Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Watch Night

Thur 31 Dec 1778: We concluded the old year with a solemn watch-night and began the new with praise and thanksgiving. We had a violent storm at night—the roaring of the wind was like loud thunder. It kept me awake half an hour. I then slept in peace.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Sick John Wesley

Wed 30 and Thur 31 Dec 1741: By the unusual overflowing of peace and love to all which I felt, I was inclined to believe some trial was at hand. At three in the afternoon my fever came. But finding it was not violent, I would not break my word, and therefore went at four and committed to the earth the remains of one who had died in the Lord a few days before; neither could I refrain from exhorting the almost innumerable multitude of people, who were gathered together round her grave, to cry to God that they might die the death of the righteous, and their last end be like hers. I then designed to lie down, but Sir John G coming and sending to speak with me, I went to him, and from him into the pulpit, knowing God could renew my strength. I preached, according to her request who was now with God, on those words with which her soul had been so refreshed a little before she went hence, after a long night of doubts and fears: ‘Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself. For the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.’
At the society which followed many cried after God with a loud and bitter cry. About ten I left them and committed myself into his hands, to do with me what seemed him good.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another Christmas Day Journal Entry

Fri (Christmas Day) 1761: We began, as usual, at four. A few days since, one who lived in known sin, finding heavy conviction, broke away, and ran out, she knew not whither. She met one who offered her a shilling a week to come and take care of her child. She went gladly. The woman's husband, hearing her stir between three and four, began cursing and swearing bitterly. His wife said, "I wish thou wouldst go with her, and see if any thing will do thee good." He did so. In the first hymn God broke his heart; and he was in tears all the rest of the service. How soon did God recompense this poor woman for taking the stranger in!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Throw Mr Wesley's Hymns Overboard

Mon 28 1789: I retired to Peckham; and at leisure hours read part of a very pretty trifle, the Life of Mrs. Bellamy. Surely never did any, since John Dryden, study more to make vice pleasing, and damnation shine, than this lively and elegant writer. She has a fine imagination; a strong understanding; an easy style, improved by much reading; a fine, benevolent temper; and every qualification that could consist with a total ignorance of God. But God was not in all her thoughts. Abundance of anecdotes she inserts, which may be true or false. One of them, concerning Mr. Garrick, is curious. She says, "When he was taking ship for England, a lady presented him with a parcel, which she desired him not to open till he was at sea. When he did he found Wesley’s Hymns, which he immediately threw overboard." I cannot believe it. I think Mr. G had more sense. He knew my brother well; and he knew him to be not only far superior in learning, but in poetry, to Mr. Thomson, and all his theatrical writers put together: None of them can equal him, either in strong, nervous sense, or purity and elegance of language. The musical compositions of his sons are not more excellent than the poetical ones of their father.
In the evening I preached to a crowded congregation, some of whom seemed a good deal affected

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Church Discipline

Sun 27 Dec 1741: After diligent inquiry made, I removed all those from the congregation of the faithful whose behaviour or spirit was not agreeable to the gospel of Christ; openly declaring the objections I had to each, that others might fear and cry to God for them.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Family Forgiveness

Sat 26 Dec 1747: I called on one with whose mother I had prayed a little before her death. I knew not till now how she came to desire me, of all persons, to pray with her. It seems her daughter, who was of a lion-like spirit, came to me some time before and told me she had just been a-quarrelling with her aunt on my account, and was so angry that she struck her. I told her, ‘Then go and ask her pardon.’ She went home, ran to her aunt, and asked her pardon. While they were hanging upon each other, both in tears, her mother came in, being afraid they were fighting. She cried out, ‘Sister, what is Sally doing to you?’ She replied, ‘She had been just asking me pardon.’ ‘I never knew her to do such a thing since she was born,’ said her mother. ‘Sally, who taught you that?’ ‘My minister,’ said Sally. All were struck, and their enmity was at an end.

A Miraculous Cure of Breast Cancer

Sat 26 Dec 1761: I made a particular inquiry into the case of Mary Special, a young woman then in Tottenham-Court-Road. She said, "Four years since I found much pain in my breasts, and afterwards hard lumps. Four months ago my left breast broke, and kept running continually. Growing worse and worse, after some time I was recommended to St. George’s Hospital. I was let blood many times, and took hemlock thrice a day: But I was no better; the pain and the lumps were the same, and both my breasts were quite hard, and black as soot; when, yesterday night, I went to Mr. Owen’s, where there was a meeting for prayer. Mr. Bell saw me, and asked, 'Have you faith to be healed?’ I said, 'Yes.’ He prayed for me, and in a moment all my pain was gone. But the next day I felt a little pain again; I clapped my hands on my breasts, and cried out, 'Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me whole.’ It was gone; and from that hour I have had no pain, no soreness, no lumps, or swelling; but both my breasts were perfectly well, and have been so ever since."
Now here are plain facts: 1. She was ill: 2. She is well: 3. She became so in a moment. Which of these can with any modesty be denied?

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Busy Christmas Day

Fri (Christmas Day) 1778: Our service began at four, as usual, in the New Chapel. I expected Mr. Richardson to read prayers at West Street Chapel, but he did not come; so I read prayers myself, and preached and administered the sacrament to several hundred people. In the afternoon, I preached at the New Chapel, thoroughly filled in every corner; and in the evening, at St. Sepulchre’s, one of the largest parish churches in London. It was warm enough, being sufficiently filled; yet I felt no weakness or weariness, but was stronger after I had preached my fourth sermon than I was after the first.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Back in London for Christmas

Thur 24 Dec 1741: I found it was good for me to be here [London]; particularly while I was preaching in the evening. The society afterwards met; but we scarce knew how to part, our hearts were so enlarged toward each other.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What a Good Suggestion

[A Christmas Journal Entry] Fri (Christmas Day) 1747: We met at four and solemnly rejoiced in God our Saviour. I found much revival in my own soul this day, and so did many others also. Both this and the following days I strongly urged the wholly giving up ourselves to God and renewing in every point our covenant that the Lord should be our God.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Fall of Mr Hall

Being not convinced that I had yet delivered my own soul with regard to that unhappy man, on Tuesday 22 Dec, I wrote once more to Mr. Hall as follows:
London, Dec. 22, 1747
Dear Brother,
1. When you was at Oxford with me, fourteen or fifteen years ago, you was holy and unblameable in all manner of conversation. I greatly rejoiced in the grace of God which was given unto you, which was often a blessing to my own soul. Yet even then you had frequently starts of thought which were not of God, though they at first appeared so to be. But you was humble and teachable, you was easily convinced, and those imaginations vanished away.
2. More than twelve years ago you told me, God had revealed it you that you should marry my youngest sister. I was much surprised, being well assured that you was ‘able to receive’ our Lord’s ‘saying’ (so you had continually testified) and to be an ‘eunuch for the kingdom of heaven’s sake’. But you vehemently affirmed the thing was of God: you was certain it was his will. God had made it plain to you that you must marry, and that she was the very person. You asked and gained her consent, and fixed the circumstances relating thereto.
3. Hence I date your fall. Here were several faults in one. You leaned altogether to your own understanding, not consulting either me, who was then the guide of your soul, or the parents of your intended wife, till you had settled the whole affair. And while you followed the voice of nature, you said it was the voice of God.
4. In a few days you had a counter-revelation, that you was not to marry her but her sister. This last error was far worse than the first. But you was now quite above conviction. So, in spite of her poor astonished parent, of her brothers, of all your vows and promises, you shortly after jilted the younger and married the elder sister. The other, who had honoured you as an angel from heaven and still loved you much too well (for you had stole her heart from the God of her youth), refused to be comforted. She fell into a lingering illness, which terminated in her death. And doth not her blood still cry unto God from the earth? Surely it is upon your head.
5. Till this time you was a pattern of lowliness, meekness, seriousness, and continual advertence to the presence of God. And above all, of self-denial in every kind and of suffering all things with joyfulness. But there was now a worm at the root of the gourd. Yet it did not presently wither away, but for two years or more after your marriage, you behaved nearly the same as before.
Then anger and surliness began to appear, particularly toward your wife. But it was not long before you was sensible of this, and you seemed to have conquered it.
6. You went up to London ten years ago. After this you began to speak on any head, not with your usual diffidence and self-abasement, but with a kind of confidence in your own judgment and an air of self-sufficiency. A natural consequence was the treating with more sharpness and contempt those who opposed either your judgment or practice.
7. You came to live at London. You then for a season appeared to gain ground again. You acted in concert with my brother and me, heard our advice and sometimes followed it. But this continued only till you contracted a fresh acquaintance with some of the brethren of Fetter Lane. Thenceforward you was quite shut up to us; we had no manner of influence over you; you was more and more prejudiced against us and would receive nothing which we said.
8. About six years ago you removed to Salisbury and began a society there. For a year or two you went with them to the church and Sacrament, and simply preached faith working by love. God was with you, and they increased both in number and in the knowledge and love of God.
About four years since you broke off all friendship with us: you would not so much as make use of our hymns, either in public or private, but laid them quite aside and took the German hymnbook in their stead.
You would not willingly suffer any of your people to read anything which we wrote. You angrily caught one of my sermons out of your servant’s hand, saying you would have no such books read in your house. In much the same manner you spoke to Mrs. Whitemarsh, when you found her reading one of the Appeals. So that, as far as in you lay, you fixed a great gulf between us and you (which remains to this day, notwithstanding a few steps lately made towards a reunion).
About the same time you left off going to church, as well as to the Sacrament. Your followers very soon trod in your steps, and, not content with neglecting the ordinances of God, they began, after your example, to despise them and all that continued to use them, speaking with equal contempt of the public service, of private prayer, of baptism, and of the Lord’s Supper.
From this time also you began to espouse and teach many uncommon opinions: as, ‘that there is no resurrection of the body; that there is no general judgment to come; and that there is no hell, no worm that never dieth, no fire that never shall be quenched’.
9. Your seriousness and advertence to the presence of God now declined daily. You could talk on anything or nothing, just as others did. You could break a jest, or laugh at it heartily. And as for fasting, abstinence, and self-denial, you, with the Moravians, ‘trampled it under foot’.
You began also, very frequently, to kiss the women of the society.
In the following paragraphs I recited to him the things he had done with regard to more than one, or two, or three women, concluding thus:

And now you know not that you have done anything amiss! You can eat and drink and be merry! You are every day engaged with variety of company and frequent the coffee-houses! Alas, my brother, what is this? How are you above measure hardened by the deceitfulness of sin! Do you remember the story of Santon Barsisa? I pray God your last end may not be like his! O how have you grieved the Spirit of God! Return to him with weeping, fasting, and mourning. You are in the very belly of hell, only the pit hath not yet shut its mouth upon you. Arise, thou sleeper, and call upon thy God! Perhaps he may yet be found. Because he still bears with me, I cannot despair for you. But you have not a moment to lose. May God this instant strike you to the heart, that you may feel his wrath abiding on you and have no rest in your bones by reason of your sin, till all your iniquities are done away!

