was the
law of kindness (Prov. xxxi. 26)."
The Oxford Family Broken Up-Glances at the History of its Several Memberu-
The Georgia Colony-Why the Wesleys went as Missionaries.
T fHERE was a strong missionary spirit in the Wesley family
_1 when Christian missions to the heathen scarce existed.
The John Wesley of 1662, after being ejected from his church-
living, longed to go as a missionary to Maryland. Samuel Wes-
.ey, his son, when a young man, formed a magnificent scheme
for the East, and was willing to undertake the mission under the
Government's patronage. Now the Georgia Colony invites his
sons, and they go. General Oglethorpe, its founder and govern-
or, having taken out the first company of emigrants and settled
them, published that a door was opened for the conversion of
the Indians; and nothing seemed to be wanting but a minister
who understood their language.
There is a good deal of romance in the conception of a mis-
sion to the heathen, as many ardent minds conceive of it; and
John Wesley was not an exception. The charm of the mystic
writers still hung about him; it was to be dispelled in the wilds
of America. Though he had not embraced the peculiar senti-
ments of those who were grossly unscriptural, yet he still be-
lieved many of the mystic writers were, to use his own words,
"the best explainers of the gospel of Christ; and those that
are supposed to be the purest of them continually cry out, To
the desert! to the desert!" At this time, having only attained
to what St. Paul calls "the spirit of bondage unto fear," he
found that company and almost every person discomposed his
mind, and that all his senses were ready to betray him into sin,
upon every exercise. All within him, as well as every creature he
conversed with, tended to extort that bitter cry, 0 wretched
man that I am! who shall deliver me? No wonder he should
close in with a proposal which seemed at one stroke to cut him
off from both the smiling and the frowning world, and to enable
him to be crucified with Christ, which he then thought could be
only thus attained.
All our Atlantic coast had been taken up by charters and grants,
save a narrow sea-front between the Savannah and the Altamaha
12 History of Methodism.
rivers. The Spaniards were in Florida, the English in the Car-
olinas, and the French in Canada and Louisiana. On the 9th of
June, 1732, a charter was obtained from George II., erecting this
thin slice of America into the Province of Georgia, and appoint-
ing Oglethorpe and twenty other gentlemen trustees to hold the
same for a period of twenty-one years, in trust for the poor."
The name of Georgia was given to it in compliment to the.sovy-
reign under whose auspices it was commenced, and who sub-
scribed 500. The design of the undertaking was twofold. It
was to be an outlet to the redundant population at home, espe-
cially of London; and to be an asylum for such foreign Protest-
ants as were harassed by popish persecution.
Those were days of harsh government. The gallows was the
penalty for petty thefts; and each year at least four thousand
unhappy men in Great Britain were immured in prison for the
misfortune of being poor. A small debt was enough to expose
a struggling man to imprisonment. A Parliamentary commis-
sion under Oglethorpe resulted in the release of hundreds. The
persecution of the Moravians and the Saltzburgers in popish
states excited the sympathy and indignation of Protestant En-
gland. The Bank of England presented a donation of 10,000;
an equal amount was voted by the House of Commons; and the
total sum raised, with but little effort, was 36,000. Within five
months after the signing of the charter, the first company of em-
igrants-one hundred and twenty-six in number-set sail, with
Oglethorpe as their commander. In February, 1733, the colo-
nists reached the high bluff on which Savannah stands. The
streets of the intended town were laid out, and the houses were
constructed on one model. Other ship-loads followed, and more
colonists found homes there. Each freeholder was allotted fifty
acres of ground, five of which were near Savannah, and the re-
maining forty-five farther off. Thus began the Commonwealth
In a letter dated October 10, 1735, Wesley gives his reasons
for going to Georgia:
My chief motive is the hope of saving my own soul. I hope to learn the true
sense of the gospel of Christ by preaching it to the heathen. They have no com-
ments to construe away the text; no vain philosophy to corrupt it; no luxurious,
sensual, covetous, ambitious expounders to soften its unpleasing truths. They
have no party, no interest to serve, and are therefore fit to receive the gospel in
its simplicity. They are as little children, humble, willing to learn, and eager tc
The Georgia Colony.
do, the will of God. A right faith will, I trust, by the mercy of God, open the
way for a right practice; especially when most of those temptations are removed
which here so easily beset me. It will be no small thing to be able, without fear
of giving offense, to live on water and the fruits of the earth. An Indian hut af-
fords no food for curiosity, no gratification of the desire of grand, or new, or pretty
things. The pomp and show of the world have no place in the wilds of Ameri-i.
And he sums up all in one sentence: "I cannot hope to attain
the same degree of holiness here which I may there." An excel-
lent authority thus explains the state of the two brothers: "Ac-
cording to their apprehensions, true holiness is attained princi-
pally by means of sufferings-mental and bodily; and hence
they adopted this mode of life, resolved to do and suffer what-
ever it should please God to lay upon them. Their theological
views were not only defective, but erroneous. They understood
not the true nature of a sinner's justification before God; nor
the faith by which it is obtained; nor its connection with sancti-
fication. Holiness of heart and life was the object of their eager
pursuit; and this they sought not by faith, but by works and
personal austerity." The Georgia Trustees, inviting the Wesleys,
told them plausible and popular doctors of divinity were not
the men wanted for the infant colony; but they sought for men
"inured to contempt of the ornaments and conveniences of life,
to godly austerities, and to serious thoughts;" and such they
considered them. They add: You will find abundant room for
the exercise of patience and prudence, as well as piety. One
end for which we were associated was the conversion of negro
slaves. As yet nothing has been attempted in this way, but a
door is opened. The Purisburgerst have purchased slaves;
they act under our influence; and Mr. Oglethorpe will think it
advisable to begin there."
The hearty Yorkshire Methodist, Benj. Ingham, who was
now a curate in the country, wrote Wesley: I have had a great
many turns and changes since I saw you. I believe I must be
perfected through sufferings. Notwithstanding, by the blessih g
of God, I hope to press on, and persevere in the constant use of
all the means of grace." He received, in reply: "Fast and pray,
and then send me word whether you dare go with me to the In-
dians." He went, as also did Charles Delamotte, son of a Lon-
Ion merchant, who had "a mind to leave the world and give
*Thomas Jackson's Life of C. Wesley. t Purishurg, a settlement twenty m;leF
hbove Savannah. on the Carolina side of the river.
History of Methodism.
himself up entirely to God." This young man was so attached
to Wesley that he asked leave to accompany him, even as his
servant rather than miss being with him.
Before John Wesley consented to go as a missionary to the
Indians, his mother was consulted. He dreaded the grief it
would give her. "I am," said he, "the staff of her age, her
chief support and comfort." On the proposal being put to Mrs.
Wesley, she said: "If I had twenty sons, I should rejoice that
they were all so employed, though I should never see them
more." It was finally arranged that Charles should accompany
him as secretary to the governor; and Charles was now ordained,
that he might be able to officiate as a clergyman in the colony.
\On\ i-Otuber-71735,W gyembarked..xivih his- eempa-ionis,
v .takiaHgit-i-tmarfive-hundred-srfiftypi& f' at etT6 the
L 1ordrrpp besdes-hei-books-" the gift of several Chris-
\ tian friends for the use of the settlers in Georgia." The head is
taken away from them, and soon the Oxford family, like that at
Epworth, will be scattered. Let us glance at them.
"Bob Kirkham" was of Merton College-son of a Glouces-
tershire clergyman. A rollicking fellow, wasting money and
time, he seems to have been gained over to temperance and stead-
iness by our Fellow of Lincoln. In a letter to John Wesley, as
early as 1726, he speaks of your most deserving, queer char-
acter, your personal accomplishments, your noble endowments of
mind, your little and handsome person, and your most obliging
and desirable conversation." Three months after the first Meth-
odist meeting in Oxford (1730), Wesley writes to his mother, de-
scribing the "strange" reformation: "Why, he has left off tea,
struck off his drinking acquaintances to a man, given the hours
above specified to the Greek Testament and Hugo Grotius, and
spent the evenings either by himself or with my brother and
me." Next year Kirkham left, and became his father's curate.*
The Wesleys and Kirkham were the sons of English clergymen.
