To John Robson [3]

September 30, 1735.

DEAR SIR, -- The dining in the hall on Friday seems to me utterly unjustifiable. It is giving offense in the worst sense, giving men occasion to think that innocent which is grossly sinful. The plausible pretenses for throwing off the very form of godliness that must be esteemed if we will do good; that we must keep those things private wherein we differ from the world, and so on, you will find fully examined in Nicodemus. [Wesley read Nicodemus; or, A Treatise on the Fear of Man, by August H. Francke, on his voyage to Georgia. He abridged it for Methodist readers in 1739. See Diary in Journal, i. 121, 300-1; Green's Wesley Bibliography, No. 12.] The Bishops can no more dispense with the law (the reason of which still subsists) than you or I can. Fasting is not a means of chastity only, but of deadness to pleasure, and heavenly-mindedness, and consequently necessary (in such measure as agrees with health) to all persons in all times of life. Had I been less strict, as 'tis called, I should have not only not done more good than I have (that is, God by me), but I never should have done any at all, nor indeed desired to do any. Till a man gives offense he will do no good; and the more offense he gives by adhering to the gospel of Christ the more good he will do, and the more good he does the more offense he will give. As to lukewarm company, I can only advise you (1) to keep out of it -- as much as you can; (2) when you cannot, to pray before, after, and during your stay in it fervently and without ceasing: but this you can't do---I know it; but God can make you able to do it, and in Him you must put your trust.

I am not satisfied (as I have told the Rector for this twelvemonth past) that the Wednesday fast [See letter of June 13, 1733.] is strictly obligatory; though I believe it very ancient, if not apostolical. He never saw what I writ upon it.

Dr. Tilly's sermons [William Tilly's Sixteen Sermons preached before the University of Oxford at St. Mary's (Phil. ii. 12-13). 'The grace of God shown to be not only consistent with the liberty of man's will, but the strongest obligation to our own endeavors' (2 Sermons. 1712).] on Free Will are the best I ever saw. His text is, 'Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.' May you all assist one another so to do, and be not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. ?a?a?a?e? te ????????, &c. Bear ye one another's burdens. I charge Mr. Robson in the name of the Lord Jesus that he no longer halt between two opinions. If the Lord be God, serve Him, love Him with all your heart, serve Him with all your strength; and pray for us that faith and utterance may be given us, that we may speak boldly as we ought to speak.
To Richard Morgan

Oxon, January 15, 1734.

SIR, -- Going yesterday into your son's room, I providen­tially cast my eyes upon a paper that lay upon the table, and, contrary to my custom, read a line or two of it, which soon determined me to read the rest. It was a copy of his last letter to you; whereby, by the signal blessing of God, I came to the knowledge of his real sentiments, both with regard to myself and to several other points of the highest importance.

In the account he gives of me and those friends who are as my own soul, and who watch over it that I may not be myself a castaway, are some things true: as, that we imagine it is our bounden duty to spend our whole lives in the service of Him that gave them, or, in other words, 'whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, to do all to the glory of God'; that we endeavor, as we are able, to relieve the poor by buy­ing books and other necessaries for them; that some of us read prayers at the prison once a day; that I administer the sacrament once a month, and preach there as often as I am not engaged elsewhere; that we sit together five evenings in a week; and that we observe, in such manner as our health per­mits, the fasts of the Church. Some things are false, but taken up upon trust, so that I hope Mr. Morgan believed them true: as, that we almost starve ourselves; that one of us had like lately to have lost his life by too great abstinence; that we endeavor to reform notorious whores and to lay spirits in haunted houses; that we all rise every day at five o'clock; and that I am President of the Society. And some things are not only false, but I fear were known so to be when he related them as true (inasmuch as he had then had the repeated demonstration of both his eyes and ears to the contrary): such as that the Society consists of seven members (I know no more than four of them); that from five to eight in the morning they sing psalms and read some piece of divinity; and that they are emaciated to such a degree that they are a frightful sight. As to the circumstance of the brasier's wife (no intimate of mine) I am in doubt; though she positively denies she ever said so.

As strange as it may appear that one present upon the spot should so far vary from the truth in his relation, I can easily account, not only for his mistake, but for his designed misrepresentation too. The company he is almost daily with (from whom, indeed, I should soon have divided him, had not your letter's coming in the article of time tied my hands) abundantly accounts for the former; as his desire to lessen your regard for me, and thereby obviate the force of any future complaint, which he foresaw I might some time have occasion to make to you, does for the latter. And, indeed, I am not without apprehension that some such occasion may shortly come. I need not describe that apprehension to you. Be pleased to reflect what were the sentiments of your own heart when the ship that took your son from you loosed from shore; and such (allowing for the superior tenderness of a parent) are mine. Such were my father's before he parted from us; when, taking him by the hand, he said, 'Mr. Morgan between this and Easter is your trial for life: I even tremble when I consider the danger you are in; and the more because you do not yourself perceive it.' Impute not, sir, this fear either to the error of my youth or to the coldness of his age. Is there not a cause? Is he not surrounded, even in this recess, with those who are often more pernicious than open libertines? -- men who retain something of outward decency, and nothing else; who seriously idle away the whole day, and reputably revel till midnight, and ff not drunken themselves, yet encouraging and applauding those that are so; who have no more of the form than of the power of godliness, and though they do pretty often drop in at public prayers, coming after the most solemn part of them is over, yet expressly disown any obligation to attend them. 'Tis true they have not yet laughed your son out of all his dili­gence; but how long it will be before they have, God knows. They zealously endeavor it at all convenient opportunities; and temporal views are as unable to support him under such an attack as his slender notions of religion are; of which, he often says, he thinks he shall have enough if he constantly says his prayers at home and in the chapel. As to my advice on this or any other head, they had secured him pretty wall before; and your authority added to theirs has supplied him with armor of proof against it. I now beg to know what you would have me do. Shall I sit still, and let him swim down the stream? Or shall I plunge in, bound as I am hand and foot, and oppose myself to his company, his inclina­tions, and his father?

Why, you say I am to incite him to live a sober, virtuous, and religious life. Nay, but first let us agree what religion is. I take religion to be, not the bare saying over so many prayers, morning and evening, in public or in private; not anything superadded now and then to a careless or worldly life; but a constant ruling habit of soul, a renewal of our minds in the image of God, a recovery of the divine likeness, a still-increasing conformity of heart and life to the pattern of our most holy Redeemer. But if this be religion, if this be that way to life which our blessed Lord hath marked out for us, how can any one, while he keeps close to this way, be charged with running into extremes ? 'Tis true there is no going out of it, either to the right hand or to the left, without running into an extreme; and, to prevent this, the wisdom of the Church has in all ages appointed guides for the unexperienced, lest they should wander into by-paths and seek death in the error of their life. But while he is in the right way, what fear is there of your son's going too fast in it ? I appeal to your own experience. Have you observed any such disposition in him as gives you ground to suspect he will love God too well or keep himself too 'unspotted from the world'? Or has his past life been such as that you have just reason to apprehend the remainder of it should too much resemble that of our blessed Master? I will go farther. Have you re­marked, in the various scenes you have gone through, that youth in general is apt to run into the extreme of piety? Is it to this excess that the fervor of their blood and the impetu­osity of their passions hurry them? But we may not stop here. Is there any fear, is there any possibility, that any son of Adam, of whatever age or degree, should too faithfully do the will of his Creator or too exactly tread in the steps of his Redeemer? Suppose the time now come when you feel within yourself that the silver cord of life is loosed, that the dust is returning to the earth as it was, and the spirit unto God who gave it. The snares of death overtake you. Nothing but pain is on the one hand, eternity on the other. The tears of the friends that surround your bed bear witness with the pangs of your own heart that it has few pulses more to beat before you launch out into the sea without a shore, before the soul shall part from your quivering lips and stand naked before the judgment-seat of God. Will you then be content with having served God according to the custom of the place you was in? Will you regret your having been, even from your youth, ' more pure and holy than the rest of mankind'? Will you complain to the ministering spirits who receive your new-born soul that you have been 'over-zealous in the love of your Master'? Ask not me, a poor, fallible, sinful mortal, never safe either from the snares of ill example or the treachery of my own heart; but ask them, ask Him who died to make you and me and your son zealous of good works, whether you may be excused for your solicitude, your too successful solicitude, to prevent his falling into this extreme! How needless has he made that solicitude already ! But I spare you. The good God be merciful to us both!

Think not, sir, that interest occasions the concern I show. I despise and abhor the thought. From the moment my brother told me, 'Mr. Morgan will be safer with you than me; I have desired he may be sent to you,' I determined (though I have never mentioned it to him) to restore to him whatsoever is paid me upon Mr. Morgan's account. It is, with regard to me, an accursed thing. There shall no such cleave unto me. I have sufficient motives without this to assist your son, so long as he will accept of my assistance. He is the brother of my dear friend, the son of one that was my friend till great names warped him from his purpose; and, what is infinitely more, the creature of my God, and the redeemed and fellow heir of my Savior. That neither the cares of the world, nor the fair speeches and venerable titles of any who set up their rest therein, may prevent our attaining our better inheritance, is the earnest prayer of, sir,

Your most obliged and most obedient servant.,

I beg, if you favor me with another letter, it may not be enclosed in Mr. Morgan's.
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.
To his Brother Samuel

Oxon, March 4, 1735.

