The Character of a Methodist (part 4)

5. "What then is the mark? Who is a Methodist, according to your own account?" I answer: A Methodist is one who has "the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost given unto him;" one who "loves the Lord his God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his mind, and with all his strength. God is the joy of his heart, and the desire of his soul; which is constantly crying out, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee! My God and my all! Thou art the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever!"

6. He is therefore happy in God, yea, always happy, as having in him "a well of water springing up into everlasting life," and overflowing his soul with peace and joy. "Perfect love" having now "cast out fear," he "rejoices evermore." He "rejoices in the Lord always," even "in God his Saviour;" and in the Father, "through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom he hath now received the atonement." "Having" found "redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of his sins," he cannot but rejoice, whenever he looks back on the horrible pit out of which he is delivered; when he sees "all his transgressions blotted out as a cloud, and his iniquities as a thick cloud." He cannot but rejoice, whenever he looks on the state wherein he now is; "being justified freely, and having peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." For "he that believeth, hath the witness" of this "in himself;" being now the son of God by faith. "Because he is a son, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into his heart, crying, Abba, Father!" And "the Spirit itself beareth witness with his spirit, that he is a child of God." He rejoiceth also, whenever he looks forward, "in hope of the glory that shall be revealed;" yea, this his joy is full, and all his bones cry out, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten me again to a living hope -- of an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for me!"

Saturday, February 28, 1736

They met to consult concerning the affairs of their Church; Mr. Spangenberg being shortly to go to Pennsylvania, and Bishop Nitschman to return to Germany. After several hours spent in conference and prayer, they proceeded to the election and ordination of a Bishop. The great simplicity, as well as solemnity, of the whole, almost made me forget the seventeen hundred years between, and imagine myself in one of those assemblies there form and state were not; but Paul the tent-maker, or Peter the fisherman, presided; yet with the demonstration of the Spirit and of power.

The Character of a Methodist (part 3)

2. Neither are words or phrases of any sort. We do not place our religion, or any part of it, in being attached to any peculiar mode of speaking, any quaint or uncommon set of expressions. The most obvious, easy, common words, wherein our meaning can be conveyed, we prefer before others, both on ordinary occasions, and when we speak of the things of God. We never, therefore, willingly or designedly, deviate from the most usual way of speaking; unless when we express scripture truths in scripture words, which, we presume, no Christian will condemn. Neither do we affect to use any particular expressions of Scripture more frequently than others, unless they are such as are more frequently used by the inspired writers themselves. So that it is as gross an error, to place the marks of a Methodist in his words, as in opinions of any sort.

3. Nor do we desire to be distinguished by actions, customs, or usages, of an indifferent nature. Our religion does not lie in doing what God has not enjoined, or abstaining from what he hath not forbidden. It does not lie in the form of our apparel, in the posture of our body, or the covering of our heads; nor yet in abstaining from marriage, or from meats and drinks, which are all good if received with thanksgiving. Therefore, neither will any man, who knows whereof he affirms, fix the mark of a Methodist here, -- in any actions or customs purely indifferent, undetermined by the word of God.

4. Nor, lastly, is he distinguished by laying the whole stress of religion on any single part of it. If you say, "Yes, he is; for he thinks 'we are saved by faith alone:'" I answer, You do not understand the terms. By salvation he means holiness of heart and life. And this he affirms to spring from true faith alone. Can even a nominal Christian deny it? Is this placing a part of religion for the whole? "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid! Yea, we establish the law." We do not place the whole of religion (as too many do, God knoweth) either in doing no harm, or in doing good, or in using the ordinances of God. No, not in all of them together; wherein we know by experience a man may labour many years, and at the end have no religion at all, no more than he had at the beginning. Much less in any one of these; or, it may be, in a scrap of one of them: Like her who fancies herself a virtuous woman, only because she is not a prostitute; or him who dreams he is an honest man, merely because he does not rob or steal. May the Lord God of my fathers preserve me from such a poor, starved religion as this! Were this the mark of a Methodist, I would sooner choose to be a sincere Jew, Turk, or Pagan.