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Farther Thoughts on Christian Perfection."

Mon 21 Dec 1761: I retired again to Lewisham, and wrote "Farther Thoughts on Christian Perfection." Had the cautions given herein been observed, how much scandal had been prevented! And why were they not? Because my own familiar friend was even now forming a party against me.

The allowance which God makes for invincible ignorance

Mon 21 Dec 1747: I went to Newington. Here, in the intervals of writing, I read the deaths of some of the Order de la Trappe. I am amazed at the allowance which God makes for invincible ignorance. Notwithstanding the mixture of superstition which appears in every one of these, yet what a strong vein of piety runs through all! What deep experience of the inward work of God: of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Honest Silas Told

Sun 20 Dec 1778: I buried what was mortal of honest Silas Told. For many years he attended the malefactors in Newgate, without fee or reward; and I suppose no man for this hundred years has been so successful in that melancholy office. God had given him peculiar talents for it, and he had amazing success therein. The greatest part of those whom he attended died in peace, and many of them in the triumph of faith.

People and their Pastor

Sun 20 Dec 1741: I preached once more at Bristol, on ‘Little children, keep yourselves from idols’; immediately after which I forced myself away from those to whom my heart was now more united than ever. And I believe their hearts were even as my heart. O what poor words are those, ‘You abate the reverence and respect which the people owe to their pastors.’ Love is all in all, and all who are alive to God must pay this to every true pastor. Wherever a flock is duly fed with the pure milk of the word, they will be ready (were it possible) to pluck out their eyes and give them to those that are over them in the Lord.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

God achieves His plan, even through weak Instuments

Sat 19 Dec 1761: I visited many near Oxford-Market and Grosvenor-Square, and found God was still enlarging his work. More and more were convinced, converted to God, and built up, day by day; and that, notwithstanding the weakness of the instruments by whom God was pleased to work.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Fri 18 Dec 1741: Being disappointed of my horse, I set out on foot in the evening for Kingswood. I catched no cold, nor received any hurt, though it was very wet, and cold, and dark. Mr. Jones of Fonmon met me there, and we poured out our souls before God together. I found no weariness, till a little before one, God gave me refreshing sleep.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Joyous Funeral

Thur 17 Dec 1741: We had a night of solemn joy, occasioned by the funeral of one of our brethren, who died with a hope full of immortality.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Permission to Preach granted, then taken away

Wed 16 Dec 1767: Accordingly, I took horse between five and six, and came to Sheerness between five and six in the evening. At half an hour after six, I began reading prayers (the governor of the fort having given me the use of the chapel) and afterwards preached, though not without difficulty, to a large and serious congregation. The next evening, it was considerably increased, so that the chapel was as hot as an oven. In coming out, the air, being exceeding sharp, quite took away my voice, so that I knew not how I should be able the next day to read prayers or preach to so large a congregation. But in the afternoon, the good governor cut the knot, sending word I ‘must preach in the chapel no more’. A room being offered which held full as many people as I was able to preach to, we had a comfortable hour, and many seemed resolved to ‘seek the Lord while he may be found’.
Examining the society, consisting of four or five and thirty members, I had the comfort to find many of them knew in whom they had believed. And all of them seemed really desirous to adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour.
Such a town as many of these live in is scarce to be found again in England. In the dock adjoining to the fort there are six old men-of-war. These are divided into small tenements, forty, fifty, or sixty in a ship, with little chimneys and windows, and each of these contains a family. In one of them where we called, a man and his wife and six little children lived. And yet all the ship was sweet and tolerably clean, sweeter than most sailing-ships I have been in.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Remission of sins

Tue 15 Dec 1741 It being a hard frost I walked over to Bath and had a conversation of several hours with one who had lived above seventy, and ‘studied’ divinity above thirty years. Yet remission of sins was quite a new doctrine to him. But I trust God will write it on his heart.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Laughing, then Crying

Mon 14 Dec 1747: We had a glorious hour with a few that know the Lord. We then rode to Bearfield, where I preached at noon with a deep sense of his presence. Some who were laughing when I began hid their faces soon, being ashamed to be seen in tears. We rode on in the afternoon, and came the next evening, thoroughly weary and wet, to Reading.

Where all approve, few profit.

Mon 14 Dec 1772: I read Prayers and preached to a crowded congregation at Gravesend. The stream here spreads wide, but it is not deep. Many are drawn, but none converted, or even awakened. Such is the general method of God’s providence: Where all approve, few profit.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wesley needs a Dentist

Sun 13 Dec 1767: Today, I found a little soreness on the edge of my tongue, which the next day spread to my gums, then to my lips, which inflamed, swelled, and, the skin bursting, bled considerably. Afterward the roof of my mouth was extremely sore, so that I could chew nothing. To this was added a continual spitting. I knew a little rest would cure all. But this was not to be had, for I had appointed to be at Sheerness

He was rich, but he was poor.

Sun 13 Dec 1767: I was desired to preach a funeral sermon for William Osgood. He came to London near thirty years ago and, from nothing, increased more and more, till he was worth several thousand pounds. He was a good man and died in peace. Nevertheless, I believe his money was a great clog to him and kept him in a poor, low state all his days, making no such advance as he might have done, either in holiness or happiness.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Please Forgive Me

Sat 12 Dec 1741: I returned to Bristol. In the evening one desired to speak with me. I perceived him to be in the utmost confusion, so that for a while he could not speak. At length he said, ‘I am he that interrupted you at the New Room on Monday. I have had no rest since, day or night, nor could have till I had spoken to you. I hope you will forgive me, and that it will be a warning to me all the days of my life.’

Friday, December 11, 2009


Friday 11 Dec 1778: I preached at Lambeth, in the chapel newly prepared by Mr. Edwards, whose wife has seventy-five boarders. Miss Owen at Publow takes only twenty, thinking she cannot do her duty to any more.

Why don't Christians witness

Fri 11 Dec 1741: I went to Bath. I had often reasoned with myself concerning this place, ‘Hath God left himself without witness’? Did he never raise up such as might be shining lights, even in the midst of this sinful generation? Doubtless he has; but they are either gone ‘to the desert’ or hid under the bushel of prudence. Some of the most serious persons I have known at Bath are either solitary Christians, scarce known to each other, unless by name; or prudent Christians, as careful not to give offence as if that were the unpardonable sin, and as zealous to ‘keep their religion to themselves’ as they should be to ‘let it shine before men’.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sir John Dalrymple’s "Memoirs of the Revolution."

Thur 10 Dec: I preached at Margate about one, and at Canterbury in the evening. On Friday, passing through Sittingbourne, I found a congregation ready; so I gave them a short discourse, and went on to Chatham.
In this journey I read over Sir John Dalrymple’s "Memoirs of the Revolution." He appears to be a man of strong understanding; and the book is wrote with great accuracy of language, (allowing for a few Scotticisms,) and intermixed with very sensible reflections. But I observe, 1. He believes just as much of the Bible as David Hume did. Hence he perpetually ascribes to enthusiasm whatever good men did from a strong conviction of duty. 2. He cordially believes that idle tale which King James published, concerning Father Huddleston's giving King Charles extreme unction. My eldest brother asked Lady Oglethorpe concerning this. "Sir," said she, "I never left the room from the moment the King was taken ill till the breath went out of his body; and I aver, that neither Father Huddleston nor any Priest came into the room till his death." 3. He much labours to excuse that monster of cruelty, Graham, of Claverhouse, afterwards, as a reward for his execrable villanies, created Lord Dundee. Such wanton barbarities were scarce ever heard of, as he practised toward men, women, and children. Sir John himself says enough, in telling us his behaviour to his own troops. "He had but one punishment for all faults, death: And for a very moderate fault he would ride up to a young gentleman, and, without any trial or ceremony, shoot him through the head." 4. He is not rightly informed concerning the manner of his death. I learned in Scotland, that the current tradition is this:—At the battle of Gallycrankie, being armed in steel from head to foot, he was brandishing his sword over his head, and swearing a broad oath, that before the sun went down, he would not leave an Englishman alive. Just then a musket-ball struck him under the arm, at the joints of his armour. Is it enthusiasm to say, Thus the hand of God rewarded him according to his works?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Purpose of Discipline

Wed 9 Dec 1741: God humbled us in the evening by the loss of more than thirty of our little company, who I was obliged to exclude as no longer adorning the gospel of Christ. I believed it best openly to declare both their names and the reasons why they were excluded. We then all cried to God that this might be for their edification and not for destruction.

Vulgarly, though very improperly, called students

Tues 8 Dec 1772: I went to Canterbury and on to Dover. The raw, pert young men that lately came hither, (vulgarly, though very improperly, called students,) though they have left no stone unturned, have not been able to tear away one single member from our society. I preached here two evenings and two mornings, to a large and much affected congregation.

Monday, December 7, 2009

"Mr Wesley has hanged himself"

Mon 7 Dec 1741: I preached on ‘Trust ye in the Lord Jehovah, for in the Lord is everlasting strength.’ I was showing what cause we had to trust in the Captain of our salvation when one in the midst of the room cried out, ‘Who was your captain the other day, when you hanged yourself? I know the man who saw you when you was cut down.’ This wise story, it seems, had been diligently spread abroad and cordially believed by many in Bristol. I desired they would make room for the man to come nearer. But the moment he saw the way open he ran away with all possible speed, not so much as once looking behind him.

Spirit and Behaviour Confirm the Doctrine

Mon Dec 7 1789: I went to Chatham, and preached, as usual, to far more than the House could contain: And it is no wonder, considering that the spirit and behaviour of the people confirm the doctrine they hear.

A blessing in the remnant

Mon 7 Dec 1767: I went on to Yarmouth and found ‘confusion worse confounded’. Not only Benjamin Worship’s society was come to nothing, but ours seemed to be swiftly following. They had almost all left the church again, being full of prejudice against the clergy and against one another. However, as two or three retained their humble, simple love, I doubted not but there would be a blessing in the remnant. My first business was to reconcile them to each other, and this was effectually done by hearing the contending parties, first separately and afterwards face to face. It remained to reconcile them to the church, and this was done partly by arguments, partly by persuasion.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Merchant West

Sun 6 Dec 1778: I buried the remains of Merchant West, snatched away in the midst of his years. From a child he had the fear of God and was serious and unblameable in his behaviour. When he was a journeyman he was reverenced by all that wrought in the shop with him; he was a pattern of diligence in all things, spiritual and temporal. During a long and severe illness his patience was unshaken, till he joyfully resigned his spirit to God.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

His Opinion is his Religion

Sat 5 Dec 1767: Believing it was my duty to search to the bottom some reports which I had heard concerning Mr. B——, I went to his old friend, Mr. G——, an Israelite indeed but worn almost to a skeleton. After I had explained to him the motives of my inquiry, he spoke without reserve. And if his account be true, that hot, sour man does well to hold fast his opinion—for it is all the religion he has.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mr Perronet

Fri 4 Dec 1778: Going on to Shoreham, I found Mr. Perronet once more brought back from the gates of death; undoubtedly for the sake of his little flock—who avail themselves of his being spared too, and continually increase not only in number but in the knowledge and love of God.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

On 'Saints'

Thurs Dec 3 1761: I came to Shoreham. There I read the celebrated "Life of St. Katherine, of Genoa." Mr. Lesley calls one a devil of a saint: I am sure this was a fool of a saint; that is, if it was not the folly of her historian, who has aggrandized her into a mere idiot. Indeed we seldom find a saint of God’s making sainted by the Bishop of Rome. I preached at five to a small, serious company; and the next day returned to London

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Dangerous Book

Wed 2 Dec 1789: I had leisure to consider thoroughly the account of the Pelew Islands. It is ingenious; but I esteem it a dangerous book, which I cannot believe, if I believe the Bible; for the direct tendency of it is to show, that the Bible is quite needless; since if men may be as virtuous without revelation as with it, then it is quite superfluous; then the fable of Jesus Christ, and that of Mahomet, are equally valuable. I do not say that Mr. Keate, much less Captain Wilson, designed to inculcate this consequence; but it necessarily follows, if you believe the premises. I cannot believe there is such a Heathen on earth as Abba Thulle; much less such a heathen nation as are here painted.
But what do you think of Prince Lee Boo? I think he was a good-natured, sensible young man, who came to England with Captain Wilson, and had learned his lesson well; but was just as much a Prince, as Tomo Chachi was a King.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A hurricane as I have scarce known in England

Tues December 1 1747: About noon we reached Stockbridge. The rain then changed into snow. Seeing no prospect of fair weather, after resting a while we set out in the midst of the storm. It blew such a hurricane as I have scarce known in England, and that full in our teeth, so that our horses reeled to and fro, and had much ado to keep their feet. The snow likewise drove so vehemently in our faces in riding over the open downs, where for several miles there was neither house nor tree nor shrub to shelter, that it was hard labour to get forward. But in about an hour the sky cleared up, and we rode on comfortably to Salisbury.
From the concurring account of many witnesses, who spoke no more than they personally knew, I now learned as much as is hitherto brought to light concerning the fall of poor Mr. H.
Twelve years ago he was, without all question, filled with faith and the love of God. He was a pattern of humility, meekness, seriousness, and above all of self-denial, so that in all England, I knew not his fellow.
It were easy to point out the several steps whereby he fell from his steadfastness, even till he fell into a course of adultery, yea, and avowed it in the face of the sun!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Who may be saved?

Mon 30 Nov 1767: I took coach for Norwich, and in the evening came to Newmarket.On Tuesday, being alone in the coach, I was considering several points of importance. And thus much appeared clear as the day:
That a man may be saved who cannot express himself properly concerning imputed righteousness. Therefore to do this is not necessary to salvation;
That a man may be saved who has not clear conceptions of it (yea, that never heard the phrase). Therefore clear conceptions of it are not necessary to salvation; yea, it is not necessary to salvation to use the phrase at all;
That a pious churchman who has not clear conceptions even of justification by faith may be saved; therefore clear conceptions even of this are not necessary to salvation;
That a mystic who denies justification by faith (Mr. Law, for instance) may be saved. But if so, what becomes of articulus stantis vel cadentis ecclesiae?[The article of doctrine by which the church stands or falls] If so, is it not high time for us
Projicere ampullas et sesquipedalia verba,[To lay aside big words that have no determinate meaning]
and to return to the plain word, ‘He that feareth God, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.’
Every evening this week, I preached at Norwich to a quiet, well-behaved congregation. Our friends, the mob, seem to have taken their leave. And so have triflers; all that remain seem to be deeply serious. But how easily are even these turned out of the way! One of our old members, about a year ago, left the society and never heard the preaching since, ‘because Mr. Lincoln said Mr. Wesley and all his followers would go to hell together!’ However, on Tuesday night, he ventured to the house once more. And God met him there and revealed his Son in his heart.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What an Epitaph

Sun 29 Nov 1747: About six in the morning, Mrs. Witham slept in the Lord. A mother in Israel hast thou also been, and thy works shall praise thee in the gates. Some years ago, before Mr. Witham died, she seemed to stand on the brink of eternity. But God renewed her strength, till she had finished the work which he had given her to do. She was an eminent pattern of calm boldness for the truth; of simplicity and godly sincerity; of unwearied constancy in attending all the ordinances of God; of zeal for God and for all good works; and of self-denial in every kind. Blessed is the dead that hath thus lived and died in the Lord! For she rests from her labours, and her works follow her.

The Fear of God

Sun 29 Nov 1778: I was desired to preach a charity sermon in St. Luke’s Church, Old Street. I doubt whether it was ever so crowded before. And the fear of God seemed to possess the whole audience. In the afternoon, I preached at the New Chapel and, at seven, in St. Margaret’s, Rood Lane, full as much crowded as St. Luke’s. Is then ‘the scandal of the cross ceased’!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What is Conversion

Sat 28 Nov 1761: We returned to London and on Sunday we had a comfortable lovefeast, at which several declared the blessings they had found lately. We need not be careful by what name to call them, while the thing is beyond dispute. Many have, and many do daily experience an unspeakable change. After being deeply convinced of inbred sin, particularly of pride, anger, self-will, and unbelief, in a moment they feel all faith and love; no pride, no self-will, or anger: And from that moment they have continual fellowship with God, always rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks. Whoever ascribes such a change to the devil, I ascribe it to the Spirit of God: And I say, let whoever feels it wrought, cry to God that it may continue; which it will, if he walks closely with God; otherwise it will not.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I would no more starve men into the church than burn them into it.

Fri 27 Nov 1747: Poor Mr. Simpson spent an hour with me, distressed on every side: drawn up to London by fair and specious promises, and then left to perish unless he would promise never more to preach out of a church. Alas! What a method of conversion is this? I love the Church too. But I would no more starve men into the church than burn them into it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ann Thwayte

Thur 26 Nov 1778: I fulfilled the dying request of Ann Thwayte by burying her remains and preaching her funeral sermon. In all the changes of those about her she stood steadfast, doing and suffering the will of God. She was a woman of faith and prayer, in life and death adorning the doctrine of God her Saviour

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ashamed to see me

Wed 25 Nov 1789. The Dissenting Minister at Towcester offering me the use of his meeting-house, it was well filled; and I believe our Lord was in the midst. Thence we went on to Northampton, where I spent two evenings with very great satisfaction; although the great man who was so affected at Bath last year was ashamed to see me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


24 Nov 1753: I rode home and was pretty well till night. But my cough was worse than ever. My fever returned at the same time, together with the pain in my left breast.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Reading about Muhammad

Mon 23 Nov 1767: I went to Canterbury. Here I met with the Life of Mahomet, wrote, I suppose, by the Count de Boulainvilliers. Whoever the author is, he is a very pert, shallow, self-conceited coxcomb, remarkable for nothing but his immense assurance and thorough contempt of Christianity. And the book is a dull, ill-digested romance, supported by no authorities at all; whereas Dean Prideaux (a writer of ten times his sense) cites his authorities for everything he advances.
In the afternoon, I rode to Dover, but the gentleman I was to lodge with was gone a longer journey. He went to bed well, but was dead in the morning. Such a vapour is life! At six I preached, but the house would by no means contain the congregation. Most of the officers of the garrison were there. I have not found so much life here for some years. After preaching at Sandwich and Margate, and spending a comfortable day at Canterbury, on Saturday I returned to London.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mary Cheesebrook

Sun 22 Nov 1747: I spent an hour with Mary Cheesebrook, a strange monument of the mercy of God. About six years ago she was without God in the world, being a kept mistress. An acquaintance brought her one evening to the chapel in West Street, where God gave her a new heart. She shed abundance of tears, she plucked out the right eye and cast it from her, and from that time procured for herself by hard labour what was needful for life and godliness. She missed no opportunity of coming to the preaching; often after a hard day’s work at Mayfair she came to the Foundery in the evening, running the greater part of the way. Every Saturday, after paying her little debts, she gave away all the money that remained, leaving the morrow to take thought for the things of itself.
Two years ago she catched a violent cold, which she neglected, till it settled upon her lungs. I knew nothing of her illness till it was past cure, she being then worn to a skeleton. Upon my mentioning her case to Mrs. ——, she sent her half a guinea. Molly immediately sent for a poor man, a baker, of whom she had lately taken her bread. She owed him about ten shillings. But an earnest dispute arose between them. For the man would not take the money, saying she wanted it more than he. But at length she prevailed, saying she could not die in peace if she owed any man anything.
But I found something still lay upon her mind. Upon my pressing her to speak freely, she told me it was concern for her child, a girl about eight years old, who, after she was gone, would have no friend to take care either of her soul or body. I replied, ‘Be at rest in this thing also. I will take care of the child.’ From that time she lay (two or three weeks) quietly waiting for the salvation of God.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


21 Nov 1753: I was obliged by the cramp to leap out of bed and continue for some time walking up and down the room, though it was a sharp frost. My cough now returned with greater violence, and that by day as well as by night.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Fri 20 Nov 1747: I was informed of a remarkable providence. One going home the last watch-night met a woman in Blackfriars, who inquired which was the way to the water-side. She said, ‘It is so late I doubt you will get no boat.’ The woman answered, ‘I don’t want one.’ On this she stopped and began to question her more closely what she was going to do. After a while she confessed she was going to drown herself, being under heavy affliction. But she was soon brought to a better mind and seemed resolved to cast her care on him who had so signally cared for her.