DEAR BROTHER, -- I had rather dispute, if I must dispute, with you than with any man living, because it may be done with so little expense of time and words.

The question is now brought to one point, and the whole of the argument will be in a single syllogism:

Neither hope of doing greater good nor fear of any evil ought to deter you from what you have engaged yourself to.

But you have engaged yourself to undertake the cure of a parish:

Therefore neither that hope nor that fear ought to deter you from it.

The only doubt is whether I have engaged myself or not. You think I did at my ordination, ' before God and His high-priest.' I think I did not.

However, I own I am not the proper judge of the oath I then took. It being certain and allowed by all-- 'Verbis in quibus quis jurejurando adigitur, sensum genuinum, ut et obligationem sacramenti et modum et mensuram praestari a mente non praestantis, sed exigentis juramentum.' [The words are probably a quota­tion from an English Canonist, and have been thus translated: 'To words in which any one is caused to take an oath, the true meaning, and also the manner and extent of the obligation of the oath, is supplied from the mind, not of the taker of the oath, but of him who demands it.' See Journal, i. 29.]

Therefore it is not I, but the high-priest of God before whom I contracted that engagement, who is to judge of the nature and extent of it. Accordingly the post after I received yours I referred it entirely to him,[ Dr. Potter, trs. to Canterbury1737.] proposing this single question to him, Whether I had at my ordination engaged myself to undertake the cure of any parish or no? His answer runs in these words:

REVD. SIR, -- It doth not seem to me that at your ordination you engaged yourself to undertake the cure of any parish, provided you can as a clergyman better serve God and His Church in your present or some other station.

Now, that I can as a clergyman better serve God and His Church in my present station I have all reasonable evidence. [See letters of Feb. 15, 1733, and Dec. 10, 1734.]

A Bit About Richard Morgan

From Richard Morgan to John Wesley [3]

DUBLIN, November 22, 1733.

REVEREND SIR, -- I had the favor of yours, and am very thankful for your care and tenderness about my son, who I am sure will observe your advice and directions in everything. 11y concern about my only son brings the misfortunes of my other son fresh into my mind, and obliges me now to impart to you, and only to you, what I have hitherto concealed from all men as far as it could be kept secret.

After he had spent about six weeks with me in Dublin, and the physicians having agreed that the air at Oxford was better for his health than the Irish air, when I was obliged to take a journey with my Lord Primate into his diocese, my dear son was to set out on his journey to England the same day, which he accordingly did. He rode an easy pad, and was to make easy journeys through part of this kingdom to see some relations in the way, and to take shipping at Cork, from which there is a short passage to Bristol, and from thence the journey not great to Oxford.

He traveled twelve miles the first day, attended by that careful servant that was with him at Oxford. The servant observed him to act and talk lightly and incoherently that day. He slept little or none at night, but often cried out that the house was on fire, and used other wild expressions.

The second day he grew worse, and threw his bridle over the horse's head, and would neither guide him himself nor let the man guide him, whom he charged to stay behind, saying that God would guide him. The horse turned about, went in side-roads, and went to a disused quarry filled with water to drink, where my poor child fell off, and had then like to have been lost, the servant not daring to do but as he bid him, whom he often beat and struck. The servant then, finding him deprived of all understanding and outrageous, by great art and management brought him back to Dublin.

Two of our most eminent physicians and the Surgeon-General were brought to attend him; an express was sent after me, with whom I hastened back to town. He was put into a room [up] two pair of stairs and the sashes nailed down; yet he found an oppor­tunity to run to one of the windows, tore it down, though nailed, and was more than half out, before he could be catched, but was happily saved. He was raving mad, and three men set over him to watch him and hold, and by the direction of the physicians he was threatened with ropes and chains, which were produced to him and rattled.

In his madness he used frequently to say that enthusiasm was his madness, repeated often 'Oh religious madness!' that they had hindered him from being now with God, meaning their hindering him from throwing himself out at the window, and named some other persons and things that I shan't mention; but in his greatest rage never cursed or swore or used any profane expressions. Some have told me since that they looked upon him to be dis­ordered some time before in his head. But God was pleased to take him to Himself in seven days' time, which no doubt the blisterings and severities used by the physicians and surgeon for his recovery precipitated.

These are melancholy reflections, which make me earnestly desire that my surviving son should not go into those over-zealous ways which (as is apprehended) contributed to this great misfortune which finished my other son. I would have him live a sober, virtuous, and religious life, and to go to church and sacrament according to the statutes and customs of his College; but for young people to pretend to be more pure and holy than the rest of mankind is a dangerous experiment. As to charitable subscriptions and contributions, I wholly debar him from making any because he has not one shilling of his own but what I give him; which I appropriate wholly to his maintenance, education, and moderate and inoffensive recreation and pleasures; and I believe as a casuist you will agree with me that it is injustice, and consequently sinful rather than virtue, to apply my money any other way than as I appropriate it. He must leave me to measure out my own charities, and to distribute them in such manner and proportion as I shall think proper.

I hope you will not suspect, from anything I have said, that I intend the least reflection or disrespect to you; for if I did not think very well of you, and had not a great opinion of your conduct and abilities, I should not put my only son under your tuition, which I think is the best proof a man can give of his good esteem and opinion of another.

The tragical account I give you of my poor deceased son, my son Richard can inform you of as well as I; which I charged him to say nothing of at Oxford, but now he may to you, if you think proper to inquire of him about it: and I hope I may be excused for being solicitous to prevent my present son's falling into extremes, which it is thought were so prejudicial to my other.

I sent a bill of £5o by the last post to Mr. James Huey, merchant, in Aldermanbury, London, with directions to transmit the value to you, which I hope is done. I shall begrudge no money that is for my son's benefit and advantage. I would have him live as decently as other gentlemen of his station. I am very desirous that he should keep a regular account, that he may attain to a habit of it, knowing the great use and benefit of accounts to all men. I shall depend upon you letting me know when a further supply will be wanting.

Pray my respects to your brother, and believe me to be,

Your very affectionate and most humble servant,

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.

From the Minutes of the Trustees of the Governors of Georgia, Sept 26, 1735

Sept. 26, 1735. — A new town in Georgia to be laid out, to be called Frederica.
To his Brother Samuel [1]

OXON, January 15, 1735.

DEAR BROTHER,--Had not my brother Charles desired it might be otherwise, I should have sent you only an extract of the following letter.[ To his father on Dec. 10, 1734.] But if you will be at the pains, you will soon reduce the argument of it to two or three points, which, if to be answered at all, will be easily answered. By it you may observe my present purpose is founded on my present weakness. But it is not, indeed, probable that my father should live till that weakness is removed.

Your second argument I had no occasion to mention before. To it I answer, that I do not, nor ever did, resolve against undertaking a cure of souls. There are four cures belonging to our College, and consistent with a Fellowship: I do not know but I may take one of them at Michaelmas. Not that I am clearly assured that I should be false to my engagement were I only to instruct and exhort the pupils committed to my charge. But of that I should think more.

I desire your full thoughts upon the whole, as well as your prayers, for, dear brother,

Your obliged and affectionate Brother.
To his Mother
OXON, January 13, 1735

DEAR MOTHER, -- Give my leave to say once more that our folks do, and will I supose to the end of the chapter, mistake the question.

Supposing him changed? Say they. Right: but that supposition has not proof yet – whether it may have: when it has, then we may come to our other point, whether all this be not providence, i.e. blessing. And whether we are empowered so to judge, condemn, and execute an imprudent Christian, as God forbid I should ever use a Turk or Deist.

I have had a great deal of a conversation lately on the subject of Christian liberty, and should be glad of your thoughts as to the several notions of it which good men entertain. I perceive different persons take it in at least six different senses: (1) For liberty from willful sin, in opposition to the bondage of natural corruption. (2) For liberty as to rites and points of discipline. So Mr. Whiston says, though the stations were constituted by the Apostles, yet the liberty of the Christian law dispenses with them on extraordinary occasions. [William Whiston (1667-1752) succeeded Newton as Lucasian Pro­fessor in 1703. The reference is to his book, The Primitive Eucharist Revived; or, an account of the doctrine and practice of the two first centuries. The ' stations' were the fasts: see letter of June 13, 1753, n.] (3) For liberty from denying ourselves in little things; for trifles, 'tis commonly thought, we may indulge in safety, because Christ hath made us free. This notion, I a little doubt, is not sound. (4) For liberty from fear, or a filial freedom in our intercourse with God. A Christian, says Dr. Knight, [ James Knight, Vicar of St. Sepulchre's, London. See letter of May 8, 1739.] is free from fear on account of his past sins; for he believes in Christ, and hope frees him from fear of losing his present labor or of being a castaway hereafter. (5) Christian liberty is taken by some for a freedom from restraint as to sleep or food. So they would say, your drinking but one glass of wine, or my rising at a fixed hour, was contrary to Christian liberty. Lastly, it is taken for freedom from rules. If by this be meant making our rules yield to extraordinary occasions, well: if the having no prudential rules, this liberty is as yet too high for me; I cannot attain unto it.

