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The Late Rev. JOHN PFESLEY; 




According to this time it shall he said of Jacob and of 
Israel, What hath God ivrought ! Numb, xxiii. 23, 

/ design plain Truth for plain People. 

Preface to Mr. Wesley's SermoHs. 






Printed by Jaques mi Co. Lomhard-street,. Fket-slreei. 


J HE materials from which I have chiefly com- 
piled this History, are Tr£ Minutes of the 
Conferences: tor as the Societies were form- 
ed by the labours of the Preachers, so they have 
been preserved as one body, united by one spi- 
rit, chiefly under God by the rules which were 
made annually a: those meetings. The origin, in- 
crease, and establishment of the Societies must 
therefore be sought chiefly in these records. 

I have in this hiftory inserted all the Minutes. 
1. Those which relate to doctrines. 2. The rules 
according to which the Preachers are called to, and 
dire6led in the work. 3. Those which were made 
at different times for the regulation and well-order- 
ing of the Societies. And 4. Those which concern 
their connexion with other people: and especially 
with the national Church. 1 have noted these things 
in the order in which they occurred. 

I have also taken notice of the increase of Me- 
thodism ; and in a few instances mentioned some ot 
those blessed men whom God has used as instru» 
ments in this great revival of scriptural Christian. ty, 

I have consulted Mr.Wesley's Journals, — his Ec- 
clesiastical History, — his Life, written by Dr. Coke 
and Mr. Moore, and that by Dr. Whitehead ; as also 
the Memoirs oi the Preachers published in the Metho- 
dist Magazine, — Mr, Benson's Apology for the Me- 
thodists, — the Methodist Memorial published by Mr. 
Atmore, and indeed every thing I could meet with, 
wrote either by the friends or enemies of the Metho- 
dists, in order to ascertain historical facts, and to find 
out those particulars which took place prior to thefir-^t 
Conference, as alfo to detail some circumstances 
which at subsequent Conferences were but barely 

My reasons for publishing this hiftory are, i. It 
appears to m.e to be absolutely necessary, in order, 
that it a stranger should enquire what are the prin. 


ciples of the Methodists, as to t'i.ei 
lity, politics, ceconorny ? How are they governed? 
What is tlie nature of their reli^i^ious government ? 
How is the work supported ? What are their de- 
signs ? What methods do they take to accomplish their 
designs? What is iheir success? Who are their 
Preachers? What effect Mr. Wesley's death had upon 
the body at large, and the Preachers in particular? he 
may have a satisfactory answer to all these enquiries 
from their most authentic records. 2. 1 wished to shew 
the Methodists what great things the Lord hath done 
for them; how from very small beginnings they be- 
came a very numerous, useful, holy people ; owing 
to the Lord's blessing on his Gospel preached 
among them. 

The Methodists I divide into three 'X^nera- 
t.!.)ns : The first, those that joined the Society 
fiom the year 1739 to the year ty6^; most of these 
are gone to their eternal reward ; the few that re- 
main are worthy of double honour, and I w^ould 
wish to stir up their pure minds by way of remem- 
brance, 'by calling them to consider former times 
and persons, in order that their gratitude to, and 
confidence in the Lord may be thereby increased. 
The second generation, are those joined the so- 
ciety from the year 1765 to 17(^0: from this body 
we at present derive most of our steady, active, use- 
ful members. To these I present this Hiftory, that 
they may know without much labour, the rules by 
which we all act. The third generation are those 
who liave joined tlie Society since Mr. Wesley's 
death, in the year 1791. A numerous and a pro- 
mising race of christian men and women. I wished 
to shew these tlie origin and progress of Methodism. 
3. That they may all see at w^hat time these regula- 
tions took place, and those rules were made, which, 
under God, have been instrumental in preserving so 
numerous a body united together. 4. To shew, 
4hat though our doctrines have been the same from 
the first, and, as we think, purely scriptural; the 
same which the primitive Christians held for the 
three first ceniitries ; and also agreeable to the /z = 


furgy, articles and ho??iilic? of the established 
Church ; yet with regard to our discipline and oeco- 
nomy, we have been in a regular state ot improve- 
ment from the firfl Conference in 1744, to the last 
in August 1802. 

It is plain from the New Testament that the doc- 
trine of the Methodists is approved ot God ; for 
every good efiPcct which followed the descent oi the 
Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, and the preach- 
ing of the ApoRles, has followed the preaching of 
the Methodist Preachers, excepting the miiaculous 
fruits of the Spirit : — Multitudes of living instances 
might easily be produced, of a thorough reformation 
having taken place in the hearts of those, who for- 
merly were living in all manner of iniquity ; but 
by means of the awakening and instructive preach- 
ing of the Methodists, have now become blessings 
to Society at large by their well regulated lives : By 
the astonishing success of the Methodist doctrine 
and discipline, it is evident with what propriety it 
might have been observed to their numerous and 
powerful opposers, what Gamaliel said of the first 
Christians to the Jewish Senate, " Refrain from 
these men and let them alone, for if this counfel or 
thisiuork he of men it luill ccme to nought, but?/ 
?/ be of God ye cannot overlhrozc it^ lest haply ye 
be found even to fight against God." 

As in the primitive days, there was not one use- 
less member in the mystical body of Christ; so it is 
the genius ot Methodism, and what their whole disci- 
pline ainis at, that every individual member of the So- 
ciety, young and old; rich and poor; should take an 
aftive part, not only in getting good, but endea- 
vouring to do all the good which belongs- to 
each respective station and occupation m life. 
Hence every Methodist is exhorted to use his influ- 
ence witli his relations and acquaintance, in order 
that they may be brought to know the truth as it is 
in Jesus; and to take care that he himself adorns 
his prolcssion by an exemplary lite and conversa- 
tion ; — to be content with every dispensation oi pro- 
vidence;— to fulfil the various duties of life, whether 


of master or servant, parent or child; — to be sub- 
ject to the higher powers, to obey magistrates, and' 
render honor to whom honor is due ; — to discharge 
with fidelity every relative duty in society; — to be- 
come dih"gent in business as well as tervent in spirit ; 
— in short, following the doctrines of the New Tes- 
tament, to be ready to every good work ; being as- 
sured that good Christians, cannot fail to make good 
Citizens; and while they act upon this principle in 
a christian temper, no doubt they will be approved 
of God, for he has always honoured those who were 
hearty in his cause. 

If ever I should print this history again, I will in- 
corporate nothing in the body of the work, that would 
iTiake the next edition unlike this. To the best of 
my knowledge, and m^eans of information, I am satis- 
fied respecting the accuracy of the things related, and 
the time when they took place. So that il any thing 
be added, it will be what may occur at some future 
period, which neither my readers nor myself can 
have any conception of at the present. At the same 
time, if there be a miRakein any of the dates, 1 shall 
be obliged to any friend wh.o would point it out to 
me, which may easily be done by sending me their 
friendly remarks to the yearly Conference, and I 
promiise I will punctually attend to them, for 
the fake of the public at large as well as my own 
character as an historian. 

I have carefully guarded againft judging the mo- 
tives, from which the different persons have acted 
who are introduced in this work ; that 1 consider 
as God's prerogative. My work has been to state 
what the persons have done, and to leave the 
public at large to judge whether they think their 
motives were good or bad. 

It has been, and still is, objected to Mr. Wesley, 
'• that his power was too great, and that he held it 
too" In reply to this let it be observed, i. 
Tiifit as he was the first of the Mtthodists, it gave 
him a Fatherly autliority over the people and the 
Preaihti;. 2. That he was remarkable lor attend- 


ing to that advice of St. Paul, " ready to every good 
work:" for if the poorest meinber in his Society 
began any practice, or proposed any measure, that 
was in his opinion likely to do good, be was sure to 
patronize and support it. 3. By the correspondence 
which he kept up with the Preachers, and members 
of the Society in every place where Methodism had 
got the least footing, together with his continual 
-travelling, and visiting the principal Societies ; he 
certainly knew the minds of the people better than 
any other person could possibly do; and it is evi- 
dent from the rules oi discipliiie which were made 
for the support of the work while he lived, and the 
esteem in which he was held by the people, that 
whatever power he had, he exercised it solely tor 
their spiritual and temporal advantage. 

It must be acknowledged, (speaking after the man- 
nerof men,) that He was the fountain of honour and 
power in the Societies; and when he died, there 
was a vacuum that wanted filling up; and to asser- 
tain who should supply his place, was perhaps the real 
cause of the uneasmess in his Societies for tlie first 
four or five years after his deatli. Som.e of the 
Preachers thought his influence fell to the Confer- 
ence; some of the Trustees thought it fell to them, 
at least in a good measure; Mr. Kiiham and his 
friends thought it fell to the people at large. But 
by means of the London Law-suit, the pamphlets 
wrote by each of the parties, and distributed with 
great zeal among the people, and especially by the 
friendly meeting of the IVustees and principal mem- 
bers of the Societies with the Conference at three 
or four of their annual meetings, the rights and pri- 
vileges of the Preachers, Trustees and members of 
the Societies were explained and confirmed. The 
Rules of Pacification made in the year 1795, 
and the rules made in 1797, confirm these remarks. 
It does not appear to me tfiat any of the parties gcted 
from malice or wickedness: their disputes arose 
from the state in which they were placed, by the 

viii PREFACE. 

death of their aged Pastor, and their Ignorance re- 
specting who should fill his place. At the same 
time I am sorry to add, the disputes were not 
carried on by the contending brethren with that 
meekness oi wisdom which the scriptures recom- 
mend. But I am happy to declare, that since tliese 
disputes have been settled, the Methodists pursue 
their way as formerly, endeavouring to keep the 
unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, and m 
righteousness of life. And now the death of the 
most respectable of the Preachers, Trustees and 
members of the Society, would produce no such 
convulsion in the Body as Mr. Wesley's death did; 
at the same time it is the prayer oi the people at 
large, that God would spare useful lives, and 

crown the endeavours of h's servants with ^reat sue- 


In the history, at page 175, I have given ex- 
tracts from the Acts ol Parliament made in favour 
of Liberty of Conscience, and the privileges whicli 
Teachers of the Gospel enjoy. Smce that part 01 
the work was printed, an Act was made (42 Geo. 3. 
c. go.) relative to the Militia, in which b^^ the forty- 
third section some doubts might have arisen as to the 
exemption of our Preachers ; but by a subsequent Act 
of the next session (43 G. 3. c. 10.; these doubts are 
removed. I think it right to publish the following ex- 
tract from this latter Act. 

*' Whereas an Act passed in the forty-second 
year of the reign of his present Majesty, intitled 
y^?i Act for amen dijig the iazvs 7'elating to the militia 
in England, and Jar augmenting the militia: and 
whereas doubts have arisen as to the exemption 
under the said Act of licensed Teachers of separate 
congregations Irom serving in the mihtia: and 
whereas it is expedient that such doubts should be 
removed ; be it therefore enacted by the King's most 
Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and con- 
sent ol the Lords spiritual and temporal, and Com- 
mons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by 


the authority of the same, That no licensed Teacher 
of any separate congregation, who shall have been 
licensed twelve months at the least previous to the 
yearly General Meeting appointed by the said re- 
cited Act to be held in October, shall be liable to 
serve personally, or provide a substitute to serve 
in the said miliiia; any thing in the said Act con- 
tained to the contrary notwithstanding." 

From this Act, it appears, that a Teacher of the 
Gospel must be licensed as a Preacher twelve 
months before the regular time of ballotiing for 
the Militia commences, otherwise he will be liable 
to serve. It is probable that the legislature made this 
amendment to prevent the following abuses. Some 
very improper perfons had obtained licences a« 
Teachers oi the Gospel, who were not approved by 
any congregation of religious people whatever, and 
have then claimed exemption from parochial, civil 
and military offices ; and some very respectable men 
engaged in business, who have devoted their Sab- 
baths to the service of God, by preaching the 
everlasting Gospel to their neighbours who lived con- 
tiguous to them, have very innocently thought that 
their being licensed as Teachers of religion, have 
ireed them from the obligation of serving the above 
offices; but a little reflection on the preamble to 
the Act of Toleration, would give these good men 
to see that the spirit and design of it was to re- 
lieve the non-conformist Ministers Ironi the penal- 
ties ot the conventical laws, who were wholly de- 
voted to the service of the sanctuary, although they 
did not conform to the established church. 

From the letter and spirit of the Act of Tolera- 
tion, the Methodist Itinerant Preachers, being 
wholly employed in preaching the gospel, are ex- 
empted Irom serving the offices in question; but 
the Methodist Local Preachers being m.en who very 
laudably and industriously follow their respective se- 
cular callings during the whole week, and only em- 
ploy the Lord's-day in preaching the Gospel, are not 
exempted from the offices in question. 


The first Methodist Society, Mr. Wesley tells us 
he formed himself in London, in the year 1739, 
From that year, to the last Conference in 1802, is 
exactly sixty three years. At the former of these 
periods there were but ten persons united together; 
at the last, which was held in August 1802, there 
were two hundred and twenty two thousand three 
hundred and twenty seven members in the several 
Societies. The general account of this people is the 
subject of this history. 

Owing to the blessing of the Lord and the zeal 
of the Methodists they have thus increased. I hope 
they will still continue to be zealous in attending to 
the great duty of private prayer, the ministry of the 
word, prayer and class-meetings, love-feasts and 
sacraments. Also to reprove sin in a christian tem- 
per wherever and by whomsoever they see it com- 
mitted ; to be particularly careful to recommend and 
spread the books belonging to the connexion, for 
even in this advanced stage of the work of God 
among them, if they should grow slack and indilTe- 
rent in these particulars they would diminish faster 
than they may imagine. It is only by a constant 
attention to our first principles and practices that vv-e 
can expect to retain the grace already received, and 
be honoured of God as we have hitherto been, in 
spreading the savour o^ the Redeemers A'^;?/^ among 
our fellow l;rethren ot mankind. 

May the Lord abundantly bless us, by redeeming 
us from all iniquity, and making us a peculiar peo. 
pie zealous of good works 1 May we never forget the 
end of our calhng, but labour night and day that we 
may be found of God in peace, without spot and 

London^ January 25, 1 803 . 



