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common sense and common decency.' But they could not prevail. Many of them were altogether confounded.

On July 14th, 1744, Mr. Piers rode over with Mr. Wesley to Shoreham, and introduced him to the Rev. Vincent Perronet, an acquaintance for which he hoped to have cause to bless God for ever.'

'There is reason to believe,' says the Rev. Thomas Jackson, 'that some of John Wesley's early publications were written in Mr. Piers's house, to which he retired as a quiet asylum from the public toils in which he was generally engaged.' Mr. Piers accompanied his friend to preach his last sermon before the University of Oxford, and walked with him from St. Mary's to his inn. This stanch clerical Methodist entered into his rest about the year 1769. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and was probably a native of Ireland. Though by nature timid and gentle, and never, it is believed, infringing canonical order, he also never flinched in his testimony to the truth as preached by his less regular friends.

On the 4th of October, 1746, we find John and Charles Wesley at Sevenoaks, where, in an open place near the free-school, the former declared to a large, wild company: 'There is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.' They grew calmer and calmer till he had done, and then went quietly away. As the two brothers returned to their inn, a poor Shimei met them with curses and blasphemy. The next day being Sunday, John Wesley preached in the parish church of Shoreham. congregation, notwithstanding their Vicar's piety, seemed to understand just nothing of the matter; but 'God,' wrote the Preacher, 'can give them understanding in His time.'

The The

Mr. Wesley, in his Journal, December 15th, 1746, makes mention, for the first time, of Lewisham, where he spent most of a week in writing his Lessons for Children, which consist 'of the most practical Scriptures, with a very few short explanatory notes.'


On the 14th of May, 1747, after he had preached at Barley Hall (the Yorkshire residence of Miss Bosanquet), William Shent brought him word from Leeds that Mr. Perronet was laid up in that town of a high fever. At three on the following morning, after snatching a short rest, he set off, and arrived at his friend's lodging before eight. By the blessing of God,' remarks the man of faith, he recovered from that hour.' On the 22nd of September, he records a visit of five days to the Vicar of Shoreham, at his house: 'where,' he says, 'I preached every morning in the house, and every evening in the church. But the season of fruit is not yet.'

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On Tuesday, the 29th, he retired to the house of Mrs. Sparrow, at Lewisham, where he preached every evening till Saturday. The former portions of several following weeks he spent in the same village, alternately with Newington, in writing. About this time, Mr. Charles Perronet, the Vicar of Shoreham's most distinguished son, became Mr. Wesley's occasional companion in travel.

Mr. Perronet wrote as follows to Charles Wesley respecting his brother's marriage: November 3rd, 1752. I think the unhappy lady is most to be pitied, though the gentleman's case is mournful enough. Their sufferings proceed from widely different causes. His are the visible chastisements of a loving Father; hers, the immediate effects of an angry, bitter spirit; and, indeed, it is a sad consideration that, after so many months

who told him he had been much shaken by the still brethren, but the snare was broken, and he left him rejoicing in hope, and praising God for the consolation.'

have elapsed, the same warmth and bitterness should remain.'

On putting together the occasional entries in Wesley's Journal which connect him with the county, we easily perceive that links are missing which, if supplied, would explain more clearly the origin and progress of these local acquaintanceships and labours. We do not learn, for example, how he first came to visit Canterbury. The only passage in which he speaks of the Cathedral is the following: December 5th, 1750. I walked over the Cathedral and surveyed the monuments of the ancient men of renown. One would think such a sight should strike an utter damp upon human vanity. What are the great, the fair, the valiant now; the matchless warrior, the puissant monarch?

"A heap of dust is all remains of thee! 'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be.""

On Monday, October 22nd, 1753, after a Sunday's full work, in a state of health unequal to it, because he 'could not think of sparing himself on that day,' he rose extremely sick, yet determined, if it were possible, to keep his word; and, accordingly, set out soon after four a.m. for Canterbury! He writes: At Welling I was obliged to stop. After resting an hour, I was much better. But soon after I took horse, my sickness returned, and accompanied me to Brompton, near Chatham. In the evening I preached to a serious congregation, and at five in the morning. We came to Canterbury about one, when I was presently seized with the

cold fit of an ague.

About twelve

I fell fast asleep, and waked well at seven in the morning. Wed. 24.-—I preached in the evening without any inconvenience, and at five in the morning; but about nine, I began shivering again. After the hot fit, I lay in a profuse sweat till eight. I then gradually cooled till I fell fast asleep,

and rested sweetly till the morning. Fri. 26.-Being determined to use that interval of health, I procured a chaise, and reached Brompton in the evening. I spoke as I was able in the evening; and God bore witness to the Word of His grace.' Three weeks after, on November 19th, we find him retiring to Shoreham, where he gained strength continually, till about eleven at night (on the third day), when he was 'obliged by the cramp to leap out of bed, and continue, for some time, walking up and down the room, though it was a sharp frost. My cough,' he adds, 'now returned with greater violence, and that by day as well as by night.'

