Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I will not go to America

Thu 30 Sep 1784: I had a long conversation with John McGeary, one of our American preachers, just come to England. He gave a pleasing account of the work of God there continually increasing, and vehemently importuned me to pay one more visit to America before I die. Nay, I shall pay no more visits to new worlds till I go to the world of spirits.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Children advancing in the faith which works by love

Wed 29 Sep 1773: After preaching at Pensford, I went to Publow, and in the morning spent a little time with the lovely children. Those of them who were lately affected, did not appear to have lost anything of what they had received; and some of them were clearly gaining ground, and advancing in the faith which works by love.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Without discipline, little good can be done among the Methodists

Mon 20 Sep 1784: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I met the classes, but found no increase in the society[Mid-Somer Norton]. No wonder, for discipline had been quite neglected, and without this, little good can be done among the Methodists.

JW's Notes on RCL Gospel reading for Sunday 3rd

Luke 17:5-10
Luk 17:5 Lord, increase our faith - That we may thus forgive, and may neither offend nor be offended.
Luk 17:6 And he said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed - If ye had the least measure of true faith, no instance of duty would be too hard for you. Ye would say to this sycamine tree - This seems to have been a kind of proverbial expression.
Luk 17:7 But which of you - But is it not meet that you should first obey, and then triumph? Though still with a deep sense of your utter unprofitableness.
Luk 17:9 Doth he thank that servant - Does he account himself obliged to him?
Luk 17:10 When ye have done all, say, We are unprofitable servants - For a man cannot profit God. Happy is he who judges himself an unprofitable servant: miserable is he whom God pronounces such. But though we are unprofitable to him, our serving him is not unprofitable to us. For he is pleased to give by his grace a value to our good works, which in consequence of his promise entitles us to an eternal reward.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Worship versus Wrestling

Mon 27 Sep 1762: I rode to Mary-Week. It was a kind of fairday; and the people were come far and near for wrestling and other diversions. But they found a better way of employing their time; for young and old flocked to church from all quarters. The next day I preached at Mill-House; on Wednesday, at Collumpton;

Groaning for Full Redemption

This is another 1 verse hymn from Collection of Hymns. It is to the tune Amsterdam

Give me the enlarged desire, (Eph. 3:18-19)
And open, Lord, my soul,
Thy own fullness to require,
And comprehend the whole;
Stretch my faith's capacity
Wider and yet wider still; (Ps. 81:10)
Then, with all that is in thee,
My soul forever fill!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rabble with Gunpowder

Sun 26 Sep 1742: In the evening I rode to Marshfield. The next evening I reached Whitchurch. Tuesday morning I preached at Great Marlow, on the Pharisee and the publican. Many were surprised, and perhaps in some measure convinced (but how short-lived are most of these convictions!), that ’tis very possible a man may be a Pharisee now—yea, though he be not a Methodist.
A little before twelve I came to Windsor. I was soon informed that a large number of the rabble had combined together and declared again and again, there should be no preaching there that day. In order to make all sure they had provided gunpowder enough, and other things, some days before. But Burnham Fair coming between, they agreed to go thither first, and have a little diversion there. Accordingly they went, and bestowed a few of their crackers upon their brother mob at Burnham. But these, not being Methodists, did not take it well, turned upon them, and gave them chase. They took shelter in an house. But that would not serve. For those without soon forced a way in, and seized on as many as they could find, who, upon information made, were sent to jail. The rest run away, so that when I came, none hindered or interrupted. In the evening I came to London; I proposed spending a fortnight there, and then returning to Bristol.
I spent this time partly in speaking severally to all the members of the society, partly in making a full inquiry into those devices of Satan whereof I had scarce ever heard or read before. And I believe they were now thoroughly discovered and brought to nought. O may they never more deceive the hearts of the simple!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Of course the Presbyterians can use our preaching-house

Sat 25 Sep 1790: Mr. Hay, the Presbyterian Minister of Lewensmead meeting, came to desire me to let him have the use of our preaching-house on Sundays, at those hours when we did not use it ourselves, (near ten in the morning and two in the afternoon,) while his House was re-building. To this I willingly consented, and he preached an excellent sermon there the next day at two. I preached at five in the morning; to more than the House would well contain.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Danger of Riches

Fri 24 Sep 1779: James Gerrish, Junior, of Rode near Frome, was for several years zealous for God. But he too grew rich, and grew lukewarm, till he was seized with a consumption. At the approach of death, he was ‘horribly afraid’; he was ‘in the lowest darkness and in the deep’. But he ‘cried unto God in his trouble’ and was ‘delivered out of his distress’. He was filled with peace and joy unspeakable, and so continued till he went to God. His father desired I would preach his funeral sermon, which I accordingly did this day at Rode. I concluded the busy day with a comfortable watch-night at Kingswood.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Make your will before you sleep

Thu 23 Sep 1779: I preached in the afternoon near the Fishponds. The people here had been remarkably dead for many years. But since that saint of God, Bathsheba Hall, with her husband, came among them, a flame is broke out. The people flock together in troops and are athirst for all the promises of God.
In the evening one sat behind me in the pulpit at Bristol who was one of our first masters at Kingswood. A little after he left the school, he likewise left the society. Riches then flowed in upon him; with which, having no relations, Mr. Spencer designed to do much good—after his death. ‘But God said unto him, Thou fool!’ Two hours after, he died intestate and left all his money to—be scrambled for!
Reader! If you have not done it already, make your will before you sleep!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wesley, 'Zionism' and the Feast of Tabernacles

Thursday 23 September marks the start of the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles, a 7 day long celebration and one which still awaits it’s Christian fulfilment (Passover and Pentecost having been fulfilled). Over the next week I’ll be posting some thoughts from our pilgrimage to Israel for the feast in 2008 and reflections on John Wesley’s thoughts on the celebration and his thoughts on the return of the Jews to their homeland, which, in the 1700’s, he longed for and looked forward to.

What is the Feast of Tabernacles
"All the men of your nation are to come to worship the LORD three times a year at
the one place of worship: at Passover, Harvest Festival, and the Festival
of Shelters." Deuteronomy 16:16

Three Festivals
In this reading God gives to the people three festivals, three celebrations, three feasts that they are to celebrate every year in Jerusalem at the Temple. Now each of these festivals was an agricultural festival celebrating some stage in the harvest process, but, and far more importantly, each festival also had a religious significance.

Passover (which for us now is the Easter celebration of the Lamb of God who was
slain and raised to life in order to set us free from bondage to sin) was a reminder and celebration of the redemption from bondage in Egypt, but it also had an agricultural element.Passover ends with the Festival of First Fruits, where the people bought the first part of their harvest as an offering to God in anticipation of a good harvest to come. Jesus was raised from the dead on the day of this festival which is why Paul says(1Corinthians15:20) "Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep so that in Christ all will be made alive."

The next festival mentioned is the Harvest Festival, also called the Festival of Weeks, as it took place seven weeks after Passover and First Fruits. At the time of Jesus this festival was known as Pentecost which is a Greek word which means "seven weeks". The Jews celebrated the harvest and that God had given them everything they
had hoped for when they brought their first fruits. They also remembered on this day the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai. Pentecost became of course the time when God poured out His Spirit and put His Law into our hearts.

The final festival mentioned is the Festival of Tabernacles, and is celebrated at the end of the harvest season. Passover is in early spring, Pentecost is in late spring and the Festival of Shelters or Tabernacles or Booths is in autumn. The Jews at this time remember that during the 40 years in the wilderness they lived in shelters or tabernacles, hence its name. The prophet Zechariah says: "Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles" (14:16). This feast seems to look forward to the time when the Kingdom of God will be established on earth in all its fullness at Christ's return. So while we as Christians can look back and see how God has used two of these festivals for His redemptive purposes and they have in a sense been 'fulfilled', this last one, the feast of Tabernacles, is one which we still look forward to being fulfilled.

What Tabernacles anticipates
It points to Christ's return when according to the New Testament there will be
a new Jerusalem and God will tabernacle with people: "Behold the Tabernacle of God is with people and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." (Rev 21:3)

The Times we are Living in
Can you see that we are now living between the fulfilment of the second and the
third Festivals, between Pentecost, which has been fulfilled, and Tabernacles, which is yet to be fulfilled? Going back to the harvest calendar, the time between these two festivals was a time of gathering in the full harvest. No wonder Jesus said to his disciples and says to us: "You have a saying, 'Four more months and then the harvest.' But I tell you, take a good look at the fields; the crops are now ripe and ready to be harvested!"......and....."The harvest is large, but there are few workers to gather it in.Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest.".......and....."For the saying is true, 'Someone plants, someone else reaps.' I have sent you to reap a harvest in a field where you did not work; others worked there, and you profit from their work."

Jesus and Tabernacles
After this, Jesus travelled in Galilee; he did not want to travel in Judea, because the Jewish authorities there were wanting to kill him. The time for the Festival of
Tabernacles was near,.... After his brothers had gone to the festival, Jesus also went.....On the last and most important day of the festival Jesus stood up and said in a loud voice, "Whoever is thirsty should come to me, and whoever believes in me should drink.As the Scripture says, 'Streams of life-giving water will pour out from his side.' "Jesus said this about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were going to receive. (selected verses from John 7).

JW forgot to ask the Great Physician

Wed 22 Sept 1756: I was considering I had not yet asked help of the Great Physician, and I resolved to delay no longer. In that hour I felt a change. I slept sound that night and was well the next day. [See Thurs16 below]
Thu 16 Sep: I walked over to Bishop Bonner’s,1 and preached to a large and serious congregation. I found some faintness, the sun being extremely hot; but more in walking from thence to Westminster, where I preached at seven. In the night my old disorder returned and gradually increased, in spite of all medicines. However, on Sunday and Monday it was so far suspended that I abated nothing of my usual employment.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Of Conference, Purple-clad elites and the Poor

“I was at a meeting of the Superiors General in Europe. They talked only of changing the structures of society, organizing things in a different way. It all came to nothing. It did not do something for the poor, or preach Christ to those without religion, to those totally ignorant of God”

This is a quotation from Mother Theresa and as I read it I can't help but think of our Conference, beginning on Wednesday, and what its outcome may be. Our connexion, covering Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, has a multitude of dreadful problems, not least of all the scourge of preventable disease which kills thousands, particularly amongst the poor, daily. South Africa has the greatest gap between rich and poor in the world, having recently overtaken Brazil in this disgraceful statistic. Corruption is rife and many continue to live as if there is no God. Will Conference 2010 affect the great justice issues in our part of the world.

This week's RCL Gospel reading, Luke 16:19-31 (the parable of the rich man with the beggar at his gate) addresses some of these issues as it records a conversation across the divide between haves and have-nots, between the purple clad elites (in the KJV) and the masses.

It speaks of Abraham (and perhaps the descendants of Abraham, the church) being able to communicate with both sides and in this life, of bridging the gap (as a dentist I love that idea), closing the space, perhaps even laying ourselves down as the pontic.

I hope our Conference will help us, as it guides us, to work at closing the iniquitous gaps in the places God, in His grace, has called us to be Methodists

JW's Notes on RCL Gospel reading for Sunday 26th

Luke 16:19-31
Luk 16:19 There was a certain rich man - Very probably a Pharisee, and one that justified himself before men; a very honest, as well as honourable gentleman: though it was not proper to mention his name on this occasion: who was clothed in purple and fine linen - and doubtless esteemed on this account, (perhaps not only by those who sold it, but by most that knew him,) as encouraging trade, and acting according to his quality: And feasted splendidly every day - And consequently was esteemed yet more, for his generosity and hospitality in keeping so good a table.
Luk 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, (according to the Greek pronunciation) or Eleazer. By his name it may be conjectured, he was of no mean family, though it was thus reduced. There was no reason for our Lord to conceal his name, which probably was then well known. Theophylact observes, from the tradition of the Hebrews, that he lived at Jerusalem. Yea, the dogs also came and licked his sores - It seems this circumstance is recorded to show that all his ulcers lay bare, and were not closed or bound up.
Luk 16:22 And the beggar - Worn out with hunger, and pain, and want of all things, died: and was carried by angels (amazing change of the scene!) into Abraham's bosom - So the Jews styled paradise; the place where the souls of good men remain from death to the resurrection. The rich man also died, and was buried - Doubtless with pomp enough, though we do not read of his lying in state; that stupid, senseless pageantry, that shocking insult on a poor, putrefying carcass, was reserved for our enlightened age!
Luk 16:23 He seeth Abraham afar off - And yet knew him at that distance: and shall not Abraham's children, when they are together in paradise, know each other!
Luk 16:24 Father Abraham, have mercy on me - It cannot be denied, but here is one precedent in Scripture of praying to departed saints: but who is it that prays, and with what success? Will any, who considers this, be fond of copying after him?
Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son - According to the flesh. Is it not worthy of observation, that Abraham will not revile even a damned soul? and shall living men revile one another? Thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things - Thou didst choose and accept of worldly things as thy good, thy happiness. And can any be at a loss to know why he was in torments? This damnable idolatry, had there been nothing more, was enough to sink him to the nethermost @#!*% .
Luk 16:26 Beside this there is a great gulf fixed - Reader, to which side of it wilt thou go?
Luk 16:28 Lest they also come into this place - He might justly fear lest their reproaches should add to his own torment.
Luk 16:31 Neither will they be persuaded - Truly to repent: for this implies an entire change of heart: but a thousand apparitions cannot, effect this. God only can, applying his word.

Detestable practice of cheating the King

Tue 21 Sep 1762: I rode on to Port-Isaac. Here the stewards of the eastern Circuit met. What a change is wrought in one year's time! That detestable practice of cheating the King is no more found in our societies. And since that accursed thing has been put away, the work of God has everywhere increased. This society, in particular, is more than doubled: And they are all alive to God.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Prayer for MCSA Conference

I appeal to Methodists in my connexion (MCSA, which comprises Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa) to pray for our conference which begins this Wednesday, 22nd. This prayer is adapted from the Book of Common Prayer

Gracious Father, we pray for your holy Christian Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior. Amen.

For Believers Fighting

This is another 1 verse hymn from Collection of Hymns. It is to the tune Lampe

O may thy powerful word (Heb. 4:12; Matt. 11:12)
Inspire a feeble worm
To rush into thy kingdom, Lord,
And take it as by storm!
O may we all improve
The grace already given,
To seize the crown of perfect love,
And scale the mount of heaven!

Tottering over the grave

Sun-Wed 19-22 Sep 1779: The rain would not suffer me to preach abroad. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I examined the society and found a large number had been called home this year. A few are still tottering over the grave; but death hath lost its sting.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wesley Electrocuted

Sun 19 Sep 1773: I thought myself able to speak to the congregation, which I did for half an hour; but afterwards I found a pain in my left side and in my shoulder by turns, exactly as I did at Canterbury twenty years before. In the morning I could scarce lift my hand to my head; but, after being electrified, I was much better; so that I preached with tolerable ease in the evening; and the next evening read the letters, though my voice was weak. From this time I slowly recovered my voice and my strength, and on Sunday preached without any trouble.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It tired but did not hurt me

Sat 18 Sep 1773: I went to Kingswood, and found several of the children still alive to God. I gave them a short exhortation, which tired but did not hurt me.

Friday, September 17, 2010

How strange a providence is this

Fri 17 Sep 1762: At one I preached in Illogan; at six near Redruth, at a gentleman’s house, in a large court, shaded with trees. It was so calm that hardly a leaf moved. Saturday I preached once more in the street at Redruth, and in St. Agnes in the evening. I preached again at eight in the morning, and afterwards heard an excellent sermon at church, preached by the Rector, Mr. Walker, elder brother to the late Mr. Walker of Truro. He likewise gave notice of his design to preach, in the afternoon, a funeral sermon for Mr. Phelps, his late Curate, a man eminently humble, serious, and zealous for God. He was snatched away by a fever three weeks since, as was his predecessor, Mr. Vowler, three or four years before; another upright, zealous servant of God, and indefatigable in his labour. How strange a providence is this! Who can account for it? Did the God of love take them away, that they might not, out of zeal for him, continue to oppose their fellow-labourers in the Gospel?
Mr. Walker gave him his due praise, in a strong and pathetic sermon, well wrote and well pronounced; concluding with, "God grant me, (and I believe you will all join in the petition,) like him to live, like him to die."
Just as the Service was ended, it began to rain. The wind also was exceeding high; this created some difficulty. No house could contain the people, neither could I preach, as before, on the top of the hill. I therefore made a halt at the bottom. The congregation gathered round me in a few minutes. We were tolerably sheltered from the wind, and the rain ceased till I had done. I particularly advised all that feared God to confirm their love to each other, and to prevoke each other, not to doubtful disputations, but to love, and to good works.
The night came on soon after we were on horseback, and we had eight miles to ride. In about half an hour, it was so dark, I could not see my hand, and it rained incessantly. However, a little after eight, God brought us safe to Cubert.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A real monster

Thu 16 Sept 1790: I was desired to see a monster properly speaking. He was as large as the largest lion in the tower, but covered with rough hair, of a brown colour; has the head of a swine, and feet like a mole. It is plain to me, it was begotten between a bear and a wild boar. He lives on fruit and bread, chiefly the latter. The keeper handles him as he pleases, putting his hand in his mouth, and taking hold of his tongue; but he has a horrible roar, between that of a lion and of a bull. At the same time I saw a pelican. Is it not strange that we have no true account or picture of this bird? It is one of the most beautiful in nature; being indeed a large swan, almost twice as big as a tame one; snow-white and elegantly shaped. Only its neck is three quarters of a yard long, and capable of being so distended as to contain two gallons of liquid or solid. She builds her nest in some wood, not far from a river; from which she daily brings a quantity of fish to her young: This she carries in her neck, (the only pouch which she has,) and then divides it among her young; and hence is fabricated the idle tale of her feeding them with her blood.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

John Wesley’s Comments on this week's RCL readings

John Wesley’s Comments on Luke 16:1-13 from his Notes on the New Testament

Luk 16:1 And he said also to his disciples - Not only to the scribes and Pharisees to whom he had hitherto been speaking, but to all the younger as well as the elder brethren: to the returning prodigals who were now his disciples. A certain rich man had a steward - Christ here teaches all that are now in favour with God, particularly pardoned penitents, to behave wisely in what is committed to them.
Luk 16:3 To beg I am ashamed - But not ashamed to cheat! This was likewise a sense of honour! "By men called honour, but by angels pride."
Luk 16:4 I know - That is, I am resolved, what to do.
Luk 16:8 And the lord commended the unjust steward - Namely, in this respect, because he had used timely precaution: so that though the dishonesty of such a servant be detestable, yet his foresight, care, and contrivance, about the interests of this life, deserve our imitation, with regard to the more important affairs of another. The children of this world - Those who seek no other portion than this world: Are wiser - Not absolutely, for they are, one and all, egregious fools; but they are more consistent with themselves; they are truer to their principles; they more steadily pursue their end; they are wiser in their generation - That is, in their own way, than the children of light - The children of God, whose light shines on their hearts.
Luk 16:9 And I say to you - Be good stewards even of the lowest talents wherewith God hath intrusted you. Mammon means riches or money. It is termed the mammon of unrighteousness, because of the manner wherein it is commonly either procured or employed. Make yourselves friends of this, by doing all possible good, particularly to the children of God: that when ye fail, when your flesh and your heart faileth, when this earthly tabernacle is dissolved, those of them who have gone before may receive, may welcome you into the everlasting habitations.
Luk 16:10 And whether ye have more or less, see that ye be faithful as well as wise stewards. He that is faithful in what is meanest of all, worldly substance, is also faithful in things of a higher nature; and he that uses these lowest gifts unfaithfully, is likewise unfaithful in spiritual things.
Luk 16:11 Who will intrust you with the true riches? - How should God intrust you with spiritual and eternal, which alone are true riches?
Luk 16:12 If ye have not been faithful in that which was another's - None of these temporal things are yours: you are only stewards of them, not proprietors: God is the proprietor of all; he lodges them in your hands for a season: but still they are his property. Rich men, understand and consider this. If your steward uses any part of your estate (so called in the language of men) any farther or any otherwise than you direct, he is a knave: he has neither conscience nor honour. Neither have you either one or the other, if you use any part of that estate, which is in truth God's, not yours, any otherwise than he directs. That which is your own - Heaven, which when you have it, will be your own for ever.
Luk 16:13 And you cannot be faithful to God, if you trim between God and the world, if you do not serve him alone. Mat_6:24.

Methodists MUST preach Christian Perfection

Wed 15 Sep 1762: We had our Quarterly Meeting. The next day I appointed the children to meet. I expected twenty, but I suppose we had fourscore; all of them wanting, many desiring, instruction.
The more I converse with the believers in Cornwall, the more I am convinced that they have sustained great loss for want of hearing the doctrine of Christian Perfection clearly and strongly enforced. I see, wherever this is not done, the believers grow dead and cold. Nor can this be prevented, but by keeping up in them an hourly expectation of being perfected in love. I say an hourly expectation; for to expect it at death, or some time hence, is much the same as not expecting it at all.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

For Believers Rejoicing

This is another 1 verse hymn from Collection of Hymns. It is to the tune Zoar

O Lord, our God, we bless thee now, (1 Chr. 29:20)
To thee our souls and bodies bow,
With humblest awe fall down before
Thy throne, and joyfully adore.
God of our ancestors, we praise
Thee Father, Son, and Spirit of grace,
One glorious God in Persons Three,
Our God to all eternity.

Do Methodist preachers ever use John Wesley's Notes on the New Testament

In the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (the connexion of which I am a member) we claim that the doctrines of the Evangelical Faith are based upon the Divine revelation recorded in the Holy Scriptures. "These Evangelical Doctrines, to which the preachers of the Methodist Church, ministerial and lay, are pledged, are contained in Wesley's Notes on the New Testament and his Forty-four Sermons" [Laws and Discipline, MCSA, 11 edition, 2007]. I wonder however, how many of our preachers have actually read the Forty-four sermons and how many refer to JW's Notes when preparing a sermon. I may be wrong, but I believe the answer to both questions is: relatively few. I base this assumption on informal discussions, as well as a perusal of some of our recent 'study documents' which often quote many other commentators, but not JW's Notes. They are very accessible on the world wide web and are in the public domain. When I bought my own 'hard copy' a number of years ago I could not source one from our denominational bookshop in South Africa, but did find a copy in my local branch of a national franchise Christian bookshop.

With this in mind I am going to make available each week, JW's notes on the Gospel reading set for the coming Sunday based on the Revised Common Lectionary, which is currently in Year C.


Tue 14 Sep 1784: I preached at Bath and Bradford-on-Avon; Wednesday 15, at Trowbridge and Frome. Thursday 16, I went to Ditcheat, a village near Castle Cary, where I found a friendly, hospitable family. I preached in the evening to a numerous and earnest congregation. Friday 17, the house would not contain half the people. Hence we passed through a delightful country to the Nunnery, a more elegant trifle, near king Alfred’s Tower, a lofty, triangular building standing the height of the country, on the very spot (as is supposed) where he drew up his army against the Danes. About eleven, I preached at Castle Cary to a quiet and attentive multitude. In the evening, I preached at Shepton Mallet, where the people at length know the day of their visitation.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Neither strength nor authority unless from Holy Scripture

Mon 13 Sept 1736: I began reading, with Mr. Delamotte, Bishop Beveridge’s Pandectae canonum conciliorum. Nothing could so effectually have convinced us that both particular and ‘general councils may err, and have erred’; and that ‘things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority unless they be taken out of Holy Scripture.’

Sunday, September 12, 2010

There is altogether a fault in this matter

Sun 12 Sep 1790: I intended to preach abroad; but the weather would not permit. Monday, 13, and the three following days, I met the classes of the society, which contains nine hundred and forty-four members. Still I complain of false musters. It was told in London that this society contained above a thousand members; and yet it falls so far short of a thousand. There is altogether a fault in this matter.

Preached under the shade of trees which I planted about forty years ago.

Sun 12 Sep 1784: Dr. Coke read prayers and I preached in the New Room. Afterward, I hastened to Kingswood and preached under the shade of that double row of trees which I planted about forty years ago. How little did any one then think that they would answer such an intention! The sun shone as hot as it used to do even in Georgia. But his rays could not pierce our canopy. And our Lord meantime shone upon many souls and refreshed them that were weary.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hearts were broken in pieces

Sat 11 Sep 1762: I preached at one on the cliff, near Penzance, and in the evening at Newlyn. Sunday, 12. At eight God was in the midst, and many hearts were broken in pieces. Between one and two I preached at Sancreet, where I never was before. Abundance of strangers came from every side; and I believe not many went empty away. Hence we rode to St. Just, where I spent two comfortable nights, the congregations being very large, evening and morning.

Friday, September 10, 2010

For Believers Suffering

This little one verse hymn (to the tune Snowfields) is useful as we remember suffering that we have been, or are going, through. I don't think it has found its way into any of the hymnals:

Lord, I adore thy gracious will,
Through every instrument of ill
My Father's goodness see,
Accept the complicated wrong (2 Sam.16:5-13)
Of Shimei's hand and Shimei's tongue
As kind rebukes from thee. (Rev. 3:19)

St. Hilary-Downs

Fri 10 Sep 1762: I preached on St. Hilary-Downs, to a congregation gathered from all parts. Abundance of them were athirst for God: And he did not deceive their hope. The cry of the mourners went up before him, and he sent down an answer of peace.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

An invective against my brother and me

Thu 9 Sep 1790: I read over the experience of Joseph Humphrys; the first Lay Preacher that assisted me in England, in the year 1738. From his own mouth I learn, that he was perfected in love, and so continued for at least a twelvemonth. Afterwards he turned Calvinist, and joined Mr. Whitefield, and published an invective against my brother and me in the newspaper. In a while he renounced Mr. Whitefield, and was ordained a Presbyterian Minister. At last he received Episcopal ordination. He then scoffed at inward religion; and when reminded of his own experience, replied, "That was one of the foolish things which I wrote in the time of my madness!"

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Hymnal

Before beginning to periodically post some of J&C W's hymns, here is the way JW divides the hymns in 'A Collection of Hymns for the Use of The People Called Methodists'. If you'd like a particular type of hymn at a particular moment in your life, please e-mail me and I'll do my best to find one for you [ ]

PART I: Introductory Hymns

Exhorting, and beseeching to return to God
Describing the Pleasantness of Religion
Praying for a Blessing

PART II: Convincing

Describing Formal Religion
Describing Inward Religion

PART III: Praying for Repentance

Praying for Repentance
For Mourners convinced of Sin
For Mourners brought to the Birth
Convinced of Backsliding

PART IV: For Believers

For Believers Fighting
For Believers Praying
For Believers Watching
For Believers Working
For Believers Suffering
Groaning for full Redemption
For Believers Brought to the Birth
For Believers Saved
For Believers Interceding for the World

PART V: For the Society

For the Society, giving Thanks
For the Society, Praying
For the Society, Parting

Toronto blessing in 1784

Wed 8 Sep 1784: I preached at Kendleshire, where I do not remember to have been for near forty years. On the two following days, I preached at Clutton and Coleford. After preaching to an earnest congregation at Coleford, I met the society. They contained themselves pretty well during the exhortation, but when I began to pray, the flame broke out. Many cried aloud, many sunk to the ground, many trembled exceedingly, but all seemed to be quite athirst for God and penetrated by the presence of his power.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

John Wesley's Instructions for Singing 1761

I am going to be starting some posts on Wesley's hymns soon and thought I'd start with these "instructions":
I. "Learn these Tunes before you learn any others ....
II. Sing them exactly as they are printed here without altering or mending them at all ...
III. Sing ALL. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can ...
IV. Sing lustily and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength ...
V. Sing modestly. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony ...
VI. Sing in Time. Whatever time is sung, be sure to keep with it. Do not run before nor stay behind it ... and take care not to sing too slow...
VII. Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself or any other creature."

A sinner gladly received us

Tue 7 Sep 1762: I preached at Porkellis about one o’clock. Thence I rode on to Mullion, near the Lizard-Point. A man who was a sinner gladly received us; for he knew God had received him; having been deeply convinced of sin the last time I preached near Helstone, and not long after filled with peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
A flame was kindled almost as soon as I began to speak, which increased more and more, all the time I was preaching, as well as during the meeting of the society. How tender are the hearts of this people! Such is the advantage of true Christian simplicity!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The power of God was mightily present

Mon 6 Sep 1790: This evening the congregation was almost as large as it was the night before; and the power of God was mightily present: And so it was on Tuesday and Wednesday evening at Bristol.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

That vile custom

Sun 5 Sep 1790: At ten we had a numerous congregation, and more communicants than ever I saw here before. This day I cut off that vile custom, I know not when or how it began, of preaching three times a day by the same Preacher, to the same congregation; enough to weary out both the bodies and minds of the speaker, as well as his hearers. Surely God is returning to this society! They are now in earnest to make their calling and election sure.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Last Will and Testament of John Wesley

In the name of God, Amen.
I, JOHN WESLEY, Clerk, some time Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, revoking all others, appoint this to be my last Will and Testament.
I give all my books, now on sale, and the copies of them, (only subject to a rent-charge of eighty-five pounds a year, to the widow and children of my brother,) to my faithful friends, John Horton, Merchant; George Wolff, Merchant; and William Marriott, Stock-Broker, all of London, in trust, for the general Fund of the Methodist Conference, in carrying on the work of God, by Itinerant Preachers; on condition that they permit the following Committee, Thomas Coke, James Creighton, Peard Dickenson, Thomas Rankin, George Whitfield, and the London Assistant, for the time being, still to superintend the printing-press, and to employ Hannah Paramore and George Paramore, as heretofore; unless four of the Committee judge a change to be needful.
I give the books, furniture, and whatever else belongs to me in the three houses at Kingswood, in trust, to Thomas Coke, Alexander Mather, and Henry Moore, to be still employed in teaching and maintaining the children of poor Travelling Preachers.
I give to Thomas Coke, Doctor John Whitehead, and Henry Moore, all the books which are in my study and bedchamber at London, and in my studies elsewhere, in trust, for the use of the Preachers who shall labour there from time to time.
I give the coins, and whatever else is found in the drawer of my bureau at London, to my dear grand-daughters, Mary and Jane Smith.
I give all my manuscripts to Thomas Coke, Doctor Whitehead, and Henry Moore, to be burned or published as they see good. I give whatever money remains in my bureau and pockets, at my decease, to be equally divided between Thomas Briscoe, William Collins, John Easton, and Isaac Brown.
I desire my gowns, cassocks, sashes, and bands, may remain in the chapel for the use of the Clergymen attending there.
I desire the London Assistant, for the time being, to divide the rest of my wearing apparel between those four of the Travelling Preachers that want it most; only my pelisse I give to the Rev. Mr. Creighton; my watch to my friend Joseph Bradford; my gold seal to Elizabeth Ritchie.
I give my chaise and horses to James Ward and Charles Wheeler, in trust, to be sold, and the money to be divided, one half to Hannah Abbott, and the other to the members of the select society.
Out of the first money which arises from the sale of books, I bequeath to my dear sister, Martha Hall, (if alive,) forty pounds; to Mr. Creighton aforesaid, forty pounds; and to the Rev. Mr. Heath, sixty pounds.
And whereas I am empowered, by a late Deed, to name the persons who are to preach in the new chapel, at London, (the Clergymen for a continuance,) and by another Deed, to name a Committee for appointing Preachers, in the new chapel, at Bath, I do hereby appoint John Richardson, Thomas Coke, James Creighton, Peard Dickenson, Clerks; Alexander Mather, William Thompson, Henry Moore, Andrew Blair, John Valton, Joseph Bradford, James Rogers, and William Myles, to preach in the new chapel at London, and to be the Committee for appointing Preachers in the new chapel at Bath.
I likewise appoint Henry Brooke, Painter; Arthur Keene, Gent.; and William Whitestone, Stationer, all of Dublin, to receive the annuity of five pounds, (English,) left to Kingswood School, by the late Roger Shiel, Esq.
I give six pounds to be divided among the six poor men, named by the Assistant, who shall carry my body to the grave; for I particularly desire there may be no hearse, no coach, no escutcheon, no pomp, except the tears of them that loved me, and are following me to Abraham’s bosom. I solemnly adjure my Executors, in the name of God, punctually to observe this.
Lastly, I give to each of those Travelling Preachers who shall remain in the Connexion six months after my decease, as a little token of my love, the eight volumes of sermons.
I appoint John Horton, George Wolff, and William Marriott, aforesaid, to be Executors of this my last Will and Testament; for which trouble they will receive no recompence till the resurrection of the just.
Witness my hand and seal, the 20th day of February, 1789.

Signed, sealed, and delivered, by the said Testator, as and for his last Will and Testament, in the presence of us,
Should there be any part of my personal estate undisposed of by this my last Will, I give the same unto my two nieces, E. Ellison, and S. Collet, equally.

Feb. 25, 1789
I give my types, printing-presses, and every thing pertaining thereto, to Mr. Thomas Rankin, and Mr. George Whitfield, in trust, for the use of the Conference.
To all to whom these Presents shall come, JOHN WESLEY, late of Lincoln College, Oxford, but now of the City-Road, London, Clerk, sendeth greeting:—
Whereas divers buildings, commonly called chapels, with a messuage and dwelling-house, or other appurtenances, to each of the same belonging, situate in various parts of Great Britain, have been given and conveyed, from time to time, by the said John Wesley, to certain persons and their heirs, in each of the said gifts and conveyances named; which are enrolled in His Majesty’s High Court of Chancery, upon the acknowledgment of the said John Wesley (pursuant to the Act of Parliament in that case made and provided); upon trust, that the Trustees in the said several Deeds respectively named, and the survivors of them, and their heirs and assigns, and the Trustees for the time being, to be elected as in the said Deeds is appointed, should permit and suffer the said John Wesley, and such other person and persons as he should for that purpose from time to time nominate and appoint, at all times during his life, at his will and pleasure to have and enjoy the free use and benefit of the said premises, that he the said John Wesley, and such person and persons as he should nominate and appoint, might therein preach and expound God's Holy Word; and upon further trust, that the said respective Trustees, and the survivors of them, and their heirs and assigns, and the Trustees for the time being, should permit and suffer Charles Wesley, brother of the said John Wesley, and such other person and persons as the said Charles Wesley should for that purpose from time to time nominate and appoint, in like manner during his life, to have, use, and enjoy the said premises respectively, for the like purposes as aforesaid; and after the decease of the survivor of them, the said John Wesley and Charles Wesley, then upon further trust, that the said respective Trustees, and the survivors of them, and their heirs and assigns, and the Trustees for the time being for ever, should permit and suffer such person and persons, and for such time and times, as should be appointed at the yearly Conference of the people called Methodists, in London, Bristol, or Leeds, and no others, to have and enjoy the said premises for the purposes aforesaid: And whereas divers persons have, in like manner, given or conveyed many chapels, with messuages and dwelling-houses, or other appurtenances, to the same belonging, situate in various parts of Great Britain, and also in Ireland, to certain Trustees, in each of the said gifts and conveyances respectively named, upon the like trusts, and for the same uses and purposes as aforesaid (except only that in some of the said gifts and conveyances, no life-estate or other interest is therein or thereby given and reserved to the said Charles Wesley): And whereas, for rendering effectual the trusts created by the said several gifts or conveyances, and that no doubt or litigation may arise with respect unto the same, or the interpretation and true meaning thereof, it has been thought expedient by the said John Wesley, on behalf of himself as donor of the several chapels, with the messuages, dwelling-houses, or appurtenances, before-mentioned, as of the donors of the said other chapels, with the messuages, dwelling-houses, or appurtenances, to the same belonging, given or conveyed to the like uses and trusts, to explain the words, "Yearly Conference of the people called Methodists," contained in all the said Trust Deeds, and to declare what persons are members of the said Conference, and how the succession and identity thereof is to be continued:—
How therefore these presents witness, that, for accomplishing the aforesaid purposes, the said John Wesley doth hereby declare, that the Conference of the people called Methodists, in London, Bristol, or Leeds, ever since there hath been any yearly Conference of the said people called Methodists in any of the said places, hath always heretofore consisted of the Preachers and Expounders of God’s Holy Word, commonly called Methodist Preachers in connexion with, and under the care of, the said John Wesley, whom he hath thought expedient year after year to summons to meet him, in one or other of the said places, of London, Bristol, or Leeds, to advise with them for the promotion of the Gospel of Christ, to appoint the said persons so summoned, and the other Preachers and Expounders of God's Holy Word, also in connexion with, and under the care of, the said John Wesley, not summoned to the said yearly Conference, to the use and enjoyment of the said chapels and premises so given and conveyed upon trust for the said John Wesley, and such other person and persons as he should appoint during his life as aforesaid, and for the expulsion of unworthy and admission of new persons under his care, and into his connexion, to be Preachers and Expounders as aforesaid, and also of other persons upon trial for the like purposes; the names of all which persons so summoned by the said John Wesley, the persons appointed, with the chapels and premises to which they were so appointed, together with the duration of such appointments, and of those expelled or admitted into connexion or upon trial, with all other matters transacted and done at the said yearly Conference, have, year by year, been printed and published under the title of "Minutes of Conference."
And these presents further witness, and the said John Wesley doth hereby avouch and further declare, that the several persons herein-after named, to wit, the said John Wesley and Charles Wesley; Thomas Coke, of the city of London, Doctor of Civil Law; James Creighton, of the same place, Clerk; Thomas Tennant, of the same place; Thomas Rankin, of the same place; Joshua Keighley, of Sevenoaks, in the county of Kent; James Wood, of Rochester, in the said county of Kent; John Booth, of Colchester; Thomas Cooper, of the same place; Richard Whatcoat, of Norwich; Jeremiah Brettel, of Lynn, in the county of Norfolk; Jonathan Parkin, of the same place; Joseph Pescod, of Bedford; Christopher Watkins, of Northampton; John Barber, of the same place; John Broadbent, of Oxford; Joseph Cole, of the same place; Jonathan Cousins, of the city of Gloucester; John Brettel, of the same place; John Mason, of Salisbury; George Story, of the same place; Francis Wrigley, of St. Austle, in the county of Cornwall; William Green, of the city of Bristol; John Moon, of Plymouth-Dock; James Hall, of the same place; James Thom, of St. Austle, aforesaid; Joseph Taylor, of Redruth, in the said county of Cornwall; William Hoskins, of Cardiff, Glamorganshire; John Leech, of Brecon; William Saunders, of the same place; Richard Rodda, of Birmingham; John Fenwick, of Burslem, Staffordshire; Thomas Hanby, of the same place; James Rogers, of Macclesfield; Samuel Bardsley, of the same place; John Murlin, of Manchester; William Percival, of the same place; Duncan Wright, of the city of Chester; John Goodwin, of the same place; Parson Greenwood, of Liverpool; Zechariah Udall, of the same place; Thomas Vasey, of the same place; Joseph Bradford, of Leicester; Jeremiah Robertshaw, of the same place; William Myles, of Nottingham; Thomas Longley, of Derby; Thomas Taylor, of Sheffield; William Simpson, of the same place; Thomas Carlill, of Grimsby, in the county of Lincoln; Robert Scott, of the same place; Joseph Harper, of the same place; Thomas Corbit, of Gainsborough, in the county of Lincoln; James Ray, of the same place; William Thompson, of Leeds, in the county of York; Robert Roberts, of the same place; Samuel Bradburn, of the same place; John Valton, of Birstal, in the said county; John Allen, of the same place; Isaac Brown, of the same place; Thomas Hanson, of Huddersfield, in the said county; John Shaw, of the same place; Alexander Mather, of Bradford, in the said county; Joseph Benson, of Halifax, in the said county; William Dufton, of the same place; Benjamin Rhodes, of Keighley, in the said county; John Easton, of Colne, in the county of Lancaster; Robert Costerdine, of the same place; Jasper Robinson, of the Isle of Man; George Button, of the same place; John Pawson, of the city of York; Edward Jackson, of Hull; Charles Atmore, of the said city of York; Lancelot Harrison, of Scarborough; George Shadford, of Hull, aforesaid; Barnabas Thomas, of the same place; Thomas Briscoe, of Yarm, in the said county of York; Christopher Peacock, of the same place; William Thom, of Whitby, in the said county of York; Robert Hopkins, of the same place; John Peacock, of Barnard Castle; William Collins, of Sunderland; Thomas Dixon, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Christopher Hopper, of the same place; William Boothby, of the same place; William Hunter, of Berwick-upon-Tweed; Joseph Saunderson, of Dundee, Scotland; William Warrener, of the same place; Duncan M’Allum, of Aberdeen, Scotland; Thomas Rutherford, of the city of Dublin, in the kingdom of Ireland; Daniel Jackson, of the same place; Henry Moore, of the city of Cork, Ireland; Andrew Blair, of the same place; Richard Watkinson, of Limerick, Ireland; Nehemiah Price, of Athlone, Ireland; Robert Lindsay, of Sligo, Ireland; George Brown, of Clones, Ireland; Thomas Barber, of Charlemont, Ireland; Henry Foster, of Belfast, Ireland; and John Crook, of Lisburne, Ireland, Gentlemen; being Preachers and Expounders of God's Holy Word, under the care and in connexion with the said John Wesley, have been, and now are, and do, on the day of the date hereof, constitute the members of the said Conference, according to the true intent and meaning of the said several gifts and conveyances wherein the words, Conference of the people called Methodists, are mentioned and contained; and that the said several persons before-named, and their successors for ever, to be chosen as hereafter mentioned, are and shall for ever be construed, taken, and be, the Conference of the people called Methodists. Nevertheless, upon the terms, and subject to the regulations herein-after prescribed; that is to say,
First, That the members of the said Conference, and their successors for the time being for ever, shall assemble once in every year, at London, Bristol, or Leeds, (except as after-mentioned,) for the purposes aforesaid; and the time and place of holding every subsequent Conference shall be appointed at the preceding one, save that the next Conference after the date hereof shall be holden at Leeds, in Yorkshire, the last Tuesday in July next.
Second, The act of the majority in number of the Conference assembled as aforesaid, shall be had, taken, and be the act of the whole Conference, to all intents, purposes, and constructions whatsoever.
Third, That after the Conference shall be assembled as aforesaid, they shall first proceed to fill up all the vacancies occasioned by death or absence, as after-mentioned.
Fourth, No act of the Conference assembled as aforesaid, shall be had, taken, or be the act of the Conference, until forty of the members thereof are assembled, unless reduced under that number by death since the prior Conference, or absence as after-mentioned; nor until all the vacancies occasioned by death or absence shall be filled up by the election of new members of the Conference, so as to make up the number one hundred, unless there be not a sufficient number of persons objects of such election; and during the assembly of the Conference, there shall always be forty members present at the doing of any act, save as aforesaid, or otherwise such act shall be void.
Fifth, The duration of the yearly assembly of the Conference shall not be less than five days, nor more than three weeks, and be concluded by the appointment of the Conference, if under twenty-one days; or otherwise the conclusion thereof shall follow of course at the end of the said twenty-one days; the whole of all which said time of the assembly of the Conference shall be had, taken, considered, and be the yearly Conference of the people called Methodists; and all acts of the Conference, during such yearly assembly thereof, shall be the acts of the Conference, and none other.
Sixth, Immediately after all the vacancies occasioned by death or absence are filled up by the election of new members as aforesaid, the Conference shall choose a President and Secretary of their assembly out of themselves, who shall continue such until the election of another President or Secretary in the next, or other subsequent Conference; and the said President shall have the privilege and power of two members in all acts of the Conference during his presidency, and such other powers, privileges, and authorities, as the Conference shall from time to time see fit to entrust into his hands.
Seventh, Any member of the Conference absenting himself from the yearly assembly thereof for two years successively, without the consent or dispensation of the Conference, and be not present on the first day of the third yearly assembly thereof, at the time and place appointed for the holding of the same, shall cease to be a member of the Conference from and after the said first day of the said third yearly assembly thereof, to all intents and purposes, as though he were naturally dead. But the Conference shall and may dispense with or consent to the absence of any member from any of the said yearly assemblies for any cause which the Conference may see fit or necessary; and such member, whose absence shall be so dispensed with or consented to by the Conference, shall not by such absence cease to be a member thereof.
Eighth, The Conference shall and may expel and put out from being a member thereof, or from being in connexion therewith, or from being upon trial, any person, member of the Conference, or admitted into connexion, or upon trial, for any cause which to the Conference may seem fit or necessary; and every member of the Conference so expelled and put out, shall cease to be a member thereof, to all intents and purposes, as though he was naturally dead. And the Conference, immediately after the expulsion of any member thereof as aforesaid, shall elect another person to be a member of the Conference, in the stead of such member so expelled.
Ninth, The Conference shall and may admit into connexion with them, or upon trial, any person or persons whom they shall approve, to be Preachers and Expounders of God’s Holy Word, under the care and direction of the Conference; the name of every such person or persons so admitted into connexion or upon trial as aforesaid, with the time and degrees of the admission, being entered in the Journals or Minutes of the Conference.
Tenth, No person shall be elected a member of the Conference, who hath not been admitted into connexion with the Conference, as a Preacher and Expounder of God's Holy Word, as aforesaid, for twelve months.
Eleventh, The Conference shall not, nor may, nominate or appoint any person to the use and enjoyment of, or to preach and expound God’s Holy Word in, any of the chapels and premises so given or conveyed, or which may be given or conveyed upon the trusts aforesaid, who is not either a member of the Conference, or admitted into connexion with the same, or upon trial as aforesaid; nor appoint any person for more than three years successively, to the use and enjoyment of any chapel and premises already given, or to be given or conveyed, upon the trusts aforesaid, except ordained Ministers of the Church of England.
Twelfth, That the Conference shall and may appoint the place of holding the yearly assembly thereof, at any other city, town, or place, than London, Bristol, or Leeds, when it shall seem expedient so to do.
Thirteenth, And for the convenience of the chapels and premises already, or which may hereafter be, given or conveyed upon the trusts aforesaid, situate in Ireland, or other parts out of the kingdom of Great Britain, the Conference shall and may, when and as often as it shall seem expedient, but not otherwise, appoint and delegate any member or members of the Conference, with all or any of the powers, privileges, and advantages, herein-before contained or vested in the Conference; and all and every the acts, admissions, expulsions, and appointments whatsoever of such member or members of the Conference, so appointed and delegated as aforesaid, the same being put into writing, and signed by such delegate or delegates, and entered in the Journals or Minutes of the Conference, and subscribed as after-mentioned, shall be deemed, taken, and be, the acts, admissions, expulsions, and appointments of the Conference, to all intents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever, from the respective times when the same shall be done by such delegate or delegates; notwithstanding anything herein contained to the contrary.
Fourteenth, All resolutions and orders touching elections, admissions, expulsions, consents, dispensations, delegations, or appointments and acts whatsoever of the Conference, shall be entered and written in the Journals or Minutes of the Conference, which shall be kept for that purpose, publicly read, and then subscribed by the President and Secretary thereof for the time being, during the time such Conference shall be assembled; and when so entered and subscribed, shall be had, taken, received, and be, the acts of the Conference, and such entry and subscription as aforesaid shall be had, taken, received, and be, evidence of all and every such acts of the said Conference, and of their said delegates, without the aid of any other proof; and whatever shall not be so entered and subscribed as aforesaid, shall not be had, taken, received, or be, the act of the Conference: And the said President and Secretary are hereby required and obliged to enter and subscribe, as aforesaid, every act whatever of the Conference.
Lastly, Whenever the said Conference shall be reduced under the number of forty members, and continue so reduced for three yearly assemblies thereof successively, or whenever the members thereof shall decline or neglect to meet together annually for the purposes aforesaid, during the space of three years, that then, and in either of the said events, the Conference of the people called Methodists shall be extinguished, and all the aforesaid powers, privileges, and advantages shall cease, and the said chapels and premises, and all other chapels and premises, which now are, or hereafter may be, settled, given, or conveyed, upon the trusts aforesaid, shall vest in the Trustees for the time being of the said chapels and premises respectively, and their successors for ever; UPON TRUST that they, and the survivors of them, and the Trustees for the time being, do, shall, and may appoint such person and persons to preach and expound God's Holy Word therein, and to have the use and enjoyment thereof, for such time, and in such manner, as to them shall seem proper.
Provided always, that nothing herein contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to extinguish, lessen, or abridge the life-estate of the said John Wesley and Charles Wesley, or either of them, of and in any of the said chapels and premises, or any other chapels and premises, wherein they the said John Wesley and Charles Wesley, or either of them, now have, or may have, any estate or interest, power or authority whatsoever.
In witness whereof, the said John Wesley hath hereunto set his hand and seal, the twenty-eighth day of February, in the twenty-fourth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third, by the grace of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, and so forth, and in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four.
Sealed and delivered (being first duly stamped) in the presence of
>WILLIAM CLULOW, Quality Court, Chancery-Lane, London.
RICHARD YOUNG, Clerk to the said William Clulow.
Taken and acknowledged by the Rev. John Wesley, party hereto, this 28th of February, 1784, at the Public Office, before me,
The above is a true Copy of the original Deed, (which is enrolled in Chancery,) and was therewith examined by us,
Dated Feb. 28th, 1784.
The Rev. John Wesley’s Declaration and Appointment of the Conference of the people called Methodists, enrolled in His Majesty's High Court of Chancery, the ninth day of March, in the year of our Lord 1784, being first duly stamped according to the tenor of the Statutes, made for that purpose.