The Character of a Methodist (part 2)

1. THE distinguishing marks of a Methodist are not his opinions of any sort. His assenting to this or that scheme of religion, his embracing any particular set of notions, his espousing the judgment of one man or of another, are all quite wide of the point. Whosoever, therefore, imagines that a Methodist is a man of such or such an opinion, is grossly ignorant of the whole affair; he mistakes the truth totally. We believe, indeed, that "all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God;" and herein we are distinguished from Jews, Turks, and Infidels. We believe the written word of God to be the only and sufficient rule both of Christian faith and practice; and herein we are fundamentally distinguished from those of the Romish Church. We believe Christ to be the eternal, supreme God; and herein we are distinguished from the Socinians and Arians. But as to all opinions which do not strike at the root of Christianity, we think and let think. So that whatsoever they are, whether right or wrong, they are no distinguishing marks of a Methodist.

The Character of a Methodist

The Character of a Methodist

by John Wesley
Not as though I had already attained.


1. SINCE the name first came abroad into the world, many have been at a loss to know what a Methodist is; what are the principles and the practice of those who are commonly called by that name; and what the distinguishing marks of this sect, "which is everywhere spoken against."

2. And it being generally believed, that I was able to give the clearest account of these things, (as having been one of the first to whom that name was given, and the person by whom the rest were supposed to be directed,) I have been called upon, in all manner of ways, and with the utmost earnestness, so to do. I yield at last to the continued importunity both of friends and enemies; and do now give the clearest account I can, in the presence of the Lord and Judge of heaven and earth, of the principles and practice whereby those who are called Methodists are distinguished from other men.

3. I say those who are called Methodists; for, let it be well observed, that this is not a name which they take to themselves, but one fixed upon them by way of reproach, without their approbation or consent. It was first given to three or four young men at Oxford, by a student of Christ Church; either in allusion to the ancient sect of Physicians so called, from their teaching, that almost all diseases might be cured by a specific method of diet and exercise, or from their observing a more regular method of study and behaviour than was usual with those of their age and station.

4. I should rejoice (so little ambitious am I to be at the head of any sect or party) if the very name might never be mentioned more, but be buried in eternal oblivion. But if that cannot be, at least let those who will use it, know the meaning of the word they use. Let us not always be fighting in the dark. Come, and let us look one another in the face. And perhaps some of you who hate what I am called, may love what I am by the grace of God; or rather, what "I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus."

Tuesday, February 24, 1736

Mr. Oglethorpe returned. The day following I took my leave of most of the passengers of the ship, who all appeared serious. It may be, all the seed is not fallen upon stony ground.

In the evening I went to Savannah again, whence Mr. Spangenberg, Bishop Nitschman, and Andrew Dober, went up with us to Mrs. Musgrove's, to choose a spot for the little house, which Mr. Oglethorpe had promised to build us. Being afterward disappointed of our boat, we were obliged to pass the night there. But wherever we are it is the same thing, if it be the will of our Father which is in heaven.

At our return the next day, (Mr. Quincy being then in the house wherein we afterwards were,) Mr. Delamotte and I took up our lodging with the Germans. We had now an opportunity, day by day, of observing their whole behavior. For we were in one room with them from morning to night, unless for the little time I spent in walking. They were always employed, always cheerful themselves, and in good humor with one another; they had put away all anger, and strife, and wrath, and bitterness, and clamor, and evil-speaking; they walked worthy of the vocation wherewith they were called, and adorned the Gospel of our Lord in all things.