Notwithstanding this, he returned to London on the Saturday, and preached morning and evening, as it had been advertised, although his strength had given way at the morning sacrament, his voice so weak that very few could hear, and the effort brought on an increase of fever. 'However,' he writes, 'I ventured to meet the Society, and for near an hour my voice and strength were restored, so that I felt neither pain nor weakness.' On Monday morning, nevertheless, he found himself in a state which made it advisable to consult his friend and physician, the eminent Dr. Fothergill, who told him, with his Quaker plainness, 'Friend, thou must not stay in town a day longer. If anything does thee good, it must be the country air, with rest, ass's milk and riding daily.' 'So,' says Wesley, 'not being able to sit a horse, about noon I took coach for Lewisham.'

There he penned, before resting for the night, one of the rarest and most characteristic records ever put on paper :

'In the evening, not knowing how it might please God to dispose of me, to prevent vile panegyric, I wrote as follows: "Here lieth the body of John Wesley, a brand plucked out of the burning, who died of a consumption in the fifty-first year

of his age, not leaving, after his debts are paid, ten pounds behind him; praying, God be merciful to me an unprofitable servant!"'

He ordered that this, if any, inscription should be placed on his tombstone.

On the second day of his retreat :

'About noon, the time that some of our brethren in London had set apart for joining in prayer, a thought came into my mind to make an experiment ; so I ordered some stone-brimstone to be powdered, mixed with the white of an egg, and spread on brown paper, which I applied to my side. The pain ceased in five minutes, the fever in half an hour; and from this hour I began to recover strength. The next day I was able to ride, which I continued to do every day till January 1st.'


The beginning of this change was on the 28th of November: on the 14th of December he writes as in a state of convalescence, having already occupied his hours in systematic reading, although still adhering to Dr. Fothergill's instructions not to subject either mind or body to the severe strain of written composition. states: Having finished all the books which I designed to insert in The Christian Library, I broke through the doctor's order not to write, and began transcribing a journal for the press; and, in the evening, I went to prayers with the family (the Blackwells) without finding any inconvenience. On New Year's Day, 1754, he returned to town, and the next morning saw him on the wing, though far from strong, towards Bristol.

The free terms on which Mr. Wesley stood with his frequent entertainer are highly honourable to both parties. He writes to Mr. Blackwell from Bristol in 1754:

'Although I hope to see you in about a fortnight, yet I could not be satisfied without sending you a few lines first. Since I left London I have had many thoughts concern

ing you; and sometimes uneasy ones. I have been jealous over you lest you should not duly improve the numerous talents with which God has entrusted you-nay, I have

been afraid lest your very desire of improving them should grow weaker rather than stronger.... May it not partly be occasioned by your conversing more than is necessary (for, so far as it is necessary, it does not hurt us) with men that are without God in the world;.. and partly, by your giving way to a false shame, and that in several instances; and partly by allowing too large a place in your thoughts and affections even to so innocent an enjoyment as that of a garden....I know both Mrs. Blackwell and you desire to please God in all things. You will, therefore, I know, receive these hints as they are intended-not as a mark of disesteem, but rather of the sincerity with which I am, dear sir, your ever affectionate servant.'

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In a letter to a third person, Mr. Wesley records an incident honourable to his wealthy friend. Are you going to hear Mr. Wesley?' said a gentleman to Mr. Blackwell. 'No,' he answered, I am going to hear God I listen to : Him whoever preaches; otherwise, I lose all my labour.'

On the 5th of August, Mr. Wesley set out for Canterbury. On the way he read Baxter on Councils,-a book which he describes as utterly astonishing, and wholly incredible, but that his vouchers are beyond all exception. The following reflections passed through the reader's mind as he journeyed towards the head-quarters of Anglican Christianity :

'What a company of execrable wretches have they been, (one cannot justly give them a milder title,) who have, in almost every age since St. Cyprian, taken upon them to govern the Church! How has one Council been perpetually cursing another, and delivering all over to Satan, whether predecessors or contemporaries, who did not implicitly receive their determinations, though generally trifling, sometimes false, and frequently unintelligible or self-contradictory! Surely Mohammedanism was let loose to reform the Christians! I know not but Constantinople has gained by the change.'

Mr. Wesley, though 'much out of preached in the evening; but, unable order' on the day after his arrival, to do anything the next day, he hastened back to London, and thence,

by advice of Dr. Fothergill, to the hot wells at Clifton.

Some ten days before Christmas we read of Mr. Wesley's setting out for Lewisham under circumstances of some risk, but for the intervening providence of God. He had 'appointed one,' he writes, 'to meet me with my horse at the stones' end. But he mistook his way, and so left me to walk on, in my boots and great-coat. When I came within a quarter of a mile of Lewisham bridge, a coach drove swiftly by me. I wondered why the coachman stopped, till he called, and desired me to come up to him. The reason then appeared: the low grounds were quite covered with water, so that I could not have attempted to reach the bridge, without hazarding my life.'

