To his Brother Samuel [2]

OXON, February 13, 1735.

DEAR BROTHER, --Neither you nor I have any time to spare; so I must be as short as I can.

There are two questions between us; one relating to being good, the other to doing good. With regard to the former:

1. You allow I enjoy more of friends, retirement, freedom from care, and divine ordinances than I could do elsewhere: and I add (1) I feel all this to be but just enough; (2) I have always found less than this to be too little for me; and there­fore (3) whatever others do, I could not throw up any part of it without manifest hazard to my salvation.

As to the latter:

2. I am not careful to answer 'what good I have done at Oxford,' because I cannot think of it without the utmost danger. ' I am careful about what I may do at Epworth,' (1) because I can think of it without any danger at all; (2) because I cannot, as matters now stand, avoid thinking of it without sin.

3. Another can supply my place at Epworth better than at Oxford, and the good done here is of a far more diffusive nature. It is a more extensive benefit to sweeten the foun­tain than to do the same to particular streams.

4. To the objection, You are despised at Oxford, therefore you can do no good there, I answer: (1) A Christian will be despised anywhere. (2) No one is a Christian till he is de­spised. (3) His being .despised will not hinder his doing good, but much further it by making him a better Christian. With­out contradicting any of these propositions, I allow that every one to whom you do good directly must esteem you, first or last. -- N.B. A man may despise you for one thing, hate you for a second, and envy you for a third.

5. God may suffer Epworth to be worse than before. But I may not attempt to prevent it, with so great hazard to my own soul.

Your last argument is either ignoratio elenchi, or implies these two propositions: (1) 'You resolve against any parochial cure of souls.' (2) 'The priest who does not undertake the first parochial cure that offers is perjured.' Let us add a third: ' The tutor who, being in Orders, never accepts of a parish is perjured.' [That was Samuel Wcsley's own case.] And then I deny all three. --I am, dear brother,

Your obliged and affectionate Brother.

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