The Hiftory from the Year 1729, to the first Con- 
ference in 1744. - - - Pagi 1 


From the Conference in 1744, to the Conference 
held in Bristol in the year 1748. - 22 


From the Conference in 1748, to that in London 
in 1763 61 


From the Conference in 1763, to that in Manches- 
ter in 1765. - ... 77 


From the Conference in 1765, to that in London 
in 1770. 96 


From the Conference in 1770, to that in Leeds in 
1784. 126 


From the Conference in 1784, to Mr. Wesley's 
Death in 179^ - - - - j.58 



From Mr. Wesley's Death in 1791, to the Confe- 
rence in Bristol in 1794. - Page 189 


From the Conference in 1794, to that in Bristol in 
J798. .... 223 


From the Conference in 1798, to that in Bristol in 
1802. - - - . 246 


The Names of all the Itinerant Preachers. 293 


An Account of Kingswood School, with the Names 
of all the Masters. - - 311 


An Account of the Chapels in the Methodist Con- 
nexion. ... 323 

The Conclusion, with the Index 340 

&c. &:c. 


From the year 1729, to the Jirst ConftrnxQc 
in 1744. 

jL HE Rev. John Wesle)', (the father, wnitx 
God, of the Methodists,) second w>xv of the Re\^ 
Samuel Wesley, Rector of Ep worth in Lincoln* 
shire, was born June 17, old style, 1703. 

In the year 1720, He entered a student ia 
Christ's Church College, Oxford, and soon after 
took his degree of Bachelor of Arts. 

Sept. 19, 1725, He was ordained a Deacon, by 
Dr. Potter, at that time Bishop of Oxford. 

Shortly after he preached his first sermon, at 
Somh-Leigh, within two miles of Witney in Ox« 

March 17, 1726, He was elected Fellow of Lin- 
coln College, Oxford. 

Nov. 7, 1726, He was chosen Greek Lecturer, 
and Moderator of the public disputations in th« 

Feb. 14, 1727, He took his degree of Master o£ 

Sept. 22, 1728, He was by the same Bishop or- 
dained Priest, 


2 A Chronological History. [^729- 

Of the Name of Methodist as applied to Mr. 
Wesley, and his followers, the following account 
is given. Mr. John Wesley, and by his advice and 
example, his brother Charles, had when at Oxford, 
become deeply serious. They received the sacra- 
ment weekly, and prevailed on two or three young 
men to do the same. These gentlemen occasionally 
met together, for the purpose of assisting and en- 
couraging each other, m their studies and religious 
duties ; they also regulated their employments by 
certain rules. This regularity procured them the 
distinguishing epithet of Methodists. This title was 
given in the first instance to Mr. Charles Wesley, 
bv a Fellow of Mcrton College, in allusion to an an- 
tient College ol Physicians at Rome, who began to 
flourish about the tmie of Nero, and continued se- 
veral ages ; they were remarkable for putting their 
patients under regimen, and were therefore termed 
Methodists. This is the most acciuate account; 
for when Mr. Wesley speaks of this appellation, 
he mentions it only in very general terms, without 
attempting to state at what period of tlie Society it 
was first given. *' The exact regularity of their 
lives, as well as studies, says he, occasioned a 
young gentleman of Christ's Church to say. There 
is a new set of Methodists sprung ifp." " The name, 
he observes,, was new and quaint, so it took imme- 
diately, and the Methodists were known all over the 
University." It appears from the above account, 
the young gentleuian of Christ's Church, took 
the name from the Fellow of Merlon College. 
And Mr. Wesley in his Journal noticed what he 
said, at a time when the name was pretty general. 
One thing is certain, the name was first given at 
Oxford in the year 1729. 

Thus the Society began and continued, till Mr. 
John Wesley went to Epworth 10 assist his father as 
his curate. In his absence, June 16, 1729, Mr. 
Charles Wesley, and one or two more agam began 
to meet to assist each other. In Nov. 1729, when 

sy2g.'] OJ the People called Methodists. '" 3 

Mr, John Wesley returned from Ep worth, the 
whole management of the Society devolved upon 
him, as he liad before incited them to religion. It 
consisted oF the following persons: Mr John Wes- 
ley, Fellow of Lincoln College, Mr. Charles Wes- 
ley, Student of Christ's Church, Mr. Richard 
Morgan, Comijnoner of Christ's Church, and Mr. 
Kirkman, of Mertnn College. The next year, two 
or three of Mr^ John Wesley's pupils desired the 
liberty of meeting with them ; and afterwards one ot 
Mr. Charles Wesley's pupils. In 1732, Mr. Ben- 
jamin Ingham, of Queen's College, and Mr. 
Broughton, of Exete-r, were added to their number. 
In April, in the same year, Mr. Clayton, of Brazen- 
Nose College with two or three ot his pupils were 
;idded. It v^ as by his advice that they began to ob- 
serve the fasts of theantient church, every Wednes- 
day and Friday. About the same time, Mr. James 
Hervey, pupil to Mr. John Wesley; and in the year 
17^5, Mr. George Whitefield of Pembroke College 
joined them. At that time they were fourteen or 
fifteen in number, all Collegians, of one heart and 
mind, and must be considered as the first Meiho- 
dists. They formed rules for the regulation of their 
/zW, their studies, reading.the scriptures, and sefj^ 
examination. They also visited the sick, and the 
prisoners ; and received the Lord's-supper every 
week. Our Lord's Parables of the leaven hid in 
three measures of meal, and of the grain of 
mustard. seed, Matt. xiii. 31 — 34, are herein strik- 
ingly illustrated, tor from these very small begin- 
jiings, what a great increase has been given ! 

The following is a specimen of the manner in 
which they read the scriptures. It is taken out of a 
manuscript book, in Mr. Wesley's own hand writ- 
ing. The manuscript remained in the possession 
of Mr. Delamoue, Mr. Wesley's companion in his 
Mission to America. It is now in the possession of 
mv hicnd Mr. Josiah Hill, from whom 1 received 

4^ J Chronological Hhtory [1729* 

k. It contains, i. The Lectio Grammatica, 2. Ana- 
htica, 3. Exegetica, of each chapter in the fouf 
Gospels, except the two first of St. Matthew, and 
the Jast eight of St. John. 


Lectio Gra?7i?naiica. 

4. *0 la-xocpiui-noi;, The Iscarlote, i. e. Of Keriotb* 
C), him xTrir^yiaBsf Have not, Possess not. 
II. A^i©> Disposed, to embrace the Gospel. 
18. Ej,- fjiCtpT-jpiov avroif. For a testimony to thein* 

22. Ovros. He shall be saved. 

23. TfiXtcrryTf rar. For make what haste you will 
r-:u<; uv sxGriy To destroy Jerusalem. 

23, 1 lao-i; fxaXXoy, This cannot refer to the quantity, 
contempt and persecution, but merely to the 
certainty of its coming. 

32. Of/^XoIricrej cvatTw. Heb. 

3,5 • Aiy^uixt, To separate. 


Our Lord's directions to his twelve Disciples, 
now commissioned by him to preach, arc contained 
in this chapter ; which consists of four general 

I. Instructions whom to preach to: in ver. ist 
to the 7th. 

n. Of the matter and manner of their preaching, 
in the 7th to the 16th. 

III. A prediction of the usage they were to ex- 
pect, and rules for their behaviour under it, in the 
J 6th to the 24lh. 

IV, A recommendation of patience upon several 
considerations, as 1. Their Master having received 
the same treatment, in the 24th to the 26ih. 2. The 
future vindication of their innocence; being likewise 
a strong encouragement to preach boldly, in the 26th 
to the 28th. 3. The impotence of their enemies, in 
the 28th. 4. The particular Providence of God 

1729-] Of the Fivpls called Mdhodist's, ^ 

over them, in the •29th to the 32d. ^. The future 
owning or denial of them by Christ, according as 
they own or deny Him before men, m the 32d to 
the 34th. 6. The absolute necessity that discord 
and opposition from nearest relations should follow 
their preaching, in the 34th to the 40th. 7. The 
;great reward of those who received or assisted 


9. Take not any thing v/ith you but what is ab- 
solutely necessary. 1. Lest it should retard 
you. 2. Because my Providence and your 
ministry will be your sufficient support. 

.13, If it be not worthy -don't think your labour 
lost, for the blessing you wish them will return-, 
upon yourselves. 

.14. Shake off the dust, q. d. I've done my part,. 
uiterly disdain any farther converse with them. 

37. Yet beware of men; for think not either your 
prudence or innocence will secure you from 

26. Fear them not; let them slander you as they 
please: your innocence will appear hereatter, 
and tberetore preach with all boldness. 

28, 29. And as he is thus able to punish your apos- 
tacy, so will be be careful to defend you in- 
your obedience.. 

31. Fear not therefore, if he has such care over the 
most inconsiderable creatiires, how much more 
of you, if you confess him befure men, not only 
in ihis life, but in the other likewise. 

33. To which you \w\\\ be strongly tempted ; for 
think nut that the immediate effect of my com- 
ing will be general peace, but division and 

37. Therefore he that loveth, &c. 

39. He therefore, that loveth liis life by comply- 
ing: He that saveth his iife by denying me— » 


6 ^ Chronological History [.^7^9* 

He shall lose it eternally. He that loses his life 
by confessing me, shall find it eternally. 

40. And as you shall be thus rewarded, so in their 
proportion shall they who receive you. 

41. He that receives a Christian minister as such, 
shall partake of his reward, and he that re* 
ceives an ordinary Christian — Nay, he that 
shews the smallest kindness to the weakest 
Christian," &c. 

. Mr. Wesley gives the following account of the 
rise of Methodism. " In 1729, my brother and 
I reading the Bible, saw inward and outward holi- 
ness therein: followed after it, and incited others 
so to do. In 1737, we saw this holiness comes by 
iaith, and that men are justified before they are 
sanctified. But still holiness was our point, inward 
and outward holiness.'' 

In the beginning of the year 1735, he for the first 
time preached extempore, in All-hallow's Church, 
Lombard-street, London. He went with a view of 
hearing Dr. Heylin, but he not coming, the Church- 
wardens requested Mr. Wesley to preach. He 
complied, though he had no notes. This is now 
universally practised by ail the Methodist Preachers, 
and also by many Ministers of the Established 
Church, especially those who arc considered as 
Gospel Ministers : but at that time, and for several 
years after, it was looked upon as a very uncommon 
and wonderful thing in these kingdoms. 

Oct. 14, 1735, Mr. Wesley set out as a Mis- 
s-ionary, for Georgia in America. On his passage, 
and in America, he became acquainted with the 
Moravians, by whose instrumentality he saw the 
way of the Lord more perfectly, viz. *^' That Ho- 
liness comes by Faith,*' 

In April J 736, at his own house in Savannali, 
he met between twenty and thirty persons, whom 
he instructed personally and weekly in the things 
belonging to their peace. This he used to consider, 
as the second rise of Methodism. 

1737-] Of the People called Methodists, 7 

Not finding any open door for the prosecution 
of the grand design, which induced him to visit 
America, namely, the conversion ot the Indians, he 
and his companions, Mr. Ingham and Mr. Dela- 
motte, considered in what manner they might be 
most useful to the little Flock at Savannah. And 
they agreed, 1. To advise the more serious among 
them to form themselves into a sort of little society, 
and meet once or twice a week, in order toim- 
prove, instruct, and exhort one another. 2. To 
select out of these, a smaller number, for a more 
intimate union with each other, which might be 
forwarded by him and his friends, conversing singly 
with each, and altogether at his house. And this 
accordingly they determined to do every Sunday 
in the akernoon. Here we see the first rudiments 
of Classes and Bands, ^vhich have had no small 
influence in promoting the success of the Metho- 
dists, beyond any other denomination of Chris- 
tians, not immediately favoured by the civil power. 

In the beginrling oi August 1737, he joined with 
the Germans in one of their Love- feasts. This I 
believe was the first time he ever saw a Love-feast. 
He speaks thus of it : '* It was begun and ended 
with thanksgiving and prayer, and celebrated in so 
decent and solemn a manner, as a Christian of the 
Apostolic age would have allowed to be worthy of 
Christ." He aherwards introduced Love-feasts 
into the ceconomy of Methodism. At first they 
were for the Bands only, i. e, small companies of 
true believers. Afterwards the whole Society were 
permitted to partake with them. They are coir- 
ducted in the following manner. The meeting be- 
gins with singing and prayer, after which the Stew- 
ards distribute cake and water. A collection is then 
made tor the poor; afterwards liberty is given to all 
present to relate their religious exper;- nee, which 
is generally made a blessing to all. The meeting 
continues nearly two hours, and is concluded with 

^ A Chronological History L173B. 

Feb. 1, 1738, Mr. Wesley returned to England. 
On March the 27th following, he visited the Castle,, 
2. c. the prison at Oxford, and prayed extempore 
with a man condemned to die. After prayer the 
man rose up and said, " I am now ready to die." 
Before this time Mr^ Wesley had always used a 
form of prayer. 

May 1, 1738, He, and some Moravian brethren,, 
formed themselves into a religious Society which 
met at Fetter-lane, in London^ This he calls in his 
Ecclesiastical History, vol, iv. page 175, the third 
period of Methodism. 

The rules which were agreed on were, 1. That 
they would meet together once a week, 10 confess- 
their faults one to another, and to pray one lor an- 
other that they might be healed. 2. That the per- 
sons so meeting should be divided into several 
Bands, or little companies, none of them consisting 
of fewer than five, or more than ten persons. 
3 That every one in order should speak as freely, 
plainly, and concisely as he could, the real state of 
his heart, with liis several temptations and ileliver- 
ances, since the last time of meeting* 4. Tliat all 
the Bands, should have a Coirfei-ence at eight, every. 
Wednesday evening, begun and ended wifh singing 
and , prayer. 5.. That any who desired to be ad* 
mitted into this society should be asked, What are- 
your reasons for desiring this? Will you be en- 
tirely open, using no kind of reserve? Have you 
any objection to any of our orders? (which were 
then read.) 6. That when any member was pro- 
posed, every one present should speak clearly and 
freely whatever objection he had to him. 7. That 
those against whom no reasonable objection appear- 
ed, should be, in order for their trial, formed intO' 
one, or more distinct bands, and some persi n agreed 
on to assist ihem. 8. Thai after two months trial, 
if no objection then appeared, they should be ad- 
mitted in'o the Society. 9. That every fourth Sa- 
turday should be observed, as a da)' of general 

1738.] Of the people called Methodists, 9 

Intercession. 10. That, on the Sunday seven- 
night following, should be a general Love-feast, 
from seven till ten in the evening. 11. That no 
particular member should be allowed to act in any 
thing, contrary to any order of the Society; and 
that if any persons after being thrice admonished, 
did not conform thereto, they should not be any 
longer esteemed as members. 