Morgan was the son of an Irish gentleman, resident in Dublin.
A young layman with a liberal allowance from his father, he
moved the Methodists to add to Greek Testament readings
and prayers and weekly communions the visiting of prisons and
*Tyerman, from whose interesting volume--"The Oxford Methodists"--o'
information is derived, concludes: "We have tried to obtain information concern-
'ng hii subsequent career, but have failed."
The Oxford Family Scattered. 75
the care of the poor. He was the precursor of Howard, by a
generation. Wesley writes:
In the summer of 1730, Mr. Morgan told me he had called at the gaol, to set
a man who was condemned for killing his wife; and that from the talk lie had
with one of the debtors, lie verily believed it would do much good, if any one
would be at the pains of now and then speaking with them. This he so frequently
repeated that, on the 24th of August, 1730, my brother and I walked with him to
the Castle. We were so well satisfied with our conversation there that we agived
to go thither once or twice a week; which we had not done long, before he desired
me to go with him to see a poor woman in the town, who was sick. In this em-
ployment, too, when we came to reflect upon it, we believed it would be worth
while to spend an hour or two in a week.
Such "peculiar" conduct gave rise to criticism and opposition,
and they consulted the old Epworth rector. Wesley's father
wrote: "You have reason to bless God, as I do, that you have so
fast a friend as Mr. Morgan, who, I see, in the most difficult serv-
ice, is ready to break the ice for you. You do not know of how
much good that poor wretch, who killed his wife, has been the
providential occasion. I think I must adopt Mr. Morgan to be
my son, together with you and your brother Charles; and, when
I have such a ternion to prosecute that war, wherein I am now
miles emeritus, I shall not be ashamed when they speak with their
enemies in the gate."
Morgan's father wrote him very differently:
You cannot conceive what a noise that ridiculous society in which you are en-
gaged has made here. Besides the particulars of the great follies of it at Oxford
(which to my great'concern I have often heard repeated), it gave mne sensible
trouble to hear that you were noted for going into the villages about Holt, calling
their children together, and teaching them their prayers and catechism, and giv-
ing them a shilling at your departure. I could not but advise with a wise, pious,
and learned clergyman. He told me that he has known the worst of consequences
follow from such blind zeal; and plainly satisfied me that it was a thorough mis-
take of true piety and religion. I proposed writing to some prudent and good
man at Oxf,rd to reason with you on these points, and to convince you that you
were in a wrong way. He said, in a generous mind, as lie took yours to ue, the
admonition and advice of a father would make a deeper impression than all the
exhortations of others. He concluded that you were young as yet, and that your
judgment was not come to its maturity; but as soon as your judgment improved,
and on the advice of a true friend, you would see the error of your way, and think,
as lie does, that you may walk uprightly and safely, without endeavoring to outdo
all the g
ages; which God Almighty give you grace and sense to understand aright!
Morgan's decease occurred in Dublin, August, 1732; and no
sooner was the event known than it was wickedly and cru ily
76 History of Methodism.
alleged that his Methodist associates had killed him by fastings
The first of the many published defenses made by Methodists
against public clamor was made on this occasion; and so thor-
oughly was the father of Morgan satisfied, instead of blaming them
he became their faithful friend and defender. This was shown
not in words only, but in deeds; for, during the next year, he sent
his surviving son to Oxford, and placed him under the tuition of
Wesley. This fashionable young man entered Lincoln College,
bringing a favorite greyhound with him, and choosing men more
pernicious than open libertines" for his companions. Wesley
did his best on the airy and thoughtless youth, but failed; at
length he desired Hervey to undertake the task, and he succeed-
ed. Gambold writes: "Mr. Hervey, by his easy ahd engaging
conversation, by letting him see a mind thoroughly serious and
happy, where so many of the fine qualities he most esteemed were
all gone over into the service of religion, gained Mr. Morgan's
heart to the best purposes."
The friendship between Clayton and the Wesley brothers was
close and unbroken until the latter departed from Church usages,
and became out-door evangelists. He was introduced to the Ox-
ford Methodists in 1732, and at his recommendation they took
to fasting twice a week. A model of diligence and self-denial,
he never quailed before ridicule or even sterner measures of per-
secution. He continued and ended as he began-a ritualist,
plunging into the Christian fathers, listening to apostolical and
other canons as to the Bible, and displaying anxiety about sacra-
mental wine being mixed with water.
John Wesley, between the years 1738 and 1773, visited Man-
Ahester (Clayton's parish) more than twenty times; and yet
there is no evidence of any renewal of that fraternal intercourse
which was interrupted when Wesley began to preach salvation
by faith only, and, in consequence, was excluded from the pulpits
of the Established Church. This was heresy too great. To be
saved by faith in Christ, instead of by sacraments, fasts, pen-
A short extract from Samuel Wesley's poem on Morgan's death:
Wise in his prime, he waited not till noon,
Convinced that mortals never lived too soon."
As if foreboding then his little stay,
Ile made his morning hear the heat of day.
Nor yet the priestly function he invades:
'Tis not his sermon, but his life, persuades.
Wesley and His Oxford Friends. 77
ances, ritualism, and good works, was deserving of Clayton's life-
long censure; and hence, after 1738, the two old Oxford friends
seem to have been separated till they met in heaven.*
Gambold's account of Wesley and his Oxford company has
already been referred to. From another letter written to him be-
fore he returned from Georgia, we see the burden of Gambold's
thoughts: "0 what is regeneration? And what doth baptism?
How shall we reconcile faith and fact? Is Christianity become
effete, and sunk again into the bosom of nature? But to come to
the point. That regeneration is the beginning of a life which is
not fully enjoyed but in another world, we all know. But how
much of it may be enjoyed at present? What degree of it does
the experience of mankind encourage us to expect? And by what
symptoms shall we know it? "
Similar thoughts were deeply engaging Wesley's mind at that
very time. Two or three years afterward, the Rev. John Gam-
bold, the learned, moping, gloomy, philosophic, poetic Mystic,
became a humble, happy, trustful believer in Christ Jesus. He
gave up his living, severed his connection with the Established
Church and joined the Moravians. In 1754, as the chief En-
glish member of their community, he was ordained a "Chor-
Episcopus," or Assistant Bishop. With some faults, at the be-
ginning of its history in England, the Unitas Fratruin set a true
and heroic example to other Churches, in its missions to the
heathen; and the man who helped to purify, improve, and per-
petuate such a community did no mean service to the Master
For seventeen years, he wore the honors of his office "with hu-
mility and diffidence."
The last time that he attended the public celebration of the
Lord's Supper was only five days before his death. At the conclu-
sion of it, weak and wasted, he commenced singing a verse of praise
and thanksgiving, and the impression produced was such that the
whole congregation began to weep.t
IIervey has been designated the Melanchthon of the Methodist
*Charles Wesley writes October 30, 1756: "I stood close to Mr. Clayton in
church (as all the week past), but not a look would lie cast toward me--
So stiff was his parochial pride."
tTyerman, whose "Oxford Methodists" furnishes our sketch, thinks it was
Gambold's yearning for Christianfelowship that united him to the Moravians--the
fellowship that Methodist love-feasts and class-meetings, of a later day, afford.
78 History of Methodism.
Reformation. The flowing harmony and the elaborate polish of
his works secured the attention of the upper circles of society
to a far greater extent than the writings of Wesley. Hervey
avowedly wrote for the elite; Wesley for the masses. His books
passed through a marvelous number of editions in his day, and
his Contemplations still finds readers. Whitefield wrote to
him: "Blessed be God for causing you to write so as to suit the
taste of the polite world! 0 that they may be won over to ad-
mire Him, who is indeed altogether lovely!" The "polite world"
read his works because they were flowery; the Methodists, be-
cause they were savory; "and while, through their medium, the
former looked at grace with less prejudice, the latter looked at
nature with more delight." *
Just before his ordination (1736), he wrote to Wesley, now in
Georgia: "I have read your 'Journal,' and find that the Lord
hath done great things for you already, whereof we rejoice.
Surely, he will continue his loving-kindness to you, and show
you greater things than these. Methinks, when you and dear Mr.
Ingham go forth upon the great and good enterprise of convert-
ing the Indians, you will, in some respects, resemble Noah and
his little household going forth of the ark."