The wickedness of men and the goodness and power of God

Fri 20 Nov 1741: I began Mr. Laval’s history of the reformed churches in France, full of the most amazing instances of the wickedness of men and of the goodness and power of God. About noon the next day I went out in a coach as far as the school in Kingswood; where one of the mistresses lay (as was believed) near death, having found no help from all the medicines she had taken. We determined to try one remedy more. So we poured out our souls in prayer to God. From that hour she began to recover strength, and in a few days was out of danger.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Thur 19 Nov 1741: I read again, with great surprise, part of the ecclesiastical history of Eusebius. But so weak, credulous, thoroughly injudicious a writer have I seldom found.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Wed 18 Nov 1789: I found much life in the society at Brentford: So little cause have we to despair of any people, though for the present ever so dead!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Some Strange Stories Believed by Wesley

Tues 17 Nov 1772: One was relating a remarkable story, which I thought worthy to be remembered. Two years ago, a gentleman of large fortune in Kent dreamed that he was walking through the church-yard, and saw a new monument with the following inscription:—
Here Lies the Body!
He told his friends in the morning, and was much affected: But the impression soon wore off. But on that day he did depart; and a stone was erected with that very inscription.
A gentlewoman present added a relation equally surprising, which she received from the person's own mouth:—
"Mrs. B—, when about fourteen years of age, being at a boarding-school, a mile or two from her father’s, dreamed she was on the top of the church-steeple, when a man came up, and threw her down to the roof of the church. Yet she seemed not much hurt, till he came to her again, and threw her to the bottom. She thought she looked hard at him, and said, 'Now you have hurt me sadly, but I shall hurt you worse;’ and waked. A week after, she was to go to her father's. She set out early in the morning. At the entrance of a little wood, she stopped, and doubted whether she should not go round, instead of through it. But, knowing no reason, she went straight through till she came to the other side. Just as she was going over the style, a man pulled her back by the hair. She immediately knew it was the same man whom she had seen in her dream. She fell on her knees, and begged him, ’For God's sake, do not hurt me any more.’ He put his hands round her neck, and squeezed her so, that she instantly lost her senses. He then stripped her, carried her a little way, and threw her into a ditch.
"Meantime, her father's servant coming to the school, and hearing she was gone without him, walked back. Coming to the style, he heard several groans, and looking about, saw many drops of blood. He traced them to the ditch, whence the groans came. He lifted her up, not knowing her at all, as her face was covered with blood, carried her to a neighbouring house, and, running to the village, quickly brought a Surgeon. She was just alive; but her throat was much hurt, so that she could not speak at all.
"Just then a young man of the village was missing. Search being made, he was apprehended in an alehouse two miles off. He had all her clothes with him in a bag, which, he said, he found. It was three months before she was able to go abroad. He was arraigned at the Assizes. She knew him perfectly, and swore to the man. He was condemned, and soon after executed."

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Renewed Voice

Mon 16 Nov 1789: After an intermission of many weeks, through the dryness of my mouth, I resolved to try if I could not preach at five in the morning; and did so with not much difficulty; and I now hope to hold on a little longer.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Attainable Christian Perfection

Sun 15 Nov 1767: I buried the remains of Rebecca Mills. She found peace with God many years since and, about five years ago, was entirely changed and enabled to give her whole soul to God. From that hour, she never found any decay but loved and served him with her whole heart. Pain and sickness and various trials succeeded, almost without any intermission. But she was always the same, firm and unmoved as the rock on which she was built, in life and in death uniformly praising the God of her salvation. The attainableness of this great salvation is put beyond all reasonable doubt by the testimony of one such (were there but one) living and dying witness.

Wesley Getting Tired

Sun 15 Nov 1789: We had, as usual, a large congregation, and a solemn opportunity, at Spitalfields; and another at Shoreditch church; where I preached a charity sermon, after the Prayers had been read in such a manner as I never heard before. At five I preached at the new chapel, and met the society; but it was too much for me.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Sat 14 Nov 1761: I spent an hour with a little company near Grosvenor-Square. For many years this has been the darkest, driest spot, of all in or near London. But God has now watered the barren wilderness, and it is become a fruitful field.

Friday, November 13, 2009

In Barnet

Fri 13 Nov 1772: I went to Barnet, and found a large congregation, though it was a rainy and dark evening

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Reading Wesley

Thur 12 Nov 1767: I occasionally looked into a book which I had long thrown by as not worth reading. It is entitled, ‘Thoughts on God and Nature’. But how agreeably was I surprised! It contains a treasure of ancient learning, delivered in clear and strong language, and is indeed a masterpiece in its kind, a thunderbolt to Lord Bolingbrooke and all his admirers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nottingham General Hospital

11 Nov 1787: We had a lovely congregation and a very numerous one in the afternoon. I preached a charity sermon at the infirmary, which was the design of my coming. This is not a county infirmary, but is open to all England, yea to all the world. And everything about it is so neat, so convenient, and so well ordered, that I have seen none like it in the three kingdoms.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Alive societies will grow

Tues 10 Nov 1761. I found the society at Deptford more alive than ever; a sure consequence of which is their increasing in number.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Compendium of all the Holy Scriptures

Mon 9 Nov 1772. I began to expound (chiefly in the mornings, as I did some years ago) that compendium of all the Holy Scriptures, the first Epistle of St. John.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Funeral on a Sunday

Sun 8 Nov 1767. I buried the remains of that excellent young man, Benjamin Colley. He did rejoice evermore and pray without ceasing, and I believe his backsliding cost him his life. From the time he missed his way by means of Mr. Maxfield, he went heavily all his days. God indeed restored his peace but left him to be buffeted of Satan in an uncommon manner. And his trials did not end but with his life. However, some of his last words were, ‘Tell all the society, tell all the world, I die without doubt or fear.’

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Wesley recovers

From Saturday November 7 to Sunday 15 Nov 1741 I found my strength gradually increasing, and was able to read Turretin’s history of the church (a dry, heavy, barren treatise) and the life of that truly good and great man, Mr. Philip Henry. On Monday and Tuesday I read over the life of Mr. Matthew Henry, a man not to be despised, either as a scholar or a Christian, though (I think) not equal to his father. On Wednesday I read over once again Theologia Germanica. O how was it that I could ever so admire the affected obscurity of this unscriptural writer! Glory be to God that I now prefer the plain apostles and prophets before him and all his mystic followers.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The more I walk, the sounder I sleep

Fri 6 Nov 1778: Set out in the stage-coach for London. At the end of Strood, I chose to walk up the hill, leaving the coach to follow me. But it was in no great haste: it did not overtake me till I had walked above five miles. I cared not if it had been ten: the more I walk, the sounder I sleep.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Thur 5 Nov 1747. I began examining the classes and every person severally, touching that bane of religion, evil-speaking, as well as touching their manner of life before they heard this preaching. And by comparing what they were with what they are now, we found more abundant cause to praise God.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Isle of Sheppey

Wed 4 Nov 1778. I took a view of the old church at Minster, once a spacious and elegant building. It stands pleasantly on the top of a hill and commands all the country round. We went from thence to Queenborough, which contains above fifty houses and sends two members to Parliament. Surely the whole Isle of Sheppey is now but a shadow of what it was once.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

That Excellent Woman Sees Some Fruit

Tues 3 Nov 1789: We went over to Wrestlingworth, where likewise the church was fuller than ever before. I spoke exceeding closely the next evening at Hinxworth, which the people are now able to bear; and at length that excellent woman that has so tenderly cared for them sees some fruit of her labour.

A Deplorably Poor Society

Tues 3 Nov 1772: I went on to Colchester. The congregation in the evening was little smaller than that at Norwich. The next evening I took an exact account of the society, a little increased since last November. But most of them were hard beset with poverty. So indeed they were ever since I knew them; but they are now in greater want than ever, through scarcity of business. Few of our societies are rich; but I know none in the kingdom so deplorably poor as this.

Drunk and Muddled

Tue 3 Nov 1767: I rode to Rye and preached in the evening. A poor prodigal, who was cut to the heart the first time I was there, was one of the audience, but exceeding drunk. He dined with us the next day but was still so muddled that I could make no impression on him. He was almost persuaded to be a Christian! but, I doubt, is now farther off than ever. In the evening, I dealt once more exceeding plain with him and his fellow-sinners. If they now perish in their iniquity, their blood is on their own head.

Monday, November 2, 2009

They Lack Love

Mon 2 Nov 1772: No coach setting out hence to-day, I was obliged to take chaises to Bury. I preached to a little cold company, on the thirteenth chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians. This love is the very thing they want; but they did not like to be told so. But I could not help that: I must declare just what I find in the Book.

Christian Perfection

Mon Nov 2 1761: At five, I began a course of sermons on Christian Perfection. At seven I began meeting the classes.

'Don't You Dare Disagree With Me'

Mon Nov 2 1747: I preached at Windsor at noon, and in the afternoon rode to Reading. Mr. J. R. had just sent his brother word that he had hired a mob to pull down his preaching-house that night. In the evening Mr. S. Richards overtook a large company of bargemen walking towards it, whom he immediately accosted and asked if they would go with him and hear a good sermon, telling them, ‘I will make room for you, if you were as many more.’ They said they would go, with all their hearts. ‘But neighbours’, said he, ‘would it not be as well to leave those clubs behind you? Perhaps some of the women may be frighted at them.’ They threw them all away and walked quietly with him to the house, where he set them in a pew.
In the conclusion of my sermon, one of them who used to be their captain, being the head taller than his fellows, rose up and, looking round the congregation, said, ‘The gentleman says nothing but what is good. I say so, and there is not a man here that shall dare to say otherwise.’

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All-Saints' Day

Sun Nov 1 1789: Being All-Saints' Day, a day that I peculiarly love, I preached on Rev 7:1 and we rejoiced with solemn joy.

Opening the New Chapel

Sun Nov 1 1778: Was the day appointed for opening the New Chapel in the City Road. It is perfectly neat, but not fine, and contains far more people than the Foundery. I believe, together with the Morning Chapel, as many as the Tabernacle. Many were afraid that the multitudes crowding from all parts would have occasioned much disturbance. But they were happily disappointed—there was none at all; all was quietness, decency, and order. I preached on part of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the temple, and both in the morning and afternoon (when I preached on the ‘hundred forty and four thousand standing with the Lamb on Mount Zion’), God was eminently present in the midst of the congregation.

An Unsupportive Rector

Sun Nov 1 1767: Being All Saints’ Day (a festival I dearly love), I could not but observe the admirable propriety with which the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel for the day are suited to each other. As I was to set out for Kent in the morning, Mr. B. invited me to spend the evening with him at Lewisham. Soon after we took horse, we found one of our horses lame. On inquiry, it appeared that five nails were driven into the quick. So we were at a full stop. But Mr. B. supplying us with another horse, we rode on, though through heavy rain, to Staplehurst. In the evening, I met with a young clergyman who seemed to have no desire but to save his own soul and those that heard him. I advised him to expect crosses and persecution. But he was sure his rector would stand by him. Vain hope, that the children of the world should long stand by the children of God! Soon after, his rector told him unless he kept away from this people, he must leave his curacy.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wesley seems to have believed this story

Sat 31 Oct 1772: A young man of good sense, and an unblamable character, gave me a strange account of what (he said) had happened to himself, and three other persons in the same house. As I knew they all feared God, I thought the matter deserved a farther examination. So in the afternoon I talked largely with them all. The sum of their account was this:—
"Near two years ago, Martin S— and William J— saw, in a dream, two or three times repeated to each of them, a person who told them there was a large treasure hid in such a spot, three miles from Norwich, consisting of money and plate, buried in a chest, between six and eight feet deep. They did not much regard this, till each of them, when they were broad awake, saw an elderly man and woman standing by their bedside, who told them the same thing, and bade them go and dig it up, between eight and twelve at night. Soon after, they went; but, being afraid, took a third man with them. They began digging at eight, and after they had dug six feet, saw the top of a coffer, or chest. But presently it sunk down into the earth; and there appeared over the place a large globe of bright fire, which, after some time, rose higher and higher, till it was quite out of sight. Not long after, the man and woman appeared again, and said, ’You spoiled all by bringing that man with you.' From this time, both they and Sarah and Mary J—, who live in the same house with them, have heard, several times in a week, delightful music, for a quarter of an hour at a time. They often hear it before those persons appear; often when they do not appear." They asked me whether they were good or bad spirits; but I could not resolve them.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Longing for Fruit

Fri 30 Oct 1772: I went to Loddon, ten miles from Norwich, where there has been preaching for a year or two. The preaching-house, at one, was thoroughly filled with serious and attentive hearers. So was the House at Norwich in the evening. From all these blossoms, will there not be some fruit?

