Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

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.