Wesley had been his tutor, and Hervey often thanks him for
having taught him Hebrew, and speaks of him gratefully as "the
friend of my studies, the friend of my soul, the friend of all my
valuable and eternal interests; that tender-hearted and generous
Fellow of Lincoln, who condescended to take such compassionate
notice of a poor undergraduate, whom almost everybody con-
demned, and for whose soul no man cared." It was said Hervey's
mission was to "sanctify the sentimentalism of the day."
To one of the Oxford Methodists who had taken up residence
at Bath-the gay watering-place-he gives these directions:
I would be earnest with God to make my countenance shine with a smiling seren-
ity; that there might sit something on my cheeks which would declare the peace
and joy of my heart. The world has strange apprehensions of the Methodists. They
Devoutly he blesses the providence of God for his well-used microscope, which,
in the gardens and fields, he almost always took with him. He believed and inti-
mated that the discovery of so much of the wisdom, power, and goodness of the
great Creator, even in the minutest parts of vegetable and animalcular creation,
helped to attune his soul to sing the song of the four-and-twenty elders: "Thou art
worthy, 0 Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for thou hast created all
things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."-Tyerman.
Wesley and His Oxford Friends. 79
imagine them to be so many walking mopes, more like the ghost in a play than
sociable creatures. To obviate this sad prejudice, be always sprightly and agree-
able. If a pretty turn of wit, or a diverting story offer itself to your mind, do not
scruple to entertain the company therewith. Every thing that borders upon sour-
ness, moroseness, or ill-breeding, I would cautiously avoid; and every thing that
may give a beautiful or amiable idea of holiness, I would study to show forth. I
do not mean, by what I have said, that you should make all sorts of compliance
A solicitation to join with your acquaintance in billiards, dice, cards, dancing, etc ,
should be rejected.
In his old age Wesley, while claiming the ability "to write
floridly and rhetorically," adds: I dare no more write in a fine
style than wear a fine coat. I should purposely decline, what
many admire, a highly ornamental style. I cannot admire French
oratory; I despise it from my heart." It was otherwise with
Hervey. Of set purpose he cultivated the "fine style." "1My
writings," said he, are not fit for ordinary people; I never give
them to such persons, and dissuade this class of men from pro-
curing them. 0 that they may be of some service to the more
refined part of the world! I don't pretend, nor do I wish, to
write one new truth. The utmost of my aim is to represent old
doctrines in a pleasing light, and .dress them in a fashionable oz
In 1739, Whitefield, replying to a friend who had read Hervey's
"Meditations," overflows: "It has gone through six editions.
The author of it is my old friend, a most heavenly-minded creat-
ure, one of the first of the Methodists, who is contented with a
small cure, and gives all that he has to the poor. He is very
weak, and daily waits for his dissolution. We correspond with,
though we cannot see, one another. We shall, erelong, meet in
Hervey's charity to the poor was only limited by his means,
and even such a limit was sometimes overstepped. To prevent
embarrassment, his friends practiced upon him the innocent de-
ception of borrowing his money when he received his salary, lest
he should dispense it all in benefactions; and then repaying it
as his necessities required. All the profits of his Meditations, '
amounting to 700, he distributed in charitable donations; and
directed that any profit arising from the sale of his books after
his decease should be used in the same manner.
Hervey was converted after he had been preaching four years.
Resting on his own works, and on communicating, and on alms
80 History of Methodism.
giving, he at length rested on Christ. A sentence or two from a
long letter to Whitefield will indicate his experience:
But I trust the divine truth begins to dawn upon my soul. Was I possest of
all the righteous acts that have made saints and martyrs famous i-: all genera-
tions--could they all be transferred to me, and might I call them all my ji n-T
would renounce them all that I might win Christ. My schemes are altuLd.
I now desire to work in my blessed Master's service, not for, but from, salvation.
I would now fain serve him who has saved me. I would glorify him before nun who
has justified me before God. I would study to please him in holiness and right-
eousness all the days of my life. I seek this blessing not as a condition, but as a
part-a choice and inestimable part--of that complete salvation which Jesus has
purchased for me.
Hervey's published sermons are few in number. "I have
never," said he, since I was minister at Weston, used written
notes; so that all my public discourses are vanished into air; un-
less the blessed Spirit has left any traces of them on the hearts
of the hearers." One who heard him describes his later pulpit
efforts: "His subjects were always serious and sublime; they
might well be ranged under three heads-Ruin, Righteousness,
and Regeneration. He always steered a middle course, between
a haughty positivity and a skeptical hesitation."
The friendship of these Oxford Methodists was most sincere
and cordial, but was not unruffled. The moderate Calvinism "
of Theron and Aspasio brought forth criticism from Wesley.
He begs that Hervey will lay aside the phrase the imputed
righteousness of Christ," adding: "It is not scriptural, it is not
necessary, it has done immense hurt." 'T.hir.jriendship-was
) j 'bdclauded,-andd-4-is a mournful fact that the last few months
of-H eyr-ye ol4evey4ife-(he-died-in 1758) were-spent-in-fighting
one-wh-ar-quarer-of-acen-tfur-y-befeoerhad been the greatest-of
Broughton became curate of the Tower of London, where he
had much to do with prisoners. He seems to have continued a
sturdy Churchman, and opposed to the later development of
Methodism. Charles Wesley, on visiting Newgate prison, in
1743, observes: "I found the poor souls turned out of the way
by Mr. Broughton. He told them: 'There is no knowing our
sins forgiven; and, if any could expect it, not such wretches as
they, but the good people, who had done so and so. As for his
part, he had it not himself; therefore it was plain they could not
receive it.'" The same year Broughton was appointed the Secre-
Wesley and His Oxford Friends. 81
tary of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, an office
which he held until his death in 1777. For thirty-four years the
secretarial duties of this society were his principal employment.
[n the society's house he spent five hours every day in the week,
except on Saturdays and Sundays. It was a Bible, Prayer-book,
Religious Tract, Home and Foreign Mission, and Industrial So-
ciety, all in one, of which Broughton was the chief manager. It
had the honor of being the pioneer of some of the greatest move-
ments of the present day. It distributed Bibles long before the
British and Foreign Bible Society existed. The great Religious
Tract Society was not formed until twenty-two years after
Broughton's death. Its foreign missions were few in number,
but were important and successful-one of its missionaries being
the celebrated Schwartz. One Sunday morning BrgL put /
on his misnis aLcoe9 tcc'ding tc ___,r_____
hisiri "m tiltl-Lrez-trime.-The-bel -wednghgrade--eon-
tnrr ed--ihiepoet.4-T-ey-ceasedbut-hm-p-pa ce.
SHis4'iendsmentfe4r-and-foun 1on-1rist --="-ea. An
original portrait of him hangs in the Room of the Society for
Promoting Christian Knowledge.
Kinchin, a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, left Oxford about
the same time the Wesleys did, and became rector of a small vil-
lage church. Like a good primitive Methodist, he visited from
house to house, catechised the children, and had public prayers
twice every day-in the morning before the people went to work,
and in the evening, after their return. He was elected Dean of
Corpus Christi, but he continued faithful to the principles of
the Methodists, and, on the removal of Hervey, Whitefield, and
others from the University, Kinchin assumed the spiritual
charge of the prisoners. Charles Wesley, on his return from
Georgia, hastened to Oxford, where, in February, 1737, he
met with "good Mr. Gambold," "poor, languid Smith," and
" Mr. Kinchin, whom," says he, I found changed into a cour-
ageous soldier of Christ." He died in 1742.