Heavy Congregation

Fri 30 Oct 1767: I rode across the country to Bedford and preached in the evening to a civil, heavy congregation. Saturday 31, after preaching at Luton in the way, I returned to London.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A very, very ill John Wesley

[This post covers the period 28 Oct to 7 Nov 1741, during which JW was very ill. For the most part it is a letter which John wrote to Charles, but which he published in his journal]

The great comfort I found both in public and private, almost every day of the ensuing week, I apprehend was to prepare me for what followed; a short account of which I sent to London soon after in a letter, the copy of which I have subjoined, although I am not insensible there are several circumstances therein which some may set down for mere enthusiasm and extravagance.
Dear Brother,
All last week I found hanging upon me the effects of the violent cold I had contracted in Wales; not, I think (as Mr. Turner and Walcam supposed), by lying in a damp bed at St. Bride’s, but rather by riding continually in the cold and wet nights, and preaching immediately after. But I believed it would pass off, and so took little notice of it till Friday morning. I then found myself exceeding sick, and as I walked to Baptist Mills (to pray with Susanna Basil, who was ill of a fever), felt the wind pierce me, as it were, through. At my return I found myself something better. Only I could not eat anything at all. Yet I felt no want of strength at the hour of intercession, nor at six in the evening, while I was opening and applying those words, ‘Sun, stand thou still in Gibeon, and thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon.’ I was afterwards refreshed and slept well, so that I apprehended no farther disorder, but rose in the morning as usual and declared with a strong voice and an enlarged heart, ‘Neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith that worketh by love.’ About two in the afternoon, just as I was set down to dinner, a shivering came upon me and a little pain in my back, but no sickness at all, so that I eat [ate] a little, and then, growing warm, went to see some that were sick. Finding myself worse about four I would willingly have lain down. But having promised to see Mrs. G——, who had been out of order for some days, I went thither first, and thence to Weavers’ Hall. A man gave me a token for good as I went along: ‘Ay’, said he, ‘he will be a martyr too by and by.’ The Scripture I enforced was, ‘My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not. But if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.’ I found no want either of inward or outward strength. But afterwards, finding my fever increased, I called on Dr. Middleton. By his advice I went home and took my bed—a strange thing for me, who had not kept my bed a day (for five and thirty years) ever since I had the smallpox. I immediately fell into a profuse sweat, which continued till one or two in the morning. God then gave me refreshing sleep, and afterwards such tranquillity of mind that this day, Sunday, November 1, seemed the shortest day to me I had ever known in my life.

I think a little circumstance ought not to be omitted, although I know there may be an ill construction put upon it. Those words were now so strongly impressed upon my mind that for a considerable time I could not put them out of my thoughts: ‘Blessed is the man that provideth for the poor and needy; the Lord shall deliver him in the time of trouble. The Lord shall strengthen him when he lieth sick upon his bed; make thou all his bed in his sickness.’
On Sunday night likewise I slept well and was easy all Monday morning. But about three in the afternoon the shivering returned, much more violent than before. It continued till I was put to bed. I was then immediately as in a fiery furnace. In a little space I began sweating, but the sweating seemed to increase rather than allay the burning heat. Thus I remained till about eight o’clock, when I suddenly awaked out of a kind of doze, in such a sort of disorder (whether of body or mind, or both) as I know not how to describe. My heart and lungs and all that was within me, and my soul too, seemed to be in perfect uproar. But I cried unto the Lord in my trouble, and he delivered me out of my distress.
I continued in a moderate sweat till near midnight, and then slept pretty well till morning. On Tuesday, November 3, about noon, I was removed to Mr. Hooper’s. Here I enjoyed a blessed calm for several hours, the fit not returning till six in the evening, and then in such a manner as I never heard or read of. I had a quick pulse, attended with violent heat; but no pain either in my head or back or limbs; no sickness, no stitch, no thirst. Surely God is a present help in time of trouble. And he does make all my bed in my sickness.
Wed. 4. Many of our brethren agreed to seek God today by fasting and prayer. About twelve my fever began to rage. At two I dozed a little, and suddenly awaked in such disorder (only more violent) as that on Monday. The silver cord appeared to be just then loosing, and the wheel breaking at the cistern. The blood whirled to and fro, as if it would immediately force its way through all its vessels, especially in the breast; and excessive, burning heat parched up my whole body, both within and without. About three, in a moment, the commotion ceased, the heat was over, and the pain gone. Soon after it made another attack, but not near so violent as the former. This lasted till half an hour past four and then vanished away at once. I grew better and better till nine. Then I fell asleep, and scarce awaked at all till morning.
Thur. 5. The noisy joy of the people in the streets[Guy Fawkes celebrations] did not agree with me very well; though I am afraid it disordered their poor souls much more than it did my body. About five in the evening my cough returned, and soon after the heat and other symptoms; but with this remarkable circumstance, that for fourteen or fifteen hours following I had more or less sleep in every hour. This was one cause why I was never light-headed at all, but had the use of my understanding, from the first hour of my illness to the last, as fully as when in perfect health.
Fri. 6. Between ten and twelve the main shock began. I can give but a faint account of this, not for want of memory, but of words. I felt in my body nothing but storm and tempest, hailstones and coals of fire. But I do not remember that I felt any fear (such was the mercy of God!) nor any murmuring. And yet I found but a dull, heavy kind of patience, which I knew was not what it ought to be. The fever came rushing upon me as a lion, ready to break all my bones in pieces. My body grew weaker every moment; but I did not feel my soul put on strength. Then it came into my mind, ‘Be still, and see the salvation of the Lord. I will not stir hand or foot; but let him do with me what is good in his own eyes.’ At once my heart was at ease. My mouth was filled with laughter and my tongue with joy. My eyes overflowed with tears, and I began to sing aloud. One who stood by said, ‘Now he is light-headed.’ I told her, ‘O no. I am not light-headed, but I am praising God. God is come to my help, and pain is nothing. Glory be to God on high.’ I now found why it was not expedient for me to recover my health sooner; because then I should have lost this experimental proof how little everything is which can befall the body, so long as God carries the soul aloft, as it were on the wings of an eagle.
An hour after, I had one more grapple with the enemy, who then seemed to collect all his strength. I essayed to shake myself and praise God as before. But I was not able: the power was departed from me. I was shorn of my strength, and become weak and like another man. Then I said, ‘Yet here I hold. Lo, I come to bear thy will, O God.’ Immediately he returned to my soul, and lifted up the light of his countenance. And I felt, ‘He rideth easily enough whom the grace of God carrieth.’
I supposed the fit was now over, it being about five in the afternoon, and began to compose myself for sleep, when I felt first a chill and then a burning all over, attended with such an universal faintness and weariness and utter loss of strength, as if the whole frame of nature had been dissolved. Just then my nurse, I know not why, took me out of bed and placed me in a chair. Presently a purging began, which I believe saved my life. I grew easier from that hour and had such a night’s rest as I have not had before, since it pleased God to lay his hand upon me.

Constrained to return where he was first called

Thur 29 Oct 1747: T. C., who had been with the Brethren some years, desired to speak with me. He said he could find no rest anywhere else and was constrained to return where he was first called. I believe he obeyed that conviction for a month. ‘Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.’

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Born Again to Die in Peace

Wed 28 1778: About noon, I preached at St. Neots, and afterwards visited a lovely young woman, who appeared to be in the last stage of a consumption and was feebly gasping after God. She seemed to be just ripe for the gospel, which she drank in with all her soul. God speedily brought her to the blood of sprinkling, and a few days after, she died in peace.

Wesley the 'Midwife'

Wed 28 Oct 1767: About two in the afternoon, I preached at Towcester, where, though many could not get in, yet all were quiet. Hence we rode to Northampton, where, in the evening (our own room being far too small), I preached in the riding-school to a large and deeply serious congregation. After service, I was challenged by one that was my parishioner at Epworth near forty years ago. I drank tea at her house the next afternoon with her daughter-in-law from London, very big with child and greatly afraid that she should die in labour. When we went to prayers, I enlarged in prayer for her in particular. Within five minutes after we went away, her pains began, and, soon after, she was delivered of a fine boy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Tue 27 Oct 1772: Finding abundance of people were out of work, and, consequently, in the utmost want, (such a general decay of trade having hardly been known in the memory of man,) I enforced, in the evening, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." For many years I have not seen so large a congregation here, in the mornings as well as evenings. One reason of which may be this: Thousands of people, who, when they had fulness of bread, never considered whether they had any souls or not, now they are in want begin to think of God.

Thank you, Presbyterians

Tue 27 Oct 1767: I rode to Weedon, where, the use of the church being refused, I accepted the offer of the Presbyterian meeting-house and preached to a crowded audience.

Monday, October 26, 2009

At Wallingford

Mon 26 Oct 1789: I set out early, dined at Wallingford, just fifty miles from the new chapel, and preached in the evening to far more people than the preaching-house could contain. It was a day of God’s power, and I believe most of the stouthearted trembled at his word.

Large Congregation at Five in the Morning

Mon 26 Oct 1778: I set out in the Diligence to Godmanchester, hoping to be there by six in the evening. But we did not come till past eight; so most of the people being gone, I only gave a short exhortation. At five in the morning we had a large congregation, but a much larger in the evening.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Falling Horse and the Grace of God

Sun 25 Oct 1741: After the Sacrament at All Saints’ I took horse for Kingswood. But before I came to Lawrence Hill my horse fell, and attempting to rise, fell down again upon me. One or two women ran out of a neighbouring house, and when I rose, helped me in. I adore the wisdom of God. In this house were three persons who began to run well, but Satan had hindered them. But they resolved to set out again. And not one of them has looked back since.
Notwithstanding this delay I got to Kingswood by two. The words God enabled me to speak there, and afterwards at Bristol (so I must express myself still; for I dare not ascribe them to my own wisdom), were as a hammer and a flame. And the same blessing we found at the meeting of the society. But more abundantly at the love-feast which followed. I remember nothing like it for many months. A cry was heard from one end of the congregation to the other; not of grief, but of overflowing joy and love. ‘O continue forth thy loving-kindness unto them that know thee; and thy mercy to them that are true of heart!’

