Picture of Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley


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Sept. 9 - Dec. 31, 1737: Oxfordshire, and down to Devon

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September 9 - December 31, 1737

Fri., September 9th. I consulted Mr. Law a second time, and asked him several questions: "With what comment shall I read the Scriptures?" "None." "What do you think of one who dies unrenewed, while endeavourlng after it?" "It concerns neither you to ask, nor me to answer." "Shall I write once more to such a person?" "No." "But I am persuaded it will do him good." "Sir, I have told you my opinion." "Shall I write to you?" "Nothing I can either speak or write, will do you any good."

Sat., September 10th. Calling at Mr. Delamotte's, I found Miss Hetty there, and gave her her brother's letter. We soon fell into talk about the new birth. She lamented her not being acquainted with me sooner; and that she could not be in the country now I was going thither. I walked back to Charles Rivington's, and fetched her Mr. Law; and then took coach for Eltham and Blendon. My friend Benjamin had been there before me, and met with such a reception as encouraged me to follow. He had preached to them with power; and still more powerfully by his life and conversation. The eldest sister, and Cambridge scholar, were struck to the heart. The first evening passed in discourse of my namesake in America.

Sun., September 11th. I preached the one thing needful: had some serious talk with Miss Betsy, and read to Mrs. Delamotte part of my Journal, relating to their intended visitant, Appee.

Mon., September 12th. I returned to town, and spent an hour with Hetty, in discoursing on the inward change, and reading Law. She received all his sayings with the utmost readiness.

Tues., September 13th. I went again to my simple Hetty, to learn some of her humility. Her convictions were much deepened by my reading the Life of God in the Soul of Man. I took my leave, and set out for Oxford, by way of Windsor, and Mr. Thorold's.

Thur., September l5th. I rose (at Sarney's) with earnest desires of resigning myself up entirely to God. I had the satisfaction of seeing an excellent letter from young Gr. in the country.

Fri., September 16th. I walked over with Mr. Gainbold to Stantonarcourt. After much talk of their states, we agreed, that I should not speak at all to my sister on religion, but fully to his.

Calling accidentally in the evening at my sister Kezia's room, she fell upon my neck, and in a flood of tears begged me to pray for her. Seeing her so softened, I did not know but this might be her time, and sat down. She anticipated me, by saying she had felt here what she never felt before, and believed now there was such a thing as the new creature. She was full of earnest wishes for divine love; owned there was a depth in religion she had never fathomed; that she was not, but longed to be, converted; would give up all to obtain the love of God '. renewed her request with great vehemence that I would pray for her; often repeating, "I am weak, I am exceeding weak." I prayed over her, and blessed God from my heart; then used Pascal's prayer for conversion, with which she was much affected, and begged me to write it out for her. After supper, (at which I could not eat for joy,) I read Mr. Law's account of Redemption. She was greatly moved, full of tears and sighs, and eagerness for more. Poor Mrs. Gainbold was quite unaffected: her time being not yet come.

Sat., September 17th. I prayed with Kez., still in the same temper; convinced all her misery had proceeded from her not loving God.

This morning Mr. Wells, of Jesus College, came in. I took occasion to mention Mr. Law on the Redemption; read part of it, and rejoiced in his so cordially joining us.

Sun., September 18th. I preached at the Castle, and gave the sacrament to threescore communicants. In the afternoon at Stantonarcourt. I was continually called upon by Kez., to pray with her. We supped at Mr. Bonnel's.

Wed., September 21st. I rejoiced to hear at Oxford, that Graves was returned from his friends unshaken. At night he came in, (to Sarney's,) fell upon my neck, and burst into tears. It is hard to say, whether his friends' hatred, or his love, of me exceeds.

Thur., September 22d. I breakfasted with Mr. Rock at Nuneham; and dined at Maple-Durham with Mr. Burton. Next morning I got to Mr. Thorold's, at Windsor; and in two hours to London. But my hard riding had nearly occasioned my being apprehended for an highwayman.

Sat., September 24th. At twelve I set out for Blendon. Passing Mr. Delamotte's, I was minded to call, though they were all out of town Contrary to my expectation, I found Hetty left behind. We passed two hours in conference and prayer. Two hours afterwards I was with her again, and read Scougal on "Few saved." She was quite melted down, and, after a prayer for love, said, "God knows my heart: I do desire nothing but Him."