We join in begging yours and my father's blessing, and wishing you an Happy Year. -- I am, dear mother,

Your dutiful and affectionate Son.

To Mrs. Wesley, At Epworth. To be left at the Post-house in Gainsborough. By London.
To his Father [5]

OXON December 10, 1734.

DEAR SIR, -- 1. The authority of a parent and the call of Providence are things of so sacred a nature that a question in which these are any ways concerned deserves the most serious consideration. I am therefore greatly obliged to you for the pains you have taken to set ours in a clear light; which I now intend to consider more at large, with the utmost atten­tion of which I am capable. And I shall the more cheerfully do it, as being assured of your joining with me in earnestly imploring His guidance who will not suffer those that bend their wills to His to seek death in the error of their life.

2. I entirely agree that ' the glory of God and the, different degrees of promoting it are to be our sole consideration and direction in the choice of any course of life'; and consequently that it must wholly turn upon this single point, whether I am to prefer a college life or that of a rector of a parish. I do not say the glory of God is to be my first or my principal consideration, but my only one; since all that are not implied in this are absolutely of no weight: in presence of this they all vanish away; they are less than the small dust of the balance.

3. And indeed, till all other considerations were set aside, I could never come to any clear determination; till my eye was single, my whole mind was full of darkness. Every consideration distinct from this threw a shadow over all the objects I had in view, and was such a cloud as no light could penetrate. Whereas, so long as I can keep my eye single and steadily fixed on the glory of God, I have no more doubt of the way wherein I should go than of the shining of the sun at noonday.

4. That course of life tends most to the glory of God where­in we can most promote holiness in ourselves and others. I say in ourselves and others, as being fully persuaded that these can never be put asunder. For how is it possible that the good God should make our interest inconsistent with our neighbor's? that He should make our being in one state best for ourselves, and our being in another best for the Church ? This would be making a strange schism in His body; such as surely never was from the beginning of the world. And if not, then whatever state is best on either of these accounts is so on the other likewise. If it be best for others, then it is so for us; if for us, then for them.

5. However, when two ways of life are proposed, I should choose to begin with that part of the question, Which of these have I rational ground to believe will conduce most to my own improvement ? And that not only because it is every physician's concern to heal himself first, but because it seems we may judge with more ease, and perhaps certainty too, in which state we can most promote holiness in ourselves than in which we can most promote it in others.

6. By holiness I mean not fasting (as you seem to sup­pose), or bodily austerity, or any other external means of improvement, but the inward temper, to which all these are subservient, a renewal of the soul in the image of God. I mean a complex habit of lowliness, meekness, purity, faith, hope, and the love of God and man. And I therefore believe that, in the state wherein I am, I can most promote this holiness in myself, because I now enjoy several advantages which are almost peculiar to it.

7. The first of these is daily converse with my friends. I know no other place under heaven where I can have always at hand half a dozen persons nearly of my own judgment and engaged in the same studies: persons who are awakened into a full and lively conviction that they have only one work to do upon earth; who are in some measure enlightened so as to see, though at a distance, what that one work is -- viz. the recovery of that single intention and pure affection which were in Christ Jesus; who, in order to this, have according to their power renounced themselves, and wholly and absolutely devoted themselves to God; and who suitably thereto deny themselves, and take up their cross daily. To have such a number of such friends constantly watching over my soul, and according to the variety of occasions administering reproof, advice, or exhortation with all plainness and all gentleness, is a blessing I have not yet found any Christians to enjoy in any other part of the kingdom. And such a blessing it is, so conducive, if faithfully used, to the increase of all holiness, as I defy any one to know the full value of till he receives his full measure of glory.

8. Another invaluable blessing which I enjoy here in a greater degree than I could anywhere else is retirement. I have not only as much, but as little, company as I please. I have no such thing as a trifling visitant, except about an hour in a month, when I invite some of the Fellows to breakfast. Unless at that one time, no one ever takes it into his head to set foot within my door, except he has some business of import­ance to communicate to me or I to him. And even then, as soon as he has dispatched his business, he immediately takes his leave.

9. Both these blessings, the continual presence of useful and uninterrupted freedom from trifling acquaintance, are exceedingly endeared to me, whenever I have spent but one week out of this place. The far greatest part of the conversa­tion I meet with abroad, even among those whom I believe to be real Christians, turns on points that are absolutely wide of my purpose, that no way forward me in the business of life. Now, though they may have time to spare, I have none; it is absolutely necessary for such an one as me to follow, with all possible care and vigilance, that excellent advice of Mr. Herbert:

Still let thy mind be bent, still plotting where,

And when, and how the business may be done. [George Herbert's The Temple, 'The Church Porch,' stanza 57.]

And this, I bless God, I can in some measure do, so long as I avoid that bane of piety, the company of good sort of men, lukewarm Christians (as they are called), persons that have a great concern for but no sense of religion. But these under­mine insensibly all my resolutions, and quite steal from me the little fervor I have; and I never come from among these saints of the world (as J. Valdesso [Juan de Valdes (Ital. Valdesso), born about 1500 at Cuenca in Castile, labored unceasingly by tongue and pen for religious reform. In his Alfabeto Christiano he insists that the soul must choose between God and the world. He died in 1540 or 1541.] calls them) faint, dissipated, and shorn of all my strength, but I say, ' God deliver me from an half-Christian.'

10. Freedom from care I take to be the next greatest advantage to freedom from useless and therefore hurtful company. And this too I enjoy in greater perfection here than I can ever expect to do anywhere else. I hear of such a thing as the cares of this world, and I read of them, but I know them not. My income is ready for me on so many stated days, and all I have to do is to count and carry it home. The grand article of my expense is food, and this too is provided without any care of mine. I have nothing to do but at such an hour to take and eat what is prepared for me. My laun­dress, barber, &c., are always ready at quarter-day; so I have no trouble on account of those expenses. And for what I occasionally need, I can be supplied from time to time without any expense of thought. Now, to convince me what an help to holiness this is (were not my experience abundantly suffi­cient) I should need no better authority than St. Paul's: ' I would have you be without carefulness. This I speak for your own profit, that ye may attend upon the Lord' without distraction.' Happy is he that careth only for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. He may be holy both in body and spirit, after the Apostle's judgment; and I think that he had the Spirit of God.

11. To quicken me in making a thankful and diligent use of all the other advantages of this place, I have the oppor­tunity of public prayer twice a day and of weekly communi­cating. It would be easy to mention many more, and like­wise to show many disadvantages, which a person of greater courage and skill than me could scarce separate from a country life. But whatever one of experience and resolution might do, I am very sensible I should not be able to turn aside one of the thousand temptations that would immediately rush upon me. I could not stand my ground, no, not for one month, against intemperance in sleeping, eating, and drinking; against irregularity in study, against a general lukewarmness in my affections and remissness in my actions; against soft­ness and self-indulgence, directly opposite to that discipline and hardship which become a soldier of Jesus Christ. And then, when my spirit was thus dissolved, I should be an easy prey to whatever impertinent company came in my way. Then would the cares of the world and the desire of other things roll back with a full tide upon me. It would be no wonder if, while I preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. I cannot, therefore, but observe that the question does not relate barely to degrees of perfection, but to the very essence and being of it. Agitur de vita et sanguine Turni. [Virgil's Aeneid, xii. 765 (Turni de vita et sanguine certant): ‘They contend about the life and blood of Turnus.'] The point is, whether I shall or shall not work out my salva­tion, whether I shall serve Christ or Belial.

12. What still heightens my fear of this untried state is that, when I am once entered into it, be the inconveniences of it found more or less -- vestigia nulls retrorsum [‘No retracing one's steps’ (Aesop's ‘The Fox and the Sick Lion’).] -- when I am there, there I must stay. If this way of life should ever prove less advantageous, I have almost continual opportunities of quitting it; but whatever difficulties occur in that, whether foreseen or unforeseen, there is no returning, any more than from the grave. When I have once launched out into that unknown sea, there is no recovering my harbor; I must on among whatever whirlpools or rocks or sands, though all the waves and storms go over me.