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ministry to the sick

Sat 24 Oct 1741: I visited more of the sick, both in Kingswood and Bristol. And it was pleasant work, for I found none of them ‘sorrowing as men without hope’. At six I expounded, ‘God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.’ And his light broke in upon us in such a manner that we were even lost in praise and thanksgiving

Friday, October 23, 2009

Working in all things for the Good

Fri 23 Oct 1741: I saw several others who were ill of the same distemper. Surely our Lord will do much work by this sickness. I do not find that it comes to any house without leaving a blessing behind it. In the evening I went to Kingswood and found Ann Steed also praising God in the fires and testifying that all her weakness and pain wrought together for good.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ministering to the Dying

Thu 22 1741: I called upon Edward W who had been ill for several days. I found him in deep despair. Since he had left off prayer, ‘all the waves and storms were gone over him.’ We cried unto God, and his soul revived. A little light shone upon him and, just as we sung,
“Be Thou his strength and righteousness,
His Jesus and his all,”
his spirit returned to God.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

With the condemned until executed

Wed 21 Oct 1761: I was desired by the condemned prisoners to give them one sermon more. And on Thursday, Patrick Ward, who was to die on that day, sent to request I would administer the sacrament to him. He was one-and-twenty years of age, and had scarce ever had a serious thought, till he shot the man who went to take away his gun. From that instant he felt a turn within, and never swore an oath more. His whole behaviour in prison was serious and composed: He read, prayed, and wept much; especially after one of his fellow-prisoners had found peace with God. His hope gradually increased till this day, and was much strengthened at the Lord's Supper; but still he complained, "I am not afraid, but I am not desirous, to die. I do not find that warmth in my heart. I am not sure my sins are forgiven." He went into the cart, about twelve, in calmness, but mixed with sadness. But in a quarter of an hour, while he was wrestling with God in prayer, (not seeming to know that any one was near him,) "The Holy Ghost," said he, "came upon me, and I knew that Christ was mine." From that moment his whole deportment breathed a peace and joy beyond all utterance, till, after having spent about ten minutes in private prayer, he gave the sign.

Gracious Disagreement

Wed 21 Oct 1741: I set out soon after preaching, and about nine came to Newport. A clergyman, soon after I was set down, came into the next room and asked aloud, with a tone unusually sharp, where those vagabond fellows were. Captain Turner, without any ceremony, took him in hand. But he soon quitted the field and walked out of the house. Just as I was taking horse he returned and said, ‘Sir, I am afraid you are in a wrong way. But if you are right, I pray God to be with you, and prosper your undertakings.’
About one I came to Caldicot and preached to a small, attentive company of people, on ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.’ Between seven and eight we reached Bristol.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

At the Prison

Tue 20 Oct 1741: At eleven I preached at the prison, on ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ In the afternoon I was desired to meet one of the ‘honourable women’; whom I found a mere sinner, groaning under the mighty hand of God. About six, at Mr. W’s desire, I preached once more on those words, ‘Whom ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.’

Monday, October 19, 2009

Examination Time

Mon 19 Oct 1761: I desired all those to meet me, who believed they were saved from sin. There were seventeen or eighteen. I examined them severally, as exactly as I could; and I could not find any thing in their tempers (supposing they spoke true) any way contrary to their profession.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Preaching

Sun 18 Oct 1741: I rode to Wenvoe. The church was thoroughly filled with attentive hearers, while I preached on those words, ‘Whom ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.’ In the afternoon I read prayers and preached at Porthkerry. In the evening there was a great concourse of people at the Castle to whom I strongly declared ‘the hope of righteousness’ which is ‘through faith’.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Let's rather make Peace

Sat 17 Oct 1741: Going to a neighbouring house, I found Mr. Humphreys and T. Bissicks tearing open the sore with all their might. On my coming in all was hushed. But Mrs. James of Abergavenny (a woman of candour and humanity) insisted that those things should be said to my face. There followed a lame piece of work. But although the accusations brought were easily answered, yet I found they left a soreness on many spirits. When H. Harris heard of what had passed, he hasted to stand in the gap once more and with tears besought them all to ‘follow after the things that make for peace’. And God blessed the healing words which he spoke, so that we parted in much love, being all determined to let controversy alone and to preach Jesus Christ and him crucified.I preached at Cardiff at three, and about five set out thence for Fonmon Castle. Notwithstanding the great darkness of the night, and our being unacquainted with the road, before eight we came safe to the congregation, which had been some time waiting for us. I preached on our Lord’s words to the rich young man, ‘If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’ Blessed be God that we have a better covenant, established upon better promises

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tippling and Sabbath-breaking

Fri 16 Oct 1772: I went round to Bedford. I was sorry to hear from Alderman Parker, that his son-in-law, who succeeded him in the Mayoralty, had broke through all the regulations which he had made, tolerating all the tippling and sabbath-breaking which Mr. P. had totally suppressed! Thus showing to all the world, that he was not "under the law" either of God or man!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I won't preach on the perseverance of the saints

Thur 15 Oct 1767: About noon, I preached at Fareham, then went on to Portsmouth Common. I sent to desire the use of the Tabernacle but was answered, ‘Not unless’ I ‘would preach the perseverance of the saints’. At six, I preached in our own room, which was sufficiently crowded both within and without. Resolving there should be room for all that would come, I preached the next afternoon on the side of the common. And the whole congregation was as quiet as that in the square at Bristol.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In Oxford

Wed 14 Oct 1778: I went on to Oxford and, having an hour to spare, walked to Christ Church, for which I cannot but still retain a peculiar affection. What lovely mansions are these! What is wanting to make the inhabitants of them happy? What without which no rational creature can be happy—the experimental knowledge of God. In the evening, I preached at Finstock to a congregation gathered from many miles round. How gladly could I spend a few weeks in this delightful solitude! But I must not rest yet. As long as God gives me strength to labour, I am to use it

The works of Mr. Thomson

Wed 14 Oct 1772: A book was given me to write on, "The works of Mr. Thomson," of whose poetical abilities I had always had a very low opinion: But, looking into one of his tragedies, "Edward and Eleonora," I was agreeably surprised. The sentiments are just and noble; the diction strong, smooth, and elegant; and the plot conducted with the utmost art, and wrought off in a most surprising manner. It is quite his masterpiece, and I really think might vie with any modern performance of the kind.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fine Brass

Tues 13 Oct 1761: I preached at Newgate; at Kingswood in the afternoon; and in the evening at North-Common. Here a people are sprung up, as it were, out of the earth; most of them employed in the neighbouring brass-works. We took a view of these the next day; and one thing I learned here, the propriety of that expression, Rev 1:15: "His feet were as fine brass, burning in a furnace." The brightness of this cannot easily be conceived: I have seen nothing like it but clear white lightning.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Poor Mayor of Southampton

Mon 12 Oct 1767: I preached at Bradford; on Tuesday, at Salisbury; on Wednesday, about one, at Romsey; whence I rode to Southampton, and, the wind being so high that I could not well preach abroad, I sent a line to the mayor, requesting leave to preach in the town-hall. In an hour, he sent me word I might, but in an hour more, he retracted. Poor Mayor of Southampton! So I preached in a small room and did not repent my labour.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

No more fighting

Sun 11 1767: I preached at eight in Princes Street, and a little before five near the New Square, where, notwithstanding the keenness of the wind, the congregation was exceeding large. I permitted all of Mr. Whitefield’s society that pleased to be present at the love-feast that followed. I hope we shall ‘not know war any more’, unless with the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Athirst for full redemption

Sun 11 Oct 1761: I observed God is reviving his work in Kingswood: The society, which had much decreased, being now increased again to near three hundred members; many of whom are now athirst for full redemption, which for some years they had almost forgot.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The decree of reprobation

Sat 10 Oct 1741: His journey being deferred till Monday, H. Harris came to me at the New Room. He said, as to the decree of reprobation, he renounced and utterly abhorred it. And as to the not falling from grace, (1) he believed that it ought not to be mentioned to the unjustified, or to any that were slack and careless, much less that lived in sin, but only to the earnest and disconsolate mourners; (2) he did himself believe it was possible for one to fall away who had been ‘enlightened’ with some knowledge of God, who had ‘tasted of the heavenly gift’, and been ‘made partaker of the Holy Ghost’, and wished we could all agree to keep close in the controverted points to the very words of Holy Writ; (3) that he accounted no man so justified as not to fall till he was vitally united to Christ, till he had a thorough, abiding hatred to all sin and a continual hunger and thirst after all righteousness. Blessed be thou of the Lord, thou man of peace! Still follow after peace and holiness.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Entire Sanctification

Fri 9 Oct 1778: I returned to London and, Sunday 11, buried the remains of Eleanor Lee. I believe she received the great promise of God, entire sanctification, fifteen or sixteen years ago, and that she never lost it for an hour. I conversed intimately with her ever since, and never saw her do any action, little or great, nor heard her speak any word, which I could reprove. Thou wast indeed ‘a mother in Israel’!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Seeing the Dead

Thur 8 Oct 1778: One of our friends whom I have known several years, Mrs. Sarah M and on whose veracity I could depend, was mentioning some uncommon circumstances. I desired her to relate them at large, which she readily did as follows:
Six or seven years ago a servant of my husband’s died of the smallpox. A few days after, as I was walking into the town, I met him in his common, everyday clothes, running towards me. In about a minute he disappeared.
Mr. Heth, a surgeon and apothecary, died in March 1756. On the 14th of April following, I was walking with two other women in the High Street, about day-break, and we all three saw him, dressed as he usually was, in a scarlet surtout, a bushy wig, and a very small hat. He was standing and leaning against a post, with his chin resting on his hands. As we came towards him (for we were not frighted at all), he walked towards us and went by us. We looked steadily after him and saw him till he turned into the market-house.
Not long after this, Mr. Sm—— died. Ten or twelve days after, as I was walking near his house about eleven o’clock, in a bright, sun-shiny day, I saw him standing at his chamber window and looking full upon me; but it was with the most horrid countenance that I ever saw. As I walked on, I could not keep my eyes off of him, till he withdrew from the window, though I was so terrified with his ghastly look that I was ready to drop down.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Wed 7 Oct 1778: We went on to Winchester. I had thoughts of preaching abroad, if haply anything might awaken a careless, self-conceited people. But the rain would not permit, and it made the road so heavy that we could not reach Portsmouth Common till near six.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

By grace ye are saved through faith

Tue 6 Oct 1741: I read prayers and preached in Porthkerry church. My text was, ‘By grace ye are saved through faith.’ In the evening at Cardiff I expounded Zechariah 4:7. ‘Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain. And he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.’ The next morning we set out, and in the evening praised God with our brethren in Bristol.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What must I do to be saved?