June 13, 1738, He set out for Hernhuth in Ger- 
many, in order to visit the Moravian brethren in 
that place, and returned Sept. 16, in the same year. 
During this journey he conversed freely with them. 
Some pans of their doctrine and discipline he ap- 
proved, as Justification by Faith; and the putting 
the people into bands, according to their different 
degrees of attainment in the divine life. Other 
parts he disapproved, which after some time, he 
signified to Count Zinzendorf, in a long letter, which 
liiay be seen in vol. i. of his Journals. 

In this year, he, for the first time, received as- 
sistance in the ministerial office, from a Lay- 
preacher. An account of him as published by 
ivlr. Wesley is curious. — ** Joseph Humphrys, the 
£rst Lay-preacher that assisted me in England in 
1738. He was perfected in love, and so continued 
lor at least twelve months. Afterwards he turned 
Calvinist, joined Mr. Whitefield, and published 
an invective against me and my brother in the news- 
paper. In a while he renounced Mr. Whitefield, 
and was ordained a Presbyterian minister. At Ja&t 
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 I wrote in the time of my madness." 

Dec. 25, 1738. While he was connected with 
the Society at Fetter-lane, the rules of the Band 
Societies were drawn up, with the following title. 
*' Orders of a religious Society, met together, in 
obedience to that command of God by St. James, 
chap. v. 16. ** Confess your faults one to ana- 

lo A Chrctiological History [i^jS' 

tber, arrd pray one for another that yc may be 
healed." By the Bands were raeant little eom- 
panies, not less than five nor more than ten, who 
met together for ihe above purpose: married men 
by theiDselves, married women by themselves ; single 
men by themselves, and single women by themselves^ 
When he v/ithdrew from the Moravian Society, he 
ke^X up the discinction of bands in his Societies. 
The following are the rules. 

*' Quesi.ions to be proposed to those who desire 
to be admitted into the Bands. 

" 1. l}o you enjoy the knowledge of Salvation 
by the remission of sins ? And have you the peace 
of God in your conscience? 2. Have you the love 
of God shed abroad in your heart? 3. Pfave you- 
the Spirit of God bearing witness with your spuit, you area child of God? 4. Has no sin, inward 
or Qutw.ard, dominion over you? 5. l^o you desire 
to be told of all your faults, and that plainly ? 6. I>0 
you .desire that each of us should tell you whatever 
we think, or fear, or hear, concerning you ? 7. Do 
you desire, that in doing this, we should come as 
close as possible; that we should seanch your heart 
to the bottom? 8. Do you desire, that each of us- 
should tell you from time to time, whatsoever is in: 
his mind concerning you ? 9. Is it your desire and 
design, to be on this and all other occasions, en- 
tirely open, so as to speak every thing that is in your 
heart, without exception, without disguise,. and withf. 
out reserve ? 

** Our design is, 

*' 1. To meet once a week at the least, 2. To^ 
come punctually at the hour appointed, without 
some extraordinary rcar>on. 3. To begin exactly 
at the hour, with singing or prayer. 4. To speak 
each of us in order, freely and plainly, the true 
state of our souls, with the faults we have com- 
mitted in thought, word, or deed, and the tempta- 
tions we have been exercised with since our last 
meeting. 5. To end each meeting with prayer^ 

i 739-1 Of the Peopje calUd Methodists, \i 

suited to the state of each present. 6. To desire 
some person among us to ipeak his own experi- 
ence first ; and then to ask the rest in order, as 
many, and as searching questions as may be, con- 
cerning their state, sins, and temptations. Such as, 
1. Have you been guilty of any known, im since 
our last meeting? 2. What tempt'ations have you 
met with? 3. How were you deJivered? 4. What 
have you thought, said, or done, of which you doubt 
V/hether it be a sin or not?" 

April 2, 1739, Mr. Wesley being denied the 
use of the churches in Bristol, preached for the 
first time in the open air, on an eminence in the 
suburbs of that city. His text was Isa. Ixi. 1 — 3. 
He observes, " Is it possibl-e any one should' be 
ignorant, that it is fulfilled in. every true Minister 
ot Christ?'^ The last place he preached at in the 
open air, was at Wmchelsea, in the Autumn of the 
year 1790. 

In the same year, (1739,) he was denied the 
use of the churches in London also, because he 
preached salvation (that is pardon and holiness) by 
faith^ although thousands crouded to hear himi 
So he stood up in Moorfields, and other public 
places, to preach the gospel to the poor. This may 
be cdnsidered as the beginning of his Itinerancy, 

The first Methodist Preaching-House, was built 
this year in Bristol. Concerning it, Mr. Wesley 
says, ♦* On Saturday the 12th of May, 1739, the 
first stone was laid with the voice of praise and 
thanksgiving." He settled it on eleven Feoffees, 
but being convinced by a letter from Mr. White- 
field that as these men had the power of appointing 
the Preachers, they could turn even him out, it' 
what he said or did, should not be pleasing to them ; 
he immediately called them all together, cancelled 
the writings, and took the whole management re- 
specting the building into his own hands, be.lieving 
as he had said, " that the earth was the Lord's, and 
the fullness thereof, "" and in his name he set out 

ii A Chronological History [^739' 

nothing doubting. After some time and mature de- 
liberation, he got the form of a trust-deed drawn 
up by three eminent Counsel, for the settlement of 
ali tlic Preaching-Houses; which, with some little 
additions, continues still to be universally used 
among us. 

We see that from the beginning he thought the 
only possible way for the work of God to con- 
tinue as it had begun, was by his having the ap- 
pointment of the Preachers in all the Chapels under 
bis care. 

in June 1739, ^^^ ^^^^ attempt was made towards 
erecting a school at Kingswood. Mr. Wesley's 
account of it, is, " In June the foundation was laid. 
The ground made choice of was, in the middle of 
the wood, between the London and the Bath roads, 
about three measured miles from Bristol. Here a 
large room was begun for the school, having four 
small rooms at either end, for the school-masters, 
(and perhaps, if it should please God, some poor 
children,) to lodge in." At the end of the Chapel 
there is now a school where the colliers children are 
taught. In 1741, the school was erected. It was 
then Mr. Wesley's design to have a religious school 
for the benefit of the Methodist children in general, 
and for many years several sent their children to be 
educated there. In 1748, it was enlarged and 
opened in a solemn manner. 

Oct. 15, i73^> Upon a pressing invitation he set 
out for Wales. The churches there also were shut 
against him, so he preached to a willing people in 
private houses, and in the open air. 7"his was the 
beginning of Methodism in Wales. It has not in- 
creased in this country, as it has done in some 
parts of England, notwithstanding many of the 
Welch love the Gospel. 

If the first Preachmg- House was buili in Bristol, 
the first which was opened was in London. On 
Sunday, Nov, 11, 1739, he preached in a house iii 

1 739-] Of the People called Methodists, 13 

Moorfields, which was called the Foundry, it hav- 
ing been formerly the King's Foundry for cannon. 

In this year, the first Hymn Book was published, 
under the following title, ** Hymns and Sacred 
Poems, by Messrs. John and Charles Wesley." The 
second was in the year 1742. Since that time there 
have been Hymns published for all the Festivals — 
F'asts — Watch-nights — and Intercessions. Also for 
Families — The Sacrament — Preparation for Death 

— and for Funerals For Children — and Public 


In the year 1780, Mr. Wesley compiled a large 
Hymn Book out of all these, which is now univer- 
sally used. It is a complete and regular body of 
divinity; and the Poetry is exquisitely beautiful; 

The rise of the Societies is thus related by Mr, 
Wesley. *' In the latter end of the year 1739, 
eight or ten persons came to me in London, who 
Sippeared to be deeply convinced of sin, and ear- 
nestly groaning for redemption. They desired, as 
did two or three more the next day, that I would 
spend some time with them in prayer, and advise 
them how to flee from the wrath to come, which 
they saw continually hanging over their heads. 
That they might have more time for this great work, 
I appointed a day when they might all come toge* 
ther, which from thenceforward they did every 
■week, viz. on Thursday in the evening. To these, and 
as many more as desired to join with them, (for their 
number increased daily) I gave that advice which I 
judged most useful for them, and we always con- 
cluded the meeting with prayer suited to their se- 
veral necessities." This was the rise of the Me- 
thodist Society, first in London, then in other/ 
places. Such a Society is no other than, '* A com- 
pany of persons, having the form and seeking the 
power of godliness: united in order to pray toge- 
ther, to receive the word of exhortation, and^to 
watch over one another in love, that they may help 
each other to work out their Salvation." It appears 

14 A Chronological History [i7.4^« 

from this account that he did not consider this as a 
division from the established church, but simply ^ 
a religious Society. It was not till May i, 1743, 
'that he and his brother Charles drew up Rules for 
the united Societies. This period must be considered 
as the fourth in Methodism. The first at Oxford 
in 1729. The second in America in 1736. The 
third in London in 1738. And now this in 1739. 
The Society then formed was properly the first, or 
Mother Society. 

The exact month does not appear when the first 
Lay- Preachers assisted Mr. Wesley, as Itinerants, 
ilis account is in the large minutes, after mention- 
ing the time when he formed the first Society, viz. 
fhe latter end of the year 1739. " After a time a 
young man named Thomas Maxfield, came and de- 
sired to help me as a son in the Gospel. Soon after 
came a second, Thomas Richards., then a »iird, 
Thomas WestalL Thes^e severally desired to serve 
me as sons^ and to labour when and where I should 
direct." It is probable this was in the beginning of 
the year 1740. 

Since that time there have been some hundreds, 
nay thousands, if we include Local Preachers, who 
have been employed in this great work. ** The 
Lord gave the word, and great was the company of 
the Preachers," Fsa. Ixviii. 11. 

\vl July 23, 1740. He finally separated from the 
Moravians, and met his own little Society at the 
Foundry. He had not the whole management of 
4;hat Moravian Society which met in Fetter-lane, 
and can only be considered in the light of an active 
member. Peter Boehler, and a Mr. Molther, who 
occasioned the dispute on account of which he se- 
-parated from them, were the ruling members. They 
diflfered about the nature of faith, and the way to at- 
tain it. Mr. M^/Mfr taught, i. That there were 
no degrees in faith. 2. That the way to attain it 
was to be stilly that is not to attend the ordinances 
of God. Whereas Mr. Wesley asserted that there 

'74^0 Of the People called Methodists, \5 

were degrees in faith, and that the way to attain it 
was, by constantly attending on all the ordinances 
of God. The 8th of August, in this year, head- 
dressed his open and candid letter to the Moravian 
Ghurch. It is in the first volume of his Journals, 
and is well worthy of perusal. 

This was the first separation that took place m 
the Methodist Society, or rather, it was the separa- 
tion of the Methodists from the Moravians. He 
speaks of it thus : ** About twenty-five of our bre- 
thren God hath given us already, all of whom think 
and speak the same thing; seven or eight and forty 
likewise of the fifty women that were in the Band, 
desire to cast in their lot with us."^ 

In the latter end of the year 1740, on account 
of a dispute which had then arisen, Mr. Wesley 
printed a sermon against the Calvinistic notion of 
Predestination, and sent a copy of it to Commissary 
Gordon at Charlestown, where Mr, Whitefield then 
was. Mr. Whitefield having a little before em- 
braced that doctrine, wrote a reply and published it 
in America. When he came to England in 174T, 
he republished this reply in London ; at the same 
time he wrote a letter to Mr. Charles Wesley on the 
subject of the controversy. Mr Charles Wesley 
had published some Hymns on Universal Redemp- 
tion. The points in dispute were, 1. Unconditional 
election. 2. Irresistible grace. 3. Final perse- 
verance. As the parties remained firm in their se- 
veral opinions, a separation took place between them, 
so tar as to have different places of worship and to 
form different Societies ; and some warm expressions 
dropped from them towards each other. This was the 
second division in the Society, and gave rise to two 
Societies ot Methodists, the one called Calvinists, 
the other Arminians: and they still differ upon the 
points on which their leaders differed at the first. 
Mr. Wesley greatly regretted this separation from 
Mr. Whitefield, and strove to prevent it; but though 

»"6 A Chronological Historv [i74*' 

he did not succeed, their inutual affection returned. 
They agreed to dilTcr, and frequently preached in 
each others chapels. 

Dec. 31, 1742. On this day, Sir John Ganson 
called upon Mr. Wesley in London, and informed, 
him, " Sir you have no need to suffer these riotous 
mobs to mole^st you, as they have done long. I and 
all the other Ixliddlcsex magistrates have orders from 
above, to do you justice, whenever you apply to 
iis."^ Two or three weeks after, tliey did apply. 
Justice was done, though not with rigour. And. 
irom that time they had peace in London. This, 
.shewed an excellent spirit in the Government. 

Tliere is good authority to say, that his late Ma- 
jesty George the Second, on representation made 
to him of the persecution suflcrcd by the Societies, 
at this time, declared, that, " No man in his domi- 
nions should be persecuted on the account of reli- 
gion, while he sat on the throne." A declaration, 
that reflected much honour on the King. 

In 1742, the Societies having greatly increased,: 
were divided into ClasseSy each class consisting of 
twelve persons or more, who were committed to the 
care of one person stiled the Leader. Mr. Wesley: 
thus records the occasion of this.- — r- 

Feb. 15, 1742, He observes, '* many were met 
together at Bristol to consult concerning a proper, 
method of paying the public debt contracted byi 
building, and it was agreed. I. 7 hat every mem- 
ber of the Society that was able should contribute 
one penny a week. 2. That the whole Society 
should be divided into little companies or classes, 
about twelve in each class, 3. That one person in 
each should receive the contribution of the rest, 
and bring it in to the Stewards weekly. Thus be-, 
gan, says he, that excellent institution, merely upon. 
a temporal account, from which we reaped so many 
spiritual blessings, that we soon fixed the same rule 
in all our Societies," 

April 9, 1742, The first watch-night was held 

*742-] Of the People calUd Methodists. 17 

in London. The service at these times begins at 
half past eioht o'clock, and continues till midnight. 
The custom was begun at Kingswood by the colliers 
there, who, before their conversion, used to spend 
every Saturday night at the ale-house. After they 
were taught better, they spent that night in prayer. 
Mr. Wesley hearing of it, ordered it first to be once 
a month, at the full of the moon, then once a quar- 
ter, and recomrnended it to all his Societies. 

His account of it is, " I was informed, that several 
persons in Kingswoody frequently met together, at 
the school, and ^when they could spare the timej 
spent the greater part of the night, in prayer an^l 
praise and thanksgiving. Some advised me io put 
an end to this : but upon weighing the thing 
thoroughly, and comparing it with the practice ot 
the antient Christians, I could see no cause to for- 
bid it. Raiher, 1 believed, it might be made of 
more general use. So 1 sent them word, *' I de- 
signed to watch with them, on the Friday nearest 
the full of the moon, that we might have light thi- 
ther and back again." I gave public notice of this, 
the Sunday before, and withal, that I intended to 
preach, desiring they, and they only, would meet 
me there, who could do it without prejudice to their 
business or families. On Friday abundance of 
people came. I began preaching between eight and 
nine, and we continued till a little beyond the noon 
of night, singing, praying, and praising God." 

In this year commenced also in London, the 
visitation of the Classes, once a quarter, by the 
Preachers^ which gives them an opportunity of con- 
versing tour times every year with the people, con- 
cerning the state of their souls ; as also of ascer- 
taining who continue to be real members, by giving 
to each Person a Ticket; with a text of Scripture 
on it, as a mark of their approbation. This is now 
universally practised, and the Ticket is the same in 
every place. Oa the Band Tickets the letter B. is 

iB J Chronological History [1743* 

marked. The increase oF the Societies, together 
with the probable supposition that improper per- 
sons would endeavour to come among them, led to 
this prudential measure. 

May 26, 1742, Mr. Wesley visited Birstall, in, 
the Wcst-riding of the county of York, where he. 
met with a Lay-Preacher, Mr. John Nelson, who 
was instrumental in turning many of his neighbours 
from darkness to light. Alter some time Mr. 
Nelson, who heartily joined Mr. Wesley in his 
Work, published a journal of his travels and Chris- 
tian experience, which has been rendered a bles- 
sing to thousands ; and is still in circulation among 
the Methodists. From that time Methodism has 
taken a deep root in the county of York. 

In the year 1743, May i, The rules of the So- 
ciety were first published under the following title, 
*' The Nature, Design, and General Rules of the 
United Societies in Londpn, Bristol, and Newcastle 
upon Tyne, &c." After reciting the rise of the 
Societies, as rehted in the thirteenth and sixteenth 
pages, he thus proceeds. 

*' It is the business of a Leader, 
. •• I. To see each person in his Class once a week 
at the least: in order to enquire how their souls 
prosper. To advise, reprove, comfort, or exhort, 
as occasion may require ; to receive what they are 
willing to give for the support of the Gospel. 

** 2. To meet the Minister and the Stewards of 
the Soc'^iy every week, in order to inform the Mi- 
nister of any that are sick, or of any that are disor- 
derly and will not be reproved; to pay the Stewards 
what they have received of their several Classes in 
the week preceding. 

" There is one only condition previously re- 
quired of those who desire admission into these 
Societies, a desire to Jlee from the zvrath to come ; 
to be saved from their sins: but, wherever this is 
really fixed in the soul, it will be shewn by its irnits* 
It is therefore expected of all whg continue therein, 

1743-3 Of the PeopiU called Methodists, t,^ 

that they should continue to evidence their desire of 

*• First, By doing no harm, by avoiding evil in 
every kind ; especially that which is most generally 
practised* Such as, The taking the name ot God 
in vain. The profaning the day of the Lord, either 
by doing ordinary work thereon, or buying and sell- 
ing. Drunkenness, buying or selling spirituous 
liquors ; or drmking them unless in cases of ex- 
treme necessity. Fighting, quarrelling, brawling; 
brother going to law with brother ; returning evil 
for evil, or railing for railing. The using many 
words in buying or selling. The buying or selling 
uncustomed goods. The giving or taking things 
on usury '- 2. e* unlawful interest. Uncharitable or 
unprofitable conversation ; particularly, speaking 
evil of Magistrates, or of Mmisters. Doing to 
others as we would not they should do unto us; 
Doing what we know is not tor the Glory of 
God : as, the putting on of gold' or costly apparel. 
The taking such diversions as cannot be used ni the 
name (»f the Lord Jesus, The singing those songs, 
or reading those books, which do not tend to the 
knowledge or love of God. Softness and needless 
selt-indulgence. Laying up treasure upon earth. 
Borrowing without a probability of paying: or 
taking up goods without a probability of paying for 

*' It is expected of all who continue in these So- 
cieties, that they should continue to evidence their 
desire of Salvation, 

" Secondly, By doing good, by being in every 
kind merciful alter their power, as they have op- 
poituuity of doing good of every possible sort, and 
as far as is possible to ail men. To their bodies, 
ot the ability which God giveth, bv giving food to 
the hungry, by cloatlung the naked, by visitn g or 
helping them tiiat are sick or iri prison. To iheir 
souls, by instructing, reproving, or exhor ing all 
"we have any iniercourse with ; trampling under foot 

«0 A Chrono logical His to ry [ * 7 4 3 • 

that enthusiastic doctrine of devils, rhat we are not 
to do good, unless our hearts be Iree to ii. By do- 
ing good especially to them that art of the hunse- 
hold of faitb, or groaning so to be : en-pioying them 
preferably to others, buying one of another, help- 
ing each other in business: and so nnich the more, 
because the world will love its own, and them 

*' By all possible diligence and frugality, that the 
Gospel be not blarred. By running with patience 
the race that is set before them, denying themselves 
and taking up their cross daily ; submitting to bear 
the reproach of Christ ; to be as the filth and off- 
scou-ring of the world : and looking that men should 
say ail manner of evil of them falsely for the Lord's 

•' It is expected of all who desire to continue in 
these Societies, that they should continue to evi- 
dence their desire of Salvation, 

•* Thirdly, By attending on all the ordinances of 
God : such are, The public worship of God : The 
ministry of the word, either read or expounded. 
The supper of the Lord ; family and private prayer ;^ 
searching the scriptures; and fasting or abstinence. 

** These are the general rules of our Societies :■ 
all which we are taught of God to observe, even in his 
written word, the only rule, and the sufficient rule 
both of our faith and practice. And all these we 
know his spirit writes on every truly awakened 
heart. If there be any among us who observe them 
not, who habitually^ break any of them, let it be 
made known unto them wlio watch over that soul, 
as they that must give an account. We will ad- 
monish him of the error of his ways; we will bear 
with him for a season. But then if he repent 
not, he hath no moie place among us. We have 
delivered our own souls. 


'743*1 Of the People called Methodists* 21 

These rules went through two and twenty edi- 
tions before Mr. Wesley died, and are still greatly 
approved by the people. 

Aug 26, 1743, Mr. Wesley set out for Cornwall. 

His brother and two of the Preachers had been 
there some time before. In this county Methodism 
has had a great increase, and it still flourishes. The 
Cornish people received the word with all readi- 
ness of mind, and with joy in the Holy Ghost. 

In the latter end of this year, 1743, Mr. Wesley 
found it necessary to appoint some ot his Society to 
act as visitors of the sick. He says, " It was not 
long before the Stewards found a great difficulty, 
with regard to the sick. Some were ready to perish 
before they knew of their illness. And when they 
did know, it was not in their power, (being person-s 
generally employed in trade) to visit them so often 
as they desired. When I was apprized of this, I 
laid the case at large before the whole Society-; 
shewed how impossible it was for the Stewards to 
attend all that were sick in all parts of the town; 
desired the Leaders of the Classes would more care- 
fully enquire, and more constantly inform them 
who were sick ; and asked '* Who among you is^ 
willing, as well as able, to supply this lack of 
service?" . 

. The next morning, many willingly offered them- 
selves. I chose isix and forty of them, whom I. 
judged to be of the most tender, loving spirit : di- 
vided the town into twenty-three parts, and desired 
two of them to visit the sick in each division. 

It is the business of a visitor of the sick, 
1. To see every sick person within his district 
thrice a week. 2. To enquire into the state of their 
souls, and advise them as occasion may require. 
3. To enquire into their disorders, and procure ad-, 
vice for them. 4. To relieve them if they are in 
want. ^. To do any thing for them, which he (or 
she) can do, 6» To bring in his account weekly to 
the Steward." Mr, Wesley says " Upon reflec- 

2* A Chronological History [1744. 

tion, I saw, how exactly in this also, we had copie^i 
after the primitive church. What were the aniient 
Deacons ? What was Phehe the Deaeonness, but 
such a visitor of the sick ? 

I did not think it needful to give them any parti- 
cular rules, besides those that follow: 

1. Be plain and open in dealing with souls.- 2. 
Be mild, tender, patient. 3. Be cleanly in ail you 
do for the sick. 4. Be not nice." 


From ihe fir St Conference in 1744, to the Conf^renc^ 
held in Bristol in the year 1748. 

June 25, 1744, The first Conference was held m 
London. Mr. Wesley invited the persons who at- 
tended, and also presided among them. There were 
six Clergymen and four travelling Preachers present. 
The names of the Clergymen were, John Wesley, 
Charles Wesley, John Hodges, Rector of Wenvo, 
Henry Piers, Vicar of Bexley, Samuel Taylor, 
Vicar of Quinton, and John Meriton. The names 
of the pieachers were, Thomas Maxfield, John 
Downs, Thomas Richards and John Bennett. From 
this time the Conference met every year under Mr, 
Wesley's direction, at London, Bristol, or Leeds, 
but he did not till the year 1765, annually publish 
the minutes. 

He gave the name of Conference not to what was 
said,, but to the persons assembled. The advantages 
of thi« meeting arc obvious, 1. It brings the Preach^ 
ers into a closer union with each other. 2. It makes 
them more deeply sensible of ihe necessity of acting in 
concert and haimony togeti er. 3 It is a means of 
quickening their zeal. 4. It terminates any dispute 

*7i4*] OJ the people called Methodists* 2$ 

that may arise in the body during the year, as tlie 
'Preachers agree to submit. to, its decisions; And, ^. 
'by changing the Preachers from one circuit to ano- 
ther, it proves a blessing to the people, giving them 
the benefit of the gifts and abilities of the Preachers 
in general, while it gratifies an innocent curiosity^ 
The subjects of their deliberations were proposed ia 
the form of questions, which were amply discussed, 
and, with the answers, written down, and afterwards 
printed under the title of, *' Minutes of several con- 
versation's between the "Reverend Mr. Wesley and 
others:" but now commonly called, TheMmutes of 
the Conference. 

The following is Mr. Wesley's Introduction to 
the first Conference. *' It is desired that all things 
be. considered as in tT*ie immediate presence of God, 
That we meet with a single eye, and as little childrerL, 
who have every thing to learn. That every point 
which is proposed, may be examined to the founda- 
tion. That every person may speak freely 
is in his heart. And that every question which may 
arise, should be thoroughly debated and settled. 

Q. Need we be fearful oi doing this ? What are 
we afraid of ? Of overturning our first principles? 
A. If they arre false, the sooner they are overturned 
the better. If they are true, they will bear the 
strictest examination. Let us all pray for a willing- 
ness to receive light, to know of every doctrine, 
whether it be of God. 

(?• How may the time of this Conference be made 
more eminently « time of watching unto prayer ? 
A. I. While we are conversing let us have an espe- 
cial care to set God always before us. 2. In the in- 
termediate hours, let us visit none but the sick, and 
^end all the time that remains in retirement. 3, 
Let us therein give ourselves to prayer for one ano- 
ther, -and for a blessing upon this our labour. 

Q. How far does jeach of us agree to submit to 
the judgment of the majority? — ■//. In speculative 
things, each can only submit so far as his judgment 

i4 A Chronological History [^744. 

shall be convinced. In every practical point, each 
will submit so far as he can without wounding his 

0. Can a Christian submit any farther than this, 
to any man, or number of men upon earth? — A. It 
is undeniably certain he cannot; either to jBzj^^/', 
Convocation, or General Council. And this is that 
grand principle of private judgment on which all the 
reformers proceeded, " Every man must judge for 
himself; because every man must give an account of 
himself to God," It is impossible to read this with- 
out admiring it ; let it never be forgotten that these 
principles formed the basis of the Methodist Confe- 

After the design of the meeting had been thus 
proposed ; they began to consider, i. What to teach ? 
2. How to teach? 3. What to do. That is, how to 
regulate their doctrine, discipline, and practice? 
The first question refers to doctrines, the second to 
discipline, the third to their whole ccconomy, in- 
cluding their Itinerancy and the government of the 

Three points were fully considered at this time, 
1. The Doctrine of Justification. 2. That of Sanc- 
tification. 3. Their Connexion with the established 


0. What is it to be justified ? — A. To be pardon- 
ed, and received into God's favour, into such a state 
that if we continue therein, we shall be finally 

0. Is faith the condition of Justification ? 
A, Yes ; for every one who belie veth not is con- 
demned ; and every one who believes is justified. 

Q, But must not Repentance, and works meet for 
Repentance, go before this Faith? — A. Without 
d6ubt. If by Repentance you mean conviction of 
sin; and by works meet tor repentance, obeying 
God as tar as we can, forgiving our brother, leaving 

1744-] Of the People called Methodists. '25 

off from evil, doing good and using the ordinances 
according to the power we have received. 

Q, What is iaith ? — J. Faith in general is, a di- 
vine, supernatural Eknchos (DcmonstrationJ ol" 
things not seen ; z. e, of Past, Future, or Spiritual 
things : It is a spiritual sight of God and the things 
of God. First, a sinner is convinced by the Holy 
Ghost, " Christ loved me and gave himself for 
me." — This is the faith by which he is justified or 
pardoned, the moment he receives it. Immediately 
the same spirit bears witness, " Thou art pardoned. 
Thou hast redemption in his blood." — And this is 
saving faith, whereby the love of God is shed abroad 
n his heart. 

g. Have all Christians this faith ? May not a man 
be justified and not know it ? — A. That all true 
Christians have such a faith as implies an assu- 
rance of God's love, appears from Rom* viii. 15. 
Eph. iv, 32. 2 Cot. xiii. 5. Heh. viii. 10. \ John 
iv. 10. — V, 19. And that no man can be justi- 
fied and not know it, appears farther from thenatme. 
of the thing. For faith alter repentance is case after 
pain: Rest after toil : Light after darkness. It ap- 
pears also from the immediate^ as well as distant 
fruits thereof. 

ig. But may not a man go to heaven ^viLhGut it ? 
A. It does not appear from Holy Writ that a man 
who hears the Gospel can: (Mark xvi. 16.) what- 
ever a heathen man may do, Rom ii. 14. 

0. What are the immediate fruits of justifyincJ* 
faith? — A. Peace, Joy, Love,Power over ail outward 
sin, and power to keep down inward sin. 

0. Does any one believe, who has not the witness 
in himself, or any longer than he sees, loves, and 
obeys God ? — J. We apprehend not ; seeing God 
being the very essence of faith : love and obedience 
the inseparable properties of it. 

g. What sins are consistent with justifying faith ? 
A, No wilful sin, If a belieyer wilfully sjns, h? 

©6 A Chronological Histo-Ty, [i744* 

casts away his faith. Neither is it possible he should 
hdive justifying faith again, without previously re- 
pe7iting. m 

0. Must every believer come into a state of dark- 
ness, doubt or fear? Will he do so, unless by igno- 
rance or unfaithfulness ? Does God otherwise with- 
draw himself? — A- It is certain a believer need 
never again come into .condemnation. It seems, he 
need not come into a state of darkness, doubt or 
fear : And that ordinarily at least he will not, unless 
by ignorance or unfaithfulness. Yet it is true, that 
the first joy does seldom last long : that it is com- 
monly followed by doubts and fears; and that God 
frequently permits great heaviness, betore any large 
manifestation of himself. 

Q. Are works necessary to the continuance of 
Caith ?^-y^. With.out donbjt ; for a man may forfeit 
the free gift of God either by sins of omission or 

0. Can faith be lost, but for want of works ? 
j^. It cannot but through disobedience. 

0. How is faith 7na(:U perfect by works ? — A- The 
more we exert our faith, the more it is increased* 
To him that hath shall be given. 

0. St. Paul says, Abraha?n was not justified by 
works. St. James says, He Wds, justified by works. 
Do they not contradict each other? — A. No. i. Be- 
cause they do not speak of the same justification. 
St. Pauls speaks of that justification which was when 
Abraham was seventy- five years old, above twenty- 
five years before Isaac was born. St. James oi that 
justification which was when he offered up Isaac on 
the altar. 2. Because they do not speak of the same 
works. St. Paul speaking of works that precede 
faith: St. James of works that spring from it. 

g. In what sense is Adam's sin imputed to all 
mankind?— y^. In Adam all die, i. e, i. Our bodies 
then became mortal. 2. Our souls died, i. e. were 
disunited from God. And hence 3. We are all 
born with a sinful devilish nature: By reason 

3.744 Of the People called Methodists, if 

whereof, 4. We are children oi" wrath, liable to 
death eternal. Rom. v. 18. Eph, ii. 3. 

2, In what sense is the Righteousness of Christ 
impiited to all mankind, or to Believers ? — A. We 
do not find it expressly affirmed in Scripture, that 
God imputes the Righteousness of Christ to any. 
Although we do find, xhzx. faith is imputed to us for 
righteousness. That text, *' As by one Man's diso- 
bedience all men were made sinners, so by the obe- 
dience of one, all were made righteous," we con- 
ceive means, by the merits of Christ, all men are 
cleared from the guilt of Adam's actual sin. We 
conceive farther, that through the obedience and 
death of Christ, i. The bodies of all men be- 
come immortal after the resurrection. 2. Their souls 
receive a capacity of spiritual life. 3. An actual 
spark or seed thereof. 4. All believers become chil- 
dren of grace, reconciled to God, and are made par- 
takers of the Divine nature, 

0^. Have we not then unawares leaned too muck 
towards Calvinism ? — A. We are afraid we have. 

2* Have we not also leaned towards Antinorai- 
anism? — A, We are afraid we have. 

g. What is Antinomianism? — A. The doctrine 
which makes void the law through faith. 

g. What are the main pillars thereof? — A. 1. 
That Christ abolished the moral law. 2 That there- 
fore Christians are not obliged to observe it. 3. That 
one branch of Christian liberty, is liberty from obey- 
ing the commandments of God. 4. That it is bond- 
age to do a thing, because it is commanded, or forbear 
it because it is forbidden. 5. That a believer is not 
obliged to use the ordinances of God or to do good 
works. 6. That a Preacher ought not to exhort to 
good works : Not unbelievers, because it is hurtful; 
not believers, because it is needless. 

g. What was the occasion of St. Paul's writing 
his epistle to the Galatians P — A, The coming of 
certain men amongst the Galatians, who taught. 
Except ye be circumcised and keep the law ^ Moses 
ye cannot be saved. 

a^ ^Chronological History, t^74'i' 

^ 0, What is his main design therein ? — A, To 
prove, I. That no man can be justified or saved by 
the works of" the Law, either Moral or Ritual. 2, 
That every believer is justified bv faith in Ckrist 
without the works of the law. 

2« "What does he mean b\- the works of the lazv ? 
Gal. ii. 16 — A. All works which do not spring from 
faith in Christ. 

Q, What by being under the law? GaL iii. 2g. 
— y^. Under the Mosaic dispensation. 

g. What law has Christ abolished?—.^ The 
Ritual law of Moses. 

0. What is meant by libci-ty ? Cral, v. 1. — A. 
Liberty, i. From the law. 2. From sin. 


0. What is it to be sanctified? — A. To be re- 
aewed in the image of God in righteousness and true 

g. Is faith the condition ; or the instrument of 
sanctification ? — A. It is both the condition and the 
instrument of it. Wiien we begin to believe, then 
sanctification begins. And as faith increases, lioli- 
iiess increases, till we are created anew. 

2' What is implied in hcmga perfect Christian ? 
A. The loving the Lord our God with all our heart, 
and with all our mind, and soul and strengh. Deut.. 
vi. 5. XXX. 6. Ezek. xxxvi 2,5. — 29. 

g. Does this imply, that all inward sin is taken 
away ? — A. Without doubt : or how could he be said 
to be s^vtdfrom all his unclea?inesses, v. 29. 

Q. Can we know one who is thus saved ? Vv'hat 
is a reasonable proof ol" it ? — A. We cannot with- 
out the miraculous discernment of spirits, be in- 
fallibly certain of those who are thus saved. But 
we apprehend, these would be the best proofs 
which the nature of the thing admits. 1. If we had 
sufficent evidince gf theii unblameable behaviour^ 

1744-1 Of the People called Methadiits, 29 

at least from the time of their justification. 2. If 
they gave a distinct account of the time and man- 
ner wherein they were saved from sin, and of thq 
circumsiances thereof, with such sound speech a? 
could not be reproved. And, 3. If upon a strict 
enquiry from time to time, for two or three year fol- 
lowing, it appeared that all their tempers, words, and 
actions, were holy and unreproveable. 

g. How should we treat those who think they 
have attained this ? — J. Exhort them to forget the 
things that are behind, and to watch and pray always, 
that God may search the ground of their hearts. 


g. What is the Church of England ? — J. Ac- 
coi-ding to the twentieth article, the visible Church 
of England is, the Congregation of English Believ^ 
ers, in which the pure word of God is preached, and 
the Sacraments duly administered. (But the word 
Church is sometimes taken in a looser sense, for a 
congregation prqfessiiig to believe, so it is taken in 
the twenty-sixth article, and in the first, second, and 
tJiird chapters of the Revelation.) 
. g. What is a Member of the Church of England ? 
— A. A Believer hearing the pure word of God' 
preached, and partaking of the Sacraments duly ad- 
inin'stered in that Church. 

g. What is it to be zealous for the Church? — 
A. To be earnestly desirous of its welfare and in- 
crease : of its welfare, by the confirmation of its 
present members, in faith, hearing, and communi- 
cating : and of its increase by the addition ot new 

g. How are we to defend the doctrine of the 
Church ? — A. Both by our preaching and living. 

g. How should we behave at a false or railing 
sermon? — J, If it only contain personal reflec- 
D q 

30 A Chronologieal History [i744« 

tions, we may quietly suflFer it. If it blaspheme 
the Work and Spirit of God, it may be better to 
go out of the church. In either case, if opportu- 
nity serve, it would be well to write to the Mi- 

g. How far is it our duty to obey the Bishops ? — 
A. In all things indifferent : and on this ground of 
obeying them, we should observe the canons, so 
far as we can with a safe conscience^ 

Q, Do we separate from the Church? — A. We 
conceive not: we hold communion therewith, for 
conscience sake, by constantly attending both the 
word preached, and the sacraments administered 

Q. What then do they mean who say, " you se- 
parate from the Church." — A. We cannot certamly 
tell. Perhaps they have no determinate meanings 
unless by the Church they mean themselves, i. e, 
that pait of the clergy who accuse us of preaching 
false doctrine. And it is sure we do herein sepa- 
rate from the??t, by maintaining that v^hich they 

Q. But do you not weaken the Church? — A^ 
Do not they who ask this, by the Church mean 
themselves^ — J. We do not purposely weaken any 
man's hands, but accidentally we may thus far: they 
who come to know the truth by us, will esteem such 
as deny it, less than they did before. But the Church 
in the proper sense, the congregation of English 
Believers^ we do not weaken at all. 

g. Do you not entail a schism on the Church I^ 
2. €. Is it not probable, that your hearers after your 
death, -will be scattered into all sects and parties ? 
Or, that they will form themselves into a distinct 
sect? — J. 1. V/e are persuaded that the body of" 
our hearers will even alter our death remain in the. 
church, unless they be thrust out. 2. We believe 
HOtwiihstanding, either that they will be thrust out» 
or that they will leaven the whole Church. 3. We- 
do, and will do, all we can, to prevent those con- 

1744-1 ^J ^^^ People called Methodists* ^1 

sequences which are supposed likely to happen after 
Gur death. 4. But we cannot with a good con« 
science neglect the present opportunity oF saving^ 
souls while we live, lor iear ot consequences which 
may possibly or probably happen after we are 

From these minutes we learn the following par- 
ticulars. i. That Mr. Wesley considered the Me- 
thodist Societies to be a part ot the Church of Eng- 
land, (as fully answering the above definition, Ques- 
tion the second, page 29) though also embracing- 
all those who fear God and work righteousness^ 
and are willing to conform to the rules. 2. That 
by keeping to the Church at large, he meant, attend- 
ing the service and sacrament. 

The following minute was made relative to prac- 
tice. *' Be serious : let your motto be, Holiness io 
the Lord. Avoid all lightness as you would avoid 
hell fire, and trifling as you would cursing and 
swearing. Touch no woman: be as loving as yoit 
will, but the custom of the country is nothing to 

On Friday August 2'4, 1744,. ^^^- Wesley 
preached for the last time at Oxford^ before the 
University. He had preached to them twice be- 
fore, since the time he began to declare the truth 
in the fields and highways. These sermons are 
printed in the first volume of his works, and are 
well worth a serious perusal. " I am now," says 
he, " clear of the blood of these men. I have fully 
delivered my own soul. And I am well pleased 
that it should be the very day, on which, in the last 
century, near two thousand burning and shining 
lights weie put out at one stroke. Yet what a 
wide difference is there between their case and 
mine! They v;ere turned out of house and home, 
and all that they had : whereas 1 am only hindered 
from preaching, without any other loss; and that 
in a kind of honourable manner; it being deter- 
mined, that when my next turn to preach comes. 

22 j^ Chronological History [^745* 

they will pay another person *to preach for me." 
And so they did twice or thrice; even to the time 
that he resigned his fellowship. 

Dec. 2^, 1744, Mr. Wesley drew up the fol- 
lowing directions for the Band Societies, and re- 
commended them with the Band rules. 

" You are supposed to have the " faith that over- 
Gometh the world," to you therefore it is not griev- 
ous, I. Carefully to abstain from doing evil: in 
particular, 1. Neither to buy nor sell on the Lord's 
day. 2. To taste no spirituous liquors, unless pre-, 
scribed by a physician, 3. To be at a word both 
in buying and selling. ^. Not to mention the fault 
of any one behind his back, and to stop those short 
that do. 5. To wear no needless ornaments, such as 
rings, ear-rings, necklaces, laces, or ruffles. 6. To 
use no needless self-indulgence, .such as taking snufF 
or tobacco, unless prescribed by a physician. 

*' II. Zealously to maintain good warks: in par- 
ticular, 1. To give alms of such things as you pos-, 
sess, according to your power. 2. To reprove all 
that sin in your sight, and that in love, and meek- 
ness ol wisdom. 3. To be patterns ot diligence 
and frugality, of self-denial, and taking up the 
cross daily. 

** III. Constantly to attend on all the ordinances 
of God : in particular, 1. To be at public worship, 
and at the Lord's table every week, if possible ; and 
at every public meeting of the Bands. 2. To use 
private prayer every day : and family prayer, if you 
are the Head of a ^amily. 3. To read the scriptures,, 
and meditate therein, at every vacant hour, and, 
4. To use fasting or abstinence; as often as your 
health will permit" 

About this time (1745,) Mr. Wesley instituted 
the Select Society, or Band. The persons to be ad- 
mitted Mac this Band, were, 1. Persons who were 
earnestly athirst for the full image of God. 2. Those 
who continually walked in the light of God, having 
fellowship with the father, and with his ^on JesuS: 

1745-3 Of thi People called Methodius, 53 

Christ. He says, *' I saw It might be useful to 
give some advice to all those, who thus continue 
in the light of God's countenance, which the rest 
of their brethren did not want, and probably could 
not receive. So I desired a small number of such 
as appeared to be in this state, to spend an hour 
with me every Monday morning. My design was, 
not only to direct them how to press after perfec- 
tion ; to exercise their every grace, and improve 
every talent they had received, and to incite them 
to love one another more, and to watch more care- 
fully over each other ; but also to have a select 
company, to whom I might unbosom myself 
on all occasions, without reserve ; and whom I 
could propose to all their brethren as a pattern of 
love, of holiness, and of all good works. 

They had no need of being incumbered with 
many rules, having the best rule of all in their 
hearts. No peculiar directions were therefore given 
to them; excepting only these three, i. Let ncK 
thing spoken in this Society, be spoken again, 
(Hereby we had the more full confidence in each 
other.) 2. Every member agrees to submit to his 
Minister in all indifferent things. 3. Every mem- 
ber will bring once a week, all he can spare toward 
a common stock. 

Every one here has an equal liberty of speaking, 
there being none greater or less than another, I 
could say freely to these, when they were met to- 
gether, *♦ Ye may all prophesy one by one" (taking 
that word in its lowest sense) " that all may learn, 
and all may be comforted." And I often found the 
advantage of such a free conversation, and that 
" in the multitude of counsellors, there is safety." 
And who ever was inciined so to do, I likewise- 
encouraged, to pour out his soul to God, And 
here especially we have found, that the effectual 
fervent prayer of a righteous availeth much." 
The utility of these meetings appears from the fol- 
lowing considerations,. St. John divides tlie follow. 

f4^ jti' chronological History [i7'45i 

ers of God into three classes, i John 2. 12. St. Paul 
exhoiis Ministtis to give every one his portion of 
meat in due season . And there were some things- 
which our Lord did not make known to his disi- 
ciples till after his Ascension, when they were pre- 
pared for them by tlie descent of the Holy Ghost. 
These meetings give the preachers an opportunity 
of speaking of the deep things of God, and of ex- 
horting the members to press after the full image 
of God. They also form a bulwark to the doctrine 
of Christian perfection. It is a pity that so few of 
the people embrace this privilege, and that every^ 
Preacher does not warmly espouse such profitable 

In tne year 1745, the Rev. William Grirashaw,. 
Vicar of the Parish of Haworth,- in Yorkshire, be- 
came closely united with th^ Methodists. He was 
a mast indefatigable man in his labours, and so con- 
tinued, till on the 7th of April 1763, his happy^ 
spirit went to rest, in the fifty-fifth year of his age... 
His last words were, *' Here goes an unprofitable; 
servant." He actsd for several years as Mr.. Wesley 's?- 
assistant, in the Haworth circuit. There is a short; 
account of him in Mr. Wesley's Life, by Dr. Coke 
and Mr. Moore, in Mr. Wesley's Journals, and in. 
the Arminian Mag. for Jan. 1795. 

Aug, I, 1745, The second Conference was held 
in Bristol. The assembly was composed of the 
Messrs. Wesleys, and John Hodges, who were 
clergymen ; and Thomas Richards, Samuel Lar- 
wood, Thomas Meyrick, James Wheatley, Richard 
Moss, John Slocorabc, and Herbert Jenkins, Travel- 
ling Preachers. 


g. How comes what is written on the subject 
®f Justification to be so intricate and obscure ? Is 

■*745'] ^/ ^^'■^ People called Methodists'. 35 

this obscurity from the nature of the thing itself? 
'Or from the fault or weakness of those who have 
generally treated of it? — A, We apprehend this ob- 
scurity does not arise from the nature of the sub- 
ject: But, perhaps, partly trom hence, that the devil 
peculiarly labours to perplex a subject of such im- 
portance: and partly from the extreme warmth of 
most writers who have treated of it. 

g. We affirm faith in Christ is the sole condi- 
tion of Justificarion. But does not repentance go 
before that faith ? and supposing there be opportu- 
nity for them, fruits or works meet ior repentance ? 
— A. Without doubt they do. 

g. How then can wc deny them .to be conditions 
of Justification ? Is not this a mere strife of words ? 
But is it worth while to continue a dispute on the 
term condition ? — A. It seems not, though it has 
tbeen grievously abased. But so the abuse cease, 
•let the use remain. 

0. Shall we read over together Mr. Baxter's 
Aphorisms concerning Justification? — A^ By all 
means : And it was desired, that each person would 
consult the scriptures cited therein, and make what 
•objections might occur. 

0. Is an assurance of God's pardoning love ab- 
solutely nece^sa^y to our being in his favour? Or 
^raay there possibly be some exempt cases? — A» W"e 
dare not positively say, There arc not. 

g. Is such an assurance absolutely necessary to 
inward and outward holiness? — A. To inward, we 
apprehend it is: to outward holiness, we incline to 
think it is not. 

Q. Is it indispensably necessary to final salvation? 
Suppose in a Papist, or a Ojnaker? Or in general 
among those who never heard it preached ? — A. Love 
hopcth all thintrs. We know not how far any of 
these may fall under the case of invincible igno- 

g. But what can we say of one of our own ^O" 
•ciety, who dies wiiiiout it, as I. W. at London ?— 

36 A Chronological History Ci74S« 

J. It may possibly be an exempt case, (if the fact 
was really so) but we determine nothing. We leave 
his soul in the hands oF him that made it. 

0. Does a man believe any longer than he sees a 
reconciled God ? — A. We conceive not. But we 
allow there may be infinite degrees in seeing God : 
Even as many as there are between him who sees 
the sun, when it shines on his eye-lids closed, and 
him who stands with his eyes wide open, in the full 
Waze of its beams. 

0. Does a man believe any longer than he loves 
God? — A. In nowise. For neither circumcision 
nor uncircumcision Avails, without faith working 
by love. 

jg. Have we duly considered the case of Corni- 
lius? Was not he in the favour of God, zuhen his 
prayers and alms came up for a memorial before 
QoiU i. e. before he believed in Christ? — A. It 
does seem that he was in some degree. But we speak 
not of those who have not heard the Gospel. 

O, But were those works of his splendid sins? 
(as some of the Fathers termed the good works of 
the heathen.) — A No; nor were they done zvithout 
the grace of Christ. 

(). How then can we maintain, that all works 
done before we have a sense of the pardoning love 
of God, are sin? And, as such, an abomination to 
him ? — A. The works of him who has heard the 
Gospel, and does not believe, are not done as God 
hath willed and commanded them to be done. And 
yet we know not how to say, that they are an abo- 
mination to the Lord in him who feareth God, and 
from that principle, does the best he can. 

0. Seeing there is so much difficulty in this sub- 
ject^ can we deal too tenderly with them that op- 
pose us ? — A. We cannot ; unless we were to give 
up any part of the truth of God. 

0. Is a believer constrained to obey God ? — 
A^hx first he often is. The love of Christ con* 

1745] OJtht People called. Methodists, %y 

straineth him. After this, he may obey, or he may 
not ; no constraint being laid upon him. 

0. Can faith be lost, but through disobedience ? 
— A, It cannot. A believer first inwardly disobe}s, 
inclines to sin with his heart : then his intercourse 
with God is cut ofF, i. e. his faith is lost. Atter 
this he may fall into outward sin, being now weak, 
and like another man. 

0. How can such a one recover Faith ? — A, By 
repenting and doing the fiist works, Rev. ii. 5. 

Q. Whence is it that so great a majority of those 
who believe fall more or less into doubt or fear ? — 
u^. Chiefly from their own ignorance or unfaith- 
fulness : often from their not watching unto prayer; 
perhaps sometimes from some defect or want of the 
power of God in the preaching they bear. 

Q, Is there not a defect in us ? Do we preach as 
we did at first ? Have we not changed our doc- 
trines? — ^. 1. At first we preached almost wholly 
to unbelievers. To those therefore we spake al- 
most continually of remission of sins through the 
death of Christ, and the nature of faith in his blood. 
And so we do still, among those who need to be 
taught the first elements of the Gospel of Christ, 
2. But those in whom the foundation is already laid, 
we exhort to go on to perfection : Which we did 
not see so clearly at first; although we occasionally 
spoke of it from the beginning. 3. Yet we now 
preach, and that continually, faith in Christ, as 
the Prophet, Priest and King, at least, as clearly, as 
strongly, and as fully, as we did six years ago. 

Q, Do we not discourage visions and dreams too 
much? As if we condemned them toio genere? — A» 
We do not intend to do this. We neither discourage 
nor encourage them. We learn from Acts ii. 19, 
to expect something of this kind in the last days^ 
And we cannot deny that saving faith is often given 
in dreams and visions of the night : which Jaith we 
account neither better nor worse^ than if it came by 
»ny other jneans, 


3t' A Chronological History [^745. 

0^. Do not some of our assistants preach too 
much of the wrath, and too little of the love of 
God? — A. We fear they have leaned too much 
to that extreme; and hence some of their hearers 
may have lost the joy of faith. 

0. Need we ever preach the terrors of the Lord 
to those who know they are accepted of him ? — A, 
No; it is folly so to do: for love is to them the 
strongest of all motives. 

0. Do we ordinarily represent a justified state so 
great and happy as it is ? — /i. Perhaps not. A be- 
liever walking in the light is inexpressibly great and 

g. Should we not have a care of depreciating 
justification, in order to exalt the state of full sanc- 
tification? — A. Undoubtedly we should beware of 
this: for one may insensibly slide into it. 

g. How shall we effectually avoid it ? — A. When 
we are going to speak of entire sanccification, let 
us first describe the blessings of a justified state, as 
strongly as possible. 

<2. Does not the truth of the Gospel lie very near 
both to Calvinism and Antinomianism ? — A. Indeed 
it does: as it were within a hair's breadth. So that it 
is altogether foolish and sinful, because we do not 
quite agree either with one or the other, to run from 
them as far as we can. 

g. Wherein may we come to the very edge of 
Calvinism ? — A. i. In ascribing all good to the free 
grace of God. 2. In denying ail natural free will, 
and all power antecedent to grace; and, 3. In ex- 
cluding all merit from man; even for what he does 
by the grace of God. 

jg. Wherein may we come to the edge of Antino^ 
miamsra f — A i. In exalting the merits and love of 
Christ. 2. In rejoicing evermore. 

j2. Does faith supersede (set aside the necessity 
of) holiness or good works ? — A^ In no wise. So 
far from it that it implies both, as a cause does its 

*74j-] OJ the People called Methodists, 39 


2- When does inward sanctification begin? — A. 
In ihe moment we are justified. The seed of every 
virtue is then sown in the soul. From that time the 
believer gradually dies to sin, and grows in grace. 
Yet sin remains in him; yea, the seed of all sin, till 
he is sanctified throughout in spirit, soul and body. 

g. What will become of a Heathen, a Papist, a 
Church of England Man, if he dies without being 
thus sanctified ? — A. He cannot see the Lord. But 
none who seeks it sincerely shall or can die without 
it. Though possibly he may not attain it, till the 
very article of death. 

g. Is it ordinarily given till a little before death ? 
— A. It is not, to those that expect it no sooner, nor 
consequently ask for it, at least, not in faith. 

g. But ought we to expect it sooner ? — A. Why 
not : For although we grant, 1. That the generality 
oi believers, whom we have hitherto known, were 
not sanctified till near death. 2. That few of those 
to whom St. Paul wrote his epistles were so at the 
time he wrote. 3. Nor he himself at the time of writ- 
ing his former epistles. Yet this does not prove that 
we may not be sanctified to-day. 

g. But would not one who was thus sanctified be 
incapable of worldly busmess ? — A. He would be 
far more capable ot it than ever, as going through 
all without distraction. 

g. Would he be capable of marriage ? — A. Why 
should he not. 

g. Should we not beware of bearing hard on those 
wh(3 think they have attained ? — A. We should.- 
And the ratner, because if they are faithful to the 
grace they have received, they are in no danger o£ 
perishing at last. No, not even if they remain iti 
luminous faithy (as some term it) for many month* 

40 A Chronological History L^74^' 

or years, perhaps till within a little time of their spi- 
rits returniner to God ? 

g. In what manner should we preach entire 
sanctification? — J. Scarce at all to those who are 
not pressing forward. To those who are, always 
by way of promise : always drawing rather than 

0. How should we wait for the fulfilling of this 
promise? — A. In universal obedience, in keeping 
all the commandments, in denying ourselves, and 
taking up our cross daily. These are the general 
means which God hath ordained for our receiving 
bis sanctifying grace. The particular are^ pvciyer, 
searching the scriptures, communicating and fast- 

May 13, 1746. The third Conference was held 
in Bristol. Beside the Mess. Wesleys, and John 
Hodges, and Samuel Taylor, who were clergymen, 
the following Preachers were present, Jonathan 
Reeves, Thomas Maxfield, Thomas Westall and 
Thomas Willes. 

. The conversation at this time was of a general na- 
ture, yet well calculated to explain and elucidate 
tlie great doctrines of the gospel. 

. 0' Can an unbeliever (whatever he be in other 
respects) challenge any thing of God's justice? — ^. 
Absolutely nothing but hell. And this is a point 
which we cannot too much insist on. 
. 0, Do we empty men of their own righteousness, 
as we did at first ? Do we sufficiently labour, when 
they begin to be convinced of sin, to take away all 
they lean upon ? Should we not then endeavour 
with all our might to overturn their false founda- 
tions? — j^. This was at first one of our principal 
points. And it ought to be so still. P'or till all other 
foundations are overturned they cannot build upon 

g.. Did we not then purposely throw them into 
c^onvictions ? Into. strong sorrow and fear? Nay, 
did we not strive to make thern inconsolable ? Re- 

1745-] Of the People calUd Methodists. 41 

fusing to be comforted. — A. We did. And so we 
should do still. For the stronger the conviction, 
the speedier is the deliverance. And none so 
soon receive the peace ol God, as those who 
steadily refuse ail other comfort. 

g. Let us consider a particular case. Was you, 
Jonathan Reeves, before you received the peace 
of God, convinced, that notwithstanding all you 
did, or could do, you was in a state of damnation ? 
y. R. I was convinced of it, as fully as that I am 
now alive. 

g. Are you sure that conviction was from God ? 
J, R. I can have no doubt but it was. 

g. What do you mean by a state of damnation ? 
y. R. A state, wherein if a man dies, he perisheth 
for ever. 

g. How did this conviction end "^ J. R. 1 had 
first a strong hope that God would deliver me ; and 
this brought a degree of peace. But I had not that 
solid peace of God, till Christ was revealed in me, 

g. But is not such a trust in the love of God, 
though it be as yet without a distinct sight of God, 
as reconciled to me through Christ Jesus, a low de- 
gree of justifying faith? — A. It is an earnest of it. 
But this abides for a short time only : nor is this the 
proper Christian faith. 

g. By what faith were the Apostles clean, before- 
Christ died ? — A. By such a taith as this ; by a 
Jewish faith. For the Holy Ghost was not then 

g. Of whom then do we understand those words 
(Isa. 1. 10.) *' Who is there among you that fear- 
eth the Lord? That obeyeththe voice of his servant, 
that walketh in darkness and hath no light?" — A* 
Of^a believer under the Jewish dispensation: one 
in whose heart God hath not yet shined, to give 
him the light of the glorious love of God, in the 
face of Jesus Christ. 

0. Who is a Jew inwardly ?— ^, A servant of 


491 J Chronological History [1746* 

God. One who sincerely obeys him out of fear. 
Whereas a Christian (inwardly) is a child of God ; 
one who sincerely obeys him out of love. 

Q, But was not you, Jonathan Reeves, sincere 
before Christ was revealed in you ? J, R. It seems 
to me that I was in some measure. 

g. What is sincerity ? — A» A willingness io 
know and do the whole wiH of God. The lowest 
€pecies thereof seems to be faithfulness in that 
which is little. 

Q. Has God any regard to man's sincerity ? — y/. 
So far, that no man in any state can possibly please 
God without it ; neither indeed in any moment 
wherein he is not sincere. 

Q. But can it be conceived that God has any re- 
gard to the sincerity of an unbeliever ? — yi. Yes, 
so much, that if he persevere therein, God will in- 
fallibly give him faith. 

Q, What regard may we conceive him to have, 
to the sincerity of a believer ? — yf. So much, that 
in every sincere believer he fulfils all the great and 
precious promises. 

- C' Whom do you term a sincere believer? — A, 
One that walks in the light, as God is in the light, 
\ John i. 7. 

(2- Is sincerity the same with a single eye? — y/. Not 
altogether. The latter refers to our intention ; the 
former to our will or desires. 

g. Is it not all in all ? — A. All will follow per- 
severing sincerity. God gives every thing with it ; 
nothing without it. 

g. Are not then sincerity and faith equivalent 
terms ? — A. By no means. It is at least as nearly 
related to works as it is to faith. For example, 
Who is sincere before he believes? He that then 
does all he can; he that, according to the power he 
has received, brings forth fruits meet Jor repentance. 
Who is sincere alter he believes ? He tliat, from a 
sense of God's love, is zealous of all good works, 
g. Is not sincerity wliat St, Paul terais a willing 

1746.] OJ the People called Methodists, 43' 

mind? 2 Cor. viii. 12. — A. Yes: If that word be 
taken in a general sense. For it is a constant dis- 
position to use all the grace given. 

g. But do we not then set sincerity on a level 
with faith . — A. No. For we allow a man may be 
sincere, and not be justified, as he may be penitent, 
ind not be justified, (not as yet ;) but he cannot 
have faith, and not be justified. The very moment 
he believes he is justified. 

g. But do we not give up faith, and put sincerity- 
in Its place, as the the condition of our acceptance 
with God ? — A. We believe it is one condition of 
our acceptance, as repentance likewise is. And we 
believe it is a condition of our continuing in a state 
of acceptance. Yet we-da not put it in the place of 
faith. It is by faith the merits of Christ are applied 
to my soul: But if I am not sincere^ they are not 

g. Is not this, that going about to establish our 
twn righteousness, whereof St. Paul speaks ? Ro7n, 
X. 3. — yj. St. Paul there manifestly speaks of un- 
believers, who sought to be accepted for the sake of 
their own righteousness. We do not seek to be ac- 
cepted for the sake of our own sincerity; but 
through the merits of Christ alone. Indeed, so long 
as any man believes, he cannot go about (in St. 
.-Paul's sense) to establish his own righteousness? 

0. Bat do you consider, that we are under the co- 
venant of grace ; and that the covenant of works is 
now abolished ? — J. All mankind were under the 
covenant of grace, from the very hour that the ori- 
ginal promise was made. If by the covenant of 
works you mean, that of unsinning obedience made 
with Adam before the fall, No man but Ada?n was 
ever under that covenant: for it was abolished be- 
fore Cain was born. Yet it is not so abolished, but 
that it will stand, in a measure, even to the end of 
the world, i, e. if we du this, we shall live ; if not, 
we shall die eternally. If we do vv^ell, we shall 
live with God in glory ; if evil, we shall die the se- 

44 ji'Chranohgical History [^i'/,^6. 

cond death. For every man shall be judged in that 
day, and rewarded according to his zt'orks. 

ig.. Wliat means. lhen//i? hi?n that believeth^ his 
faith is counted for righteousness 1 — A, That God 
forgives him that is unrighteous as soon as he be- 
lieves; accepting his laith instead of perfect righte- 
ousness. But then observe, . universal righteousness 
follows, though it did not precede faith. 

g. BiU is faith thus counted to us for righteous- 
«€ji-, at whatsoever timevve believe ? — A. Y^s. In 
whatsoever moment we believe, all our past sins va- 
nish away. They are as though they had never 
been, an:! we staruj clear in the sight o\ God. 

Q^. Are not the assurance of faith ^ the inspiration 
cf the Holy Ghosts and the revelation of Christ in us^ 
terms nearly of the same import?— ^<f. He that de- 
nies one of tliem, must deny all ; they are so closely 
connected together. 

0, Are they ordinarily, where the pure Gospel is 
preached, essential to our acceptance? — A. Un-. 
doubtedly they are; and as such, to be insisted on, 
in the strongest teims. 

0, Is not the whole dispute of salvation by faith, 
or by works, a mere strife of zvords? — J. In as- 
seiting salvation by laith, we moan this, i. That 
pardon (salvation begun) is received by faith pro- 
ducing works. 2. That holiness (salvation continu- 
ed) is lauh working by love. 3. That heaven (sal- 
vation finished) is the reward of this faith. If you 
who assert salvation by works, or by faith and works, 
mean the same thing, (understanding by faith, the 
revelation oi Christ in us, by salvation, pardon, ho- 
liness, and glory,) we will not strive with you at all. 
If you do not, this is not a strife of zucrds; but the 
very vitals ot Christianity : The essence of it is the 
thing m question. 

2- Wherein does our doctrine now differ from 
that we preaciied when at Oxford? — ^J. Chiefly in 
these two ponirs, 1. We then knew nothing of that 
righteousness of faith, in justification; nor, 2. Oi 

1747-] Of the People called Methodists, 45 

the nature of faith itself, as implying consciousness of 

2- May not some degree of the love of God, go 
betore a distinct sense of justification ? — A' We be- 
lieve it may. 

g. Can any degree of sanctificatlon or holiness ? — 
A. Many degrees of outward holiness may : yea, 
and some degree of meekness, and several other tem- 
pers, which would be branches of Christian holiness, 
but that they do not spring fro/n Christian princi- 
ples. But the abiding love of God cannot spring 
but from faith in a pardoning God. And no true 
Christian holiness can exist, without that love of 
God for its foundation. 

g. Is every man, as soon as he believes, a new 
creature, sanctified, pure in heart ? Has he then a 
new heart? Does Christ dwell therein ? And is he a 
temple of the Holy Ghost? — A. All these things 
may be affirmed of every believer, in a true sense. 
Let us not therefore contradict those who maintain if. 
Why should we contend about words ? 

June 4, 1747, Mr. Wesley drew up the following 
Rules and Instructions for the Stewards of the Lon- 
don Society. They were recommended to all the 
Stewards in the connection, by being published in 
the Journals. 

" 1. You are to be men full of the Holy Ghost, 
and of wisdom; that you may do all things in a 
manner acceptable to God. 2. You are to be pre- 
sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning, in or- 
der to transact the temporal affairs of the Society. 
3. You are to begin and end every meeting witli 
earnest prayer to God, for a blessing on all your 
undertakings. 4, You are to produce your accounts 
the first Tuesday in every month, that they may be 
transcribed into the Ledger. 5. You are in the 
absence of the Minister, to take it in turn, month by' 
month, to be chairman. The chairman is to sec 
that all the rules b& punctually observed, and im« 

4^ A 'Chronological History Ci'747»- 

mediately to check him who breaks any of them; 
6. You are to do nothing without the consent of 
the Minister, either actually had, or reasonably pre- 
sumed. 7. You are to consider whenever you 
meet, " God is here." Therefore, be terious. 
Utter no trifhng word. Speak as in his presence, 
and to the glory of his great name. 8. When any 
thing is debated, let one at once stand up and speak, 
the rest giving attention. And let him speak 
just loud enough to be heard, in love and in the 
spirit of meekness. 9. You are continually to pray 
and endeavour, that a- holy harmony of soul may 
in all things subsist among, you: that in every step 
you may keep the unity of the spirit, in the bond of 
peace. 10. In all debates, you are to watch over 
your spirits, avoiding as fire, all clamour and con- 
tention, being szuift to hear, slow to speak ; in ho- 
nour every, man preferring. another beloie himself* 
ii. If you cannot relieve, do not grieve the poor. 
Give them soft words if nothing else. Abstain 
from either sour looks or harsh words. Let them 
be glad to come, even though they should go empty 
away. >2^ Put yourselves in the place ol eveiy 
poor man, and deal with him as you would God 
should deal with you." 

The business of these Stewards is, '^ 1. To manage 
the temporal things of the Society. 2. To receive 
the subscriptions and contributions.. 3. To expend 
what is needful from time to time. 4. To send 
relief to the poor. 5. To keep an exact account 
of all receipts and expences. 6. To inform the 
Minister if any of the Rules of the Society are not 
punctually observed. 7. To tell the Assistants, in 
love, if they think any thing amiss either in their 
doctrine or life." 

*' The Rules of the, Stewards are, i. Be frugal. 
Save every thing that can be saved honestly. 
^. Spend no more than you receive. Contract no 
debts. 3. Have no long, accounts. Pay every 
thing: within the week. 4. Expect no thanks from 

*747-] Of the People called Methodists. ^f 

The Stewards in London were many in number 
at that time. They visited the sick, and relieved 
the poor. All the Class-money, amounting to seve- 
ral hundred pounds in the year, was then^ and for 
many years after, given to the poor, through their 
hands.' They had much business to do^ and these 
R'lles were therefore the more needful. But they 
are excellent for any religious meeting. 

June 16, 1747, The fourth Conference was held 
in London. The following persons were present 
with Messrs. John and Charles Wesley. Charles 
Manning, Vicar of Hayes ; Richard Thomas Bate- 
man, Rector of St. Bartholomew's the Great;. 
H^nry Piers, Vicar of Bexley ; Howell Harris, 
and Thomas Hardwick. The two last were Lay- 



0^. Is justifying Faith, a divine assurance, that 
Christ loved me and gave himself for me ? — 
A' We believe it is. 

(?. What is the iud^ment of most of the serious 
dissenters concerning this? — n. They generally al- 
low, That many believers have such an assurance ; 
and, that it is to be desired and prayed for by all. 
But then they affirm, that this is the highest species, 
or degree of faith : thdt it is not the common pri- 
vilege of believers. Consequently, they deny that 
this is justifying faith, or necessarily implied 

l2- And are there not strong reasons for their opi- 
nion ? For insunce, it the true believers of old had 
not this assurance, then it is not necessarily implied 
in justifying faith: bat the true believers of old had 
not tins assurance? — A, David and many more of 

48 A Chronological History [^747* 

the believers of old, undeniably had this assurance. 
But even if the Jews had it nor, it would not fol- 
low, that this is not implied in Christian faith. 

Q. Bui do you not know, that the apostles them- 
selves had it not, till after the day of Penticost? — 
A. The apostles themselves had not the proper 
•Christain faith, till after the day of Penticost. 

Q, But were not those Christian believers, in the 
proper sense, to whom St. John wrote his first 
epistle? Yet to these he says, Chap. v. 13. These 
things have I written unto you that believe on the 
name of the Son of God^ That ye may know that yc 
have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name 
of the Son of God. — A. This does not prove, that 
they did not know they had eternal life, any more 
than that they did not believe. His plain meaning 
is, '• I have written unto you, that you may be 
the more established in the faith," therefore it does 
not follow from hence, that they had not this assur- 
ance; but only, that there are degrees therein. 

<g. But were not the Thessalonians true believ- 
ers? Yet they had not this assurance : they had only 
a good hope, 2 Thess. ii. 16. — A. The text you re- 
fer to, runs thus : Now our Lord Jesus Christ hi?n' 
self and God^ even our Father, which hath loved us, 
and given us everlasting consolation and good hope, 
through grace : comfort your hearts and establish 
you, in every good word and work. This good hope 
does not exclude, but necessarily implies a strong 
assurance of the love of God. 

. g. But does not St. Paul say even of himself, 
1 Cor. iv. 4. / know nothing by myself \ yet am 
J not hereby justified? — A. He does not say of 
himself here, that he was not justified, or that he 
did not know it. But only, that though he had a 
conscience void of offence, yet this did not justify 
him before God, And must not every believer say 
the same? This therefore is wide of the point. 

g. But does he not disclaim any such assurance 
in those words, 1 Cor^ ii. 3. / was with you in 

i 747 •] ^J ^^^^ People called Method i sts . 

weakness and in fear, and in much trembling P— 
A. By no means. For these words do not imply- 
any Fear either ot" death or hell. They express only 
a deep sense of his ^utter insufficiency for the great 
work wherein he was engaged. 

g. Does he not exclude Christians in general 
from such an assurance ; when he bids them work 
out their salvotion with fear and trembling, Phil. ii. 
12 ? — A. No more than from love; which is always 
joined with filial fear, and reverential trembling. 
And the same answer is applicable to all those texts 
which exhort a believer to fear. 

g. But does not matter of fact prove, that justi- 
fying faith does not necessarily imply assurance? 
For can you believe that such a person as I. A. or 
E. V. who have so much integrity, zeal, and fear of 
God, and walk so unblameably in all things, is void 
of justifying faith? Can you suppose such as these 
to be under the wrath, and under the curse of God ? 
Especially if you add to this, that they are continu- 
ally longing, striving, and praying for the assurance 
which they have not ?— ^. This contains the very 
strength of the cause : and sometimes inclines us to 
think, that some of these may be exempt cases. 
But however that may be, we answer, i. It is danl 
gerous to ground a general doctrine on a few parti- 
cular examples. 2. Men may have many good 
tempers, and a blameless life, speaking in a loose 
sense, by nature snd habit, with preventing grace- 
and yet not have faith and the love of God. q. It 
is scarcely possible for us to know all the circum- 
stances relating to such persons, so as to judge cer- 
tainly concerning them. 4. But .this we know, if 
Christ is not revealed in them, they are not Chris- 
tian believers. 

g. But what will become of them, suppose they 

die m this state ?— ^. This is a supposition not to 

be made. They cannot die in this state. They 

must go backward or forward. If they continue 

F ^ 

50 A Chronological History [i747' 

to seek, they will surely find righteousness, peace, 
and joy in the Holy Ghost. We are confirmed in 
this btliet by the many instances we have seen, of 
such as these finding peace at the last hour. And 
it is not impossible, but others may then be made 
partakers of like precious faith, and yet go hence 
without giving any outward proof of the change 
which God hath wrought. 