13. Thus much as to myself. But you justly observe that we are not to consider ourselves alone; since God made us all for a social life, to which academical studies' are only prepara­tory. I allow, too, that He will take an exact account of every talent which He has lent us, not to bury them, but to employ every mite we have received in diffusing holiness all around us. I cannot deny that every follower of Christ is in his propor­tion the light of the world; that whoever is such can no more be concealed than the sun in the midst of heaven; that, being set as a light in a dark place, his shining out must be the more conspicuous; that to this very end was his light given, that it might shine at least to all that look towards him; and, indeed, that there is one only way of hiding it, which is to put it out. Neither can I deny that it is the indispensable duty of every Christian to impart both light and heat to all who are willing to receive it. I am obliged likewise, unless I lie against the truth, to grant that there is not so contemptible an animal upon earth as one that drones away life, without ever laboring to promote the glory of God and the good of men; and that whether he be young or old, learned or unlearned, in a college or out of it. Yet, granting the superlative degree of contempt to be on all accounts due to a college drone; a wretch that hath received ten talents, and yet employs none; that is not only promised a reward by his gracious master, but is paid beforehand for his work by his generous founder, and yet works not at all;--allowing all this, and whatever else can be said (for I own it is impossible to say enough) against the drowsy ingratitude, the lazy perjury of those who are commonly called harmless or good sort of men (a fair proportion of whom I must, to our shame, confess are to be found in colleges)--allowing this, I say, I do not apprehend it will conclude against a college life in general. For the abuse of it does not destroy the use; though there are some here who are the lumber of the creation, it does not follow that others may not be of more service to the world in this station than they could in any other.

14. That I in particular could, might, it seems, be inferred from what has been proved already -- viz. that I could be holier here myself than anywhere else if I faithfully used the bless­ings I enjoy; for, to prove that the holier any man is himself the more shall he promote holiness in others, there needs no more than this one postulatum, the help which is done on earth God does it Himself. If so, if God be the sole agent in healing souls, and man only the instrument in His hand, there can no doubt be made but that the more holy a man is He will make use of him the more: because he is more willing to be so used; because the more pure he is, he is the fitter instrument for the God of purity; because he will pray more and more earnestly that he may be employed, and that his service may tend to his Master's glory; because all his prayers, both for employ­ment and success therein, will the more surely pierce the clouds; because, the more his heart is enlarged, the wider sphere he may act in without carefulness or distraction; and, lastly, because, the more his heart is renewed in the image of God, the more God can renew it in others by him, without destroying him by pride or vanity.

15. But for the proof of every one of these weighty truths experience is worth a thousand reasons. I see, I feel them every day. Sometimes I cannot do good to others because I am unwilling to do it: shame or pain is in the way; and I do not desire to serve God at so dear a rate. Sometimes I cannot do the good I desire to do because I am in other respects too unholy. I know within myself, were I fit to be so employed, God would employ me in this work. But my heart is too unclean for such mighty works to be wrought by my hands. Sometimes I cannot accomplish the good I am employed in, because I do not pray more, and more fervently; and some­times, even when I do pray, and that instantly, because I am not worthy that my prayer should be heard. Sometimes I dare not attempt to assist my neighbor, because I know the narrowness of my heart, that it cannot attend to many things without utter confusion and dissipation of thought. And a thousand times have I been mercifully withheld from success in the things I have attempted, because, were one so proud and vain enabled to gain others, he would lose his own soul.

16. From all this I conclude that, where I am most holy myself, there I could most promote holiness in others; and consequently that I could more promote it here than in any place under heaven. But I have likewise other reasons be­sides this to think so; and the first is, the plenteousness of the harvest. Here is, indeed, a large scene of various action. Here is room for charity in all its forms. There is scarce any way of doing good to our fellow creatures for which here is not daily occasion. I can now only touch on the several heads: here are poor families to be relieved; here are children to be educated; here are workhouses wherein both young and old want, and gladly receive, the word of exhortation; here are prisons to be visited, wherein alone is a complication of all human wants; and, lastly, here are the schools of the prophets--here are tender minds to be formed and strengthened, and babes in Christ to be instructed and perfected in all useful learning. Of these in particular we must observe that he who gains only one does thereby as much service to the world as he could do in a parish in his whole life, for his name is legion; in him are contained all those who shall be converted by him. He is not a single drop of the dew of heaven, but a ' river to make glad the city of God.'

17. ‘But Epworth is yet a larger sphere of action than this; there I should have the care of two thousand souls.’ Two thousand souls ! I see not how any man living can take care of an hundred. At least I could not; I know too well quid valeant humeri. [‘How much I can bear.’] Because the weight that I have akeady upon me is almost more than I am able to bear, ought I to increase it tenfold?

Imponere Pelio Ossam

Scilicet, atque Ossae frondosum involvere Olympum. [Vigil's Georgics, i. 281-2.That is, to impose Ossa upon Pelion, and to roll leafy Olympus upon Ossa.]

Would this be the way to help either myself or my brethren up to heaven ? Nay; but the mountains I reared would only crush my own soul, and so make me utterly useless to others.

18. I need not but just glance upon several other reasons why I am more likely to be useful here than anywhere else: as, because I have the joint advice of many friends in any difficulty, and their joint encouragement in any dangers; because the good Bishop and Vice-Chancellor are at hand to supply (as need is) their want of experience; because we have the eyes of multitudes upon us, who, even without designing it, perform the most substantial office of friendship, apprising us where we have already fallen, and guarding us from falling again; lastly, because we have here a constant fund (which I believe this year will amount to near eighty pounds) to supply the bodily wants of the poor, and thereby prepare their souls to receive instruction.

19. If it be said that the love of the people at Epworth balances all these advantages here, I ask, How long will it last? Only till I come to tell them plainly that their deeds are evil, and, to make a particular application of that general sentence, to say to each, Thou art the man! Alas, sir, do I not know what love they had for you at first? And how have they used you since? Why, just as every one will be used whose business it is to bring light to them that love to sit in darkness.

20. Notwithstanding, therefore, their present prejudice in my favor, I cannot quit my first conclusion, that I am not likely to do that good anywhere, not even at Epworth, which I may do at Oxford; and yet one terrible objection lies in the way: Have you found it so in fact? What have you done there in so many years? Nay, have not the very attempts to do good, for want either of a particular turn of mind for the business you engaged in or of prudence to direct you in the right method of doing it, not only been unsuccessful, but brought such contempt upon you as has in great measure disqualified you for any future success? And are there not men in Oxford who are not only better and holier than you, but who, having preserved their reputation, who, being uni­versally esteemed, are every way fitter to promote the glory of God in that place?

21. I am not careful to answer in this matter. It is not my part to say whether God has done any good by my hands; whether I have a particular turn of mind for this or not; or whether the want of success in my past attempts was owing to want of prudence, to ignorance of the right method of acting, or to some other cause. But the latter part of the objection, that he who is despised can do no good, that without reputa­tion a man cannot be useful in the world, being the stronghold of all the unbelieving, the vainglorious, and the cowardly Christians (so called), I will, by the grace of God, see what reason that has thus continually to exalt itself against the knowledge of Christ.

22. With regard to contempt, then (under which term I include all the passions that border upon it, as hatred, envy, &c., and all the fruits that flow from them, such as calumny, reproach, and persecution in any of its forms), my first position, in defiance of worldly wisdom, is this: Every true Christian is contemned, wherever he lives, by all who are not so, and who know him to be such -- i.e. in effect, by all with whom he converses; since it is impossible for light not to shine. This position I prove both from the example of our Lord and from His express assertions. First, from His example: if the disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord, then, as our Master was despised and rejected of men, so will every one of His true disciples. But the disciple is not above his master, and therefore the consequence will not fail him an hair's breadth. Secondly, from His own express assertions of this consequence: 'If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household I ' (Matt. x. 25); ' Remember (ye that would fain forget or evade it) the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.' And as for that vain hope that this belongs only to the first followers of Christ, hear ye Him: ' All these things will they do to you, because they know not Him that sent Me'; and again, ' Because ye are not of the world, therefore the world hateth you' (John xv. 19). Both the persons who are hated, and the persons who hate them, and the cause of their hating them, are here clearly determined. The hated are all that are not of this world, that are born again in the knowledge and love of God: the haters are all that are of this world, that know not God so as to love Him with all their strength; the cause of their hatred is, the entire irreconcilable differences between their desires, judgments, and affections; --- because these know not God, and those are determined to know and pursue nothing besides Him; because these esteem and love the world, and those count it dung and dross, and singly desire that love of Christ.

23. My next position is this: Until he be thus contemned, no man is in a state of salvation. And this is no more than a plain inference from the former; for if all that are not of the world are therefore contemned by those that are, then till a man is so contemned he is of the world -- i.e. out of a state of salvation. Nor is it possible for all the trimmers between God and the world, for all the dodgers in religion, to elude this con­sequence, which God has established, and not man, unless they could prove that a man may be of the world -- i.e. void both of the knowledge and love of God--and yet be in a state of salvation. I must therefore, with or without leave of these, keep close to my Savior's judgment, and maintain that con­tempt is a part of that cross which every man must bear if he will follow Him; that it is the badge of his discipleship, the stamp of his profession, the constant seal of his calling; inso­much that, though a man may be despised without being saved, yet he cannot be saved without being despised.