Hall was, as has been seen, the Judas of the company-" a
hawk among the doves of the Wesley family." It is on record
by those who were with H l-duzirg hisdying haa,4~.i-athis
as4iAUgt -an angel that never. reproached-me." John Wesley
notes in his journal (January 2, 1776): I came [to Bristol] just
History of Methodism.
time enough not to see but to bury poor Mr. Hall, my brother.
in-law, who died on Wednesday morning, I trust in peace, for
God had given him deep repentance. Such another monument
of Divine mercy, considering how low he had fallen, and from
what heights of holiness, I have not seen-no, not in seventy
years." The other Oxford Methodists-Boyce, Chapman, and
Atkinson, and the rest-made small record. Glimpses of them
show the parish priest, in humble places, doing his work-
some in the later, and others in the earlier, Methodist spirit;
but all earnest. The best we can say with certainty of each
is: When last seen he was in good company. Of John White-
lamb-connected with both the Epworth and the Oxford fam-
ilies-there are a few memorials. He was the son of one of
Samuel Wesley's peasant parishioners at Wroot, and as an
amanuensis, had rendered the rector important service for four
years. While resident beneath his roof, Whitelamb acquired
a sufficient knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages to
enter Lincoln College, where he was principally maintained
by the Epworth rector, and had John Wesley for his tutor.
Wesley wrote of him in 1731: "He reads one English, one
Latin, and one Greek book alternately; and never meddles with
a new one, in any of the languages, till he has ended the old one.
If he goes on as he has begun, I dare take upon me to say that
by the time he has been here four or five years there will not be
such a one, of his standing, in Lincoln College, perhaps not in
the University of Oxford." Like his patrons, however, White-
iamb was very poor; and poverty implies trials. Obliged to wear
second-hand gowns and other gear, he was spoken of by one not
used to employ opprobrious epithets as "poor, starveling Johnny."
In 1733 Whitelamb became Samuel Wesley's curate, and soon
afterward married his daughter Mary. She was eleven years
older than himself. Her amiable temper made her the delight
and favorite of the whole family. To provide for the newly-
married pair, Samuel Wesley resigned to Whitelamb his rectory
at Wroot. The village-a few miles from Epworth-was seques-
tered, and the salary small; but, despite their thatched residence,
and the boorishness of the people among whom they lived, they
were happy. Their union, however, was of brief duration.
Within a year of their marriage the wife died.*
Stevenson's Memorials of the Wesley Family.
Final Dispersion of the Oxford Family.
At this time Oglethorpe returned from Georgia, whither he
had gone with his first company of motley emigrants. Samuel
Wesley, now within six months of his decease, took an intense
interest in the Georgian colony, and declared that if he had been
ten years younger he would gladly have devoted the remainder
of his life and labors to the emigrants, and in acquiring the lan-
guage of the Indians among whom they had to live. Among
others who had gone to Georgia with Oglethorpe, and had re-
turned with him, was one of Samuel Wesley's parishioners, of
whom the venerable rector earnestly inquired whether the min-
isters who had migrated to the infant colony understood the In-
dian language, and could preach without interpreters. Corre-
spondence with General Oglethorpe followed, and the rector had
the pleasure, as he could not go himself into that missionary
field, of forwarding an application from his son-in-law-incon.
solable at his late bereavement. His sons John and Charles
sailed for the colony next year, but for some unknown reason his
son-in-law did not. Tyerman asks: "Did Whitelamb miss the
way of Providence in not becoming a Georgian missionary?
Perhaps he did. At all events, the remaining thirty-four years
of his life seem to have been of comparatively small importance
to his fellow-men. A person of retiring habits and fond of sol-
itude," he lived and died at Wroot; and though he was unable
to accept the later development of Methodism that was soon
shaking the land, wo m.at-always-thinkki.dlyR th an-marw
The Oxford family, like the Epworth, is broken up-dispersed
forever. In a qualified sense, we may apply to Oxford Method-
ism the words of the sacred text: "A river went out of Eden to
water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became
into four heads."
Voyage to Georgia-The Moravians-Lessons in a Storm-Reaches Savannah
-Labors There-The Indians-A Beginning Made-The Wes'eys Leave
JOHN WESLEY is on board the ship Symmonds, bound for
America, with one hundred and twenty-four persons-men
women, and children. His brother Charles, Benjamin Ingham,
Charles Delamotte, and David Nitschman, are on board also. Da-
vid is a Moravian bishop, and, accompanied by twenty-six Mo-
ravians, is on his way to visit the Brethren in Georgia, who had
emigrated during the preceding year under the guidance of their
ministers, Spangenberg, John Toelschig, and Anthony Seyffart.
Such were the chief of Wesley's fellow-voyagers. As already
stated, they left London to embark, on October 14, 1735; but it
was not until December that they fairly started. They encoun-
tered storms and calms; then had to await the man-of-war that
was to be their convoy.
IngLham's journal reads:
We hxd two cabins allotted us in the forecastle; I and Mr. Delamotte having
the first, and IMiessrs. Wesley the other. Theirs was made pretty large, so that we
could all meet together to read or pray in it. This part of the ship was assigned
to us by Mi. OGvethorpe, as being most convenient for privacy.
October 17. Mir. John Wesley began to learn the German tongue, in order to
converse with the Moravians, a good, devout, pleaceble, and heavenly-minded peo-
ple, who were le' ecuted by the papists, and driven from their native country,
upon the account cA their religion. They were graciously received and protected
by Count Zinzen.:-rf, of Herrnhut, a very holy man, who sent them over into
Georgia, where lands will be given them. There are twenty-six of then in our
ship; and almost the only time that you could know they were in the ship was
wnen they were harmoniously singing the praises of the Great Creator, which they
constantly do in public twice a day, wherever they are. Their example was very
edifying. They are more like the Primitive Christians than any other Church
now in the world; for they retain both the faith, practice, and discipline delivered
By the apostles.
From the same source we learn that, on October 18, Wesley and
Ingham began to read the Old Testament together, and, at the
rate of between nine and ten chapters daily, finished it before
they arrived at Georgia. On the day following, Wesley com-
menced preaching without notes; and during the passage, in a
The Voyage to America. 85
series of sermons, he went through the whole of our Saviour's
Sermon on the Mount, and, every Sunday, had the sacrament.
General Oglethorpe was in command, but John Wesley was the
religious head of the floating community, and his habits pre-
vailed over all around him. The daily course of life among the
Methodist party was directed by him. From four till five o'clock
in the morning each of them used private prayer; from five till
seven they read the Bible together, carefully comparing it with
the writings of the earliest Christian ages; at seven they break-
fasted; at eight were the public prayers. From nine to twelve
Wesley usually studied German, and Delamotte Greek or Navi-
gation, while Charles Wesley, lately ordained, wrote sermons, and
Ingham instructed the children. At twelve they met to give an
accowivt of what they had done since their last meeting, and of
what they designed to do before the next. About one they dined;
the time from dinner to four was spent in reading to persons on
board, a number of whom each of them had taken in charge.
At four were the evening prayers, when either the second lesson
w.,s explained (as the first was in the morning) or the children
were catechised and instructed before the congregation. From
five to six they again used private prayer. From six to seven
they read in their cabins to the passengers (of whom about
eighty were English). At seven Wesley joined with the Ger-
mans in their public service, while Mr. Ingham was reading be-
tween the decks to as many as desired to hear. At eight they
all met together again, to give an account of what they had done,
whom they had conversed with, and to deliberate on the best
method of proceeding with such and such persons: what advice,
direction, exhortation, or reproof, was necessary for them. Some-
times they read a little, concluding with prayer; and so they
went to bed about nine, sleeping soundly upon mats and blankets,
regarding neither the noise of the sea nor of the sailors.
It has been well remarked that the ship became at once a
Bethel and a seminary. "It was Epworth rectory and Su-
sanna Wesley's discipline afloat on the Atlantic." The meeting
of the Wesleys with the pious refugees appeared to be casual,
but it was, in fact, one of those providential arrangements out of
which the most momentous consequences arise. The gloat event
of the voyage, as affecting Methodism, was the illustration of
genuine religion which the little band of Moravian passengers
86 History of Methodism.
afforded. It made a deep impression upon the susceptible and
observant minds of the two Wesleys, especially upon that of
A storm came upon them when within ten days' sail of the
American continent. The waves of the sea were mighty, and
raged horribly; the winds roared, and the ship not only rocked
to and fro with the utmost violence, but shook and jarred with
so unequal and grating a motion that the passengers could with
difficulty keep their hold of any thing. Every ten minutes came
a shock against the stern or side of the ship, which seemed as if
it would dash the planks in pieces. In this state of things, John
I went to the Germans. I had long before observed the great seriousness of
tneir behavior. Of t,-'r humility they had given a continual proof, by perform-
ing those servile offices for the other passengers which none of the English would
undertake, for which they desired and would receive no pay, saying it was good
for their proud hearts and their loving Saviour had done more for them. And
every day had given them occasion of showing a meekness which no injury could
move. If they were pushed, struck, or thrown down, they rose again and went
away; but no complaint was found in their mouth. There was now an opportu-
nity of trying whether they were delivered from the spirit of fear, as well as from
that of pride, anger, and revenge. In the midst of the psalm wherewith their serv-
ice began, the sea broke over, split the main-sail in pieces, covered the ship, and
poured in between the decks, as if the great deep had already swallowed us up.
