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Charles Wesley

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Jan. 2 - Apr. 30, 1739: London and Oxford

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January 2 - April 30, 1739

TUESDAY, January 2d, 1739. I was at Mr. Stonehouse's, with M. Vaughan and others. I urged him to throw away his mystics; but he adhered to them with the greater obstinacy. I saw myself in him.

Wed., January 3d. To-day our sister Butcher died (the first that has) triumphant in the faith. At five she said, "I trust only to the blood of Christ. I cast myself at his feet; and if I perish, I perish." Soon after, "Now I am sure of heaven." Her last breath was spent in exhorting her husband and the rest to confide in Jesus Christ.

Fri., January 5th. My brother, Mr. Seward, Hall, Whitefield, Ingham, Kinchin, Hutchins, all set upon me; but I could not agree to settle at Oxford, without farther direction from God.

Sat., January 6th. Mr. Sparks and I were at Mr. Howard's; who denied any real communion we can have with God.

Sun., January 7th. l was offended much at some orders which Bray, &c., were imposing on the society.

Wed., January 10th. I met Mr. Broughton, who laboured hard to persuade me to make affidavit of what Miss Reeves had said. I positively refused it, as treachery to her, both in him and me.

Mr. Thorold expounded at the Society. We had some discourse about agitations: no sign of grace, in my humble opinion.

Thur., January 11th. I met a Moravian and his wife. She related her genuine conversion: had received forgiveness before the abiding witness of the Spirit.

Sat., January 13th. Pierced with the prayers of Heater Hobson, I expected a fresh manifestation of Christ continually: which I found the next day at the sacrament.

Mon., January 15th. I was at Mr. Stenehouse's when Mr. Silvester came. Mr. Stonehouse insisted upon choosing a Lecturer himself. I attended him to Mr. Lloyd, the Reader. We had close talk of faith. Both he and Mrs. Lloyd are convinced.

Tues., January 16th. I prayed in faith for her. Immediately she was filled with comfort. I called on Mr. Wilde, who tells me, he lately received forgiveness under my sermon.

Wed., January 17th. George Whitefield gave us so promising account of Oxford, that I found myself strongly inclined to go.

Sun., January 21st. I was much affected under Mr. Stonehouse's sermon. I preached myself in the afternoon, to a crowded church, on justification by faith.

Mon., January 22d. Lady Crisp sent for me. I went, and found Mr. Stonehouse there. She behaved with great courtesy. I transcribed an hymn for Miss. After supper, her Ladyship spoke largely in praise of marriage. I saw, and pitied, my poor friend, sorely beset. We sang. It was late before we parted.

Tues., January 23d. M. Vaughan seemed deeply humbled, under a sense of her late vain, confident delusions.

Wed., January 24th. I expounded, (for the benefit of two Clergymen present,) "Know ye not, that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost?" and proved the promise of the Spirit to all, both from Scripture and our own Church.

Thur., January 25th. I expounded at Brockmar's. The Lord was present. A woman stopped me departing; confessed herself under the full power of the devil; fell at my feet. We prayed in confidence. On my mentioning in prayer the absolved adulteress, she cried out. "I have received the comfort!" I rose full of love, and joy, and triumph: whereof we were all partakers.

I was sent for to Bray: the three Miss Newtons were there. I expounded again with power.

Fri., January 26th. At Dr. Newton's I sang and prayed with them: much affected now; well pleased last night.

Sat., January 27th. I carried Bray to Mrs. Whitcomb's; the Claggetts, Metcalf, and his mother, and Hester Hobson were there. We communicated, prayed, and sang with great life and comfort. I slept at Blendon.

Sun., January 28th. I preached on "the three states" at Bexley. Some went out of church: and more in the afternoon, while I expounded," Woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel." I was quite spent; yet renewed my strength for the poor people at night.

Wed., January 31st. I told Mr. Delamotte he was not converted, had not the Spirit, or faith, and begged him to pray God to show him wherein he was wanting. He could not receive my saying, yet was not angry. Mrs. Delamotte was quite transported with joy and love. In the stage-coach with my sister Kez, I found three women, and was very loath to speak; yet broke through, and laboured to convince them of sin and of righteousness. They all assented to the truth, and were, I hope, in some measure awakened to pursue the one thing needful. I left Kez at my aunt's, in Islington. I assisted to expound at the Society, and slept at J. Bray's in peace.

Fri., February 2d. With Charles Metcalf I visited that worthy man, Zouberbuhler, in the Marshalsea for debt; much moved at his afflictions.

Sun., February 4th. At night walked over the fields from Islington, several of us, with the voice of joy and thanksgiving.

Thur., February 8th. I carried Zouberbuhler the news of his goods being redeemed by Mr. Seward. I visited him again on Saturday, and was drawn in compassion towards him, and faith for him. At Islington I rejoiced over a dying believer.

Sat., February 10th. I expounded to many hundreds at a Society in Beech-lane.

Sun., February 11th. We prayed for utterance this day. My brother preached. I was comforted in the sacrament. I prayed again at Mr. Stonehouse's for s blessing upon my ministry. (Lady Crisp with my brother.) I read prayers, and preached without notes on blind Bartimeus; the Lord being greatly my helper. Let Him have all the glory. I returned to pray at Mr. Stonehouse's. Miss Crisp asked to be admitted. We had close searching talk, before I expounded to the Society.

Mon., February 12th. Mrs. Wheeler tells me, she received Christ last Saturday, being weighed down with the fear of death, and delivered in a moment; melted into love; able to apply Christ and all the promises to herself. Mr. Stonehouse informed me of a woman who had rejected him last week; but now sent for him; received the sacrament; was reconciled to God and him; and died in peace.

Tues., February 13th. I read a letter from Sarah Hurst, pressing me to Oxford, and Cowley (which is now vacant). Quite resigned, I offered myself; opened the book upon those words, "With stammering lips, and with another tongue will he speak to this people." I thought it a prohibition, yet continued without a will. I was with Captain Flatman at the Marshalsea; read prayers, and preached from Luke vii. 36, the woman washing Christ's feet. The word was with power: all were attentive and thankful. I visited Zouberbuhler, removed to the Fleet.

Wed., February 14th. I read prayers at Newgate, and preached the law first, and then the Gospel. We sang, "Invitation to sinners." All were affected.

Thur., February 15th. I preached again at the Marshalsea. I was sent for by an harlot, (supposed to be dying,) and preached Christ, the friend of sinners, I trust to her heart.. I read prayers at Islington. Miss Crisp asked me home. My Lady was there. We had pertinent discourse. The younger went with me to M. Hankinsoffs; extremely desirous of faith. I prayed for her with great earnestness. At the Society I expounded the woman of Samaria. When I had done, she ran to me, and cried, "I do, I do believe!

Those words which you spoke came with power, 'Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.' An unknown peace flowed with them into my soul." We sang, rejoiced, and gave thanks to the pardoning God in her behalf.

Sun., February 18th. I preached at Islington, on the woman that was a sinner; at the Marshalsea, from Rom. iii. I prayed by the sick woman: expounded at Sims's to two several companies.

Mon., February 19th. I prayed in the prison with Anne Dodd, well-disposed, weary of sin, longing to break loose. I preached powerfully on the last day. I prayed after God for the poor harlots. Our sisters carried away one in triumph. I followed to M. Hanson's, who took charge of the returning prodigal. Our hearts were overflowed with pity for her. She seemed confounded, silent, testifying her joy and love by her tears only. We sang and prayed over her in great confidence.

At three I met Miss Crisp at M. Claggetts, who helped me to rejoice for the lost sheep which I have found. In the evening I expounded at Mr. Hind's. A lady was deeply wounded.

Tues.; February 20th. I waked full of concern for the poor harlot; and began an hymn for her. At five I called on Miss Crisp; then on Mr. Stonehouse, where I expounded the woman taken in adultery.

Wed., February 21st. I heard that Cowley living was disposed of; and rejoiced. With my brother I waited on the Archbishop. He showed us great affection; spoke mildly of Mr. Whitefield; cautioned us to give no more umbrage than was necessary for our own defence; to forbear exceptionable phrases; to keep to the doctrines of the Church. We told him we expected persecution; would

abide by the Church till her Articles and Homilies were repealed. He assured us he knew of no design in the governors of the Church to innovate; and neither should there be any innovation while he lived: avowed justification by faith only; and his joy to see us as often as we pleased.

From him we went to the Bishop of London; who denied his having condemned or even heard much of us. G. Whitefield's Journal, he said, was tainted with enthusiasm, though he was himself a pious, well-meaning youth. He warned us against Antinomianism, and dismissed us kindly.

I went in quest of a lost sheep, and found her coming with Bray from public prayers. She had been in deep distress; pierced with every word at the two last expoundings; almost fainted away this morning, weary and heavyladen. She told Bray, God could not forgive her, her sins were so great. She could not bear our triumph. We wrestled in prayer for her; and she declared her burden taken off, and her soul at peace. The more we prayed, the clearer still she was; till at last she testified that she did believe in Jesus with her whole heart. We continued in mighty prayer for all gross sinners; and I offered myself willingly to be employed peculiarly in their service.

Sun., February 25th. I preached justification by faith at Bexley. In the beginning of my discourse about twenty went out of church. They were better pleased with (or at least more patient of) me in the afternoon, while I preached on the woman at our Saviour's feet. Faint, and spent at Blendon, I revived by exhorting above two hundred of the poor.

Mon., February 16th. In our chapel I read Beveridge's sermon on the ministry, too much wanted by Betsy, and others, who are running into wild notions. The people came at night, and we were all comforted together by the word.

Wed., February 28th. I met the hands at J. Bray's, and cautioned them against schism. I was violently opposed by one who should have seconded me. They urged me to go to Oxford: but I understood them, and begged to be excused.

Sat., March 3d. I expounded to upward of three hundred hearers at Beech-lane.

Sun., March 4th. I read prayers, and preached, and administered the sacrament at St. Catherine's; at Islington from John ill.; then expounded with much life at Mr. Sims's; and lastly at Mr. Bell's. I concluded the labour of the day with prayer among the bands.

Thur., March 8th. In the midst of earnest prayer at J. Bray's, a woman received power to become a child of God.

Sat., March loth. I went to Newgate with my usual reluctance; preached with freedom; and in prayer had great power, as all present seemed to confess. I expounded at Beach-lane: in prayer I asked some token, if our Gospel really is a ministration of the Spirit; and I inquired if any had received an answer. One, and another, and another testified their sense of the divine presence. We rejoiced as men that divide the spoil.

Sun., March 11th. I preached justification at St. Catherine's. I baptized two women at Islington, (five adults I baptized some time before,) and preached with great liberty from the woman of Samaria. My friend Stonehouse was very peevish with me for a trifle, and very warm. I kept my temper, but was hindered in my expounding by his disputes. I encouraged Miss Crisp, now persecuted by her relations. I envied the dead at M. Danghan's. I had serious talk with Stonehouse, in defence of Miss Crisp. Both were humbled.

Mon., March 12th. I was at Newgate with Bray. I prayed, sang, exhorted with great life and vehemence. I talked in the cells to two Papists, who renounced all merit but that of Jesus Christ. I expounded at Bray's on the day of judgment. The power of the Lord was present to wound. A woman cried out as in an agony. Another sank down overpowered. All were moved and melted, as wax before the fire. At eight I expounded on Dowgate-hill. Two were then taken into the fold.

Wed., March 14th. I found one of the Papists full of peace and joy in believing, immediately after we prayed.

Tues., March 20th. A double power and blessing accompanied my word at Fetter-lane.

Thur., March 22d. I was at the Marshalsea with Mr. Oakley. I prayed with the sick; read prayers, and expounded the lesson.

Sun., March 25th. Betty Hopson came, and prayed that to-day we might have a feast off fat things. Mr. Stonehouse was full of love, and preached an excellent sermon on faith. After the sacrament we continued our triumph. I preached with power, "Lazarus raised." Then sang and prayed at the room. Great was our rejoicing in the Lord. I buried a corpse, and exhorted the congregation. I expounded at Mr. Stonehouse's with great enlargement. An opposer was troublesome, till we prayed him down. I visited Mr. Lloyd, and then M. Vaughan, both as full of love and joy as they could contain. By midnight I rested with Oakley at J. Bray's.

Tues., March 27th. At Mr. Crouch's I expounded on persecution. A man cried out," That's a lie." We betook ourselves to prayer and singing. The shout of a King was in the midst of us. The man came up quite affable. Another asked what that comfort and joy meant: I calmly invited him to experience it.

Wed., March 28th. We dissuaded my brother from going to Bristol, from an unaccountable fear that it would prove fatal to him. A great power was among us. He offered himself willingly to whatsoever the Lord should appoint. The next day he set out, commended by us to the grace of God. He left a blessing behind. I desired to die with him.

Sun., April 1st. I preached at St. Catherine's, where I met my old friend Mrs. Paine, of East-Grinstead. I administered the sacrament. I dined at Chrissy Anderson's; went in a coach with her and Esther to Islington; comforted in the way while singing. I expounded the good Samaritan, with divine assistance. I prayed at Fetter-lane, that the Lord might be in the midst of us; received a remarkable answer. B. Nowers, in strong pangs, groaned, screamed, roared out. I was not offended by it,—nor called. We sang and praised God with all our might. I could not get home till eleven.

Wed., April 4th. At Mr. West's I rejoiced Over an happy soul, who received faith under my last expounding.

Fri., April 6th. I convinced a woman of sin; found another convinced of righteousness. A man, who had rejected me, was now overpowered. Mrs. Daniel and Winstone were apprehended by Christ.