24. I should not spend any more words about this great truth, but that it seems at present quite voted out of the world: the masters in Israel, learned men, men of renown, seem absolutely to have forgotten it; nay, censure those who have not forgotten the words of their Lord as setters forth of strange doctrines. And hence it is commonly asked, How can these things be? How can contempt be necessary to salvation? I answer, As it is a necessary means of purifying souls for heaven; as it is a blessed instrument of cleansing them from pride, which else would turn their very graces into poison; as it is a glorious antidote against vanity, which would other­wise pollute and destroy all their labors; as it is an excellent medicine to heal 'the anger and impatience of spirit apt to insinuate into their best employments; and, in a word, as it is one of the choicest remedies in the whole magazine of God against love of the world, in which whosoever liveth is counted dead before Him.

25. And hence (as a full answer to the preceding objection) I infer one position more: That our being contemned is absolutely necessary to our doing good in the world. If not to our doing some good (for God may work by Judas), yet to our doing so much as we otherwise should. For since God will employ those instruments most who are fittest to be employed; since, the holier a man is, the fitter instrument he is for the God of holiness; and since contempt is so glorious a means of advancing holiness in him that is exercised thereby; nay, since no man can be holy at all without it, -- who can keep off the consequence? The being contemned is absolutely necessary to a Christian's doing his full measure of good in the world. Where, then, is the scribe? where is the wise? where is the dispurer of this world? where is the replier against God with his sage maxims? 'He that is despised can do no good in the world; to be useful, a man must be esteemed; to advance the glory of God, you must have a fair reputation.' Saith the world so? But what saith the Scripture? Why, that God hath laughed all the heathen wisdom to scorn. It saith that twelve despised followers of a despised Master, all of whom were of no reputation, who were esteemed as the filth and offscouring of the world, did more good in it than all the tribes of Israel. It saith that the despised Master of these despised followers left a standing direction to us and to our children: ' Blessed are ye (not accursed with the heavy curse of doing no good; of being useless in the world,) when men shall revile you and persecute you, and say all manner of evil of you falsely for My name’s sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad; for great is your reward in heaven.'

26. These are part of my reasons for choosing to abide (till I am better informed) in the station wherein God' has placed me. As for the flock committed, to your care, whom for many years you have diligently fed with the sincere milk of the Word, I trust in God your labor shall not be in vain, either to yourself or them: many of them the great Shepherd has by your hand delivered from the hand of the destroyer; some of whom are already entered into peace, and some remain unto this day. For yourself, I doubt not, but when your warfare is accomplished, when you are made perfect through sufferings, you shall come to your grave, not with sorrow, but as a ripe shock of corn, full of years and victories. And He that took care of the poor sheep before you was born will not forget them when you are dead..'

Ended December 19, 1734.

John Wesley's Habits and Temperment

In his habits of order, account-keeping, and punctuality he was literally a "methodist." "Sammy," said he to his nephew, "be punctual. Whenever I am to go to a place the first thing I do is to get ready; then what time remains is all my own." In old age, as he stood waiting for his chaise at Haslingden, he remarked, "I have lost ten minutes, and they are lost forever."

Every minute had its value to him for work or rest. "Joshua, when I go to bed I go to bed to sleep, and not to talk," was his rebuke to a young preacher who once shared his room and wished to converse at sleeping time.

Dr. Johnson once said to Boswell: "John Wesley's conversation is good, but he is never at leisure. He is always obliged to go at a certain hour. This is very disagreeable to a man who loves to fold his legs and have his talk out, as I do. "On another occasion he said, "I hate to meet John Wesley; the dog enchants you with his conversation, and then breaks away to go and visit some old woman."

Yet Wesley was never hurried in mind or manner. "He had no time," says Henry Moore, "to mend anything that he either wrote or did. He therefore always did everything: not only with quietness, but with what might be thought slowness."

Wesley was a delightful companion, and his comrades on the road and friends in the home witness to his cheerfulness, courtesy, kindness, and wit, "Sour godliness is the devil's religion," was one of his sayings. He told Mr. Blackwell that he could not bear to have people about him who were in ill humor, and he did his best to cure them.

(From Chapter XX of "John Wesley the Methodist" by A Methodist Preacher, published by the Methodist Book Concern, New York, 1903.)
To Mrs. Pendarves

[July 1734.]

Alas, Aspasia! are you, indeed, convinced that I can be of any service to you? I fear you have not sufficient ground for such a conviction. Experience has shown how far my power is short of my will. For some time I flattered myself with the pleasing hope, but I grow more and more ashamed of having indulged it. You need not the support of so weak an hand. How can I possibly think you do (though that thought tries now and then still to obtrude itself) since you have so long and resolutely thrust it from you? I dare not, there­fore, blame you for so doing. Doubtless you acted upon cool reflection; you declined the trouble of writing, not because it was a trouble, but because it was a needless one. And if so, what injury have you done yourself? As for me, you could do me no injury by your silence. It did, indeed, deprive me of much pleasure, and of a pleasure from which I ought to have received much improvement. But still, as it was one I had no title to but your goodness, to withdraw it was no iniustice. I sincerely thank you for what is past; and may the God of my salvation return it sevenfold into your bosom: and if ever you should please to add to those thousand obliga­tions any new ones, I trust they shall neither be unrewarded by Him nor unworthily received by Aspasia's

Faithful friend and servant, CYRUS.

Araspes, too, hopes you will never have reason to tax him with ingratitude. Adieu!

[A letter given under September 24, 1736, and the Journal Diary for June 16, 1737, show that Wesley still kept up some correspondence with Miss Ann Granville. Miss Hamilton says that at Bulstrode on December 14, 1783 (Auto. and Corr. vi. 175) Mrs. Delany 'told me she had known the two Mr. Wesleys (the Methodist preachers); she knew them when they were young men. They lived near her sister when they were students at Oxford. They were of a serious turn, and associated with such as were so. These brothers joined some other young men at Oxford, and used to meet of a Sunday evening and read the Scriptures, and find out objects of charity to relieve. This was a happy beginning, but the vanity of being singular and growing enthu­siasts made them endeavor to gain proselytes and adopt that system of religious doctrine which many reasonable people thought pernicious.' On June 9, 1743, Mrs. Pendarves was married to Dr. Delany, who in May 1744 became Dean of Down; the deanery was worth £2,500 a year, and he had other preferments. He died at Bath on May 6, 1768, and Mrs. Delany on April 15, 1788. She was buried in a vault of St. James's, Piccadilly, where there is a tablet on one of the columns to her memory. She enjoyed the special friendship of George III and Queen Charlotte, and was described by Edmund Burke as ' the highest-bred woman in the world and the woman of fashion of all ages.' ' She was fond of drawing and painting and was a genuine lover of good music, including that unpopular Italian opera against which her master Hogarth had pointed his sharpest etching-needle.' See Austin Dobson's Side-walk Studies, p. 115; and for Miss Granville, the heading to letter of September 24, 1736.

An exquisite needlework pocket-book made by Mrs. Delany with a letter from Queen Charlotte to her was sold for £40 in December 1927.]

John Wesley's Appearance

MANY authentic portraits, from Williams, in 1763, to Romney, in 1788, have given John Wesley's features to the world. His hazel eyes are said to have been bright and penetrating, even to the last. In youth his hair was black, and in old age silvery white. In height he was not quite five feet six inches, and he weighed one hundred and twenty-two pounds; his frame was well knit, muscular, and strong. He was scrupulously neat in his person and habits, and wore a narrow-plaited stock, a coat with a small upright collar, buckled shoes, and three-cornered hat. "I dare no more," he said in his old age, "write in a fine style than wear a fine coat." "Exactly so," remarks Overton, "but, then, he was particular about his coats. He was most careful never to be slovenly in his dress, always to be dressed in good taste. . . . It is just the same with his style; it is never slovenly, never tawdry."
(From Chapter XX of "John Wesley the Methodist" by A Methodist Preacher, published by the Methodist Book Concern, New York, 1903.)
To William Law [3]


REVEREND SIR, -- I must earnestly beg your immediate advice in a case of the greatest importance. Above two years since, I was entrusted with a young gentleman of good sense, an even generous temper, and pretty good learning. [See letter of June 11, 1731, to his father. Wesley's anxiety about this student and also concerning Richard Morgan shows how faithfully he watched over them. At the end of July Charles Wesley tells his brother Samuel that John had spent the last week 'at London, chiefly in consulting Mr. Law about one of his pupils; but he found time, notwithstanding, to dispatch three sheets of Job while there, and still goes on with much more expedition than my father did while upon the spot.' This letter to Law evidently led to a personal consultation.] Religion he had heard little of; but Mr. Jackson's Practice of Devotion, [Lawrence Jackson (1691-1772), Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, 1716; Prebendary of Lincoln 1747.] your two treatises, and Thomas à Kempis, by the blessing of God, awakened him by degrees to a true notion and serious practice of it. In this he continued sensibly improving till last Lent; at the beginning of which I advised him to do as he had done the year before--viz. to obey the order of the Church, by using such a sort and measure of abstinence as his health permitted and his spiritual wants required. He said ' he did not think his health would permit to use that abstinence which he did the year before.' And, notwithstanding my reply, ' that his athletic habit could be in no danger by only abstaining from flesh and using moderately some less pleasing food,' he persisted in his resolution of not altering his food at all. A little before Easter, perceiving he had much contracted the time he had till then set apart for religious reading, I asked him whether he was not himself convinced that he spent too much time in reading secular authors. He answered he was convinced any time was too much, and that he should be a better Christian if he never read them at all. I then pressed him earnestly to pray for strength, according to that convic­tion; and he resolved to try for a week. When that was expired, he said his desire of classical reading was not inflamed, but a little abated; upon which I begged him to repeat his resolution for a week or two longer. He said it signified nothing; for he could never part with the classics entirely. I desired him to read what you say in the Christian Perfection on reading vain authors. He read it, agreed to every word of it, but still in his practice denied it; though appear­ing in most other particulars an humble, active, zealous Christian.