How to Read the Scripture

If you desire to read the scripture in such a manner as may most effectually answer this end, would it not be advisable,

1. To set apart a little time, if you can, every morning and evening for that purpose?
2. At each time if you have leisure, to read a chapter out of the Old, and one out of the New Testament: if you cannot do this, to take a single chapter, or a part of one?
3. To read this with a single eye, to know the whole will of God, and a fixt resolution to do it? In order to know his will, you should,
4. Have a constant eye to the analogy of faith; the connexion and harmony there is between those grand, fundamental doctrines, Original Sin, Justification by Faith, the New Birth, Inward and Outward Holiness.
5. Serious and earnest prayer should be constantly used, before we consult the oracles of God, seeing "scripture can only be understood thro' the same Spirit whereby it was given." Our reading should likewise be closed with prayer, that what we read may be written on our hearts.
6. It might also be of use, if while we read, we were frequently to pause, and examine ourselves by what we read, both with regard to our hearts, and lives. This would furnish us with matter of praise, where we found God had enabled us to conform to his blessed will, and matter of humiliation and prayer, where we were conscious of having fallen short.

And whatever light you then receive, should be used to the uttermost, and that immediately. Let there be no delay. Whatever you resolve, begin to execute the first moment you can. So shall you find this word to be indeed the power of God unto present and eternal salvation.

February 22, 1736 - The Imitation of Christ

HAPPY is the one to whom truth manifests itself, not in signs and words that fade, but as it actually is. Our opinions, our senses often deceive us and we discern very little.

What good is much discussion of involved and obscure matters when our ignorance of them will not be held against us on Judgment Day? Neglect of things which are profitable and necessary and undue concern with those which are irrelevant and harmful, are great folly.

We have eyes and do not see.

What, therefore, have we to do with questions of philosophy? We to whom the Eternal Word speaks is free from theorizing. For from this Word are all things and of God all things speak -- the Beginning Who also speaks to us. Without this Word no [one] understands or judges aright. We to whom it becomes everything, who traces all things to it and who sees all things in it, may ease our hearts and remain at peace with God.


O God, You Who are the truth, make me one with You in love everlasting. I am often wearied by the many things I hear and read, but in You is all that I long for. Let the learned be still, let all creatures be silent before You; You alone speak to me.

Saturday, February 21, 1736

Mary Welch, aged eleven days, was baptized according to the custom of the first church, and the rule of the Church of England, by immersion. The child was ill then, but recovered from that hour.

February 20, 1736 - The Imitation of Christ

The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather, fear because of the talent given you. If you think you know many things and understand them well enough, realize at the same time that there is much you do not know. Hence, do not affect wisdom, but admit your ignorance. Why prefer yourself to anyone else when many are more learned, more cultured than you?

If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel. To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself.

A Reflection Upon the Approaching Lenten Season

But, notwithstanding this, there is also a repentance and a faith (taking the words in another sense, a sense not quite the same, nor yet entirely different) which are requisite after we have "believed the gospel;" yea, and in every subsequent stage of our Christian course, or we cannot "run the race which is set before us." And this repentance and faith are full as necessary, in order to our continuance and growth in grace, as the former faith and repentance were, in order to our entering into the kingdom of God.

But in what sense are we to repent and believe, after we are justified? This is an important question, and worthy of being considered with the utmost attention.

And, First, in what sense are we to repent?

Repentance frequently means an inward change, a change of mind from sin to holiness. But we now speak of it in a quite different sense, as it is one kind of self-knowledge, the knowing ourselves sinners, yea, guilty, helpless sinners, even though we know we are children of God...

In this sense we are to repent, after we are justified. And till we do so, we can go no farther. For, till we are sensible of our disease, it admits of no cure. But, supposing we do thus repent, then are we called to "believe the gospel"...

Thus it is, that in the children of God, repentance and faith exactly answer each other. By repentance we feel the sin remaining in our hearts, and cleaving to our words and actions: by faith, we receive the power of God in Christ, purifying our hearts, and cleansing our hands. By repentance, we are still sensible that we deserve punishment for all our tempers, and words, and actions: by faith, we are conscious that our Advocate with the Father is continually pleading for us, and thereby continually turning aside all condemnation and punishment from us. By repentance we have an abiding conviction that there is no help in us: by faith we receive not only mercy, "but grace to help in" every time of need. Repentance disclaims the very possibility of any other help; faith accepts all the help we stand in need of, from him that hath all power in heaven and earth. Repentance says, "Without him I can do nothing:" Faith says, "I can do all things through Christ strengthening me." Through him I can not only overcome, but expel, all the enemies of my soul. Through him I can "love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength;" yea, and "walk in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of my life."

Thursday, February 19, 1736

My brother and I took boat, and, passing by Savannah, went to pay our first visit in America to the poor Heathens. But neither Tomo Chachi nor Sinauky was at home. Coming back, we waited upon Mr. Causton, the chief Magistrate of Savannah. From him we went with Mr. Spangenberg to the German brethren. About eleven we returned to the boat, and came to our ship about four in the morning.

A Hymn From Charles -- And Can It Be That I Should Gain (Amazing Love)

And can it be that I should gain
an interest in the Savior's blood!
Died he for me? who caused his pain!
For me? who him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

'Tis mystery all: th' Immortal dies!
Who can explore his strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
to sound the depths of love divine.
'Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
let angel minds inquire no more.
'Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
let angel minds inquire no more.

He left his Father's throne above
(so free, so infinite his grace!),
emptied himself of all but love,
and bled for Adam's helpless race.
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
for O my God, it found out me!
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
for O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned sprit lay,
fast bound in sin and nature's night;
thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
my chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in him, is mine;
alive in him, my living Head,
and clothed in righteousness divine,
bold I approach th' eternal throne,
and claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th' eternal throne,
and claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Illness among those who are called Methodist

Dearest and Gentle Readers,

It has come to my attention that that are those among us who are suffering from the inflammation of the brain. I offer, therefore, for your elucidation my humble cures.


THIS is either a symptomatic disorder, as when it follows in the course of a primary affection; or it is original, being primary itself -- of this alone I shall treat, that requiring the treatment of the concomitant disorder.

It usually attacks in the heat of summer those of an irascible disposition, who are in their youth and given to study.

Causes. Drunkenness, watching, long exposure to the sun, anger, excessive cogitation, grief, care, vehement desires, external violence, certain poisons, and suppressions of particular discharges; as the piles, the discharge after parturition.

Symptoms. It begins with rigors, which are followed by heat, pain and throbbing of the head, disturbed sleep, noise within the head and ears, inflammation and pain in the eyes, with inability to bear the light and noise, and a bloated countenance -- the pulse is low, oppressed and quick, often weak as well as low, though sometimes it is hard: the patient continues without any sleep for a long time, sometimes till the eighth day; the arteries along the neck perceptibly throb, and blood sometimes issues by drops from the nose; great debility, anxiety and sighing attend, yet the patient is subject to anger, fierce delirium, startings and convulsions. When the disorder has ceased, a swimming and heaviness of the head, weak eyes, and great delicacy of hearing attend for a considerable time.

Management. The patient should be confined in an airy, darkened, silent and cool room; his bed should be hard, and his head somewhat raised upon it. He should have plenty of acid, cool drinks, without any mixture of spirit. His food should be of panada, barley, jelley, &c. The causes of the disorder must be carefully removed.

Cure. The patient should be bled pretty freely, and this may be repeated again and again in less quantities, during the first 48 hours; provided the symptoms demand it, and the patient be able to bear it: -- the pulse will usually be the best guide; for if this does not sink very low, there will be no danger from bleeding. A dose of salts should be given after the first bleeding, and it may be necessary to repeat this the next day. Clysters may be given daily, such as No. 5. one of the fever powders, No. 1. may be given every three hours, beginning after the operation of the first dose of the salts. The patient's head should be shaved and washed with cold vinegar and water. If the delirium runs on after the above evacuations, a large blister should be applied to the crown of the head, and when this has drawn, others, if necessary, may be applied to the ankles.