A terrible screaming began among the English. The Germans calmly sung on.
I asked one of them afterward, "Was you not afraid?" He answered, "I thank
God, no." I asked, "But were not your women and children afraid?" He re-
plied mildly, "No; our women and children are not afraid to die."
From them Wesley returned to the affrighted English, and
pointed out the difference between him that feareth God and him
that feareth him not; and then concludes his account of the storm
by saying, This was the most glorious day which I have hitherto
seen." Thus he had a glimpse of a religious experience, which
keeps the mind at peace under all circumstances, "and vanquishes
that feeling which a formal and defective religion may lull to
temporary sleep, but cannot eradicate-the fear of death."
The voyage was made in fifty-seven days. Oglethorpe seems-to
have acted with generosity and propriety toward his company in
the cabin. He was irritable and impulsive, but magnanimous.
Wesley, hearing an unusual noise in the General's cabin, entered
to inquire the cause; on which the angry soldier cried: "Excuse
me, Mr. Wesley, I have met with a provocation too great to bear
Landing at Savannah. 87
This villain, Grimaldi (an Italian servant), has drunk nearly the
whole of my Cyprus wine, the only wine that agrees with me, and
several dozens of which I had provided for myself. But I am
determined to be revenged. The rascal shall be tied hand and
foot, and be carried to the man-of-war; for I never forgive."
Then," said Wesley with great calmness, "I hope, sir, you never
sin." Oglethorpe was confounded, his vengeance was gone; he
put his hand into his pocket, pulled out a bunch of keys, and
threw them at Grimaldi, saying: "There, villain! take my keys,
and behave better for the future."
February 5, 1736, the Symmonds cast anchor in Savannah
River; and on the following day the passengers landed upon a
small island. Oglethorpe led the first company that left the ship,
including the Wesleys, to a rising ground, where they all kneeled
down to give thanks to God for their preservation. He now took
boat for the settlement of Savannah, then a town of about forty
houses. Oglethorpe's first act was to give orders to provide ma-
terials to build a church. Wesley met on his arrival in Georgia
the well-known Moravian elder, August Gottlieb Spangenberg,
and asked his advice how to act in his new sphere of labor.
Spangenberg replied: "My brother, I must first ask you one or
two questions. Have you the witness within yourself? Does
the Spirit of God bear witness with your spirit that you are a
child of God?" Wesley was surprised at such questions. They
were new to him. He was at a loss to answer. Spangenberg
continued, "Do you know Jesus Christ?" This was easier, and
Wesley answered, "I know he is the Saviour of the world."
"True," said Spangenberg; "but do you know he has saved
you?" Wesley was again perplexed, but answered, "I hope he
has died to save me." Spangenberg only added, "Do you know
yourself ?" "I do," responded Wesley; "but," he writes, "I fear
they were vain words." An enigmatical conversation, leading the
Oxford priest to think on doctrines which it took him the next two
years to understand.
Ingham and Charles Wesley went off with Oglethorpe to lay
out the town of Frederica; and Wesley and Delamotte, having
no house of their own to live in, lodged, during the first month,
with Spangenberg, Nitschman, and other Moravians. Wesley
writes: They were always employed, always cheerful themselves,
qnd in good humor with one another; they had put away all an-
88 History of Methodism. .
ger, and strife, and wrath, and bitterness, and clamor, and evil-
speaking; they walked worthy of the vocation wherewith they
were called." His Churchly prejudices were rebuked by the
apostolic purity of their ecclesiastical forms. They met, he says,
to consult concerning the affairs of their Church-Spangenberg
being about to go to Pennsylvania, and Bishop Nitschman to
return to Germany. After several hours spent in conference and
prayer, they proceeded to the election and ordination of a bishop.
The great simplicity, as well as solemnity, of the proceeding al-
most made him forget the seventeen hundred years between him
and the apostles, and imagine himself in one of those assemblies
where form and state were unknown, but Paul the tent-maker
or Peter the fisherman presided, yet with the demonstration of
the Spirit and of power.
March 7 he commenced his ministry at Savannah, preaching
on 1 Corinthians xiii. 3. He officiated at nine in the morning, at
twelve, and again in the afternoon; and announced his design to
administer the sacrament on every Sunday and on every holiday.
A few days subsequent to this, writing to his mother, he re-
marked: We are likely to stay here some months. The place
is pleasant beyond imagination, and exceeding healthful. I have
not had a moment's illness of any kind since I set my foot upon
the continent; nor do I know any more than one of my seven hun-
dred parishioners who is sick at this time." *
In a few weeks after Wesley had commenced his ministry, he
had established daily morning and evening public prayers. It
was also agreed: "1. To advise the more serious to form them-
selves into a sort of little society, and to meet once or twice a
week, in order to reprove, instruct, and exhort one another. 2
To select out of these a smaller number for a more intimate un
ion with each other, which might be forwarded partly by con-
versing singly with each and partly by inviting all together to
the pastor's house every Sunday in the afternoon." This he
*T,, make up that number of parishioners he counted the whole of Georgia as his
parish The Saltzburgers arrived in March, the year before, and chose a settlement
twenty miles from Savannah, where there were "rivers, little hills, clear brooks,
cool springs, a fertile soil, and plenty of grass." To the spot which they had chosen
as their settlement they gave the name of Ebenezer. The French settlers were
at Highgate, five miles away; and the Germans at Hampstead; and the Highlanders
at Darien-with their kirk minister, Macleod; and threescore souls were dwelling
in the palmetto huts of Frederica, a hundred miles to the south. (Tyerman.)
Wesley's Labors Among the Colonists. 89
afterward reckoned as the first Methodist society in America, and
the second in the world.
Delamotte's school of between thirty and forty children were
taught to read, write, and cast accounts. Wesley catechised them
every Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Every Sunday he had
three public services-at five in the morning, twelve at midday,
and three in the afternoon. He visited from house to house,
taking the midday hours in summer, because the people, on ac-
count of the heat, were then at home and at leisure. It seems
that ha also taught a school for a time. This legend is preserved:
A part of the boys in Delamotte's school wore stockings andi
shoes, and the others not. The former ridiculed the latter. De-
lamotte tried to put a stop to this uncourteous banter, but told
Wesley he had failed. Wesley replied: "I think I can cure it.
If you will take charge of my school next week, I will take charge
of yours, and will try." The exchange was made, and on Mon-
day morning Wesley went into school barefoot. The children
seemed surprised, but, without any reference to past jeerings,
Wesley kept them at their work. Before the week was ended,
the shoeless ones began to gather courage; and some of the others,
seeing their minister and master come without shoes and stock-
ings, began to copy his example, and thus the evil was effectually
By and by he had enlarged his schedule of labor to this: He
offered to read prayers and to expound the Scriptures in French,
every Saturday afternoon, to the French families settled at High-
gate; which offer was thankfully accepted. The French at Sa-
vannah heard of this, and requested he would do the same for
them, with which request he willingly complied. He also began
to read prayers and expound in German, once a week, to the
German villagers of Hampstead. His Sunday labor was as fol-
lows: 1. English prayers from five o'clock to half-past six. 2.
Italian prayers at nine. 3. A sermon and the holy communion
for the English, from half-past ten to about half-past twelve. 4.
The service for the French at one, including prayers, psalms, and
Scripture exposition. 5. The catechising of the children at two.
6. The third English service at three. 7. After this, a meeting
in his own house for reading, prayer, and praise. 8. At six, the
Moravian service began, which he was glad to attend, not tc
teach, but learn.
