Letter To James Vernon, September 11, 1736

SAVANNAH, September 11, 1736.

You have a just claim to my repeated acknowledgments not only for continuance of your regard to my mother, but for your strengthening my hands, and encouraging me not to look back from the work wherein I am engaged. I know that if it shall please our Great God to give it His blessing, the god of this world will oppose in vain; and that therefore the whole depends on our approving our hearts before Him, and placing all our confidence in His power and mercy.

Mr. Ingham has made some progress in the Creek language, but a short conversation I had with the chief of the Chickssaws (which my brother I presume has informed you of) moves me to desire rather to learn their language, if God shall give me opportunity.

The generality of that despised and almost unheard-of nation, if one may judge from the accounts given either by their own countrymen or strangers, are not only humble and peace able qualities, scarce to be found among any other of the Indian nations, but have so firm a reliance on Providence, so settled a habit of looking up to a Superior Being in all the occurrences of life, that they appear the most likely of all the Americans to receive and rejoice in the glorious-Gospel of Christ.

What will become of this poor people, a few of whom now see the light and bless God for it, when I am called from among them, I know not. Nor indeed what will become of them while I am here; for the work is too weighty for me. A parish of above two hundred miles in length laughs at the labors of one man.

Savannah alone would give constant employment for five or six to instruct, rebuke and exhort as need requires. Neither durst I advise any single person to take charge of Frederica, or indeed to exercise his Ministry there at all unless he was an experienced soldier of Jesus Christ, that could rejoice in Reproaches, Persecutions, Distresses for Christ's sake. I bless God for what little of them I have met with here, and doubt not but they were sent for my soul's health. My Heart's Desire for this place is, not that it may be a Famous or a Rich, but that it may be a Religious Colony, and then I am sure it cannot fail of the Blessing of God, which includes all real goods, Temporal and Eternal.--I am, sir,

Your much obliged and obedient servant.

To Ann Granville [10]

SAVANAH, September 24, 1736.

The mutual affection, and indeed the many other amiable qualities of those two sisters, [The Misses Bovey, of Savannah. Miss Becky died suddenly on July 10 (see Journal, i. 239-46' 270-80d; C. Wesley's Journal, i. 34). Her sister said: 'All my afflictions are nothing to this. I have lost not only a sister, but a friend. But this is the will of God. I rely on Him, and doubt not but He will support me under it.'] one of whom is lately gone to an happier place, would not have suffered me to be un mindful of your friend and you, had I had nothing else to remind me of you. I am persuaded that heavy affliction will prove the greatest blessing to the survivor which she ever yet received. She is now very cheerful, as well as deeply serious. She sees the folly of placing one's happiness in any creature, and is fully determined to give her whole heart to Him from whom death cannot part her.

I often think how different her way of life is at Savannah from what it was at St. James's; and yet the wise, polite, gay world counts her removal thence a misfortune. I should not be at all grieved if you were fallen into the same misfortune, far removed from the pride of life, and hid in some obscure recess, where you were scarcely seen or heard of, unless by a few plain Christians and by God and His angels.

Mr. Rivington [His London publisher, who had visited the Granvilles at Gloucester.] will send your letter, if you should ever have leisure to favor with a few lines

Your sincere friend and most obedient servant.

Do you still watch and strive and pray that your heart may be fight before God? Can you deny yourself, as well as take up your cross? Adieu!

Letter to George Whitfield, September 10, 1736

SAVANNAH, September 10, 1736.

I had long since begun to visit my parishioners in order from house to house.. But I could not go on two days longer; the sick were increasing so fast as to require all the time I had to spare, from one to five in the afternoon. Nor is even that enough to see them all, as I would do, daily. In Frederica and all the smaller settlements there are above five hundred sheep almost without a shepherd. He that is unjust must be unjust still, Here is none to search out and lay hold on the mollia ternpora fandi, [‘Apt times for speech.’] and to persuade him to save his soul alive.

He that is a babe in Christ may be so still. Here is none to attend the workings of grace upon his spirit, to feed him by degrees with food convenient for him, and gently lead him till he can follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. Does any err from the right way? here is none to recall him; he may go on to seek death in the error of his life. Is any wavering? here is none to confirm him. Is any falling ? there is none to lift him up. What a single man can do is neither seen nor felt. Where are ye who are very zealous for the Lord of hosts ? Who will rise up with me against the wicked? who will take God's part against the evil-doers? Whose spirit is moved within him to prepare himself for publishing glad tidings to those on whom the Sun of Righteous ness never yet arose, by laboring first for those his country men who are else without hope as well as without God in the world? Do you ask what you shall have? why, all you desire: food to eat, raiment to put on, a place where to lay your head (such as your Lord had not), and a crown of life that fadeth not away! Do you seek means of building up yourselves in the knowledge and love of God?

I know of no place under heaven where there are more, or perhaps so many, as in this place. Does your heart burn within you to turn many others to righteousness? Behold the whole land, thousands of thousands are before you! I will resign to any of you all or any part of my charge. Choose what seemeth good in your own eyes. Here are within these walls children of all ages and dispositions. Who will bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, till they are meet to be preachers of righteousness? Here are adults from the farthest parts of Europe and Asia and the inmost kingdoms of Africa; add to these the known and unknown nations of this vast continent, and you will indeed have a great multitude which no man can number.