When the patient has suffered some time for want of sleep, the feet should be bathed an hour or twice as long, in water moderately warm, and if this is ineffectual, let him have ten or fifteen drops of laudanum, or a tea-spoonful of paregoric at night, with this care, that if it makes him worse, to discontinue it; but if it has the desired effect, to persist giving it every night, if required.

A nourishing diet and the use of wine should be gradually entered into, after the symptoms of danger are perfectly gone, in order to prevent the succeeding symptoms of debility.

Great care will be necessary to avoid the causes of this disorder, as slighter ones may cause a relapse or repetition.

February 17, 1736 - The Imitation of Christ

EVERY [human] naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his/[her] soul to study the course of the stars. He who knows himself /[herself] well becomes mean in his/[her] own eyes and is not happy when praised by [humans]. If I knew all things in the world and had not charity, what would it profit me before God Who will judge me by my deeds?

Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience inspires great trust in God.

February 16, 1736 - The Imitation of Christ

What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a [hu]man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes [her]/him pleasing to God. I would rather feel contrition than know how to define it. For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God? Vanity of vanities and all is vanity, except to love God and serve Him alone.

This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. It is vanity, therefore, to seek and trust in riches that perish. It is vanity also to court honor and to be puffed up with pride. It is vanity to follow the lusts of the body and to desire things for which severe punishment later must come. It is vanity to wish for long life and to care little about a well-spent life. It is vanity to be concerned with the present only and not to make provision for things to come. It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy abides.

Often recall the proverb: "The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor the ear filled with hearing." Try, moreover, to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God.

Monday, February 16, 1736

Mr. Oglethorpe set out for the new settlement on the Alatamahaw river. He took with him fifty men, besides Mr. Ingham, Mr. Hemsdorf, and the three Indians.

On the Doctrine of Original Sin, For Rev J

First, I say, let us inquire, What is the real state, with regard to knowledge and virtue, wherein mankind have been from the earliest times? And what state are they in at this day?

1. What is the state, (to begin with the former branch of the inquiry,) with regard to knowledge and virtue, wherein, according to the most authentic accounts, mankind have been from the earliest times? We have no authentic account of the state of mankind in the times antecedent to the deluge, but in the writings of Moses. What then, according to these, was the state of mankind in those times? Moses gives us an exact and full account: God then “saw that the wickedness of man was great, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” ( Genesis 6:5,12,13.) And this was not the case of only part of mankind; but “all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth:” And accordingly God said, “The end of all flesh is come, for the earth is filled with violence through them.” Only Noah was “righteous before God.” ( Genesis 7:1.) ...

Not barely the works of their hands, or the works of their tongue, but ‘every imagination of the thoughts of their hearts was evil.’...

From whence comes that complication of all! the miseries incident to human nature, — war? Is it not from the tempers “which war in the soul?”

When nation rises up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, does it not necessarily imply pride, ambition, coveting what is another’s; or envy, or malice, or revenge, on one side, if not on both? Still, then, sin is the baleful source of affliction; and consequently, the flood of miseries which covers the face of the earth, — which overwhelms not only single persons, but whole families, towns, cities, kingdoms, — is a demonstrative proof of the overflowing of ungodliness in every nation under heaven...

But a man, who is King of France, has a quarrel with another man, who is King of England. So these Frenchmen are to kill as many of these Englishmen as they can, to prove the King of France is in the right. Now, what an argument is this! What a method of proof! What an amazing way of deciding controversies! What must mankind be, before such a thing as war could ever be known or thought of upon earth? How shocking, how inconceivable a want must there have been of common understanding, as well as common humanity, before any two Governors, or any two nations in the universe, could once think of such a method of decision? If, then, all nations, Pagan, Mahometan, and Christian, do, in fact, make this their last resort, what farther proof do we need of the utter degeneracy of all nations from the plainest principles of reason and virtue? of the absolute want, both of common sense and common humanity, which runs through the whole race of mankind?