90 History of Methodism.
Following a primitive but obsolete rubric, he would baptize
children only by immersion; nor could he be induced to depart
from this mode unless the parents would certify that the child
was weakly. Persons were not allowed to act as sponsors who
were not communicants. No baptism was recognized as valid
unless performed by a minister episcopally ordained; and those
who had allowed their children to be baptized in any other man-
nor were earnestly exhorted to have them rebaptized. His rigor
extended even so far as to refuse the Lord's Supper to one of
the most devout men of the settlement, who had not been bap-
tized by an episcopally ordained minister; and the burial-service
itself was denied to such as died with what he deemed unortho
Both the brothers denied themselves not only the luxuries but
many of the ordinary conveniences of life, living on bread and
water. They enforced the forms of the Church with a repetition
and rigor that tired out the people and provoked resentment.
One of the colonists said to Wesley: "I like nothing you do; all
your sermons are satires upon particular persons. Besides, we
are Protestants; but as for you, we cannot tell what religion you
are of. We never heard of such a religion before; we know not
what to make of it."
Affairs were even worse in the palmetto-huts of Frederica
than at Savannah. Charles and Ingham got into trouble
there very soon. Ingham says (Feb. 29th): "After morning
prayers I told the people that it was the Lord's day, and
therefore ought to be spent in his service; that they ought not to
go a-shooting, or walking up and down in the woods; and that I
would take notice of all those who did. One man answered that
these were new laws in America." Some of the colonists were
imprisoned, as they said, because he "made a black list," and in-
formed on them. As for Charles, he had been baptizing chil-
dren by trine immersion-plunging them three times into wa-
ter-and endeavoring to reconcile scolding women. Complaint
was made that he held so many services as to interfere with
*In his journal- for September 29, 1749, he gives a letter from John Martin
Bolzius, and adds: "What a truly Christian piety and simplicity breathe in these
lines! And yet this very man, when I was at Savannah, did I refuse to admit to
the Lord's table, because he was not baptized; that is, not baptized by a minister
who had been episcopally ordained. Can any one carry High-church zeal higIher
,ian this? And how well have I been since beaten with mine own stafl?"
Charles's Mission to Frederca. 91
the people's daily labor. Liars and tale-bearers, lax women and
unprincipled men, conspired to ruin him. The governor unwise-
ly and unjustly listened to their reports, and treated his secre-
tary and chaplain for awhile with cruel neglect. While all the
others were provided with boards to sleep upon, he was left to
sleep upon the ground. His few well-wishers became afraid to
speak to him, and even his washer-woman refused in future to
wash his linen. An attempt was even made to assassinate him. On
one occasion, after dragging himself, fevered and worn-down, to a
service, he had for his congregation two presbyterians and a papist.
Charles's mission to Frederica, like that of his brother at Sa-
vannah, was in the main a failure. As far as regards the great
end for which the Christian ministry was instituted, they labored
in vain. Why was this? The answer given by a well-instructed
scribe in the kingdom of heaven is worth attention:
The principal cause of his [Charles Wesley's] want of success is doubtless to be
found in the defectiveness of his theological views, and consequently of his own
piety. Several of the sermons which lie preached at Frederica are still extant in
his own neat and elegant handwriting. In these we look in vain for correct and
impressive views of the atonement and intercession of Christ, and of the offices of
the Holy Spirit. It cannot here be said "Christ is all, and in all." No satisfac-
tory answer is given to the question, "What must I do to be saved?" Men are
required to run the race of Christian holiness with a load of uncanceled guilt upon
their consciences, and while the corruptions of their nature are unsubdued by re-
newing grace. The preacher has no adequate conception of a sinner's justification
before God. He sometimes confounds this blessing with sanctification, and at other
times he speaks of it as a something which is to take place in the day of judgment.
Never does he represent it as consisting in the full and unmerited forgiveness of
all past sins, obtained not by works of righteousness, but by the simple exercise of
faith in a penitent state of the heart; and immediately followed by the gift of the
Holy Ghost, producing peace of conscience, the filial spirit, power over all sin,
and the joyous hope of eternal life. On the contrary, he satisfies himself with re-
proving tihe vices and sins of tile people with unsparing severity, and with holding
up the standard of practical holiness; denouncing the Divine vengeance against all
who fall short of it; but without directing them to the only means by which thEy
can (0tain forgiveness and a new heart. The consequence was that the more se-
lious part )f the people were discouraged: for they were called to the hopeless
task of pre-enting to God a spiritual service, while they were themselves the serv-
ants of sin; and of loving him with all their heart, while they were strangers t(
his forgiving mercy, and labored under a just apprehension of his wrath. Chat les's
ministry, like that of his brother, at this time did not.embody those great doctrines
df the evangelical dispensation which constitute "the truth as it is in Jesus," and
upon which the Holy Ghost is wont to set his seal, by making them instiumental
in the conversion and salvation of men.*
*Jackson's Life of C. Wesley.
92 History of Methodism.
A writer in the London Quarterly Review for January, 1868,
says: "We have before us a number of unpublished sermons
written by John Wesley, at Oxford, during the ten years which
followed his ordination. In not one of them is there any view
whatever, any glimpse, afforded of Christ in any of his offices.
His name occurs in the benediction-that is about all. Frequent
communion is insisted on as a source of spiritual quickening; re-
generation by baptism is assumed as the true doctrine of the
Church; but Christ is nowhere, either in his life, his death, or
After spending a little more than five months in Georgia, some
duties connected with his secretaryship called Charles to Savan-
nah; and from thence he was sent with dispatches to England,
so that he never again visited Frederica, where he had met with
such unworthy treatment. "I was overjoyed," he says, "at m3
deliverance out of this furnace, and not a little ashamed of my-
self for being so."
Leaving Ingham to take care of Savannah, and to keep up the
school that consisted largely of orphans and the very poor, Wes-
ley and his faithful layman, Delamotte, went to forsaken Fred-
erica, and put in a few months of hard work there. At this day
there is shown on the Island (St. Simons) a wide-spreading live-
oak called "Wesley's Tree." Tradition has it that he preached
under that tree.*
But the Indians-what of them ? It was to convert the Indi-
ans-those unsophisticated children of nature "-that the Ox-
ford Methodists came to America. That was their inspiring vis-
ion-not to preach to white settlers, influenced by petty jealous-
ies and rivalries, and consisting, to a considerable extent, of
reckless and unprincipled persons who had brought with them
an assortment of the very European vices the missioners had
hoped to leave behind. Ingham never lost sight of this object,
and could hardly be restrained from entering on it at once.
Wesley protested to the governor; but he urged that the troubles
recently stirred up by the Spaniards and French made it dan-
gerous to go among the Indians, and that it was inexpedient to
*Under this tree, a few years ago, a photographic group was taken of Lovick
Pierce, D.D. (the oldest effective traveling preacher then in the United State%
if not in the world), with his son, Bishop Pierce-a native Georgian-and BiFhor
Wightman, of South Carolina, and others.
Among the Indians. 93
leave Savannah without a minister. Wesley answered that,
though the Trustees of Georgia had appointed him to the office
of minister of Savannah, this wvas done without his solicitation,
desire, or knowledge; and that he should not continuno longer
than his way was opened to go among the Indians.
On his first voyage, Oglethorpe had carried back to England a
sample, a rare trophy-Toma-Chache, a Muskogee king, and his
suite. They were presented to George II., and his court, and
made a great show of, with due effect on the public mind. It was
not long after the landing of our "missioners before the royal
savage called on them. Ingham's journal describes the interv ie w:
A little after noon some Indians came to make us a visit. We put on our
gowns and cassocks, spent some time in prayer, and then went into the great cab-
in to receive them. At our entrance they all rose up, and both men and women
shook hands with us. When we were all seated, Toma-Chache, their king, spoke
to us to this effect-through his interpreter, Mrs. Musgrove, a half-breed: "You
are welcome. I am glad to see you here. I have a desire to hear the Great
Word, for I am ignorant. When I was in England, I desired that some might
speak the Great Word to us. Our nation was then willing to hear. Since that
time we have been in trouble. The French on one hand, the Spaniards on the
other, and the traders that are amongst us, have caused great confusion, and have
set our people against hearing the Great Word. Their tongues are useless; some
say one thing, and some another. But I am glad you are come." All this he
spoke with much earnestness and much action, both of his head and hands. Mr
John Wesley made him a short answer: "God only can teach you wisdom, and if
you be sincere, perhaps he will do it by us." We then shook hands with them
again, and withdrew.