Sun., September 25th. I met her at the sacrament in Crooked-Lane; and endeavoured to prepare her for persecution, which all must suffer who will live godly in Christ Jesus.

Tues., September 27th. I rode to Windsor; and next day to Mapleurham by noon. An hour after I took horse, and quickly lost myself in a wood: but by breaking fences, and leaping ditches, got at last to Dorchester. I lost myself again between that and Nunchain; but soon recovered it, and by night came to honest Mr. Sarney's.

Thur., September 29th. I found Graves and Kezzy still pressing forward. In the afternoon I met Mr. Wells alone, and had some close talk with him upon the new birth, self-renunciation, &. He confessed reputation was his idol; rejected his own righteousness: convinced, but fearful: longing to break loose. I went with him to the chapel; and afterwards resumed the subject. He seemed on the brink of the new birth.

Sat., October lat. I prayed by Mr. Carter, who lay a-dying: and by Mrs. Sarney, in the same condition.

Sun., October 2d. I carried Graves to Stanton-Harcourt, where I gave the sacrament, and then preached at Southleigh. In the evening we returned to Oxford.

Mon., October 3d. At six I took horse for Barkswell. A little on this side Banbury my horse threw me, with great violence, over his head, and tumbled after, but not upon me. I rose first, unhurt, except that I sprained my leg. With much wandering through excessive bad roads, by night I got to Mr. Boys's, quite exhausted.

Tues., October 4th. I waked much refreshed. The family showed me all possible civility, especially dear Susan, for whose sake I had come.

Wed., October 5th. We parted as friends should part. I returned, before night, to Oxford.

Fri., October 7th. I received a letter from James Hutton, summoning me on board in fourteen days.

Sat., October 8th. I endeavoured to fix Kinchin, Saruey, Washington, and Hutchins, in meeting as my brother, &., used formerly. I rode to Spilsbury, to see my old friend Horn, and returned by night to read Nicodemus at Queen's.

Sun., October 9th. I gave the sacrament and preached at Southleigh. In the evening at dear Charles's; still growing in humility and love.

Mon., October 10th. Being determined not to leave England till I had come to a full explanation with Dicky Graves, this morning I went to his rooms; talked the whole matter over, and were both entirely satisfied. Then I spoke of my making his brother Charles mad; hoped he himself would be one of those whose life fools count madness; explained the nature of true religion; "no other than what you once laboured after, till the gentleman swallowed up the Christian." He was greatly moved; complained he could not pray. I appealed to him, whether he had not formerly felt more solid pleasure in religion, than in all the caresses of the world. He confessed it, and resolved to return. I earnestly recommended Law, and daily retirement, as my last legacy. "My heart's desire to God for you is, that you may be saved. In a little time, all I can do will be to pray for you: and I hope you will now pray for me, as for a friend, not an enemy." He answered, "That I shall do heartily. I am satisfied you are my sincere friend." We then kissed, and parted--till that day.

Tues., October 11th. I set out for London. In a mile's riding my horse fell lame. I sung the 91st Psalm, and put myself under the divine protection. I had scarce ended, and turned the hut, on Shotover-Hill, when a man came up to me, and demanded my money, showing, but not presenting, a pistol. I gave him my purse. He asked how much there was. "About thirty shillings." "Have you no more?" "I will see;" put my hand in my pocket, and gave him some halfpence. He repeated the question," Have you no more?" I had thirty pounds in a private pocket; bade him search himself; which he did not choose. He ordered me to dismount, which I did; but begged hard for my horse again, promising not to pursue him. He took my word, and restored him. I rode gently on, praising God. My bags, and watch, and gold, the robber was forced to leave me. By the evening I reached Westminster.

Fri., October 14th. I was informed at the office, that I was to go in three weeks with the Lieutenant-Colonel by way of Gibraltar.

Sun., October 16th. I rode to Blendon, and read S.S. to the two sisters, and prayed with them for conversion. I was employed again in like manner, after the opposers were gone to bed.

Tues., October 18th. Jacky Delamotte and I took horse. Mine fell into a hole; but I kept my seat. His followed, and flung him over his head. Neither was hurt.

