A Letter to Charles, March 22, 1736

SAVANNAH, March 22, 1736.

DEAR BROTHER, -- How different are the ways wherein we are led! Yet, I hope, toward the same end. I have hitherto no opposition at all. All is smooth and fair and promising. Many seem to be awakened. All are full of respect and commendation. We can't see any cloud gathering. But this calm cannot last; storms must come hither too: and let them come, when we are ready to meet them.

'Tis strange so many of our friends should still trust in God. I hope, indeed, whoever turns to the world, Mr. Tackner and Betty, with Mr. Hird's family and Mr. Burk, will zealously aim at the prize of their high calling. These especially I exhort, by the mercies of God, that they be not weary of well-doing, but that they labor more and more to be meek and lowly, and daily to advance in the knowledge and love of God.

I hope, too, Mr. Weston, Mr. Moore, Mr. Allen, and Mr. White, as well as Mr. Ward and his wife, continue in the same wise resolutions. I must not forget Mr. Reed and Mr. Daubry, both of whom I left fully determined to shake off every weight, and with all their might to pursue the one thing needful.

Conciones omnes meas jamnunc habes, praeter istas quas misi. Aliquae in pyxide sunt (de qua ne verbum scribis) una cum Bibliis in quarto. Liber de Disciplina quam celerrime potes, remittendus est. Quanta est concordia fratrum! Tui vole et fratris Bi. [‘You have now all my sermons, beside those which I have sent. Some are in the box (of which you write not a word) together with the Bible in quarto. The Book of Discipline must be sent back as soon as possible. How great is the concord of brethren! I mean of thee and brother B’ (Ben jamin Ingham).]

You are not, I think, at liberty [greek inserted here that translated is: [' To turn to the Gentiles till your own countrymen shall cast you out.'] ]If that period comes soon, so much the better. Only in the meanwhile reprove and exhort with all authority, even though all men should despise thee. It shall turn to thee for a testimony ': see Luke xxi. 13.

I conjure you, spare no time or address or pains to learn the true cause ['Of the former distress of my friend.'] I much doubt you are the right. ['God forbid that she should again in like manner miss the mark. Watch over her, keep her as much as possible. Write to me, how I ought to write to her.']

If Mr. Ingham [Benjamin Ingham had gone to Prederica with General Oglethorpe on Feb. 16, and welcomed Charles on his landing there in March.] were here, I would try to see you. But omit no opportunity. of writing. ['I stand in jeopardy every hour. Two or three are women, younger, refined, God-fearing. Pray that I know none of them after the flesh.']

Let us be strong and very courageous; for the Lord our God is with us, and there is no counsel or might against Him Adieu!

*Charles Wesley reached Frederica, the chief place on St. Sireoh's Island, a hundred miles south of Savannah, on March 9. (For a description of the place, see Journal, i. 403n.) He was General Oglethorpe's secretary, and had spiritual charge of the settlers, who were busy laying out the town and building houses. This letter shows with what care the Wesleys watched over all their parishioners. The persons named in it had come out with them on the Simmonds. Wesley baptized Ambrosius Tackher, aged thirty, who had been baptized by a layman. Charles Wesley found him in an 'excellent temper' at Frederies (C. Wesley's Journal, i. 3). Betty was his wife (Journal, i. 123d). Wesley also baptized on the voyage Thomas and Grace Hird, with their son Mark, who was twenty-one, and their daughter Phoebe, about seventeen. The young people had been educated among the Quakers (ibid. i. 117). Burk was one of the converts on the Sirnrnonds (i. 233d). Francis Moore's letters about the voyage were afterwards pub lished. His wife was one of Oglethorpe's servants (i. I25). Mr. Reed was a courageous friend, who had done good work as a lay pastor (i. 125d). Charles Wesley slept on the ground in a common hut at Frederica (i. 195d). Mrs. Welch had been meek and teachable on board the Simrnonds; but Charles Wesley says she was now ' so willful, so un-tractable, so fierce, that I could not bear to stay near her.'

This letter is given in Whitehead's Wesley, ii. 14-16, and Moore's Wesley, i. 293-4; but both omit the last two sentences in Greek, through which already looms the ominous figure of Sophia Hopkey, whom Wesley first met on March 13. Charles Wesley was beset with difficulties at Frederica, and General Oglethorpe was unfriendly. (See Telford's Charles Wesley, p. 49.) The correspondence between the brothers was liable to be opened and read. Hence the Latin and Greek interspersed. Later Byrom's shorthand was used. Charles sent Benjamin Ingham to Savannah on March 28, and early in April Wesley was able to visit his brother.


Theresa Coleman said...

Dearest John,
I certainly hope you do NOT know any of those young ladies "in the flesh"! Certainly that doesn't mean what I THINK it means!

Unknown said...

Dearest John, I will be on the island of which you landed, April 18th. It gives me great joy to be back there again. I look forward to seeing the marshes,hearing the birds, and all that.

Wilst thou tell the blogger revernd mommy that for some reason I can not leave comments on her blog. I know that the two of you converse every now and then.