The queen made them a present of a jar of milk, and another
of honey; that the missionaries might feed them, she said, with
milk-for they were but children-and might be sweet to them.
Glad to get away from Frederica, Ingham is found among the
Indians three months after reaching Georgia:
April 25.-We were thirty;four communicants. Our constant number is about
a dozen. Next day Mr. Wesley and I went up to Cowpen in a boat bought for
our use, to converse with Mrs. Musgrove about learning the Indian language. I
agreed to teach her children to read, and to make her whatever recompense she
would require more for her trouble. I am to spend three or four days a week ith
her, and the rest at Savannah, in communicating what I have learned to Mr. Wes-
ley; because he intends, as yet, wholly to reside there. The Moravians being in-
formed of our design, desired me to teach one of the brethren along with Mr. Wes-
'ey. To this I consented at once with my whole heart. And who, think ye, is
the person intended to learn? Their lawful bishop [David Nitschman.]
April 30.-Mr. Wesley and I went up again to Uowpen, taking along with us
Toma-Cache and his queen. Their town is about four miles above Savannah. iN
94 History of Methodism.
the way to Mrs. Musgrove's. We told them we were about to learn their language.
I asked them if they were willing I should teach the young prince. They con-
sented, desiring me to check and keep him in; but not to strike him. The youth
is sadly corrupted, and addicted tV, drunkenness.
The Indians gave to Jugham a plot of ground, in the midst of
which % as a small, round hill; and on the top of this hill a
house was built for an Indian school. The house was named
Irene. He soon formed a vocabulary of many words in the In-
dian language. and began an Indian grammar. An open door
was set before them; more laborers were wanted, and Wesley
wrote to a friend in Lincoln College (Feb. 16, 1737): Mr. Ing.
ham haF, left Savannah for some months, and lives at a house
built for him a few miles off, near the Indian town. So that I
havr now no fellow-laborer but Mr. Delamotte, who has taken
charge of between thirty and forty children. There is therefore
great need that God should put it into the hearts of some to come
)ver to us and labor with us in his harvest. But I should not
desire ar y to come unless on the same views and conditions with
us- without any temporal wages other than food and raiment,
the plaim conveniences of life. And for one or more, in whom
was this mind, there would be full employment in the province.
The difficulties he must then encounter God only knows; proba-
bly martyrdom would conclude them. But those we have hith-
erto met with have been small, and only terrible at a distance.
Persecution, you know, is the portion of every follower of Christ,
wherever his lot is cast."
Soon afterward, he writes: "It was agreed Mr. Ingham should
go for England, and endeavor to bring over, if it please God,
some of our friends to strengthen our hands in this work." Ing-
ham left Savannah February 26. This is the last of him in Georgia.
Arrived in England, he sought spiritual fellowship among his
Christian friends in Yorkshire and Oxford, and, as opportunity
offered, occupied the pulpit of the Established Church. His
Methodist preaching created a sensation. A man with a soul like
his--burning with zeal-could scarcely fail to be a successful
evangelist. In a letter to Charles Wesley, October 22, 1737, he
I have no other thoughts but of returning to America. When the time comes
I trust the Lord will show me. My heart's desire is that the Indians may hear
the gospel. For this I pray both night and day. I will transcribe the Indian
words as fast as I can.
Amngq the Indians. 9b
Last Sunday, I pleached such a sermon at Wakefield church as has set almost
all about us in an uproar. Some say the devil is in me; others, that I am mad.
Others say no man can live up to such doctrine, and they never heard such be.
fore; others, again, extol me to the sky. I believe, indeed, it went to the hearts
of several persons; for I was enabled to speak with great authority and power; and
I preached almost the whole sermon without book. There was a vast congrega-
tion, and tears fell from many eyes.
Ingham is evidently studying, and mindful of the people about
Irene and Cowpens. Oglethorpe tried to get Charles to return.
John meant to stay, and was arranging for his sister Kezzy to
come out and keep house for him. Whitefield was preparing to
come to his help. "A man's heart deviseth his way, but the Lord
directeth his steps." As Wesley came to America so he left it,
contrary to all preceding resolutions." In four weeks from the
date of the above letter, he had left Georgia forever.* The Creeks
or Muskogees, the Choctaws and Chickasaws, the Uchees and
Cherokees, dwelt in the country lying between the thin strip of
white settlements on the Atlantic and Gulf coast, and the Mis-
sissippi River. They were shy of the white man; but Wesley lost
no opportunity of seeing and interviewing them and their occa-
sional representatives-of hearing, through traders, of their num-
bers, customs, and worship: what he saw and heard doubtless
modified his views, but did not abate his desire for the conver-
sion of the Indians. He died without the sight. Methodism
was to be honored of God in giving the gospel and a Christian
Wesley's excessive pastoral fidelity and his ritualistic severity made enemies,
and they found occasion to avenge themselves in an affair connected with one of
his parishioners, Miss H-- It seems lie thought of proposing marriage to
her; but Delamotte warned him, and the Moravians advised him "to proceed no
farther in the matter." Wesley answered: "The will of the Lord be done." The
lady's uncle, Causton, of bad record, and then in brief authority, some time after-
ward hatched up indictments--ten bills, some civil and some ecclesiastical-against
him. Wesley was prepared to answer, and moved for an immediate hearing; but
the court evaded his re(piest. From September 1, when the indictments were first
presented, to the end of November, when Wesley made known his intention tr.
return to England, he seems to have attended not fewer than seven different sit
tings of the court, asking to be tried on the matters over which it had jurisdiction
but denying its right to take cognizance of the ecclesiastical offenses alleged
Thus harassed and obstructed-power being in the hands of his enemies, and he
unable and they unwilling to reach an issue-lie gave notice of leaving, and left.
This was what they wanted. Caustcn, the chief power in Oglethorpe's absence,
came to disgrace and grief in a twelve-month, being turned out of all his offices.
The enemies of Wesley and of Methodism have sedulously endeavored, but in Nail.
to fix a blot upon him in this matter.
96 History of Methodism.
civilization to the Indians, but not then. Its instruments were
not ready. Its Pentecost had not come. By a way that Wesley
knew not God would bring it about; and in less than a century
Methodist preachers would have schools among those very tribes
in which Indian children would be learning the Wesleyan Cate-
chism, and thousands of Indian members under their pastoral
care would make the Western wilds rejoice as, in their own lan.
guage, they sung Wesleyan hymns.
This vision was not granted the missionary, and he left with
his enemies exulting and his friends sad. He himself was sad-
dest of all, for his mission seemed a failure. These are his re-
flections on the way back to England:
Many reasons I have to bless God for my-having been carried to America, con-
trary to all my preceding resolutions. Hereby, I trust, he hath in some measure
" humbled me and proved me, and shown me what was in my heart." Hereby, I have
been taught to "beware of men." Hereby, God has given me to know many of his
servants, particularly those of the Church of Herrnhut. Hereby, my passage is
open to the writings of holy men, in the German, Spanish, and Italian tongues.
All in Georgia have heard the word of God, and some have believed and begun
to run well. A few steps have been taken toward publishing the glad tidings
both to the African and American heathens. Many children have learned how
they ought to serve God, and to be useful to their neighbor. And those whom it
most concerns have an opportunity of knowing the state of their infant colony,
and laying a firmer foundation of peace and happiness to many generations.
When Whitefield arrived in Georgia, a reaction had taken
place, and he wrote: "The good Mr. John Wesley has done in
America is inexpressible. His name is very precious among the
people; and he has laid a foundation that I hope neither men
nor devils will ever be able to shake. 0 that I may follow him
as he followed Christ!" John Wesley's latest and best historian
thus concludes the account: "Who could have imagined that,
in one hundred and thirty years, this huge wilderness would
be transformed into one of the greatest nations upon earth?
and that the Methodism, begun at Savannah, would pervade the
continent, and, ecclesiastically considered, become the mightiest
power existing? "
Whitefield: His Conversion and Preaching; Goes to Savannah-Orphan Asylum.
