To Richard Morgan

December 17, 1733.

SIR,--The bank-note sent by Mr. Huey was exchanged to­day. I have paid Mr. Lasher £11 17s. 6d. of the £50 (and the £9 in my brother's hands), the Bursar £24 for caution-money, and 40s. the usual fee for his admission into the common-room. Mr. Morgan usually rises about six, and has not yet been want­ing in diligence. He seldom goes out of college unless upon business or to walk for his health, which I would willingly persuade him to do every day. He loses no time at taverns or coffee-houses, and avoids as much as possible idle company, which every gentleman here will soon be pestered with if he has not some show of resolution. Some evenings every week he spends in the common-room, and others with my brother and me. Of his being admitted into our Society (if it deserves so honorable a title) there is no danger. All those gentlemen whom I have the happiness to converse with two or three times a week upon a religious account would oppose me to the utmost should I attempt to introduce among them at those important hours one of whose prudence I had had so short a trial and who was so little experienced in piety and charity.

Several of the points you mention deserve a fuller con­sideration than I have leisure to give them. I shall ever own myself extremely obliged for the freedom with which you mention them, and have endeavored to answer you with the same freedom, which I am persuaded will not be disagreeable to you.

That my dear friend, now with God, was much disordered in his understanding. I had often observed long before he left England. That he was likewise sincerely religious, all observed; but whoever had seen his behavior in the successive stages of his illness might as easily have mistaken darkness for light as his madness for his religion. They were not only different, but opposite too; one counteracting the other from its beginning. I cannot better describe his religion than in the words of the person who wrote his elegy:

Mild, sweet, serene, and tender was her mood,

Nor grave with sternness, nor with lightness free!

Against example resolutely good,

Fervent in zeal and warm in charity!

Who ne'er forsook her faith for love of peace,

Nor sought with fire and sword to show her zeal;

Duteous to rulers when they most oppress,

Patient in bearing ill, and doing well. [Description of Divine Religion, from The Battle of the Sexes, stanza xxxv., by his brother Samuel. For 'tender' (line 1) read 'cheerful,' for 'rulers' (line 7) 'princes.' Wesley quotes the last line in the obituary of Robert Swindells (Minutes, x783).]

Directly contrary to every article of this was his madness. It was harsh, sour, cloudy, and severe. It was sometimes extravagantly light and sometimes sternly serious. It under­mined his best resolutions by an absurd deference to example. It damped the fervor of his zeal and gradually impaired the warmth of his charity. It had not, indeed, as yet attacked his duteous regard for his superiors, nor drove him to exter­minate sin by fire and sword; for when it had so obscured that clear judgment whereon his holiness stood that his very faith and patience began to be in danger, the God whom he served came to his rescue and snatched him from the evil to


'But though his religion was not the same with his madness, might it not be the cause of it ?' I answer, No. 'Tis full as reasonable to believe that light is darkness as that it is the cause of it. We may just as well think that mildness and harsh­ness, sweetness and sternness, gentleness and fury are the same thing, as that the former are the causes of the latter, or have any tendency thereto.

'But he said himself his distemper was religious madness, and who should know better than himself?' Who should know the truth better than one out of his senses? Why, any one that was in them, especially any one that had observed the several workings of his soul before the corruptible body pressed it down; when his apprehension was unclouded, his' judgment sound, and his reason cool and unimpaired. Then it was that he knew himself and his Master; then he spoke the words of truth and soberness, and justified by those words the wisdom he loved, only not as much as he adorned it by his life.

True it is God was pleased, for the trial both of him and us, to visit him with a grievous illness. As his illness increased his reason declined, and consequently his religion built upon it. Till that melancholy effect of his disease, I challenge all the fools who counted his preceding life madness to point out one extreme he was in of any sort or one instance of his zeal which was not according to knowledge. 'Tis easy for any of them to declaim in general against enthusiasm and carrying things too far, and even to prevail upon an unwary mind, shattered by sickness, to plead guilty to the accusation. But let them come to particulars, and I do hereby undertake to prove that every fact they allege against him is either abso­lutely false or that it is agreeable to the strictest rules both of piety and Christian prudence.

His fasting (or abstinence rather, for I do not know that he ever fasted one day) I least of all 'except; as being firmly persuaded, from careful and repeated observations, that had he continued it he had been alive to this day. Nor are there wanting as great names for this opinion as any that advised on the contrary, who believe that wine and free diet to one in his circumstances was as sure a recipe as shooting him through the head.

I acknowledge your goodness in having a far better opinion of me than I deserve, or, I trust in God, shall ever desire. I have many things to add when time permits, but one I dare not defer a moment. 'Tis absolutely necessary to guard your surviving son against the least suspicion of my over-great zeal or strictness. You are fully sensible he is in no danger of either. But if he once fancies I am, that fancy will cut me off from all possibility of doing him any substantial service. whatever advice I may have occasion to give with regard to his moral conduct, ' much religion hath made thee mad ' will be a sufficient answer to all. For your sake and his I beg to know (what I should otherwise not think it worth while to bestow one thought upon) any overt acts of my enthusiasm which pass current in Ireland either with the gay or the serious part of the world.

My brother gladly joins with me in acknowledging all your favors both to him and to, good sir,

Your obliged and obedient servant.

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