On Tuesday, April 3, being one of the days the statutes require us to communicate at St. Mary's, I called upon him just before church, being to set out for Lincolnshire as soon as the service was over. I asked whether he still halted between two opinions; and, after exhorting him as I could to renounce himself and serve his Master with simplicity, I left him. He did not communicate that day. On my return, May 21, I immediately inquired what state he was in, and found he had never communicated since, which he used to do weekly; that he had left off rising early, visiting the poor, and almost all religious reading, and entirely given himself up to secular. When I asked him why he had left off the holy eucharist, he said fairly, because to partake of it implied a fresh promise to renounce himself entirely and to please God alone; and he did not design to do so. I asked whether he was well convinced he ought to do so. He said, 'Yes.' Whether he wished he could design it. He answered, No, he did not design it.

From time to time, particularly a few days ago, I urged him to tell me upon what he grounded his hope of salvation. He replied, after some pause, that 'Christ died for all men; but if none were saved by Him without performing the conditions, His death would not avail one in a thousand, which was inconsistent with the goodness of God.' But this answer, and every part of it, he soon gave up; adding with the ut­most seriousness that he cared not whether it was true or no: he was very happy at present, and he desired nothing farther.

This morning I again asked him what he thought of his own state. He said he thought nothing about it. I desired to know whether he could, if he considered it ever so little, ex­pect to be saved by the terms of the Christian covenant. He answered, he did not consider it at all; nor did all I could say in the least move him. He assented to all, but was affected with nothing. He grants with all composure that he is not in a salvable state, and shows no degree of concern, while he owns he can't find mercy.

I am now entirely at a loss what step to take: pray he can't, or won't. When I lent him several prayers, he re­turned them unused, saying he does not desire to be other­wise than he is, and why should he pray for it? I do not seem so much as to understand his distemper. It appears to me quite incomprehensible. Much less can I tell what remedies are proper for it. I therefore beseech you, sir, by the mercies of God, that you will not be slack; according to the ability He shall give, to advise and pray for him and, reverend sir,

Your most obliged servant.
From Mrs. Pendarves [4]

July, 2, 1734.

I never began a letter with so much confusion to anybody as I do this to Cyrus. I can't recollect that I ever used any one so ill {if my being silent may be called ill-usage), and at the same time must confess no one deserves it so little. What to do to extenuate my fault I do not know, which has truly been disadvantageous only to myself; did I not find it absolutely necessary to my conduct (in that part of my life which ought to be my greatest concern) to renew this correspondence, I own I am so overcome with shame for what is past that I should not dare to put you in mind of my un­worthiness.

I give you now an opportunity of showing your for­giveness and generosity; not that you want extraordinary occasions to set those qualities in a proper light. Is it not some degree of grace to own one's faults frankly? But do I not destroy all merit by supposing I have any? When I sate down to write I thought I could have acquitted myself better, but I find it impossible to say anything in my justification. What will avail my saying I have constantly had an esteem for you? You have no reason to suppose that I have so much as barely remembered you.

The more I con­sider the obligations I had to continue my correspondence with one who hath showed so many marks of an unfeigned desire to assist and promote my eternal happiness, the deeper is my concern for having forfeited so great an advantage.

I am so sincerely sorry for the ill impression I have given you of myself, that I shall shun you as a criminal would a judge; and whatever indulgence your good­ness may incline you to show me, I never shall imagine you can have any regard for one that has so ungratefully neglected your friendship. To tell you my engagements with the world have engrossed me, and occasioned my not writing to you, will be enlarging my condemnation. I must say one thing more: that my going to Longleat (where for some time I was much indisposed, and not very well able to write), and then removing to London to a new un­furnished house, put me into a great hurry. I waited for a leisure hour that I might write to you at large; till shame seized me so violently that I had not courage to write, but at last have broke through it, and choose to suffer any reproach rather than lose the advantage of your friendship, without at least regretting that I have brought this mortification on myself. I would desire my compli­ments to Araspes, but I fear they can't be acceptable from one that has behaved herself so ill to Cyrus. Adieu. Your happiness will ever be sincerely desired by


In four instances Wesley the friend became a lover before he made the fatal mistake of marrying one who proved unworthy of his affection. Miss Betty Kirkham, the sister of one of the earliest Oxford Methodists, was his first love. With her he corresponded in the curious stilted manner of the day--a style he afterward utterly forsook. In those first love letters he transformed prosaic Betty into the romantic "Varanese," just as in his later correspondence with Mrs. Pendarve (Delany) he named that lady "Aspasia," his brother Charles "Cyrus," and himself "Araspes." (from Chapter XX of "John Wesley the Methodist: a Plain Account of his Life and Work", By a Methodist Preacher, Published by The Methodist Book Concern, New York, 1903.

John Wesley and Friends at Oxford

These are 22 questions the members of John Wesley's Holy Club asked themselves every day in their private devotions over 200 years ago.

  1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I relly am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
  2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
  3. Do I confidentially pass on to another what was told to me in confidence?
  4. Can I be trusted?
  5. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?
  6. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
  7. Did the Bible live in me today?
  8. Do I give it time to speak to me everyday?
  9. Am I enjoying prayer?
  10. When did I last speak to someone else about my faith?
  11. Do I pray about the money I spend?
  12. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
  13. Do I disobey God in anything?
  14. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
  15. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
  16. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy, or distrustful?
  17. How do I spend my spare time?
  18. Am I proud?
  19. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?
  20. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?
  21. Do I grumble or complain constantly?
  22. Is Christ real to me?
To Richard Morgan [2]

March 15, 1734.

SIR, -- A journey which I was obliged to begin very soon after the receipt of yours was the occasion of my delaying so long to answer it, which I should otherwise have done imme­diately. I am satisfied you never designed to give me any uneasiness, either by your last or any of your preceding letters, and am very sensible that the freedom you used therein pro­ceeded from a much kinder intention. And should you ever say anything which I could not approve of, I should as soon as possible mention it to you as the only sure way either to prevent any misunderstanding between us, or at least to hinder its long continuance.

As to your son's being a member of our little Society, I once more assure you with all plainness that, were you as much for it as you appear to be against it, I should think it my duty to oppose it to the utmost. I do not conceive him to be any ways qualified for it, and would as soon advise one of his dispositions to go and convert the Indies as to minister to his fellow Christians in the manner wherein my dear friends by the grace of God endeavor to do.

I have over and over pressed him to cultivate his acquaint­ance with Mr. Batteley, [See letter of Jan. 31.] and several other gentlemen of Christ Church, whose characters I am well acquainted with, though little or not at all with their persons. I have seen an answer from Mr. Hulton of Chester to his letter concerning the greyhound, which I hope we shall very shortly have an oppor­tunity of returning to him. Mr. Morgan constantly attends public prayers, nor do I know that he omits private, or willfully runs into any known sins of commission; and I trust he never will.

Whether a person who goes thus far, who uses public and private prayer and avoids sins of commission, be a good Christian, is a question which you beg we may drop for the future, because it is not your province to determine it. Alas, sir, you ask what I have no power to grant. When both the glory of my Savior and the safety of your soul so loudly require me to speak, I may not, I dare not, I cannot be silent, especially when I consider the reason you give for my being so--viz. that it is not your province to manage this point of controversy. No! Are you not, then, in covenant with Christ? And is it not your province to know the terms of that covenant? 'This do, and thou shalt live,' saith the Lord of life. Is it not your business to understand what this is? Though you are no divine, is it not your concern to be assured what it is to be a Christian? If on this very point depends your title either to life or death eternal, how shall I avoid giving you what light I can therein without the deepest wound to my own conscience, the basest ingratitude to my friend, and the blackest treachery to my Master?

The question, then, must be determined some way; and for an infallible determination of it, to the law and to the testimony we appeal: at that tribunal we ought to be judged; if the oracles of God are still open to us, by them must every doubt be decided. And should all men contradict them, we could only say, ' Let God be true, and every man a liar.' We can never enough reverence those of the Episcopal Order. They are the angels of the Church, the stars in the right hand of God. Only let us remember he was greater than those who said, ' Though I or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel than that ye have received, let him be accursed.'