What was Accomplished by this Charity.
WTHITEFIELD had sailed for Georgia a few hours bofor(
the vessel which brought Wesley back to England cast
anchor. The ships passed in sight of each other, but neither
knew that so dear a friend was on the deck at which he was gaz-
ing. When Wesley landed he learned that his coadjutor was on
board the vessel in the offing. It was still possible to communicate
with him; and Whitefield was not a little surprised at receiving
a letter which contained these words: When I saw God by the
wind which was carrying you out brought me in, I asked coun-
sel of God. His answer you have inclosed." The inclosure was
a slip of paper with this sentence: "Let him return to London."
Whitefield resorted to prayer. The story of the prophet in the
book of Kings came forcibly to his recollection-how he turned
back from his appointed course because another prophet told him
it was the will of the Lord that he should do so, and for that reason
a lion met him by the way and slew him. So he proceeded on
A new power has been developed in this Oxford Methodist.
He has undergone a great change. The departure of Wesley
left Whitefield at the head of the Methodist band or Holy
Club of the university and left him also trying to establish his
own righteousness after the then Methodist style. The last
glimpse we had of his experience, he was not behind the best of
them in that way. Reading a treatise lent him by Charles Wes-
ley, he found it asserted that true religion is a union of the soul
with God, by the Spirit. A ray of divine light, he says, in-
atantaneously darted in upon him, and from that moment he
knew he must be a new creature. To use his own words: "Up
*Wesley doubting, from his own experience, whether his friend could be so
usefully employed in America as in England, had referred the question to lot, and
this was the lot which he had drawn. Whitefield afterward rebuked him: "It
is plain you had a wrong lot given you here, and justly, because you tempted God
in drawing one." He was at that time addicted to the Moravian practice of
iortilege, in perplexed anxieties for the right way.
History of Methodzsm.
to that time I knew no more that I must be born again than
if I had never been born at all." In seeking, however, to at-
tain the peace that passeth all understanding, his vehemence and
ardency of character betrayed him into many ill-judged proceed-
ings and ascetic follies.
Whitefield preceded the Wesleys in obtaining the "assurance
of faith," which they had sought together so arduously before
they parted. But, like them, he passed through an ordeal of
agonizing self-conflicts; he followed out many false courses,
and exhausted many remedies; and thus seems to have been
prepared to guide and comfort others. Whenever he knelt
down to pray, he felt great pressure both in soul and body,
and often prayed under the weight of it till the sweat dripped
from his face. "God only knows," he writes, "how many nights
I have lain upon my bed groaning under what I felt." He kept
Lent so strictly that, except on Saturdays and Sundays, his only
food was coarse bread and'sage-tea without sugar. The end of
this was that before the termination of forty days he had scarce-
ly strength enough left to creep up-stairs, and was under a phy-
sician for many weeks. At the close of the severe illness which
lie had thus brought on himself, a happy change of mind con-
firmed his returning health. It may best be related in his own
Notwithstanding my fit of sickness continued six or seven weeks, I trust I shall
have reason to bless God for it through the endless ages of eternity; for, about the
end of the seventh week, after having undergone innumerable buffetings of Satan,
and many months' inexpressible trials, by night and by day, under the spirit of
bondage, God was pleased at length to remove the heavy load, to enable me to lay
hold on his dear Son by a living faith, and by giving me the Spirit of adoption, to
seal me, as I humbly hope, even to the day of everlasting redemption. But 0
with what joy-joy unspeakable, even joy that was fill of and big with glory-was
my soul filled when the weight of sin went off, and an abiding sense of the par-
doning love of God, and a full assurance of faith, broke in upon my disconsolate
soul! Surely it was the day of my espousals-a day to be had in everlasting re
membrance. At first my joys were like a spring-tide, and, as it were, oveillohtel
the banks. Go where I would I could not avoid singing of psalms almost aloud:
afterward they became more settled, and, blessed be God, saving a few casual in
tervals, have abode and increased in my soul ever since.
The Wesleys at this time were in Georgia; and some person
who feared lest the little society which they had formed at Ox-
ford should be broken up and totally dissolved, for want of a su-
perintendent, had written to Sir John Philips, of London, who
Whitefield's First Sermon. 99
was ready to assist in religious works with his purse, and recom-
mended Whitefield as a proper person to be encouraged and pat-
ronized, more especially for this purpose. Sir John immediately
gave him an annuity of 20, and promised to make it 30 if he
would continue at Oxford; for if it could be leavened with the
vital spirit of religion, it would be like medicating the waters at
their spring. He accepted the situation, and filled it well. His
illness rendered it expedient for him to change air, and he went
accordingly to his native city where, laying aside all other books,
he devoted himself to the study of the Holy Scriptures, reading
them upon his knees, and praying over every line and word.
The Bishop of Gloucester perceived his talents and earnest spirit,
and proffered him ordination, notwithstanding he said that he
had resolved to ordain no one under three and twenty years, and
Whitefield was only twenty-one.
He prepared himself for the ceremony by fasting and prayer,
and spent two hours the previous evening on his knees in the
neighboring fields, making supplication for himself and those
who were to be ordained with him. At the ordination he conse-
crated himself to an apostolic life. I trust," he writes, I an-
swered to every question from the bottom of my heart, and heartily
prayed that God might say, Amen. If my vile heart doth not de-
ceive me, I offered up my whole spirit, soul, and body to the serv-
ice of God's sanctuary. Let come what will, life or death, depth
or height, I shall henceforward live like one who this day, in the
presence of men and angels, took the holy sacrament upon the
profession of being inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost to take
upon me that ministration in the Church."
The good bishop gave him five guineas "a great supply,"
wrote Whitefield, "for one who had not a guinea in the world."
His first sermon revealed at once his extraordinary powers. His
journal gives this account: "Last Sunday, in the afternoon, I
preached my first sermon in the church where I was baptized, and
also first received the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Curiosity
drew a large congregation together. The sight at first a little awed
me. But I was comforted with a heart-felt sense of the Divine
presence, and soon found the advantage of having been accus-
tomed to public speaking when a boy at school, and of exhorting
and teaching the prisoners and poor people at their private houses
whilst at the university. By these means I was kept from being
100 History of Methodism.
daunted overmuch. As I proceeded, I perceived the fire kindled,
till at last, though so young, and amidst a crowd of those who
knew me in my childish days, I trust I was enabled to speak with
some degree of gospel authority."
Some mocked: many were awakened. It was reported to the
bishop that fifteen of his hearers had gone mad. He wished that
the madness might not pass away before another Sunday. That
same week Whitefield returned to Oxford, took his degree, and
continued to visit the prisoners, and inspect two or three charity
schools which were supported by the Methodists. With this
state of life he was contented, and thought of continuing in the
university, at least for some years, that he might complete his
studies, and do good among the gownsmen-to convert one of
them being deemed, by some, as much as converting a parish.
From thence, however, he was invited to officiate at the Tower
chapel, in London, during the absence of the curate. It was a
summons which he obeyed with fear and trembling; but he was
soon made sensible of his power; for though the first time he
entered a pulpit in the metropolis the congregation seemed dis-
posed to sneer at his youth, they grew'serious during his dis-
course, showed him great tokens of respect as he came down, and
blessed him as he passed along, while inquiry was made on every
side, from one to another, Who is he?
While he was in London, letters from Ingham and the Wesleys
made him long to follow them to Georgia; but when he opened
these desires to his friends, they persuaded him that laborers
were wanted at home. He now learned that Charles Wesley had
come over to procure assistance; and though Charles did not
invite him to the undertaking, yet he wrote in terms which
made it evident that he was in his thoughts, as a proper person.
Soon afterward came a letter from John: "Only Mr. Delamotte
is with me," said he, "till God shall stir up the hearts of some
of his servants, who, putting their lives in his hands, shall come
over and help us, where the harvest is so great and the labor-
ers so few. What if thou art the man, Mr. Whitefield?" In
another letter it was said: "Do you ask me what you shall have?
Food to eat, and raiment to put on; a house to lay your head in,
such as your Lord had not; and a crown of glory that fadeth not
away." Upon reading this, his heart leaped within him, and
echoed to the call. The desire thus formed soon ripened into