Sunday, February 15, 1736

Another party of Indians came; they were all tall, well-proportioned men, and had a remarkable softness in their speech, and gentleness in their whole behavior. In the afternoon, they all returned home but three, who stayed to go with Mr. Oglethorpe.

A Description of the Landscape, February 15, 1736

To those Gentle Readers who are not familiar with the Americas, I will attempt a short descriptive for ye to understand. The first settlers in this colony of Georgia arrived in 1733. Bravely they sailed up the Savannah River, and stablished a small grouping or settlement on a bluff selected by the esteemed General Oglethorpe as easily defensible. This stretch of land lays uneasy, neither being British or Spanish. The Britons lay to the north in Charlestown and the Spaniards to the south near what we call Florida. Indeed, the Spaniards occupied a number of Catholic missions along the Georgia coast.

These Spaniards form a real threat to our livelihood and well being, as do those brigands commonly called pirates. As a preventive of pugilistic attack, General Oglethorpe has selected St. Simons Island for a new fortification, this being 60 miles south of Savannah. We are currently building Fort Frederica, named for the honorable Prince of Wales, Frederick Louis. We are building fortifications on either side of the water out of a native substance we call “Tabby.” Eventually we will have both an earthen wall and a Tabby wall, with a moat. These walls will be nigh unto a statute mile in their diameter. The fortifications will have three bastions, two storehouse, a guardhouse, a stockade, a spur battery and God willing a separate church for the use of all. These fortifications are around a bend in the river to best control the approach of ships.

We will continue in prayer and encouragement for this small settlement of God’s people.

A Catholic Spirit, for Presbyterian Gal

I. Let us consider the question proposed by Jehu to Jehonadab, "Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart?"

II. "If thine heart be right, as mine with thy heart," love all mankind, thine enemies, the enemies of God, strangers, as a brother in Christ.

III. We may learn from hence what a catholic spirit is....

10. Although, therefore, every follower of Christ is obliged, by the very nature of the Christian institution, to be a member of some particular congregation or other, some Church, as it is usually termed (which implies a particular manner of worshipping God; for "two cannot walk together unless they be agreed"); yet none can be obliged by any power on earth but that of his own conscience, to prefer this or that congregation to another, this or that particular manner of worship. I know it is commonly supposed, that the place of our birth fixes the Church to which we ought to belong; that one, for instance, who is born in England, ought to be a member of that which is styled the Church of England, and consequently, to worship God in the particular manner which is prescribed by that Church. I was once a zealous maintainer of this; but I find many reasons to abate of this zeal. I fear it is attended with such difficulties as no reasonable man can get over. Not the least of which is, that if this rule had took place, there could have been no Reformation from Popery; seeing it entirely destroys the right of private judgement, on which that whole Reformation stands.

11. I dare not, therefore, presume to impose my mode of worship on any other. I believe it is truly primitive and apostolical: but my belief is no rule for another. I ask not, therefore, of him with whom I would unite in love, Are you of my church, of my congregation? Do you receive the same form of church government, and allow the same church officers, with me? Do you join in the same form of prayer wherein I worship God? I inquire not, Do you receive the supper of the Lord in the same posture and manner that I do? Nor whether, in the administration of baptism, you agree with me in admitting sureties for the baptized, in the manner of administering it; or the age of those to whom it should be administered. Nay, I ask not of you (as clear as I am in my own mind), whether you allow baptism and the Lord's supper at all. Let all these things stand by: we will talk of them, if need be, at a more convenient season, my only question at present is this, "Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart?"

Correspondence with Fellow Travelers, Feb 14, 1736

I have received several pieces of correspondence, here in the Americas, that have been most heartening and uplifting. I wish to offer my humble thanks to my new acquaintances and I pray that our new relationships will be elucidating and edifying.