On the 22nd of February, 1757, he preached at Deptford, of which he says: Even this wilderness does at length blossom and bud as the rose.' About this time the seraphic Walsh, then stationed in London, was occasionally his companion in travel. On the 14th of March they went together to Canterbury; 'where,' says Mr. Wesley, I preached in the evening with great enlargement of spirit; but with greater in the morning, being much refreshed at the sight of so large a number of soldiers. And is not God able to kindle the same fire in the Fleet which He has already begun to kindle in the Army?'

On the evening of Sunday, December 11th, 1757, Mr. Wesley returned to Lewisham, and spent the following days in finishing his Preservative against Unsettled Notions in Religion, designed chiefly for the use of the young Preachers. On the 27th of February, 1758, 'having a sermon to write against the Assizes at Bedford,' he again 'retired for a few days to Lewisham.' This solemn and remarkable discourse was printed under the title, The Great Assize.

tober, 1758, he met with a singular accident. He relates: 'As we came into the city, a stone flew out of the pavement and struck my mare upon the leg with such violence that she dropped down at once. I kept my seat, till, in struggling to arise, she fell again, and rolled over me. When she rose, I endeavoured to rise too, but found I had no use of my right leg or thigh. But an honest barber came out, lifted me up, and helped me into his shop. Feeling myself very sick, I desired a glass of cold water, which instantly gave me ease.' During this journey he wrote the Account of an Extraordinary Monument of Divine (not Human) Mercy, Nathanael Othen, who was Shot for Desertion at Dover Castle, in October, 1757.

His next recorded visit to Canterbury was connected with one to Dover also. On the 17th and 18th of September, 1759, he had, in the former place, on two successive evenings, audiences composed in good part of soldiery: Two hundred soldiers, I suppose, and a whole row of officers, attended the first evening. Their number was increased the next; and all behaved as men fearing God.' On the 19th, he preached at Dover, ‘in the new room, which was just finished.' On the 20th, he 'strongly applied at Canterbury, to the soldiers in particular: "He that hath the Son, hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life."'

On the 1st of December, 1760, Mr. Wesley again took Canterbury and Dover in conjunction. But all we read about the city is that he entered it in the machine.'

Of his Dover services, he says, with delight: Who would have expected to find here some of the best singers in England? I found likewise, what was better still,-a serious, earnest people. There was a remarkable blessing among them, both in the On his next visit to this city, Oc- evening and the morning; so that I

did not regret the having been wet to the skin on my way to them.'

About this time we come upon a series of entries in the Journal, which show that his friends and followers in Kent enjoyed a large share of his society and services. On the 24th of February, 1761, he retired to Lewisham, and transcribed the list of the (London) Society: About an hundred and sixty,' he states, 'I left out, to whom I can do no good at present. The number of those who now remain is two thousand three hundred and seventy-five.'

In November, 1761, he had spent four days at Lewisham, 'having many things to write,' and four days more in December, to prepare Farther Thoughts on Christian Perfection. In March, 1762, he retired to Lewisham to answer Dr. Horne's 'ingenious sermon on Justification by Works,' exclaiming, 'O, that I might dispute with no man! But if I must dispute, let it be with men of sense.' On the 6th of November, in the same year, he called at his favourite place of retirement, having hopes of seeing a friend on his way. And so,' he says, 'I did; but it was in her coffin. It is well, since she finished her course with joy. In due time I shall see her in glory?

Among other things written by Mr. Wesley in this favourite retreat was the sermon preached before the Society for the Reformation of Manners, and that on Sin in Believers. In the second week of December, Mr. Wesley again withdrew to Lewisham, in order to correct his 'Notes' on the Book of Revelation.

In the first week of the preceding December, we read of Mr. Wesley as preaching at Deptford, Welling and Sevenoaks, on his way to Shoreham, where, after having read the Life of St. Katherine, of Genoa, a fool of a saint,' he preached at five to a small, serious company. In February, 1762, and again in February, 1764, he took

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the same three preaching-places as he rode towards the seat of Sir Thomas l'Anson, at New Bounds, two miles beyond Tunbridge, preaching for the first time in the Baronet's large parlour opening into the hall. The plain people,' he remarks, 'were all attention. If the seed be watered, surely there will be some fruit.' The hall, staircase and adjoining rooms barely contained the people who came to hear Mr. Wesley in the evening.

In November, 1762, he preached at the three places. The ride to Sevenoaks was not accomplished without much difficulty, on account of the frost; but the ice was melted in the hearts of those who came to hear Mr. Wesley preach. I found several,' he states, 'who believed that God had cleansed them from all sin; and all of them (except, perhaps, one) lived so that one might believe them.'

There are several entries in Mr. Wesley's Journal concerning the illness and death of Mrs. Perronet. On the 10th of January, 1763, he rode to Shoreham and paid the last office of love' to that lady; and, on the 11th of February, he went over again to bury her remains.

On the 5th of December, in the morning, he went from Shoreham to Staplehurst. 'At six, the congregation, gathered from many miles round, seemed just ripe for the Gospel; so that, contrary to my custom in a new place, I spoke merely of "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.'

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