Now, the gospel we have received does in no wise allow him to be a follower of Christ, to do his duty to God and man, who is constant in public and private prayer and avoids sins of commission. It supposes there are such things as sins of omission too. Nay, it is notoriously evident that in our Lord's account of His own proceedings at the Great Day there is no mention of any other. It is for what they have not done that the unprofitable servants are condemned to utter dark­ness. O sir, what would it avail in that day could you con­front our Lord with five thousand of His own ambassadors protesting with one voice against His sentence, and declaring to those on the left hand that He had never said any such thing: that He condemned them for omitting what He had nowhere required them to do; that they were faithful be­cause they were only unprofitable servants; that they ought to be ranked in the class of good Christians because they had only broken all the positive laws of Christ; that they had done their duty both to God and man, for they had prayed to God and done neither good nor harm to their neighbor. For God's sake, sir, consider, how would this plea sound? Would it really be received in arrest of judgment? or would the Judge reply, ' Out of thy own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked and slothful servant! Did I require nothing to be done, as well as to be avoided? Was an eternal reward promised to no-work? Were My positive laws no laws at all? Was the pattern I set thee negative only? But thou hast done thy duty to God at least, for thou hast prayed to Him! What didst thou pray for? For My Spirit to help thy infirmities? For strength to tread in My steps? For power, not only to avoid all sin, but to fulfill all righteousness? Didst thou pray that thy righteousness might exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees? -- might not rest in externals, but be an inward vital principle? Didst thou pray for a clean heart? for the renewal of thy mind? for a right spirit duly conformed to My image? Didst thou pray for a soul continually ardent to do My will on earth as it is done in heaven? If thou prayedst for anything short of this, or if praying for this thy heart went not along with thy lips, thou prayedst as a fool or an heathen prayed; and thy prayer itself was the greatest of thy abominations. If thou didst pray for this power which I had promised not to any particular order but to every one of My disciples earnestly desiring it, why went not thy endeavor along with thy prayer? Be­cause great men, the chief priests and eiders, said it need not? Whom, then, oughtest thou to have believed, Me or them? Behold, I had told thee before: obey God rather than men. Thy blood be on thy own head.'

Whether divines and bishops will agree to this I know not; but this I know, it is the plain word of God. God everywhere declares (x) that without doing good as well as avoiding evil shall no flesh living be justified; (2) that as good prayers without good works attending them are no better than a solemn mockery of God, so are good works themselves with­out those tempers of heart from their subserviency to which they derive their whole value; (3) that those tempers which alone are acceptable to God, and to procure acceptance for which our Redeemer lived and died, are (i) Faith, without which it is still impossible either to please Him or to overcome the world; (if) Hope, without which we are alienated from the life of God and strangers to the covenant of promise; and (iii) Love of God and our neighbor for His sake, without which, though we should give all our goods to feed the poor, yea and our bodies to be burned, if we will believe God, it profiteth us nothing.

I need say no more to show with what true respect and sincerity I am, dear sir,

Your most obliged and ever obedient servant.

[This closes the important Morgan correspondence. It is pleasant to add that after a time Richard Morgan was led to take a different view of religious matters. John Gumbold says James Hervey's easy and engaging conversation gained the young man's heart to the best purpose. Charles Wesley tells his brother Samuel on July 31, 1734: ' Mr. Morgan is in a fairer way of becoming a Christian than we ever yet knew him ' (Priestley's Letters, p. 16). When the Wesleys sailed for Georgia, Morgan bade them good-bye at Gravesend and helped to carry on their work at Oxford. He wrote to Wesley in i735 expressing an earnest desire to go to Georgia, but returned to Ireland, where he married Miss Dorothy Mellor, and settled in Dublin, He was called to the Bar, and was associated with his father in the office of Second Remembrancer of the Court of Exchequer, which became his exclusively on his father's death in 1752. Wesley visited his ' old friend' on July 15, 1769. See Journal, viii. 264, 268; Crookshank's Methodism in Ireland, i. 12; W.H.S. iii. 49; and letter of April 28, 1775.]
[The following is part of Morgan's letter to his son enclosed in the above to Wesley:]

January 31, 1734.

What, Dick, did you so soon forget our stipulations and condi­tions on your going to the University, as to carry a greyhound with you to Oxford, and to attempt keeping him in your college, contrary to the rules of it? Did not you promise to stick to your studies and be as subservient to your tutor as if you were a servitor? I vowed to you before, and now I vow again, that if you follow an idle, vicious, or extravagant life, you shall never inherit my fortune. You are now in the hands of a gentleman (it is my happiness and so you may reckon it too) that has more honor and conscience than to conceal your faults from me. Your duty to God is always in the first place to be duly attended. Go to bed by times; rise early. Omit no one college duty. Squander not away the morning in tea and chat. Never be seen out of your chamber in studying hours. For the rest I refer to your good tutor, who I am sure will not be wanting in his instructions to you without engaging you in that Society which I am not for. Banish your dog immedi­ately. Quid de quoque viro, et cui discus saepe cavito. [Horace's Epistles, I. xviii. 68: ' Beware what you say about any one and to whom you say it.'] Always imagine what you do will be known.
From Richard Morgan to John Wesley

DUBLIN, January 31, 1734.

REVEREND SIR, I am favored with yours of the 15th, and am very sorry that my last letter has been the occasion of any dis­quietude to you, which I am sure I never designed. When, out of the friendship that had been contracted between us, and the good opinion I had both of yours and your brother's sincerity and judgment, I determined chiefly on your advice to send my son to the University, I did not imagine that it would be expected he should join in that strict Society which it was known I disliked in my other son; upon this confidence you know I did not offer the least caution against it in my former letters, nor did you in your first letter give any intimation that you expected it, having only expostulated on both sides on the subject of his learning, and thus, preliminaries being, as I thought, happily fixed, I was easy. But afterwards I was greatly surprised and alarmed to find you insist in your letter of the 6th of November that he must keep company with those and only those whom you approve of, with other hints tending that way. Then, indeed, the melancholy end of my other son, and the hazard of my only son being led the same way, made deep impressions on me, and my friends observed me melancholy upon it for some time; my fears and trouble increasing when I saw a letter from Mr. Buttely of Christ Church,[Oliver, son of Nicholas Buttely (or Butteicy) of Canterbury, matricu­lated June 8, 1716, age 19, D.D. 1734, Junior Proctor 1731. Samuel, son of John Buttely of Horringer, Suffolk, matriculated Dec. 13, 1733, age 17. See Foster's Allumni Oxonienses, where both names appear.] complaining that he had twice invited my son to his chambers, but that he did not come. Then I concluded from the expressions in your letter that he was to be confined to the company of the gentlemen of that Society. Yet, under all these apprehensions and uneasiness, I forbore in my letter to you to make any reflections upon the words of your letter, but urged only from the tragical experience in my other son the danger I apprehended of young people's engaging in the same way; and I thought that the dismal account I gave of my poor son (which nothing but my fears about my other son would have made me mention) would rather have met with pity to me than reproaches.

Now, I must tell you that I respect and adore both you and every gentleman of that strict religious Society that you are engaged in, and doubt not but you will meet with an exalted seat in heaven. I could even wish to be among you, as I formerly hinted to you; yet I must be of the same opinion still, that it is a dangerous experi­ment for young people to venture upon, which I think the example I gave you in my last sufficiently proves; and if it were necessary, I could give you several other examples how too great a zeal for piety and religion has carried injudicious people into madness. But, supposing it be a doubtful case whether it be advisable for a youth to unite in this Society or not (as sure it must at least be allowed to be from the diversity of opinions about it), how must I determine the question? You argue very rationally and piously for it; and five able divines, some of them bishops, men of remark­able piety and learning, of my intimate acquaintance, warn me of the danger of it: then surely from the common ends of prudence and judgment, it is plain how I ought to determine.

I agree with you in one thing, that from my son's gaiety and inclination to pleasures (I cannot say more than were innocent) I had the less reason to fear his falling into too strict a course of life, and this I observed to a certain divine in discoursing with him on that subject, when he heard that you were to be his tutor; but he answered that the danger was the greater, that, if such a volatile temper should take a turn that way, he might plunge into deeper extremes than graver persons, and that I did not know what the influence of a tutor might bring to pass. God grant that he does and will continue to do what he has told you, viz. constantly say his prayers at home and in the chapel; and then I will venture to say {though I am no divine), if he also avoids sins of commission, that he may be ranked in the class of good Christians. It is neither my province, nor am I any way equal to you, to manage this point of controversy; therefore I beg we may drop it for the future. If I have said anything in this or my former letter that is disagreeable to you (for I assure you I would do nothing willingly to disoblige you), I hope you will forgive me and impute it to my too great anxiety for the welfare of my son, and believe that there is nothing I covet more than his living a good life and doing his duty both to God and man, which I think is generally the wish of even a wicked parent; and as I am not notoriously so, I hope I am not to be suspected as encouraging my son to depart from the right way.

