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REV. JOHN WESLEY'S
FROM NOVEMBER 2, 1751, TO OCTOBER 28, 1754.
that I was willing to give him twenty pounds a year, for assisting me once a week. He refused it with the utmost indignation, and from that time spoke all manner of evil.
Monday 11, I rode to Rochester, and the next day to Canterbury, where I preached morning and evening, in what was lately the French Church. We had not
disturbance from first to last: the Court of King's-Bench haying broke the spirits of the rioters.
Saturday 16, I set out early in a clear, calm morning, and in the afternoon came to London.
Tuesday 19, I began writing a letter to the Comparer of the Papists and Methodists. Heavy work; such as I should never choose : but sometimes it must be done. Well might the Ancient say, « God made practical divinity necessary ; the devil, controversial.” But it is necessary. We must resist the devil, or he will not flee from us.
Saturday, December 22, Being informed that Mr. Kfor some years zealously attached to the brethren, bad now burst his chain, I had a desire to hear from his own mouth, how he was delivered. So a day or two after, I talked with him at large, and wrote down the substance of his account, that I might make no mistake. After a few days I called upon him, I read over to him what I had written, and desired him to tell me, if I had misunderstood him in any thing. And this account alone may be abundantly sufficient to pull off the mask from those cruel and deceitful men.
“1, I was, said he, one of the first members of the So. ciety at the Foundery, and continued there till William Oxlee, about the latter end of the year 1710, persuaded me to join the Bretlıren. It was not long before I was admitted to most of their conferences : and my love for them increased more and more, till in the year 1741, I went over to Herndyke.
“ 2, Here I saw several things I did not approve; particularly the arbitrary power with which the heads of the Church governed; and the vast respect they shewed to the richi, while the poor were little regarded. But I forgot all this, when I returned to England, and gave myself up to their disposal.
“ 3, I was soon after employed to collect money for repairing the Chapel in Fetter-lane. The manner of the Brethren was, to write to each of those who were accustomed to hear the preaching, and desire them, If they found their hearts free, to send five or ten guineas. As many of these were not at all awakened, I thought this was quite wrong. So I told Mr. M—; but he answered me short, that does not concern you.
" 4, I saw several other things which I could not approve, and I spoke of them ; but without effect. Some months after, Mr. Sp told me, "My brother, we are going to settle an Economy of Children at Lambs-Inn. And it is the Saviour's will, that you should go there, and be the Physician of the House.' I thought it strange ; for I did
not understand Physic. However, I did not dare to reason. So I went.
“ 5, The management here gave me a great shock. Without any regard to the rules laid down,
RU and his wife, the Directors of the Economy, behaved in the most haughty and tyrannical manner. Those who were set over the children, had no gifts for the work, and some of them little care for their own souls. Several of the children were whipped, without cause, and sometimes out of measure ; by which ill management, one of mine was utterly ruined, and has had no fear of God ever since. As for me, I might give advice if I would, but none regarded
, it. And when I rose one night and covered the children, who had thrown the clothes off in their sleep, Mr. U sharply reproved me before the whole family, telling me, I had done what I had no business to do: adding, that I was the most useless person in the whole house. I desired, that if so, I might return to London. With much difficulty they consented : and I made all haste back to my own house.
" 6, But I grew more and more uneasy at their management, which the Brethren perceiving, sent me to Yorkshire. When I had been there a few days, one of them told me, I was to go to Great Horton in the morning : it being made out to the Brethren, that I was to preach there, I was amazed, having never had one thought of preaching. Yet I did not dare to refuse : and from that time they employed me to preach, and to visit all the souls through that circuit.
7, At Holbeck we had an Economy of young men. When I visited them, and examined them strictly, they declared to me so much of their onanism, wh-ms, and other abominations, that I was utterly astonished. I was constrained to rebuke them sharply; for which in a few days I received a severe letter from Mr. Sp., telling me, I was destroying God's dear children, instead. of building them up; and that therefore I was neither to preach, nor labour any more in Yorkshire.
8, In a little while, I was sent for to London, to accompany Mrs. St. into Germany. But the letter being delayed, although I rode post, she was gone before I came. Some time after I was appointed a member of the committee of six, to whom an account was to be transmitted by all the labourers, of all the steps which they took, either at home or abroad.
“ One of our fundamental rules was, not to run in debt above thirty pounds. Therefore, when Mr. Sp. brought in a bill of more than three hundred, I was exceedingly startled, and moved, that the particulars of it might be given in, and that all our accounts might be clearly and fairly stated. Wencel Neuser being present, (though not one of our members ) took me up for this very severely ; telling me,
They were servants of the Saviour, and would give no account to men.'
“9, I was more and more uneasy at their way of proceeding, till one day Mr. Sl. came to me, and asked me, if I was willing to go to Bedford, for six or eight days? I told him I was, and in a day or two set out. But Mr. Br. told me, Brother K-you must not expect to do much good here; for there is the hidden curse among the souls, which I believe arises chiefly from the practice of procuring ab—, which is so common among the women. Nevertheless, I did find a great blessing, during the two or three months that I laboured there. But I could not stay, having a strong impression on my mind, that I was to labour in Jamaica.
« 10, Upon my mentioning this to the Brethren, they said, I should go thither as soon as possible : but it would be proper for me to go to Pensylvania first, and spend a little time at Bethlehem. I believed they knew best. So in the year 1744, I quitted my shop, left all my affairs unsettled, and sailed to Pensylvania.
11, I had full employ at Bethlehem, being appointed general preacher, and expected to bear a part in all the conferences. But it was not long before I was troubled more than ever, seeing so much craft and subtlety, and withal so much pride, stateliness, and tyranny, in those that
governed the Church. One instance out of very many, was this. W. Harding, who came over some time before
me, and was a stated preacher, had spoken to them freely and warmly, of several things which he thought reprovable. Upon this, he was put out of all his offices, and all the Brethren were forbid to speak to him. Being forsaken of all, he was more uneasy still ; on which the Brethren said, he was mad. As such he was confined, and food was brought to him once or twice a day, by two or three young men, who likewise many times beat him very severely. At length he watched his opportunity, and made his escape ; but they followed after, and took him, and a wooden house was built for him, not a quarter of a mile from the town, about ten feet square, and very dark. I was walking alone, near the place when they were bringing him thither. His cries and intreaties might have pierced an heart of stone. He begged that he might clean shoes, fetch them water, cleave wood, or whatever they pleased in the open air. But it availed not : he was shut up. About six weeks after, as they opened the door one day, in order to give him some meat, he rushed out, got by them, and made towards Phi. ladelphia, with all the speed he could. Being closely pursued, he ran to the river, (being an excellent swimmer) leaped in, sunk, and rose no more.
« 12, I was then at New-York, whence I returned to Bethlehem in January 1746. But I had no rest in my spirit, till after three weeks, I removed to Philadelphia. Here two of the Brethren and a widow-woman lived in the Brethren's house. I hired a room in it, and desired the widow, as I had not conveniences myself, to boil me a little water in a morning for my tea. Mean time all the Brethren in Philadelphia were charged, not to converse with me. And not long after, the two Brethren wrote Mr. Sp. word, that I lived in adultery with the widow. When I was informed of this, I went straight to Bethlehem, and told Mr. Sp. the whole affair : who immediately wrote back to them in Philadelphia, that I had confessed the charge.