Sun., April 15th. At Islington in the vestry, the Churchwardens demanded my licence. I wrote down my name; preached with increase of power, on the woman taken in adultery. None went out. I gave the cup. At night I waited upon Count Zinzendorf with Bray and Hutton. He received us very cordially; told us of six hundred Moors converted, two hundred Greenlanders, three hundred Hottentots. Saluta meo nomine fratres et sorores. Christi Spiritum illis apprecor.

We found his prayers answered at the Society. Two received forgiveness; many were filled with unutterable groanings; all received some spiritual gift. We could not Peas; but continued our triumph till the morning.

Mon., April 16th. The Count visited us in Fetter-lane, and answered the several questions we proposed to him. To-day I first saw Miss Raymond, and Mr. Rogers, at the expounding.

Tues., April 17th. I tried in vain to check Mr. Shaw in his wild rambling talk against the Christian priesthood. At last I told him, I would oppose him to the utmost; and either he or I must quit the Society.

I assisted Mr. Stonehouse again (as every day this great and holy week) in administering the sacrament. The presence of the Lord was much with us; and again at night, in the word expounded.

Wed., April 18th. I met Shaw at James's. He insisted that there is no priesthood; but he himself could baptize and administer the other sacrament as well as any man. At Mrs. Claggett's I met Mr. Rogers and Miss Raymond; and prayed earnestly for her.

In my expounding, I warned them strongly against schism; into which Shaw's notions must necessarily lead. The Society were all for my brother's immediate return.

Thur., April 19th. I found Mr. Stonehouse exactly right: warned Mrs. Vaughan (Hunter, half-perverted) and Brockmars against Shaw's pesthent errors, and spoke strongly at the Savoy Society, in behalf of the Church of England.

Good-Friday, April 20th. Mrs. Acourt was this day justified, in answer to our prayer. I felt life under Mr. Stonehouse's sermon. From church I went to the house to pray. J. Bray gave me the Gospel for the day to expound. I besought them, in strong words, not to rend the scareless coat by their divisions. J. Bray himself, that pillar of our Church, begins to shake. At night I preached to the Society in Wapping.

Sat., April 21st. I was with James at the Count's, who spoke much against the intended separation of our brethren. I met Metcalf, wholly perverted, a rank Quaker!

Easter-day, April 22d. I talked with the Count, about motions, visions, dreams, and was confirmed in my dislike to them.

Wed., April 25th. I began Potter on Church Government: a seasonable antidote against the growing spirit of delusion. I heard G. Whitefield, very powerful, at Fetter-lane. I was with him and Howel Harris, a man after my own heart. George related the dismal effects of Shaw's doctrine at Oxford. Both Howel and he insisted on Shaw's expulsion from the Society. Poor Metcalf had little to say for his friend and master.

Fri., April 27th. I heard G. Whitefield in Islington church-yard. The numerous congregation could not have been more affected within the walls. I exhorted them at Fetter-lane to continue steadfast in the means of grace.

Sat., April 28th. Mr. Stonehouse was much concerned that we should so misunderstand, as if he had forbid G. Whitefield's preaching in his church. To-day he preached out again. After him, Bowers got up to speak: I conjured him not; but he beat me down, and followed his irapulse. I carried many away with me. In the evening I expounded at Exall's. A woman received the atonement.

Sun., April 29th. At Islington vestry the Churchwardens forbad my preaching: demanded my local licence. I said nothing but that" I heard them." Scions was very abusive; bidding me shake off the dust of my feet, &c.; and said, "You have all the spirit of the devil," mentioning Mr. Whitefield, Stonehouse, and me by name.

After prayers Mr. Stonehouse made way for me to the pulpit: I offered to go up, when one Cotteril, and a Beadle, forcibly kept me back. I thought of, "The servant of the Lord must not strive;" and yielded. Mr. Streat preached. I assisted at the sacrament. I preached afterwards at our house, and prayed fervently for the opposers. I waited on Justice Elliot. He had gone with Sir John Gunsen into the vestry, and severely chid the Churchwardens; who had made the Clerk read the canon, call a vestry, &c. Mr. Streat advised to ask Mr. Stonehouse to discharge me from ever preaching again.

In the afternoon Scions abused Streat himself at the vestry; abused us;. owned he said, "the devil was in us all." I read prayers; Mr. Scott preached. At night I was greatly strengthened to expound, and pray for our persecutors. All were mild and peaceable among the bands. I heard that George had had above ten thousand hearers.

Mon., April 30th. I preached at the Marshalsea. Mr. Stonehouse told us, he had been with the Bishop, but left him close, shut up, sour, refusing to answer but to the written case. At James's I rejoiced to find Charles Metcalf coming back.

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

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