Mon 5 Oct 1741: I preached in the morning at Pontypool, to a small but deeply attentive congregation. Mr. Price conducted us from hence to his house at Watford. After resting here an hour, we hastened on and came to Fonmon, where I explained and enforced those words, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ Many seemed quite amazed while I showed them the nature of salvation, and the gospel way of attaining it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

An Unexpected Opportunity

Sun 4 Oct 1741: I had an unexpected opportunity of receiving the Holy Communion. In the afternoon we had a plain, useful sermon on the Pharisee and the publican praying in the temple which I explained at large in the evening to the best-dressed congregation I have ever yet seen in Wales. Two persons came to me afterwards who were (it seemed) convinced of sin and groaning for deliverance.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Sat 3 Oct 1741: About noon we came to Pontypool. A clergyman stopped me in the first street; and a few more found me out soon after, whose love I did not find to be cooled at all by the bitter adversaries who had been among them. True pains had been taken to set them against my brother and me by men who ‘know not what manner of spirit they are of’. But instead of disputing we betook ourselves to prayer. And all our hearts were knit together as at the first.
In the afternoon we came to Abergavenny. Those who are bitter of spirit had been here also. Yet Mrs. James (now Mrs. Whitefield) received us gladly, as she had done aforetime. But we could not procure even two or three to join with us in the evening beside those of her own household.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fasting and Prayer

We observed Friday, October 2 1778, as a day of fasting and prayer for our King and nation. We met as usual at five, at nine, at one, and in the evening. At each time, I believe, some found that God was with us—but more especially in the concluding service.

A Few Words for Drunkards

Fri. 2 Oct 1741. We rode to Fonmon Castle. We found Mr. Jones’s daughter ill of the smallpox. But he could cheerfully leave her and all the rest in the hands of him in whom he now believed. In the evening I preached at Cardiff in the Shire Hall, a large and convenient place, on ‘God hath given unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.’ There having been a feast in the town that day, I believed it needful to add a few words upon intemperance. And while I was saying, ‘As for you, drunkards, you have no part in this life; you abide in death; you choose death and hell,’ a man cried out vehemently, ‘I am one; and thither I am going.’ But I trust God at that hour began to show him and others a more excellent way.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Thur 1 Oct 1789: I went over to Bath and preached once more to a very large congregation on 1Pet1:14. On Friday we had a solemn watch night at Kingswood, and most of the people stayed to the end. On Sunday I purposed preaching abroad once more in the afternoon; but just before five the rain began; so I could only enforce in the Room those solemn words, in the first Lesson for the day, "Turn ye, turn ye, from your evil ways."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Home Visitation

Wed 30 Sept 1772: I began visiting the society from house to house, taking them from west to east. This will undoubtedly be a heavy cross, no way pleasing to flesh and blood. But I already saw how unspeakably useful it will be to many souls.

Field Preaching

Wed 30 Sept 1767: I preached to a large and very serious congregation on Redcliff Hill. This is the way to overturn Satan’s kingdom. In field-preaching, more than any other means, God is found of them that sought him not. By this, death, heaven, and hell, come to the ears, if not the hearts, of them that ‘care for none of these things’.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Singing in the Rain

Tue 29 Sept 1789: Being much importuned, I went to Churchill, about twelve miles west of Bristol. The rain was heavy; yet many of the poor people made their way through it; so that the church (they said) has scarce ever been so filled before. After the Service many stayed in the church, because of the rain: So I spent some time with them in singing and prayer; and our hearts were much comforted together.

Dying in Peace

Tue 29 Sept 1741: I was pressed to visit Nicholas Palmer, one who had separated from us and behaved with great bitterness, till God laid his hand upon him. He had sent for me several times, saying he could not die in peace till he had seen me. I found him in great weakness of body and heaviness of spirit. We wrestled with God on his behalf. And our labour was not in vain. His soul was comforted; and a few hours after he quietly fell asleep.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Be not Conformed to this World

Mon 28 Sept 1789: I strongly enforced the caution of St. Paul, "Be not conformed to this world;" but who can enforce it enough? For what destruction does this conformity bring upon the children of God!

From Suicidal to Born Again

Mon 28 Sept 1747: I talked with one who a little time before was so overwhelmed with affliction that she went out one night to put an end to it all, by throwing herself into the New River. As she went by the Foundery (it being a watch-night) she heard some people singing. She stopped and went in; she listened a while, and God spoke to her heart. She had no more desire to put an end to her life, but to die to sin and live to God.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Getting Tired

Sun 27 Sept 1789: I preached at the new Room morning and evening, and in the afternoon at Temple church; but it was full as much as I could do. I doubt I must not hereafter attempt to preach more than twice a day.

The Way of Recovering our First Love

Sun 27 Sept 1741: I expounded at Kingswood (morning and afternoon), at Bristol, and at Baptist Mills, the message of God to the church of Ephesus, particularly that way of recovering our first love which God hath prescribed and not man: ‘Remember from whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works.’

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bristol to London to Bristol

Sat 26 Sept 1767: I was informed between twelve and one that Mrs. B[lackwell] was dying. Judging I had no time to lose, about one, I left Bristol and, about seven on Sunday morning, came to London. Learning there that she was better, I stayed to preach and administer the Sacrament at the chapel and then hastened on and spent a solemn and profitable hour at Lewisham. I preached again at West Street Chapel in the afternoon and made a collection for the poor, as I had done in the morning. Soon after, I took chaise again and on Monday, about noon, I came to Bristol.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Smallpox and Asthma

Fri. 25 Sept 1767. I was desired to preach at Freshford, but the people durst not come to the house because of the smallpox, of which Joseph Allen, ‘an Israelite indeed’, had died the day before. So they placed a table near the churchyard. But I had no sooner begun to speak than the bells began to ring, by the procurement of a neighbouring gentleman. However, it was labour lost, for my voice prevailed, and the people heard me distinctly. Nay, a person extremely deaf, who had not been able to hear a sermon for several years, told his neighbours with great joy that he had ‘heard and understood all, from the beginning to the end’.
I preached at Bristol in the evening on 2 Cor. 4:17, a text which had been chosen by William New a little before God called him hence. He laboured under a deep asthma for several years and for seven or eight months was confined to his bed, where he was from time to time visited by a friend, who wrote the following account:
He was one of the first Methodists in Bristol and always walked as became the gospel. By the sweat of his brow he maintained a large family, leaving six children behind him. When he was no longer able to walk, he did not discontinue his labour; and after he kept his room, he used to cut out glass (being a glazier) to enable his eldest son, a child about fourteen, to do something toward the support of his family. Yea, when he kept his bed, he was not idle but still gave him what assistance he could.
He was formerly fond of company and diversions, but as soon as God called him, left them all—having a nobler diversion, visiting the sick and afflicted, in which he spent all his leisure hours. He was diligent in the use of all the means of grace, very rarely, during his health, missing the morning preaching at five, though he lived above a mile from the room.
About a year ago, he took his leave of the society, telling them that it was with great pleasure he had joined and continued with them; that it was in this despised place the Lord first manifested himself to his soul; that no tongue could tell what he had since enjoyed under that roof; that the same Jesus had enabled him to hold on thus far, and he hoped to be with him soon, adding, ‘I do not expect to see you any more here but have no doubt of meeting you in glory.’
During the last twenty days of his life, he took no other sustenance than now and then a teaspoonful of wine or of balm-tea. About fourteen days before his death, his tongue turned black, with large chops in it, through the heat of his stomach, and his lips were drawn two or three inches apart, so that it was difficult for him to speak. In this condition, he lay waiting for his discharge, saying sometimes, ‘I am, as it were, two persons. The body is in torturing pain; the soul is in sweet peace.’ He frequently said, ‘I long to be gone. Come, Lord Jesus! Come quickly.’ When I asked, ‘Do you desire to see such a person?’ he said, ‘I desire to see none but Jesus. To him I leave my dear wife and children. I have no care about them.’
The next day, Satan violently assaulted his faith. But instantly our Lord appeared in all his glory, and he was filled with love and joy unspeakable, and said, ‘Call my friend and let him see a dying Christian. Oh what do I feel? I see my Lord has overcome for me. I am his. Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!’ He desired them that were present to sing, and began, ‘Jesu, lover of my soul.’ He then desired the text for his funeral sermon might be 1 Cor. 4:17.
The next time I saw him, having desired him to make signs rather than speak, which was painful to him, he said, ‘Here is a sign’ (pushing out his feet and holding up his hands), ‘a dying Christian, full of love and joy! A crown, a never-fading crown awaits me. I am going to everlasting habitations.’ He then desired us to sing, and quickly added, ‘He is come! He is come! I want to be gone; farewell to you all.’ When he could no longer speak, he continued smiling, clapping his hands, and discovering an ecstasy of joy in every motion.
After a while his speech returned, and he said: ‘Today is Friday; tomorrow I expect to go.’ One said, ‘Poor Mr. New!’ He said, ‘It is rich New: though poor in myself, I am rich in Christ.’
I saw him on Saturday in the same spirit, praising God with every breath. He appeared quite transported, pointing upwards and turning his fingers round his head, alluding to the crown prepared for him. I said, ‘Your Lord has kept the best wine unto the last.’ ‘Yes, yes,’ said he, ‘it is in my soul.’ When I took my leave he pressed my hand, pointed upward, and again clapped his hands. Afterward, he spoke little, till he cried out, ‘The chariot, the chariot of Israel,’ and died.

Taken to Bring his Father to God

Fri 25 Sept 1789: I spent an hour at Clare-Hill with Mr. Henderson; I believe the best Physician for lunatics in England: But he could not save the life of his only son, who was probably taken to bring his father to God.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Prayer and Praise All Night Long

Thur 24 Sept 1741: In the evening we went to Kingswood. The house was filled from end to end. And we continued in ministering the word of God, and in prayer and praise, till the morning.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Unlawful Distilling

Wed 23 Sept 1778: On meeting the classes, I carefully examined whether there was any truth in the assertion that above a hundred in our society were concerned in unlawful distilling. The result was that I found two persons, and no more, that were concerned therein.

