or many years Mr. Charles Wesley followed his brother, as an itinerant and field Preacher, with equal steps; but he would never commit his journal to the press. He appears to have written it, from day to day, upon loose sheets of paper, and to have transmitted large portions of it to his wife and friends in the form of letters, some of which have been preserved. Much of it, there is reason to believe, he himself destroyed; and it is probable that much more of it has long since perished, through the carelessness of the persons to whom it was transmitted. That which is now published, and which is all that is known to exist, was transcribed, with great neatness and accuracy, by the venerable author himself, carefully paged, and was bound in a thick octavo volume. This precious relic he bequeathed to his widow, with a request that she would retain it in her own exclusive possession. About three or four years after his death, it was, however, placed in the hands of Dr. Whitehead, who published large extracts from it in the Life of the author, which was prefixed to the Life of the Rev. John Wesley. Extracts from this manuscript, still more copious, were inserted in the "Life of the Rev.
Charles Wesley," in two octavo volumes, which appeared in the year 1841; but the entire document is now for the first time presented to the public. It was purchased some years ago of the writer's heir, the late Charles Wesley, Esq., of musical celebrity; having, however, undergone some mutilations, the occasion of which it would perhaps be impossible to ascertain. A little while before it was purchased, it was in great danger of being irrecoverably lost. It was found among some loose straw on the floor of a public warehouse in London, where the furniture of the owner was for a time deposited; several leaves in the volume being cut from the binding, and yet not removed. The intelligent and pious reader, it is presumed, after perusing and weighing its valuable contents, will be thankful that its publication effectually prevents the recurrence of a similar casualty, and will preserve it from oblivion. It is sent forth into the world, not to gratify an idle curiosity, but as an instructive record of a work of God; presenting, in a manner which every one may understand, the omnipotence of divine grace and truth.

No comments: