Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Strong thoughts on Christians who worry

Wed. 28 Dec 1737: Finding the unaccountable apprehensions of I know not what danger (the wind being small, and the sea smooth) which had been upon me several days, increase, I cried earnestly for help, and it pleased God as in a moment to restore peace to my soul.
Let me observe hereon, (1) that not one of these hours ought to pass out of my remembrance, till I attain another manner of spirit, a spirit equally willing to glorify God by life or by death; (2) that whoever is uneasy on any account (bodily pain alone excepted) carries in himself his own conviction that he is so far an unbeliever. Is he uneasy at the apprehension of death? Then he believeth not that ‘to die is gain’. At any of the events of life? Then he hath not a firm belief that ‘all things work together for his good’. And if he bring the matter more close, he will always find, beside the general want of faith, every particular uneasiness is evidently owing to the want of some particular Christian temper.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Wesley's flight from America 9

Mon. 26 Dec 1737: I began instructing a Negro lad in the principles of Christianity. The next day I resolved to break off living delicately, and return to my old simplicity of diet; and after I did so neither my stomach nor my head much complained of the motion of the ship.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Lowest Point of Wesley's Ministry

End of December, 1737. John Wesley ends this year at quite possibly the lowest point in his ministry.....fleeing America with a warrant out for his arrest. If you haven't followed the Sophy Hopkey debacle, you can read the related posts at Sophy Hopkey Debacle.
It all started here:

Wed. 3 Aug 1737. We returned to Savannah. Sunday 7, I repelled Mrs. Williamson from the Holy Communion. And Monday 8, Mr. Recorder of Savannah issued out the warrant following:
Georgia, Savannah Ss.
To all Constables, Tithingmen, and others, whom these may concern:
You, and each of you, are hereby required to take the body of John Wesley......

Christmas 2011 on Resurrection remembrance day

Remember the days: 
Friday, the day we murdered Jesus; 
Saturday, the Sabbath, the day that got Jesus into so much trouble with the religious people of His day and the day He was in the tomb; and 
Sunday, the first day of the week, the LORD's Day, the day He was raised from the dead and the day, week after week, year after year, century after century, millennium after millennium, people have gathered to celebrate Resurrection. This year we celebrate His birth on His Resurrection day remembrance...what a celebration!
Remember the days.

I wish all the followers of my blog a blessed, Christ filled, joyous and peaceful Christmas.

[Read more about Biblical Timing and The Days here]

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I took my leave of America 8

Thur. 22 Dec 1737. I took my leave of America (though, if it please God, not for ever), going on board the Samuel, Capt. Percy, Commander, with a young gentleman who had been a few months in Carolina, one of my parishioners of Savannah, and a Frenchman, late of Purrysburg, who was escaped thence with the skin of his teeth. Saturday 24, we sailed over Charleston bar, and about noon lost sight of land.
The next day the wind was fair, but high, as it was on Sunday 25, when the sea affected me more than it had done in the sixteen weeks of our passage to America. I was obliged to lie down the greatest part of the day, being easy only in that posture.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day of Prayer and Fasting for Amcare 21st December 2011

Day of Prayer and Fasting for Amcare 21st December 2011

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Gal 6:2)

Thank you so much for your commitment to pray and fast for Amcare today. We gather today in prayer and fasting to bear the burden of and pray for Amcare’s leadership, Amcare’s staff and recently retrenched staff, and the people who Amcare serve. God has miraculously intervened many times in Amcare’s short history and we come before Him today, humbling ourselves (by fasting) and asking Him (by prayer) to intervene again.

The following is a guide to help you in your time of prayer and to focus your attention if/when your mind wanders. It comprises 3 sections, namely Personal preparation, Specific prayers for Amcare and Closing prayers. Please do not feel obliged to use this guide, it is merely an aid.

The last page is blank and has been included for you to record any specific revelations, through word, prayer or vision that God might give to you. You don’t need to record your name with your input as satan will probably tempt us to pride. It will be interesting to compare all the notes at the end of the day and find common threads and even hear God speaking to us through the revelations He might choose to give to some/all of us.

1.     Personal Preparation
Come into His presence: Millions of Christians and Jews use the following Psalm every day as a preparation for coming into the presence of the LORD

Psalm 95:1-7
Come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before God's presence with thanksgiving;
and raise to the Lord a shout with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God;
you are great above all gods.
In your hand are the caverns of the earth;
and the heights of the hills are yours also.
The sea is yours, for you made it,
and your hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down and bend the knee,
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For you are our God,
and we are the people of your pasture, and the sheep of your hand.
Oh, that today we would hearken to your voice!

Confession: For Confession Meditation: For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. (1 Thessalonians 4:7)
                   For Confession Prayer: Psalm 51

Let us remind ourselves of what we believe:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

Let us remember the hope we have:

This is a canticle called A Song of Faith and it reminds us of the hope we have as we pray. It is based on 1 Peter 1:3-4, 18-21

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by divine mercy we have a new birth into a living hope;
Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
we have an inheritance that is imperishable in heaven.
The ransom that was paid to free us
was not paid in silver or gold,
But in the precious blood of Christ,
the Lamb without spot or stain.
God raised Jesus from the dead and gave him glory
so that we might have faith and hope in God.

2.     Specific Prayer for Amcare
We are praying for Amcare’s Financial Viability and ongoing mission.
For the following reasons, funding is currently severely strained and threatened as we plan for 2012:                                
1.     Funding from American Pepfar fund has been drastically reduced;
2.     The South African Mining Charter has drastically reduced donations from mining companies;
3.     Provincial Government funding to AMCARE is in arrears and the situation has been made worse by the Gauteng Dept. of Health and Social Development being placed under administration by Central Government in the last week;
4.     R83 000 per month for food parcels and R150 000 per month for salaries has been discontinued by the NLDTF.

Please pray as led by the Spirit into the situations mentioned above;

Please pray for new sources of income;

Please pray for the leadership and staff (current and recently retrenched) of Amcare in these uncertain times;

The Psalm which is set for reading in the 4th week of Advent in our Methodist Order of Service Book is Psalm 116. Unsurprisingly, this Psalm is very apt for us as we gather to pray for Amcare in the 4th week of Advent:
Psalm 116  Someone Saved from Death Praises God   

    I love the Lord, because he hears me;
      he listens to my prayers.
 2 He listens to me
      every time I call to him.
 3 The danger of death was all around me;
      the horrors of the grave closed in on me;
      I was filled with fear and anxiety.
 4 Then I called to the Lord,      
         I beg you, Lord, save me!

 5 The Lord is merciful and good;
      our God is compassionate.
 6 The Lord protects the helpless;
      when I was in danger, he saved me.
 7 Be confident, my heart,
      because the Lord has been good to me.

 8 The Lord saved me from death;
      he stopped my tears
      and kept me from defeat.
 9 And so I walk in the presence of the Lord
      in the world of the living.
 10 I kept on believing, even when I said,      
         I am completely crushed,
 11 even when I was afraid and said,      
         No one can be trusted.
12 What can I offer the Lord
      for all his goodness to me?
 13 I will bring a wine offering to the Lord,
      to thank him for saving me.
 14 In the assembly of all his people
      I will give him what I have promised.

 15 How painful it is to the Lord
      when one of his people dies!
 16 I am your servant, Lord;
      I serve you just as my mother did.
   You have saved me from death.
 17 I will give you a sacrifice of thanksgiving
      and offer my prayer to you.
 18-19In the assembly of all your people,
      in the sanctuary of your Temple in Jerusalem,
      I will give you what I have promised.

   Praise the Lord!

3.     Closing Prayers
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

A Prayer of Chrysostom
Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfil now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Caitlin's Baptism

 The Table and the Cake.
The cake was one of the tiers of Candice and Andrew's wedding cake from 25 April 2009
Visit here for my recollections of their wedding day and marriage

 Grandparents, parents, aunts and uncle and of course......Caitlin

 Proud, thankful and beautiful parents and of course......Caitlin

 Posing after the service

Candice and Andrew's friends Roy and Sam and of course..........Caitlin

Wesley preaches once more to this careless people 7

Sun. 18 Dec 1737 I was seized with a violent flux, which I felt came not before I wanted it. Yet I had strength enough given to preach once more to this careless people; and a few ‘believed our report’.

Prayer for 4th Week of Advent (Methodist Service Book 1975)

Heavenly Father, who chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of our Lord and Saviour: fill us with your grace, that in all things we may accept your holy will and with her rejoice in your salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord

Saturday, December 17, 2011

7 months old

Has there ever been such a beautiful grandchild? This was our Caitlin's first shopping outing with Grandma and Grandpa

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wesley parts from his American friends 6

Fri. 16 Dec 1735. I parted from the last of those friends who came with me to America, Mr. Charles Delamotte, from whom I had been but a few days separate since October 14, 1735.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wesley's Flight from Georgia continues (5)

Wed. 14 Dec 1737. Being desired to read public prayers, I was much refreshed with those glorious promises contained both in the seventy-second Psalm and in the First Lesson, the fortieth chapter of Isaiah. Yea, ‘they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, and mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint!’
In the afternoon, visiting a dying man, we found him still full of the freshest advices—and busy in settling the affairs of the Czarina, Prince Thamas, and the Ottoman Porte. How natural then is the thought:
Quae cura nitentes
Pascere equos, eadem sequitur tellure repostos?
For if a soul quivering on the verge of life has still leisure for these impertinencies, one might almost believe the same dreams would continue, even in the sleep of death!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Prayer for 3rd Week of Advent (Methodist Service Book 1975)

Almighty God, who sent your servant John the Baptist to prepare your people for the coming of your Son: inspire the ministers and stewards of your truth to turn our disobedient hearts to the law of love; that when he comes again in glory, we may stand with confidence before him as our judge; who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wesley's flight from Georgia 4

Wed. 7 Dec 1737. We walked to Beaufort; where Mr. Jones (the Minister of Beaufort), with whom I lodged during my short stay here, gave me a lively idea of the old English hospitality. On Thursday Mr. Delamotte came, with whom on Friday 9th I took boat for Charleston. After a slow passage by reason of contrary winds, and some conflict (our provisions falling short) with hunger as well as cold, we came thither early in the morning, on Tuesday the 13th. Here I expected trials of a different kind, and far more dangerous. For contempt and want are easy to be borne; but who can bear respect and abundance?

A Christmas Carol from the Wesley Brothers

To us a Child of royal birth,
Heir of the promises, is given;
The Invisible appears on earth,
The Son of Man, the God of Heaven.

A Savior born, in love supreme
He comes our fallen souls to raise;
He comes His people to redeem
With all His plenitude of grace.

The Christ, by raptured seers foretold,
Filled with the eternal Spirit’s power,
Prophet, and Priest, and King behold,
And Lord of all the worlds adore.

The Lord of hosts, the God most high,
Who quits His throne on earth to live,
With joy we welcome from the sky,
With faith into our hearts receive.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Prayer of the Day: Nicholas, Bishop of Myra

Almighty God, in your love you gave your servant Nicholas of Myra a perpetual name for deeds of kindness both on land and sea: Grant, we pray, that your Church may never cease to work for the happiness of children, the safety of sailors, the relief of the poor, and the help of those tossed by tempests of doubt or grief; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sourced from Daily Office

Stars to Steer By

This is the next in my series of blogs in which I am reviewing Joan Chittister's The Liturgical Year.
[Order it here and read my earlier reviews of her book here.]
Thus far we have looked at Advent; now we move to the Christmas season, which includes Christmas Day and the season of Epiphany.

She describes in great, but simple, detail how and why it came about that the Western Church celebrates Christmas Day on 25 December and the Eastern Church on 6 January. This invloves a discussion around the different calendars used in these parts of the world when the dates were being decided. Interesting cultural beliefs regarding when a perfect person like Jesus would die are shown to be a source in deciding the date for his birth based on the date we have for his death. This is just one example of well researched material Chittester provides that makes for useful sermon fillers.

She helpfully ties in pagan practises that were widespread in the world into which the early church exploded and how many of them were "Christianised". This does not necessarily make the Christian practises bad, but rather proves the redemptive power of the gospel to bring the Light of the World to bear on all things. Pointing out how Stonehenge is built in a way to pick up the first rays of light on the winter solstice, the longest night and 'darkest' day, and then relating this to the Christ who comes as Light even into the darkest night of the soul, shows how the gospel indeed brings light and redemption to a lost world. What a wonderful time (in the Northern Hemisphere) to celebrate the birth of the Light of the world.

There is much more in this vein, but Chittester constantly reminds us that the liturgical season of Christmas is there to remind us to celebrate life, God's greatness, and the manifestation of divinity in our midst.

"This one is both the God who reaches down to us and the human who raises us up to God"
"God is with us. The Radiant Dawn has swallowed up the darkness."

Of course, the centre point of the liturgical year is not Christmas, but Easter. Chittester reminds us:

"Christmas is not meant to leave us with nothing more than a child's perception of what it means to see a baby in a manger scene. It is meant to take us to the level of spiritual maturity where we are capable of seeing in a manger the meaning of an empty tomb. It is meant to enable us to see through the dark days of life to the stars beyond them."

Christmas is followed by Epiphany where we remember the journey of the magi, "to pay him homage." This season reminds us that "the world recognises the heavenly in this tiny Child. And the Child recognises the people of God in them. This is not a Christian child only; this child belongs to the world."

The Christmas season ends with the baptism of Jesus by John in the Jordan, a sign that "Jesus accepts humanity, His own and ours, in all of its struggles, all of its limitations, all of its burdens, and all its focus on the ultimate, on the divine."

"Christmas is larger than a baby in a manger. Christmas is the coming of a whole new world. More than that, it is what makes that world possible."

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Wesley's flight from Georgia 3

Sunday, December 4, 1737. God renewing our strength, we arose neither faint nor weary, and resolved to make one trial more to find a path to Port Royal. We steered due east; but finding neither path nor blaze, and the woods growing thicker and thicker, we judged it would be our best course to return, if we could, by the way we came. The day before, in the thickest part of the woods, I had broke many young trees, I knew not why, as we walked along; these we found a great help in several places where no path was to be seen; and between one and two God brought us safe to Benjamin Arieu’s house, the old man we left the day before.
In the evening I read French prayers to a numerous family, a mile from Arieu’s; one of whom undertook to guide us to Port Royal. In the morning we set out. About sunset we asked our guide if he knew where he was. Who frankly answered, ‘No.’ However, we pushed on till about seven we came to a plantation, and the next evening (after many difficulties and delays) we landed on Port Royal Island.

Prayer for 2nd Week of Advent (Methodist Service Book 1975)

Eternal God, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: help us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that through patience and the comfort of your Holy Word we may embrace and forever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wesley flees through the swamp 2

Saturday, December 3, 1737. We came to Purrysburg early in the morning, and endeavoured to procure a guide for Port Royal. But none being to be had, we set out without one, an hour before sunrise. After walking two or three hours we met with an old man, who led us into a small path, near which was a line of ‘blazed’ trees (i.e., marked by cutting off part of the bark), by following which, he said, we might easily come to Port Royal in five or six hours.
We were four in all; one of whom intended to go for England with me, the other two to settle in Carolina. About eleven we came into a large swamp, where we wandered about until near two. We then found another ‘blaze’, and pursued it till it divided into two; one of these we followed through an almost impassable thicket, a mile beyond which it ended. We made through the thicket again, and traced the other ‘blaze’ till that ended too. It now grew toward sunset, so we sat down, faint and weary, having had no food all day except a gingerbread cake which I had taken in my pocket. A third of this we had divided among us at noon; another third we took now; the rest we reserved for the morning; but we had met with no water all the day. Thrusting a stick into the ground, and finding the end of it moist, two of our company fell a digging with their hands, and at about three feet depth found water. We thanked God, drank, and were refreshed. The night was sharp; however, there was no complaining among us, but after having commended ourselves to God, we lay down close together, and (I at least) slept till near six in the morning.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Wesley's Reflections on Georgia (some very unkind)

Friday, December 2, 1737. During this time I had frequent opportunities of making many observations and inquiries concerning the real state of this province (which has been so variously misrepresented), the English settlements therein, and the Indians that have intercourse with them. These I minuted down from time to time; a small extract of which I have subjoined.

1. Georgia lies in the 30th and 31st degree of north latitude. The air is generally clear, the rains being much shorter, as well as heavier, than in England. The dews are very great. Thunder and lightning are expected almost every day in May, June, July, and August. They are very terrible, especially to a stranger. During those months, from ten in the morning to four in the afternoon, the sun is extremely scorching. But the sea-breeze generally blows from ten till three or four. The winter is nearly of the same length as in England. But the midday sun is always warm, even when the mornings and evenings are very sharp, and the nights piercing cold.
2. The land is of four sorts, pine-barren, oak-land, swamp, and marsh. The pine-land is of far the greatest extent, especially near the sea-coasts. The soil of this is a dry, whitish sand, producing shrubs of several sorts, and between them a spiry, coarse grass, which cattle do not love to feed on. But here and there is a little of a better kind, especially in the savannahs (so they call the low, watery, meadows which are usually intermixed with pine-lands). It bears naturally two sorts of fruit, hurtleberries (much like those in England) and chincapin nuts—a dry, harsh nut, about the size of a small acorn. A laborious man may in one year clear and plant four or five acres of this land. It will produce the first year from two to four bushels of Indian corn, and from four to eight of Indian pease per acre. The second year it usually bears half as much; the third, less; the fourth, nothing.
3. Vines, mulberries, and peach trees it bears well. The white mulberry is not good to eat. The black is about the size of a blackberry, and has much the same flavour. In fresh pine-land Indian potatoes grow well (which are more luscious and larger than the Irish). And so do watermelons and sewee beans, about the size of our scarlet, to be shelled and eaten like Windsor beans.
4. Oak-land commonly lies in narrow streaks between pine-land and some swamp, creek, or river. The soil is a blackish sand, producing several kinds of oak (though none exactly like the English), bay, laurel, ash, walnut, sumac trees, gum trees (a sort of sycamore), dog trees (covered in spring with large white flowers), and many hickory trees, which bear a bad kind of walnut. In the moistest part of this land some persimmon trees grow (which bear a sort of yellow, clear, luscious plum), and a few mulberry and cherry trees. The common wild grapes are of two sorts, both red. The fox-grape grows two or three only on a stalk, is thick-skinned, large-stoned, of a harsh taste, and of the size of a small Kentish cherry. The cluster-grape is of a harsh taste too, and about the size of a white currant.
5. This land requires much labour to clear; but when it is cleared it will bear any grain, for three, four, or sometimes five years, without laying any manure upon it. An acre of it generally bears ten bushels of Indian corn, besides five of pease, in a year. So that this at present is justly esteemed the most valuable land in the province.
6. A swamp is any low, watery place which is covered with trees or canes. They are here of three sorts: cypress-, river-, and cane-swamps. Cypress-swamps are mostly large ponds, in and round which cypresses grow. Most river-swamps are overflown every tide by the river which runs through or near them. If they were drained they would produce good rice; as would the cane-swamps also, which in the meantime are the best feeding for all sorts of cattle.
7. The marshes are of two sorts: soft marsh, which is all a quagmire, and absolutely good for nothing; and hard marsh, which is a firm but barren sand, bearing only sour rushes. Marshes of both sorts abound on the sea islands, which are very numerous, and contain all sorts of land. And upon these chiefly, near creeks and runs of water, juniper trees and cedars grow.
8. Savannah stands on a flat ‘bluff’ (so they term any highland hanging over a creek or river) which rises forty-five feet perpendicular from the river, and commands it several miles both upward and downward. The soil is a white sand for above a mile in breadth, south-east, and north-westward. Beyond this, eastward, is a river-swamp; westward a small wood, in which was the old Indian town. On the other side of the river is a marshy island covered with large trees. South-west of the town is a large pine-barren, which extends backward to a branch of the Altamaha River.
9. St. Simons Island, having on the south-east the Gulf of Florida, on the other sides branches of the Altamaha, is about a hundred miles south of Savannah, and extends in length about twenty, in breadth from two to five miles. On the west side of it, on a low bluff, stands Frederica, having woods to the north and south; to the east, partly woods, partly savannahs, and partly marshes. The soil is mostly a blackish sand. There is not much pine-land on the island, the greatest part being oak-land, intermixed with many savannahs and old Spanish or Indian fields.
10. On the sea-point, about five miles south-east of the town, is the fort where the soldiers are stationed. But the storehouse in Frederica better deserves that name; being encompassed with regular ramparts of earth, and a palisaded ditch, and mounted with cannon, which entirely command the river.
11. About twenty miles north-west from St. Simons is Darien, the settlement of the Scotch Highlanders, a mile from Fort King George, which was built about seventeen, and abandoned about eleven years since. The town lies on the mainland, close to a branch of the Altamaha, on a bluff thirty feet above the river, having woods on all sides. The soil is a blackish sand. They built at first many scattered huts; but last spring (1736), expecting the Spaniards, they built themselves a large fort, and all retired within the walls of it.
12. Augusta, distant from Savannah one hundred and fifty miles, and five from old Savannah town, is designed to stand in an old Indian field, on a bluff, about thirty feet high. A small fort of wooden piles was built there in 1737, but no house was then built, nor any more ground cleared than Mr. Lacy and his men found so.
13. Old Ebenezer, where the Salzburgers settled at first, lies twenty-five miles west of Savannah. A small creek runs by the town down to the river, and many brooks run between the little hills: but the soil is a hungry, barren sand, and upon any sudden shower the brooks rise several feet perpendicular, and overflow whatever is near them. Since the Salzburgers removed, two English families have been placed there; but those too say that the land is good for nothing, and that the creek is of little use, it being by water twenty miles to the river, and the water generally so low in summer-time that a boat cannot come within six or seven miles of the town.
14. New Ebenezer, to which the Salzburgers removed in March 1736, lies six miles eastward from the old, on a high bluff near the Savannah River. Here are some tracts of fruitful land, though the greatest part of that adjoining to the town is pine-barren. The huts, sixty in number, are neatly and regularly built; the little piece of ground allotted to each for a garden is everywhere put to the best use, no spot being left unplanted. Nay, even one of the main streets, being one more than was as yet wanted, bore them this year a crop of Indian corn.
15. About ten miles east of this, on a creek, three miles from the river, was the village of Abercorn. Ten families settled here in 1733, but it is now without inhabitant. Four miles below the mouth of Abercorn Creek is Joseph’s Town, the settlement of two Scotch gentlemen. A mile below was Sir Francis Bathurst’s plantation. And a quarter of a mile from this, Walter Augustin’s settlement. But both these are left without inhabitant.
16. A mile below this is Captain Williams’s43 plantation; a mile from thence, Mrs. Matthew’s (late Musgrove), commonly known by the name of Cowpen; adjoining to which is the land belonging to Captain Watson, on which is an unfinished house, swiftly running to ruin. A mile from this is Irene, a house built for an Indian school in the year 1736. It stands on a small round hill, in a little piece of fruitful ground, given by the Indians to Mr. Ingham. The Indian town is within a furlong of it.
17. Five miles south-west of Savannah, on a small rise, stands the village of Highgate. It has pine-land on three sides, and a swamp on the fourth. Twelve families were placed here in 1733, nine whereof remain there. A mile eastward of this is Hampstead, settled with twelve families also, a little before Highgate, five of which are still remaining.
18. Six miles south-east of Savannah is Thunderbolt. Three families are settled here, near a small, ruinous fort. Four miles south of this is the Island of Skidaway, on the north-east point whereof ten families were placed in 1733–34 (a small fort was built here likewise), but nine of them are either dead or removed to other places. A small creek divides Skidaway from Tybee Island, on the south-east part of which, fronting on the inlet, the lighthouse is built. Ten families were settled here in 1734, but they are part dead, and part removed, so that the island is now again without any fixed inhabitant.
19. Twelve miles southward from Savannah (by land) is Mr. Houston’s plantation; and forty or fifty miles from him, up Ogeechee River, that where Mr. Sterling for some time lived. Fort Argyle stands twenty miles from this, on a high bluff, by the River Ogeechee. ’Tis a small, square, wooden fort, musket-proof. Ten freeholders were settled near it; but eight of them are gone, and the land they had cleared, lying waste, will in a few years be as it was before.
20. The southermost settlement in Georgia is Fort St. Andrews. It stands fifty miles south of Frederica, on the south-west side of Cumberland Island, upon a high neck of land, which commands the river both ways. The walls are of wood, filled up with earth, round which are a ditch and a palisade.
21. ’Tis hard to pick out any consistent account of the Georgian Indians from the contradictory relations of their traders. The following is extracted, partly from those wherein all, or the generality of them, agree, partly from the relations of such as have been occasionally amongst them, and have no interest in making them better or worse than they are.
22. Of the Georgian Indians in general it may be observed that they are not so properly nations as tribes or clans, who have wandered thither at different times, perhaps expelled [from] their native countries by stronger tribes; but how or when they cannot tell, being none of them able to give any rational account of themselves. They are inured to hardship of all kinds, and surprisingly patient of pain. But as they have no letters, so they have no religion, no laws, no civil government. Nor have they any kings or princes, properly speaking, their ‘micos’ or headmen having no power either to command or punish, no man obeying them any farther than he pleases. So that everyone doth what is right in his own eyes; and if it appears wrong to his neighbour the person aggrieved usually steals on the other unawares, and shoots him, scalps him, or cuts off his ears; having only two short rules of proceeding—to do what he will, and what he can.
23. They are likewise all, except (perhaps) the Choctaws, gluttons, drunkards, thieves, dissemblers, liars. They are implacable, unmerciful; murderers of fathers, murderers of mothers, murderers of their own children; it being a common thing for a son to shoot his father or mother because they are old and past labour; and for a woman either to procure abortion, or to throw her child into the next river, because she will go with her husband to the war. Indeed husbands, strictly speaking, they have none; for any man leaves his wife (so called) at pleasure, who frequently, in return, cuts the throats of all the children she has had by him. Whoredom they account no crime, and few instances appear of a young Indian woman’s refusing anyone. Nor have they any fixed punishment for adultery; only if the husband take his wife with another man he will do what he can to both, unless speedily pacified by the present of a gun or a blanket.
24. The Choctaws only have some appearance of an entire nation, possessing a large extent of land, eight or nine hundred miles west of Savannah, and many well-inhabited towns. They are said to have six thousand fighting men, united under one head. At present they are in league with the French, who have sent some priests among them, by whom (if one may credit the Choctaw traders) ten or twelve have been baptized.
25. Next to these, to the north-east, are the Chickasaws. Their country is flat, full of meadows, springs, and rivers. In their fields, though six or seven hundred miles from the sea, are found sea-shells in great numbers. They have about nine hundred fighting men, ten towns, and one ‘mico’ (at least) in every one. They are eminently gluttons, eating, drinking, and smoking all day, and almost every night. They are extreme indolent and lazy, except in war: then they are the most indefatigable and the most valiant of all the Indians. But they are equally cruel with the rest, torturing and burning all their prisoners, whether Indian or European.
26. East of them, in the latitude of 35º and 36º, about three or four hundred miles from Savannah, lie the Cherokees. Their country is very mountainous, fruitful, and pleasant. They have fifty-two towns, and above three thousand fighting men. In each town are three or more headmen, who keep up a sort of shadow of government, having power to set the rest to work, and to punish such as will not join in the common labour. They are civil to strangers, and will do anything for them, for pay, being always willing, for a small piece of money, to carry a message for fifty or sixty miles, and, if required, a heavy burden too. But they are equally cruel to prisoners with the Chickasaws, though not equally valiant. They are seldom intemperate in drinking, but when they can be so on free cost. Otherwise love of drink yields to covetousness, a vice scarce to be found in any Indian but a Cherokee.
27. The Yuchis have only one small town left (near two hundred miles from Savannah), and about forty fighting men. The Creeks have been many times on the point of cutting them off. They are indeed hated by most, and despised by all the other nations, as well for their cowardice as their superlative diligence in thieving, and for outlying all the Indians upon the continent.
28. The Creek Indians are about four hundred miles from Savannah. They are said to be bounded to the west by the Choctaws, to the north by the Chickasaws, to the east by the Cherokees, and to the south by the Altamaha River. They have many towns, a plain well watered country, and fifteen hundred fighting men. They have often three or four micos in a town; but without so much as the shadow of authority, only to give advice, which everyone is at liberty to take or leave. But age and reputation for valour and wisdom have given Chigilly, a mico of the Coweta Town, a more than ordinary influence over the nation—though not even the show of regal power. Yet neither age, wisdom, nor reputation can restrain him from drunkenness. Indeed all the Creeks, having been most conversant with white men, are most infected with insatiate love of drink, as well as other European vices. They are more exquisite dissemblers than the rest of their countrymen. They know not what friendship or gratitude means. They show no inclination to learn anything, but least of all Christianity, being full as opiniated of their own parts and wisdom as either modern Chinese or ancient Roman.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wesley flees America 1

Friday, December 2, 1737. I proposed to set out for Carolina about noon, the tide then serving. But about ten the magistrates sent for me, and told me I must not go out of the province, for I had not answered the allegations laid against me. I replied, ‘I have appeared at six or seven courts successively in order to answer them. But I was not suffered so to do, when I desired it time after time.’ They then said, however, I must not go, unless I would give security to answer those allegations at their court. I asked, ‘What security?’ After consulting together about two hours the recorder showed me a kind of bond, engaging me, under a penalty of fifty pounds, to appear at their court when I should be required. He added, ‘But Mr. Williamson too has desired of us that you should give bail to answer his action.’ I then told him plainly, ‘Sir, you use me very ill, and so you do the Trustees. I will give neither any bond, nor any bail at all. You know your business, and I know mine.’
In the afternoon the magistrates published an order requiring all the officers and sentinels to prevent my going out of the province, and forbidding any person to assist me so to do. Being now only a prisoner at large, in a place where I knew by experience every day would give fresh opportunity to procure evidence of words I never said, and actions I never did, I saw clearly the hour was come for leaving this place; and as soon as evening prayers were over, about eight o’clock, the tide then serving, I shook off the dust of my feet, and left Georgia, after having preached the gospel (not as I ought, but as I was able) one year and nearly nine months.
During this time I had frequent opportunities of making many observations and inquiries concerning the real state of this province (which has been so variously misrepresented), the English settlements therein, and the Indians that have intercourse with them. These I minuted down from time to time; a small extract of which I have subjoined.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Discipline Problems

Sat 26 Nov 1757. I returned to London. Much confusion had been in my absence, occasioned by some imprudent words spoken by one who seemed to be strong in the faith.
Mon. 28. I heard all who were concerned face to face but was utterly unable to judge whether there was wilful sin, lying, on either side, or only human infirmity. For the present I leave it to the searcher of hearts, who will bring all things to light in due season.
Wed. 30. I had another long hearing of the same intricate cause. But with no more success: one side flatly affirmed, the other flatly denied. This is strange! But it is more strange that those who seem so strong in faith should have no union of spirit with each other.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Local Preacher steals the flock

Mon. 28 Nov 1785: I went to Canterbury; the chapel was more than filled. On Tuesday, I found at Dover also a considerable increase of the work of God. Wednesday 30, I went on to Margate. Some years since, we had a small society here. But a local preacher took them to himself: only two or three remained, who from time to time pressed our preachers to come again. And to remove the objection that ‘there was no place to preach in’, with the help of a few friends they built a convenient preaching-house. Thursday, I opened it in the evening. The congregation was large and perfectly well behaved. And I cannot but hope that, after all the stumbling-blocks, there will be a people here who will uniformly adorn the gospel of Christ. On Friday, I returned to London.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Prayer for First Sunday in Advent

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. {from DailyOffice]

God enabled me to speak strong words

Sun 27 Nov 1785. As soon as I had concluded my sermon at the New Chapel, I hastened away to preach at St. Luke’s, one of the largest parish churches in London. It was thoroughly filled, as it was seven years ago when I preached there before. God enabled me to speak strong words on the Epistle for the day. And I believe some felt that it was now high ‘time to awake out of sleep’.