God Calls Frome

Wed 23 Sept 1767: About noon, I preached at Buckland, and in the evening at Frome. But the house was too small, so that many were constrained to go away. So the next evening, I preached in a meadow, where a multitude of all denominations attended. It seems that God is at length giving a more general call to this town also, the people whereof seemed before, in every sense, to be ‘rich, and increased in goods, and needing nothing’.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Not Yet the Season for Fruit

Tue 22 Sept 1747: I rode to Shoreham, where I preached every morning in the house and every evening in the church. But the season for fruit is not yet.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Convinced of the Truth

Mon 21 Sept 1741: I set out, and the next evening met my brother at Bristol, with Mr. Jones of Fonmon Castle in Wales; now convinced of the truth as it is in Jesus and labouring with his might to ‘redeem the time’ he had lost, to ‘make his calling sure’, and to ‘lay hold on eternal life’.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Be Born Again

Sun 20 Sept 1789: I know not that ever I had so large a number of communicants before; after I had applied strongly, "Neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature." In the afternoon I applied full as strongly, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ;" and in the evening returned to Bristol.

Life Eternal

Sun 20 Sept 1741: I preached in Charles Square, Hoxton, on these solemn words, ‘This is life eternal, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.’ I trust God blessed his word. The scoffers stood abashed and opened not their mouth.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dead as a Stone to all the Things of God

Sat 19 Sept 1747: Mrs. Baddiley desired me to go up to her son, who had been out of order for some days. For one or two years he was a pattern to all the family, till he began to converse more with ‘good sort of men’. He then grew cooler and cooler in the ways of God, and in a few months quitted the society, resolving, he said, to keep to his church, ‘and live a sober life, and that was enough’. That was too much in a little time. He grew tired of his church too, and dropped that and sobriety together. He was now, his mother informed me, dead as a stone to all the things of God. I spake a few words and went to prayer. And God broke his heart. He continued weeping and praying all the day and all the night, and at six in the morning fell asleep.

Friday, September 18, 2009

JW's Old Persecutors

Fri 18 Sept 1772: I preached very quietly at the Devizes. Scarce one of the old persecutors is alive. Very few of them lived out half their days: Many were snatched away in an hour when they looked not for it

Death of a Child

Fri 18 Sept 1741: I buried the only child of a tender parent, who, having soon finished her course, after a short sickness went to him her soul loved, in the fifteenth year of her age.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Preaching with the Presence of God

Thurs 17 Sept 1789: I preached at Frome, to a much larger audience[than yesterday at Midsummer-Norton], and with much of the presence of God.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Wed 16 Sept 1789: I went on to Midsummer-Norton. I never saw the church so full before. I preached on that verse in one of the Psalms for the day, "Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it." Many, I believe, found the promise true. In the evening I preached to our honest, earnest colliers, at Coleford; most of whom attended again at five in the morning.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Tuesday 15 Sept 1789: In the evening I preached at Pensford, to an uncommon congregation, and with an uncommon blessing.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Very Busy

Monday, 14 Sept 1789: I spent an agreeable hour with Mr. Ireland and Mr. Romaine, at Brislington. I could willingly spend some time here; but I have none to spare.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Bigot to the Church"

Sun 13 Sept 1741: I met about two hundred persons, with whom severally I had talked the week before at the French chapel in Hermitage Street, Wapping, where they gladly joined in the service of the Church, and particularly in the Lord’s Supper, at which Mr. Hall assisted. It was more than two years after this that he began so vehemently to declaim against my brother and me, as ‘bigots to the church, and those “carnal ordinances”’, as he then loved to term them.

Preaching Here and There

Saturday 12 Sept 1767: Setting out early, I reached Chepstow before noon and preached at a friend’s door to a civil, unconcerned congregation. We came to the Old Passage (being told we had time to spare) a few minutes after the boat was gone off. Finding they would not pass again that day, I left my horses behind and, crossing over in a small boat, got to Bristol soon enough to preach in the evening.
The following week, I visited most of the Somersetshire societies.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Fri 11 Sept 1747: We rode to Reading. Mr. Richards, a tradesman in the town, came to our inn and entreated me to preach at a room which he had built for that purpose. I did so at six in the morning, and then rode on. It rained all the way till we came to London.
Fri 11 Sept 1767: I rode to Llanbradach, a single house delightfully situated near the top of an high mountain, and in the evening preached to a serious company of plain Welshmen with uncommon enlargement of heart.

Hang in There

Thursday 10 Sept 1789: I went over to Thornbury, where we preached near fifty years, and hardly saw any fruit; but whom can we despair of? Now at length it seems that God's time is come. A few men of substance in the town have built a neat and commodious preaching-house. It was filled within and without with serious hearers; and they did not hear in vain.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

God may build up the waste places

Wed 9 Sept 1767: About twelve, I preached to a large and serious congregation in the Assembly-Room at Cowbridge, and in the evening in the court-house at Cardiff, where, both this and the following evening, we had most of the gentry in the town. And both the mornings, the hearers were more than for many years. Who knows but, even in this desolate town, God may build up the waste places!

England's 'Gentlemen'

Tue 8 Sept 1778: In the evening, I stood on one side of the market-place of Frome and declared to a very numerous congregation, ‘His commandments are not grievous.’ They stood as quiet as those at Bristol, a very few excepted, most of whom were, by the courtesy of England, called gentlemen. How much inferior to the keelmen and colliers!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hospital Visitation

Mon 7 Sept 1741: I visited a young man in St. Thomas’s Hospital, who, in strong pain, was praising God continually. At the desire of many of the patients I spent a short time with them in exhortation and prayer. O what a harvest might there be, if any lover of souls who has time upon his hands would constantly attend these places of distress, and with tenderness and meekness of wisdom instruct and exhort those on whom God has laid his hands, to know and improve the day of their visitation!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Field-Preaching a Cross

Sun 6 Sept 1772: I preached on the quay, at Kingswood, and near King's Square. To this day field-preaching is a cross to me. But I know my commission, and see no other way of "preaching the Gospel to every creature." '

Good Advice

Sunday September 6 1741. Observing some who were beginning to ‘use their liberty as a cloak for’ licentiousness, I enforced in the morning those words of St. Paul (worthy to be written in the heart of every believer), ‘All things are lawful for me; but all things are not expedient’; and in the evening that necessary advice of our Lord, ‘That men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Hot Place in Hell

Sat 5 Sept 1747: In my road to Bristol I read over Q. Curtius, a fine writer, both as to thought and language. But what a hero does he describe! Whose murder of his old friend and companion Clitus (though not done of a sudden, as is commonly supposed, but deliberately, after some hours’ consideration) was a virtuous act in comparison of his butchering poor Philotas and his good old father, Parmenio. Yet even this was a little thing compared to the thousands and ten thousands he slaughtered, both in battle and in and after taking cities, for no other crime than defending their wives and children. I doubt whether Judas claims so hot a place in hell as Alexander the Great.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Importance of Private Prayer

Fri 4 Sept 1772 : I went over to Kingswood, and spake largely to the children, as also on Saturday and Sunday. I found there had been a fresh revival of the work of God among them some months ago: But it was soon at an end, which I impute chiefly to their total neglect of private prayer. Without this, all the other means which they enjoyed could profit them nothing.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Good Advice for Preachers

Wednesday 2 Sept 1767 Upon inquiry, I found the work of God in Pembrokeshire had been exceedingly hindered, chiefly by Mr. Davies’s preachers who had continually inveighed against ours and thereby frighted abundance of people from hearing or coming near them. This had sometimes provoked them to retort, which always made a bad matter worse. The advice therefore which I gave them was: (1) Let all the people sacredly abstain from backbiting, talebearing, evil-speaking. (2) Let all our preachers abstain from returning railing for railing, either in public or in private, as well as from disputing. (3) Let them never preach controversy, but plain, practical, and experimental religion.

Julian to Gregorian Calendar

Thursday 14 Sept 1752: So we must call it now, seeing the New Style now takes place [Please note that in 1752, Wednesday 2 Sept was followed by Thursday 14 Sept as England changed from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar] I rode to the Bog of Boira, where a great and effectual door is opened.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Vain Janglings

Wed 2 Sept 1747: I spent some time with T. Prosser who had filled the society with vain janglings. I found the fault lay in his head rather than his heart; he is an honest, well-meaning man, but no more qualified either by nature or grace to expound Scripture than to read lectures in logic or algebra.
Yet even men of sense have taken this dull, mystical man to be far deeper than he is. And it is very natural so to do. If we look into a dark pit it seems deep. But the darkness only makes it seem so. Bring the light and we shall see it is very shallow.
In the evening I preached at Fonmon. But the congregation being larger than the chapel would contain, I was obliged to preach in the court. I was myself much comforted in comforting the weary and heavy laden.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Don't Follow the Methodists

Tuesday, Sept. 1 1752. I preached at Waterford. Only one poor man behaved amiss. His case is really to be pitied. Some time since he had strong desires to serve God and had broke off his outward sins, when Mr. ——, one of the prebendaries, told him he ‘did very wrong to go after those fellows’, and made him promise to hear them no more. He kept his word and turned back, as a dog to his vomit, wallowing in sin as he did before. But he does not go to the Methodists, so all is well. He may go to the devil and welcome.

Monday, August 31, 2009

No more Methodists

Mon. 31 Aug 1752. I rode to Clonmel. A wide door was opened here a year ago. But one evening, just after sermon was ended, the room in which the preaching had been, fell. Two or three persons were hurt thereby, for which reason (could one desire a better?) the people of the town vowed that no Methodist should ever more preach in Clonmel.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Strange Story Indeed

Sunday 30 Aug 1767 One of Trevecca gave us a strange account. A young woman who served as dairymaid there was beloved by all the family. She was loving to everyone, never angry, never out of humour. That morning, she was much happier and had a fuller manifestation of the love of God than ever. As she was coming through the entry, a lad met her with a gun in his hand, which he did not know was charged. He presented it and said, ‘Nanny, I will shoot you.’ The gun went off and shot her through the heart. She fell on her face and, without any struggle or groan, immediately expired.
I preached at eight to a large and serious congregation, and on the Bulwarks at five. A multitude of people attended; and even the gentry seemed, for the present, ‘almost persuaded to be Christians’.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Miracle

Sat. 29 August 1778. I found a venerable old man at Cubert, pale, thin, and scarce half alive; however, he made shift to go in a chaise to the preaching, and, deaf as he was, to hear almost every word. He had such a night’s rest as he had not had for many months, and in the morning seemed hardly the same person. It may be God will give him a little longer life, for the good of many.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Proof that God Sent

Fri. 28 Aug 1778. The stewards of the societies met at St. Ives, a company of pious, sensible men. I rejoiced to find that peace and love prevailed through the whole circuit: those who styled themselves ‘my Lady’s Preachers’, [preachers of the Countess Huntingdon] who screamed, and railed, and threatened to swallow us up, are vanished away. I cannot learn that they have made one convert—a plain proof that God did not send them.