I remain, as always, God's most humble servant,

John Wesley

February 14, 1736, The Imitation of Christ

Dear and Gentle Readers,
I wish to gaive thanks for the texts of my favorite books. And here, forthwith, I present to you selections and a modicum of background information on those most esteemed texts. As for myself, I will attempting hard labour for our small group, as there needs to be decent and sturdy housing for our company. I will lead my small flock in prayer, study of the scripture, the singing of hymns and exhortation for two or three hours before breaking my fast and then we will build. Godspeed to you today and may we all pattern our lives after the example of Jesus Christ.

Thomas a Kempis

Thomas Hemerken was born at Kempen, near Cologne Germany around the year 1380 AD. Born into a poor family, educated at the school of the Brethren of the Common Life, he entered the Canons Regular in the year 1399 where he took the habit in 1406. He performed the work of a spiritual director. His best known writing is The Imitation of Christ. He died in 1471.

The First Chapter

"HE WHO follows Me, walks not in darkness," says the Lord. By these words of Christ we are advised to imitate His life and habits, if we wish to be truly enlightened and free from all blindness of heart. Let our chief effort, therefore, be to study the life of Jesus Christ.

The teaching of Christ is more excellent than all the advice of the saints, and he who has His spirit will find in it a hidden manna. Now, there are many who hear the Gospel often but care little for it because they have not the spirit of Christ. Yet whoever wishes to understand fully the words of Christ must try to pattern his whole life on that of Christ.

Saturday, February 14, 1736

About one, Tomo Chachi, his nephew, Thleeanouhee, his wife Sinauky, with two more women, and two or three Indian children, came on board. As soon as we came in, they all rose and shook us by the hand; and Tomo Chachi (one Mr. Musgrove interpreted) spoke as follows:

“I am glad you are come. When I was in England, I desired that some would speak the great Word to me and my nation then desired to hear it; but now we are all in confusion. Yet I am glad you are come. I will go up and speak to the wise men of our nation; and I hope they will hear. But we would not be made Christians as the Spaniards make Christians: we would be taught, before we are baptized."

I answered, “There Is but One, He that sitteth in heaven, who is able to teach man wisdom. Though we are come so far, we know not whether He will please to teach you by us or no. If He teaches you, you will learn wisdom, but we can do nothing.” We then withdrew.

Monday, February 9, 1789

I asked him [Mr. Spangenberg] many questions, both concerning himself and the church at Hernhuth. The substance of his answers was this: - "At eighteen years old, I was sent to the university of Jena, where I spent some years in learning languages, and the vain philosophy, which I have now long been laboring to forget. Here it pleased God, by some that preached his word with power, to overturn my heart.

I immediately threw aside all my learning, but what tended to save my soul. I shunned all company, and retired into a solitary place, resolving to spend my life there. For three days I had much comfort here; but on the fourth it was all gone. I was amazed, and went for advice to an experienced Christian. When I came to him, I could not speak. But he saw my heart, and advised me to go back to my house, and follow the business Providence called me to. I went back, but was fit for nothing. I could neither do business, nor join in any conversation. All I could say to any one, was Yes, or No. Many times I could not say that, nor understand the plainest thing that was said to me. My friends and acquaintance looked upon me as dead, came no more to me, nor spoke about me.

"When I grew better, I began teaching some poor children. Others joining with me, we taught more and more, till there were above thirty teachers, and above two hundred scholars. I had now invitations to other universities. But I could not accept of any; desiring only, if it were the will of God, to be little and unknown. I had spent some years thus, when Professor Breithaupt, of Halle, died: Being then pressed to remove thither, I believed it was the call of God, and went. I had not been long, there, before many faults were found, both with my behavior and preaching; and offenses increased more and more, till, after half a year, a petition against me was sent to the King of Prussia, who sent an order to the commander at Halle; in pursuance whereof I was warned to leave the city in forty-eight hours. I did so, and retired to Hernhuth to Count Zinzendorf."