The enclosed letter, which I have left open for your perusal, shows how desirous I am that he should obediently submit to your authority and government, &c. I would never have sent him to the University, trusting to the common care of a tutor, after the long habit he had of pleasure and idleness. My dependence on yours or your brother's more than ordinary care of him made me venture upon it, and I hope nothing has happened to create any indifference in you towards him.

The former part of your letter I am come now to answer in the last place, and do assure you that I never received the letter you mention, of which you saw the rough draft upon his table, nor any-th'mg like it. His last letter that I received was of the 6th of November, and in that, and in every letter that he made any mention of you in, he did it with great respect to you, and expres­sions of your civilities and kindness to him.

I now conclude with all fervent wishes, and desire for his and all our happiness in this and the next world, dear sir,

Your truly affectionate, most obliged, humble servant,


Letter of James Oglethorpe

From Camp near Savannah
February 10, 1733


I gave you an account in my last of our arrival at Charles Town. The Governour and Assembly have given us all possible encouragement. Our people arrived at Beaufort on the 20th of January, where I lodged them in some new barracks built for the soldiers whilst I went myself to view the Savannah River. I fixed upon a healthy situation about ten miles from the sea. The river there forms a half moon, along the South side of which the banks are about 40 foot high and upon the top a flat which they call a bluff. The plain high ground extends into the country five or six miles and along the riverside about a mile. Ships that draw twelve foot water can ride within ten yards of the bank. Upon the riverside in the center of this plain, I have laid out the town. Over against it is an island of very rich land fit for pasturage, which I think should be kept for the Trustees' cattle. The river is pretty wide, the water fresh. And from the quay of the town you see its whole course to the sea with the Island of Tybee, which forms the mouth of the river; and the other way you may see the river for about six miles up into the country. The landscape is very agreeable, the stream being wide and bordered with high woods on both sides. The whole people arrived on the first of February. At night their tents were got up. 'Till the 7th we were taken up in unloading and making a crane, which I even then could not get finished so took off the hands and set some to the fortification and begun to fell the woods. I marked out the town and common. Half of the former is already cleared, and the first house was begun yesterday in the afternoon. Not being able to get Negroes, I have taken ten of the Independent Company to work for us, for which I make them an allowance. I send you a copy of the Resolutions of the Assembly and the Governour and Council's letter to me, which you may judge whether it will not be proper to print. Mr. Whitaker has given us one hundred head of cattle. Colonel Bull, Mr. Barlow, Mr. Julian and Mr. Woodward are come up to assist us with some of their own servants. Our people are all alive, but ten are ill with the bloody flux,* which I take to proceed from the cold ant their not being accustomed to lie in tents. I am so taken up in looking after a hundred necessary things that I write now short but shall give you a more particular account hereafter. A little Indian Nation, the only one within fifty miles, is not only at amity but desire to be subject of the Trustees, to have land given them and to breed their children at our schools. Their chief and his beloved man, who is the second man in the Nation, desire to be instructed in the Christian religion. I am, Gentlemen, you most obedient, humble servant.

*Dysentery (formerly known as flux or the bloody flux) is an infection of the digestive system that results in severe diarrhea containing mucus and blood in the feces and is typically the result of unsanitary water containing micro-organisms which damage the intestinal lining. There are two major types of dysentery due to micro-organisms: amoebic dysentery, and bacillary dysentery mainly due to one of three bacteria. (From Wikipedia, June 14, 2008)
Wesley’s Letters: 1734

From Richard Morgan to his Father [1]

Oxon, January 14, 1734.

HONOURED SIR, -- I received your kind letter of the 22nd November, which came free. I perused yours to Mr. Wesley very carefully, then sealed it and delivered it to him. When he had read it over two or three times, he desired me to breakfast with him next morning. His whole discourse turned on the contents of your letter. He said he did not know what to make of it, and was surprised that a father should show so great concern lest his son should not be wicked enough, and went on after that odd manner, He endeavored to prove that my brother did not weaken his constitution by his great abstinence and strictness in religion; though my brasier's wife, an intimate of Mr. Wesley's, told me she has often heard Dr. Frewin [See letter of June 13, 1753.] say that, while he persisted in that rigid course of life, he could be of no service to him.

There is a Society of gentlemen, consisting of seven members, whom the world calls Methodists, of whom my tutor is President. They imagine they cannot be saved if they do not spend every hour, nay minute, of their lives in the service of God. And to that end they read prayers every day in the common jail, preach every Sunday, and administer the sacrament once every month. They almost starve themselves to be able to relieve the poor and buy books for their conversion. They endeavor to reform notorious whores and allay spirits in haunted houses. They fast two days in the week, which has emaciated them to that degree that they are a frightful sight. One of them had like to have lost his life lately by a decay, which was attributed to his great abstinence. They rise every day at five of the clock, and till prayers, which begin at eight, they [In another copy it reads 'spend in singing Psalms, and reading the Bible and Nelson's Works. They also receive the holy sacrament every Sunday. In short, they have made themselves so particular that they are the jest, not only of the scholars, but of the Fellows and the whole University. They meet at each other's rooms at six of the clock five nights in the week, the other two they spend in private.'] sing psalms, and read some piece of divinity. They meet at each other's rooms at six of the clock five nights in the week, and from seven to nine read a piece of some religious book. In short, they are so particular that they are become the jest of the whole University.

When I came to college, my tutor gave me two rules in writing, which he expected I should follow. The first was to have no company but what he approved of, and the second to read no books but of his choosing. In compliance with the first, I have spent every evening of their meeting from seven to nine in their company till I received your letter. From six to seven they read over the petitions of poor people and relieve their wants, dispose of pious books, and fix the duties of the ensuing day. They told me very solemnly that, when I had acquired a pretty good stock of religion, they would take me in as an assistant. When we are all met, my tutor reads a collect to increase our attention; after that a religious book is read all the time we are together. They often cry for five minutes for their sins; then lift up their heads and eyes, and return God thanks for the great mercies He has showed them in granting them such repentance, and then laugh immoderately as if they were mad. The greatest blessing next to that is being laughed at by the world, which they esteem a sufficient proof of the goodness and justness of their actions, for which they also return thanks as aforesaid. Though some of them are remarkable for eating very heartily on gaudy-days, they stint themselves to two pence meat, and a farthing bread, and a draught of water when they dine at their own expense; and as for supper, they never eat any. There is a text in the Revelation which says that a man had better be very wicked than lukewarm. This Mr. Wesley explained thus: that there is no medium in religion; that a man that does not engage himself entirely in the practice of religion is in greater fear of damnation than a notorious sinner. When I considered that I was in the middle state, I grew very uneasy, and was for several days in a kind of religious madness, till I was convinced by a sermon of Dr. Young's, which gives those words a quite different meaning.

Mr. Wesley often says that it is madness in any man to leave off reading at the end of the eleventh hour if he can improve himself by the twelfth. This rule he expects his pupils to observe. I have not been an hour idle since I came to college but when I walk for my health, which he himself advises. He also expects that I should spend an hour every day before prayers in reading Nelson's Works, which I have complied with. He has lectured me scarce in anything but books of devotion. He has given me a book of Mr. Nelson to abridge this Christmas. By becoming his pupil I am stigmatized with the name of a Methodist, the misfortune of which I cannot describe. For what they reckon the greatest happiness, namely, of being laughed at, to me is the greatest misery. I am as much laughed at and despised by the whole town as any one of them, and always shall be so while I am his pupil. The whole College makes a jest of me, and the Fellows themselves do not show me common civility, so great is their aversion to my tutor. In short, laboring under all these disadvantages, I am grown perfectly melancholy, and have got such an habit of sighing, which I cannot avoid, that it must certainly do me great mischief. Soon after I came to college the Rector favored me with his company and cautioned me against Mr. Wesley's strict notions of religion, and told me that the character of his Society prevented several from entering in the College. You are pleased in both your letters to express a great regard for my welfare; for which I hope you shall find a grateful return in me. And as I myself ought to contribute all in my power thereto, I think it incumbent upon me to inform you that it is my opinion that if I am continued under Mr. Wesley I shall be ruined.

For though you should caution him ever so much, he will endeavor to make me as strict as himself; and will say, as he did to part of your letter, that we are not obliged to obey our fathers in anything that contradicts the laws of God. We have but one tutor more in the College, who is reckoned one of the best tutors in the University; and my Lord Lichfield has so great an opinion of him, that he will send his eldest son to be taken care of by him. He has what few are in college (except one Gentleman Commoner and two servitors who are Mr. Wesley's pupils) under his tuition. The character which I presume Mr. Wesley has given of me will, I hope, convince you that I have no view of being idle to occasion this removal. I am so well assured that any prospect I can have of enjoying any part of your fortune depends so much on my good behavior, that I would not propose it if I thought I would not be as diligent under him as Mr. Wesley. Though I have the greatest desire to improve myself, I would choose to return to my office, and forgo the advantages of an University education, rather than suffer what I do at present by being his pupil.