Friday, November 25, 2011

No Methodist had preached in this town, so I thought it high time to begin

Fri 25 Nov 1774. I left them in much hope that they will continue in this earnest, simple love.
I set out between eight and nine in a one-horse chaise, the wind being high and cold enough. Much snow lay on the ground, and much fell as we crept along over the fen-banks. Honest Mr. Tubbs would needs walk and lead the horse through water and mud up to his mid leg, smiling and saying, ‘We fen-men do not mind a little dirt.’ When we had gone about four miles, the road would not admit of a chaise. So I borrowed an horse and rode forward. But not far, for all the grounds were under water. Here, therefore, I procured a boat, full twice as large as a kneading-trough. I was at one end and a boy at the other, who paddled me safe to Earith. There Miss L—— waited for me with another chaise, which brought me to St. Ives.
No Methodist, I was told, had preached in this town, so I thought it high time to begin; and about one, I preached to a very well-dressed and yet well-behaved congregation. Thence my new friend (how long will she be such?) carried me to Godmanchester near Huntington. A large barn was ready, in which Mr. Berridge and Mr. Venn used to preach. And though the weather was still severe, it was well filled with deeply attentive people. 

Daily Devotions for Week 15 Rock or Sand. Fri

Week 15 Day 5 Devotions

Particular Questions relating t o Resignation and Meekness .
1. HAVE I endeavoured to will what God wills, and that only?
2. Have I received everything that has befallen me without my choice, as the choice of infinite wisdom and goodness for me, with thanks?
3. Have I (after doing what he requires of me to do concerning them) left all future things absolutely to God’s disposal; that is, have I laboured to be wholly indifferent to whichsoever way he shall ordain for me?
4. Have I resumed my claim to my body, soul, friends, fame, or fortune, which I have made over to God; or repented of my gift, when God accepted any of them at my hands?
5. Have I endeavoured to be cheerful, mild, and courteous in whatever I said or did?
6. Have I said anything with a stern look, accent, or gesture, particularly with regard to religion?

Particular Questions relating to Thankfulness.
1. Have I allotted some time for thanking God for the blessings of the past week?
2. Have I, in order to be the more sensible of them, seriously and deliberately considered the several circumstances that attended them?
3. Have I considered each of them as an obligation to greater love, and, consequently, to stricter holiness?

© 2006

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Prayer for Thanksgiving Day

Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
[From Book of Common Prayer]

Daily Devotions for Week 15 Rock or Sand. Thu

Week 15 Day 4 Devotions

Particular Questions relating to Mortification .
1. Have I done anything merely because it was pleasing?
2. Have I not only not done what passion solicited me to, but done just the contrary?
3. Have I received the inconveniences I could not avoid as means of mortification chosen for me by God?
4. Have I contrived pretences to avoid self-denial? In particular,
5. Have I thought any occasion of denying myself too small to be embraced?
6. Have I submitted my will to the will of every one that opposed it, except where the glory of God was concerned?
7. Have I set apart some time for endeavouring after a lively sense of the sufferings of Christ and my own sins? for deprecating God’s judgment, and thinking how to amend?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Daily Devotions for Week 15 Rock or Sand. Wed

Week 15 Day 3 Devotions

Particular Questions r elating to Humility .
1. Have I laboured to conform all my thoughts, words, and actions to these fundamental maxims: "I am nothing, I have nothing, I can do nothing?"
2. Have I set apart some time this day to think upon my infirmities, follies, and sins?
3. Have I ascribed to myself any part of any good which God did by my hand?
4. Have I said or done anything with a view to the praise of people?
5. Have I desired the praise of people?
6. Have I taken pleasure in it?
7. Have I commended myself, or others, to their faces, unless for God's sake, and then with fear and trembling?
8. Have I despised any one’s advice?
9. Have I, when I thought so, said, "I am in the wrong?"
10. Have I received contempt for things indifferent, with meekness? for doing my duty, with joy?
11. Have I omitted justifying myself where the glory of God was not concerned? Have I submitted to be thought in the wrong?
12. Have I, when contemned, First, prayed God it might not discourage or puff me up; Secondly, that it might not be imputed to the contemner; Thirdly, that it might heal my pride?
13. Have I, without some particular good in view, mentioned the contempt I had met with?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wesley on Marriage and Deflowering of Women

Mon 14 Nov 1785. This week, I read over again and carefully considered Mr. Fry’s Tract upon marriage. I wonder it is not more known, as there is nothing on the head like it in the English tongue. I still think he has proved to a demonstration that no marriages are forbidden, either by the law of God or of England, but those of brothers and sisters, and those in the ascending and descending line. The contrary supposition seems to be built wholly in a misinterpretation of that expression in the eighteenth chapter of Leviticus, ‘Thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.’ But this, he clearly shows, does not mean to marry a woman, but to deflower her.