"The village of Hernhuth contains about a thousand souls, gathered out of many nations. They hold fast the discipline, as well as the faith and practice, of the apostolical Church. I was desired by the brethren there last year, to conduct sixteen of them to Georgia, where two lots of ground are assigned us; and with them I have staid ever since."

I asked, "Whither he was to go next?" He said, "I have thoughts of going to Pennsylvania. But what God will do with me I know not. I am blind. I am a child. My Father knows; and I am ready to go wherever He calls."

Saturday, February 7, 1736 -- Vain Words

Mr. Oglethorpe returned from Savannah with Mr. Spangenberg, one of the pastors of the Germans. I soon found what spirit he was of and asked his advice with regard to my own conduct. He said, “My brother, I must first ask you one or two questions. Have you the witness within yourself? Does the Spirit of God bear witness with your spirit that you are a child of God?” I was surprised, and knew not what to answer. He observed it and asked, “Do you know Jesus Christ?” I paused and said, “I know He is the Saviour of the world.” “True,” replied he; “but do you know He has saved you?” I answered, “I hope He has died to save me.” He only added, “Do you know yourself?” I said, “I do.” But I fear they were vain words.

Friday, February 6, 1736

About eight in the morning, we first set foot on American ground. It was a small uninhabited island, over against Tybee. Mr. Oglethorpe led us to a rising ground where we all kneeled down to give thanks. He then took boat for Savannah. When the rest of the people were come on shore, we called our little flock together to prayers.

Thursday, February 5, 1736

Between two and three in the afternoon, God brought us all safe into the Savannah river. We cast anchor near Tybee Island, where the groves of pines, running along the shore, made an agreeable prospect, showing, as it were, the bloom of spring in the depth of winter.

February 1736 in Georgia

from the website Glynn County, History and Lore so that those who wish to better understand the context of the Wesleys might do so. -- ed.

Arriving back in England, he [General Oglethorpe] was welcomed home with great enthusiasm. The Red Men he took with him, in native costumes, with strange sounding names, caused a sensation. Poems were written in their honor, a medal was struck to commemorate the visit and celebrations were held by nobility and common folk alike.

Oglethorpe did have several fences to mend. There had been criticism of his prohibition of rum, brandy, and other distilled spirits; and to his objection to the introduction of negro slavery into the colony. After all, these were of much profit to business and to the Crown! Yet, with eloquent presentation to Parliament of the problems brought by drink and slavery, and with the further consideration that in a military outpost everyone should bear arms (prohibited to slaves), an agreement was ratified to continue these prohibitions. Some dissatisfaction of the Trustees with the accounting of their funds was allayed when they found that Oglethorpe had expended his own fortune for the colony, proof enough of his honesty. They did deem it wise to send along a secretary to keep better records and to provide them with more complete information than they had been receiving. [Charles Wesley was selected.]

King George shared Oglethorpe's vision of Georgia's potential. The Trustees renewed their support now that they had heard first hand of the success of the colony. So now James Oglethorpe could again leave for America. This time the task ahead was a military one if he was to challenge the Spanish. Settlers for this new, exposed, frontier location need be trustworthy and industrious. They need have a variety of useful crafts and talents such as carpenter, blacksmith, farmer, doctor, shoemaker. The trustees seemed to prefer Salzburgers (persecuted Protestants from Germany) and Scottish Highlanders. So it was, that a carefully selected group of forty families-about 230 persons, only a few more than one-third of them men-arrived off Peeper Island (later known as Cockspur Island) in the mouth of the Savannah river in February, 1736.

Sunday, February 1, 1736

We spoke with a ship of Carolina; and Wednesday, 4, came within soundings. About noon, the trees were visible from the masts and in the afternoon from the main deck. In the evening lesson were these words: “A great door, and effectual, is opened.” Oh, let no
one shut it!