Fri., October 28th. I found Miss Betty at Fresh Wharf, and spent an hour or two with her and Jacky. Next morning I was with her alone, and spoke largely of the danger of lukewarmness, and resting in negative goodness. I never saw her so moved before.

Sun., October 30th. I waked them at five, and attended them to Forster-Lane, where we heard Mr. Whitefield, and communicated together. I preached at St. Helen's "the one thing needful." In the afternoon I carried her and her brother to Mr. Chadwick's, (my usual lodgings,) and thence to Ironmonger's-Lane. After preaching the same sermon here, we drank tea at Mr. Chadwick's, and then took coach for College-Street. They were much delighted with the singing there, and edified, I hope, by George Whitefield's example. It was near eleven before I left them at their own house.

Wed., November 2d. I was at the office, and returned the Trustees thanks for the ?50 they had lately ordered me, as a Missionary. I dined with them; and they desired me to draw up a scheme for an Orphan-house. The evening I passed at Fresh Wharf: good old Mr. Delamotte was there, and pleased me much by his seeming so heartily to relish our reading Bishop Hall.

Fri., November 4th. I heard an excellent sermon at St. Antholine's, on holiness, or likeness to God; and passed the evening with B. D.; who then told me the reason why I was not sent for to Blendon, was, Mrs. Delamotte's fear of my making Hetty run mad: and when I gave them notice of my coming, she sent her up to town, that I might not see her; which Providence made the means of my having so many hours with her alone.

Sat., November 5th. I met and turned back with Betty, to hear Mr. Whitefield preach, not with the persuasive words of man's wisdom, but with the demonstration of the Spirit and with power. The churches will not contain the multitudes that throng to hear him.

Mon., November 7th. I read over Pietas Hallensis; and desired our Orphan-house might be begun in the power of faith.

Thur., November 10th. In obedience to a summons from Miss Betsy this morning, I took coach for Greenwich, and walked the rest of the way to Blendon. We had some animating discourse before Mrs. Delamotte came in. Then we fell into talk of the new birth, which she did not at all relish; but continued still cold, averse, and prejudiced against the truth.

Sun., November 18th. I preached at Bexley, on the love of God. Mrs. Delamotte thanked me for my sermon with tears; owned she had loved Charles too well; and was quite altered in her behaviour towards me. We had farther conversation on the love of God. Mr. Delamotte confessed there could be no happiness in anything else.

Mon., November 14th. Little Molly burst into tears upon my telling her God loved her. The whole family now appear not far from the kingdom of God.

Sun., November 20th. At St. Helen's I preached the circumcision of heart. The next day my flux returned.

Tues., November 22d. Mr. Oglethorpe advised me to go to Tiverton. I went to take my leave of our friends at Blendon. Mrs. Delamotte was quite open, and not afraid that her son should be called a Methodist.

Fri., November 25th. At M. Hutton's this evening, my brothers Lambert and Wright visited me. The latter has corrupted the former, after all the pains I have taken with him, and brought him back to drinking. I was full, yet could not speak; prayed for meekness, and then set before him the things he had done, in the devil's name, toward re-converting a soul to him. He left us abruptly. I encouraged poor J. Lambert to turn again unto God.

Mon., November 28th. I took coach for Tiverton. The next day I called on my mother in Salisbury. She vehemently protested against our returning to Georgia.

Wed., November 30th. I had much serious conversation with a gentlewoman in the coach, concerning the new birth. I read part of Mr. Law. She was deeply struck, melted, conquered.

Thur., December 1st. We lodged at Dorchester; when my distemper fully returned.

Fri., December 2d. I met horses at Honiton, and by four came to Tiverton; where I found my brother much better.

Sun., December 4th. I was much melted at the sacrament. In the evening I reproved my sister (which I am often forced to do) for evil-speaking.

Thur., December 22d. Quite wearied out by her incessant slanders, to-day I had a downright quarrel with her about it. My brother on these occasions is either silent, or on my side.

Tues., December 27th. I was not sorry to set out for London. I rode as far as Taunton.

Wed., December 28th. In the coach I employed myself mostly in reading Cyrus's Travels, and Leslie's Short Method with the Deists.

Thur., December 29th. We narrowly escaped overturning, through the loss of a wheel. I supped in Salisbury, at my brother Hall's.

Sat., December 31st. I set out at two in the morning, and with the night came to James Hutton's.

Charles Wesley, The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1849)

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