A serious, but small congregation

Sat 4 Sep 1790: I went on to Bath, and preached in the evening to a serious, but small congregation, for want of notice.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself

Fri 3 Sep 1784: I preached at Guinea Street, and the Word of God was with power, in consequence of which there was a large congregation at five in the morning, although they had not been accustomed before to any service at that hour. Saturday 4 in the evening, I preached at Bath. Sunday 5, I read prayers, preached, and administered the Sacrament to a large congregation. But it was larger in the afternoon, and largest of all in the evening when I opened and applied, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ And many were laid in the balance and found wanting, even of those who had often appealed to this very rule.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Thursday September 2 1736: I set out in a sloop, and about ten on Sunday morning came to Skidaway; which (after reading prayers and preaching to a small congregation) I left, and came to Savannah in the evening.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Legal opinion regarding whether healthcare workers may or may not strike.

Healthcare practitioners may on occasion want to exercise their constitutional right to strike at the same time that persons want to exercise their constitutional right to access health care.

The issue is firstly, whether it is legal for healthcare professionals to strike and secondly, whether it is ethical for healthcare professionals to strike.

Rule of law
There are three areas of consultation which provide guidelines in this regard:

1. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa
a) Chapter 2 of the Constitution comprises the Bill of Rights and Section 23 refers specifically to labour relations. Section 23 (2) (c) confers the right of every worker to strike.
b) Section 36 allows for the limitation of rights and requires that any restriction on a right must be reasonable and proportional in that the impact or extent of the restriction must match the importance of the right.
c) Section 39 (1) (a) contains an important instruction to judges who apply the Bill of Rights, requiring that when interpreting the Bill of Rights, the court, tribunal or forum must promote the values that underlie an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom.
d) Section 11 confers the right to life to every person.
e) Section 27 (1) states that everyone has the right to have access to healthcare, including reproductive healthcare.
f) Section 27 (3) states that nobody may be refused emergency medical treatment.
g) Section 28 (1) states that every child has the right to basic healthcare services.

2. The Labour Relations Act
a) Section 64 (1) recognises the right of every employee to strike.
b) Section 65 (1) (d) (i) places a limitation on the right to strike if that person is engaged in an essential service.
c) Section 213 defines an essential service (in part) as a service which, if interrupted, endangers the life or health of the whole or part of the population.
d) Section 70 and 72 set out the procedures for the establishment of the Essential Services Committee and the determining of agreed minimum services to be regarded as an essential service.

3. Ethical Guidelines of the Health Professional Council of South Africa
a) Chapter One reminds practitioners that the right and privilege to practise their profession comes with moral and ethical duties to others and society
b) Chapter Two reminds practitioners that the bioethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice are duties that healthcare professionals are never relieved of.

1) The element issue is whether healthcare professionals may strike.
2) Legal reasoning method:
a) Using the Constitution
1. Section 23 confers inalienable right to strike.
2. Section 36 sets guidelines for limiting this right.
3. Sections 11, 27 and 28 confer inalienable rights on persons which are provided by healthcare professionals

b) Using the Labour Relations Act
1) Section 64 recognises the right of every employee to strike, but section 65 places a limitation on the right to strike if the person is engaged in an essential service.
2) While some services are specifically named as essential services in the Act, medical services is not one of those mentioned.
3) The Essential Services Committee can set out agreed minimum services to be regarded as essential services.

c) Using the Ethical Guidelines of Healthcare Professionals of South Africa :
No healthcare professional should engage in an action which would endanger the life of a person. Emergency treatment cannot be refused by a healthcare professional and neither should a healthcare professional prevent a person from accessing a healthcare institution.

3. Comparing the definition of the element issue with the facts:
Healthcare Practitioners have the inalienable right to strike. This right can affect the inalienable right that persons have to access healthcare.

4. Result of the comparison:
The right of healthcare professionals to strike needs to be balanced with the rights of persons to access healthcare. For this reason, a limitation of the right is required. Such a limitation should allow for a strike by healthcare practitioners while at the same time ensuring that clearly defined minimum essential services are maintained, so that no person is endangered or refused emergency medical treatment during the strike. Such clearly defined minimum essential medical services have not yet been defined by statute. In the absence of all healthcare work being declared an essential service, healthcare practitioners therefore may exercise their right to strike, but need to ensure that emergency services continue without disruption for the duration of the strike.

Human rights are basic and fundamental rights to which every person is entitled. The Bill of Rights applies vertically (between Government and citizens) and horizontally (between one private citizen or private body and another). The right of healthcare practitioners to strike needs to be balanced with the right of persons to access health care. Because the language in the Bill of Rights is broad, these rights need careful interpretation by judges. Reasonableness and proportionality are two central concepts to be applied by them. Based on all the above, a strike by healthcare practitioners is legal and ethical if it does not result in endangerment to life and refusal of emergency treatment

Whether the State could impose a blanket ban on strike action by healthcare professionals in the absence of a minimum services agreement is an issue that will probably only be resolved by a Constitutional Court challenge.

A strike by healthcare professionals will always be an emotional issue and if Healthcare professionals are to garner public support, the issues which lead them to strike should be issues which are meant to ensure a better healthcare service for all.

Mrs. Scudamore

Wed 1 Sep 1790: I returned to Bristol; and, it being the first day of the fair, I spoke strongly from the words of Solomon, "Buy the truth, and sell it not." In the two following days, I corrected and abridged the account of that excellent woman, Mrs. Scudamore; a burning and shining light, till the Mystics persuaded her to put her light under a bushel: So that for above two years she renounced all conversation with even her pious friends! How does this agree with Scripture? "All my delight is in the saints that are on the earth, and with them that excel in virtue!" How far was the experience of Jane Cooper, or Elizabeth Harper, preferable to that of such a solitary!