0. How much is allowed by our brethren who 
difler from us, with regard to entire sanctification ? 
—A. They grant, i. That every one must be en- 
tirely sanctified, in the article of death. 2. That till 
then, a believer daily grows in grace, comes nearer 
and nearer to perfection. 7,. That we ought to be 
continually pressing after this, and to exhort all 
others so to do. 

g. What do wc allow them ? — A. We grant, 
1 . That many of those who have died in the faith, 
yea, the greater part of those we have known, were 
not sanctified throughout, not made perfect in love, 
till a little before death. 2. That the term ** sanc- 
tified," is continually applied by St. Paul, to all 
that were juffified ; who were true believers. 3. That 
by this term alone, he rarely, (if ever) means, saved 
from all sin. 4. That consequently, it is not pro- 
per to use it in this sense, without adding the word 
" wholly, entirely," or the like. 5. That the in- 
spired writers almost continually speak of, or to, those 
who were justified; but very rarely, either of or 
to those who were wholly sanctified. 6. That 
consequently, it behoves us to speak in public al- 
most continually of the state of justification: but 
more rarely, at least in full and explicit terms, con- 
cerning entire sanctification. 

g. What then is the point wherein we divide ? 
— A. It is this: whether we should expect to be 
saved from all sin, before the article of death. 

g. Is there any clear scn^ixxit promise of this? 

*747'1 Of the People called Methodists. ^t 

That God Vifill save us from all sin? — A. There is, 
Psal. ex XX. 8. Ezek, xxxvi. 25 — 29. 2 Cor. vii. 1. 
Deut. XXX. 6. 

g. But does any assertion answerable to this oc- 
cur in the New Testament ? — J. There does, John 
iii. 8. Eph. v. 25 — 27. Ro7n. viii. 3, 4. 

g. Does the New Testament afford any farther 
ground, tor expecting to be saved from all sin? — 
A. Undoubtedly it does, both in those prayers and 
commands which are equivalent to the strongest as- 

g. What prayers do you mean ? — A. Prayers for 
entire sanctification ; which were there no such 
thing, would be mere mockery of God, Matt, vi, 

13. John xvii. 20, 21 — 23. Eph, iii. 14 — ig. 
1 Thes. V. 23. 

2 .What command is there to the same effeft ? — • 
A. Matt, V. 48. Matt, xxii. 27. But if the love 
of God fill all the heart, there can be no sin there. 

g. But how does it appear that this is to be done 
before the article of death? — A. i. From the very- 
nature of a command, which is not given to the 
dead, but to the living. Therefore, Thou shalt love 
God with all thy heart, cannot mean, thou shalt 
do this when thou diest, but while thou livest, 
2. From express texts of Scripture, Titus ii, 11 — 

14. Luke i. 74, yr^. 

0. Is there any example in scripture of persons 
who had attained to this? — A. Yes; St. John, and 
all those of whom he says in his first epistle, Chap, 
iv. 17. Herein is our love made- perfect, that we 
may have boldness in the day of judgment, because 
as he is, so are we in this world, 

0. But why are there not more examples of this 
kind, recorded in the New Testament? — A. It does 
not become us to be peremptory in this matter. 
One reason might possibly be, because the Apostles 
wrote to the Church, while it was in a state of in- 
fancy. Therefore they might mention such persons 
F 2 

52 u4 Chronological History \^^7i7. 

t) e mare sparingly, lest they should give strong meat 
to babes. 

0. Can you shew one such example now ?■— 
VVhere is he, that is thus perfect?— yi/. To some 
v\'ho make this enquiry, one nn'ght answer, if I knew 
one here, I would not tell you. For you do not 
enquire out of love. You are like Herod, you only 
seek the young child to slay it. But more directly 
we answer. There are numberless reasons, why 
there should be (ew, if any indisputable examples. 
What inconveniences would this bring on the per- 
son himself, s'et as a mark for all to shoot at ! Wliat a 
temptation would it be to others, not only to men 
who know not God, but to believers themselves! 
How hardly would they refiain from idolizing such 
a pel son 1 J\nd yet, liow unprofitable to gain-sajers ! 
For if fhey hear not Moses and the prophets, Christ 
and his Apostles, neither would they be persuaded, 
though ane rose from the dead. 

g. Suppose one had attained to this, would you 
advii^e him to speak of it ? — A- Not to them who 
know not God. It would only provoke them to 
contradict and blaspheme ; nor to any without some 
particular reason, without some particular good in 
view. And then they should have an especial care, 
to avoid all appearance of boasting ; a;nd to speak 
more loudly and convincingly by their lives, than 
thev can do by their tongues. 

Q. Is it a sin not to believe those who say they 
have attained ?—A. By no means, even though thty 
said true. We ought not hastily to believe, but to 
suspend our judgment, till we have lull and strong 

Q. But are we not apt to have a secret distaste to 
any who say they are saved from all sin ? — A. It is 
very possible wj may ; and that on several grounds : 
partly from a concern for the honour of God, and 
the good of souls, who may be huit, yea, or turned 
out of the way, if these are not what they profess. 
Partly from a kind of implicit env.y at those who 

1747 •] OJ the People called Methodists, 55 

speak of higher attainments than our own : and part- 
ly from our slowness and unreadiness of heart, to 
believe the works of God. 

g. Does not the harshly preaching perfection 
tend to bring believers into a kind o\. bondage, or 
slavish fear ? — A. It does. Therefore we should al- 
ways place it in the most amiable light, so that it 
may excite only hope, joy and desire. 

(9. Why may we not continue in the joy of 
faith, even till we are made perfect ? — A.- Why in- 
deed. Since holy grief does not quench this joy. 
Since even while we are under the cross, while we 
deeply partake of the sufferings ot Christ, we may 
rejoice with joy unspeakable. 

g. Do we not discourage believers from rejoic- 
ing evermore ? — A. We ought not so to do. Let 
them all their life long, rejoice unto God, so it be 
with reverence. And even if lightness or pride 
should mix with their joy, let us not strike at the joy 
itself (this is the gift of God) but at that lightness 
or pride, that the evil may cease and the good re- 

2- Ought we to be iinxiously careful about perfec- 
tion, least we should die before we have attained 
it ? — A. In no wise. We ought to be thus careful 
for nothings neither spiritual nor temporal. 

g. But ought we not to be tro2ibled, on account 
of the sinful nature which still remains in us — A. 
It is good for us to have a deep sense of this, and to 
be much ashamed before the Lord. But this should 
only incite us, the more earnestly to turn unto Christ 
every moment, and to draw light, and life, and 
strength from him, that we may go on, conquering 
and to conquer. And therefore when the sense of 
our sin most abounds, the sense of his love should 
jnuch more abound. 

0. Will our joy or our trouble increase, as we 
grow in grace? — A. Perhaps both. But without 
doubt our joy in the Lord will increase as our Isvc 


^4 ^ Chronological History [^7i7' 

g. Is not the teaching be|[ievers to be continual- 
ly poring upon their inbred sin, the ready way to 
make them forget that they were purged from their 
former sins ? — J. We find by experience it is. Or 
to make them under-value, and account it a little 
thing. Whereas indeed (though tliere are still great- 
er gifts behind) this is inexpressibly great and glo- 

At this Meeting the minutes of the former Con- 
ferences respecting doctrines, together with these 
now agreed to, were first collected together and 
printed. Since that time this has often been done; 
and, as it is natural to expect, with considerable ad- 
ditions and explanations. 

In the next month, Mr. Wesley wrote the fol- 
Jowing letter to his brother. I insert it because it 
shews that he had thought more deeply respecting 
the nature of Jastrfying Faith after the last Confe- 
rence. He was afterwards more accurate on that 
head, and spoke of it agreeably to the sentiments ex- 
pressed in this letter. 

** Dear Brother^ 

*' Yesterday I was thinking on a desideratum a- 
iTiong us, a Genesis problematua on justifying faith. 
A skeleton of it (which you may fill up, or any one 
that has leisure) I have roughly set down. 

" Is justifying iaith, a sense of pardon? Nega^ 
tur," (It is denied.) 

*' I. Every one is deeply concerned to understand 
this question well: but Preachers most of a!!: least they 
should either make them sad whom God hath not 
made sad ; or, encourage them to say, peace, where 
there is no peace. Some years ago we heard no- 
thing of justifying faith, or a sense of pardon : so 
. that when we did hear of them, the theme was quite 
new to us; and we miglst easily, especially in the 
heat and hurry of controversy, lean too much either 
lo the one hand or to the other. 

*' II. By justifying iaith 1 mean, that faith, which 

1747-] Of the People called Methodists, 55 

•whosoever hath it not, is undiQr the wrath and the curse 
of God. By a sense of pardon, I mean a distinct, 
explicit assurance that my sins are forgiven. I allow, 
1. That there is such an explicit assurance. 2. That 
it is the common privilege of real Christians. 3. 
That it is the proper Christian faith y which purifi- 
eth the heart, and overcometh the world. But I 
cannot allow, that justifying faith is such an assu- 
rance, or necessarily connected therewith. 

*' III. Because, if justifying faith necessarily 
implies such an explicit assurance of pardon, then 
every one who has it not, and every one so long as 
he has it not, is under the wrath and under the curse 
of God. But this is a supposition contrary to scrip- 
ture, as well as to experience. Contrary to, Isa. 1. 
10. IVho is among you, that feareth the Lord^ that 
obeyeth the voice oj his servant, that walktth in dark- 
ness and hath no light f Let him trust in the name of 
the Lord, and stay upon his God. Contrary to Acts x. 
34. Of a truth I perceive, that God is no respecter 
of persons, but in every nation^ he that feareth Him^ 
and worketh righteousness is accepted with Him. 

" Contrary to experience : tor I. R. &c. had 
peace with God, no fear, no doubt, before they had 
that sense of pardon. And so have I frequently had. 
Again, the assertion, that justitying faith is a sense 
of pardon, is contrary to reason : it is flatly absurd. 
For how can a sense of our having received pardon^ 
be the condition of our receiving it ! 

*' IV. If you object, i. ' I.T. St. Paul &c. had 
this sense:' I grant they had; but they Avere justifi- 
ed before they had it. 2. 'We know fifteen hundred 
persons who have this assurance.' Perhaps so : but 
this does not prove, they were not justiSed till they 
received it. 3- * We have been exceedingly blessed 
in preaching this docinne.' We ha\e been biessed 
in preaching the great truths of the gospel : although 
we tacked to them, in the sunpiiciiy of our hearts, 
a proposition which was not true. 4. 'But doe-^ not 
our church give this account ot justifying faith?' I 

^6 A Chr 0710 logical History [174B. 

am sure she does of saving or Christian faith : 1 
think she does of jusuFying faith too. But to the 
law and to the testimony. All men may err: but the 
word of the Lord shall stand tor ever." 

Mr. Wesley remained firm in the sentiments here 
expressed; but he always declared, that the proper 
Christian Faith was accompanied with an assurance 
of God's pardoning love, and that none should rest 
short of it. 

In the year, 1747 Mr. Thomas Willia?ns, one of 
the Preachers, visited Dublin, and preached in the 
streets. He sent an account of bis success to Mr. 
Wesley, who landed there on the 4th day of August 
following. From that time till his death, he visited 
that city once in every two or three years, and ge- 
nerally took a tour through the whole kingdom. 
He also sent over Preachers, who were, at length, 
in trumental in planting Methodism in every county 
in Ireland. 

1748. At this time abundance of objections were 
made against the lawfulness and expediency of Lay 
Preaching. No impartial man could deny but the 
Preachers spoke well, and reclaimed sinners. While 
Mr. Wesley was in Ireland on his second visit there, 
be was addressed by Archdeacon Fluery on that 
head, to whom he returned the following answer, 
which had a great tendency to silence the objectors, 

^ Tullamore, May 4, 1748, 

«' Rev. Sir, 

** I HAVE at present neither leisure nor inclina- 
tion to enter into a formal controversy : but you 
will give me leave, just to offer a few loose hints, 
relatmg to the subject of last night's conversation. 

** I. Seeing life and health are things of so great 
importance, it is, without question, highly expedi- 
ent, that physicians should have all possible advaii* 
tages of learning and education. 

174B.] Of the People called Methodists, 57 

*' 2. That trial should be made of them by com- 
petent judges, before they practise publickly. 

*' 3. That after such trial, they be authorized to 
practise by those who are empowered to convey 
that authority. 

** 4. And that while, they are preserving the lives 
of others, they should have what is sufficient to sus- 
tain their own. 

** Q, But supposing a gentleman bred at the Uni- 
versity of Dublin, with all the advantages of edu- 
cation : after he has undergone all the usual trials, 
and then been regularly authorized to practise. 

** 6. Suppose, I say, this physician settles at 
for some years, and yet makes no cures at all : but 
after trymg his skill on five hundred persons, can- 
not shew that he has healed one; many of his pa- 
tients dying under his hands, and the rest remaining 
just as they were before he came. 

*' 7. \Vill you condemn a man, who having some 
little skill in physic, and a tender compassion for 
those who are sick or dying all around him, cures 
many of those, without fee or reward, whom the 
doctor could not cure ? 

*' 8. At least, dtd not (which is the same thing as to 
the case in hand) were it only for this reason, be- 
cause he did not go to them, and they would not 
come to him. 

*' 9. Will you condemn him, because he has not 
learning ? Or has not had an university education ? 
What then ? he cures those whom the man of learn- 
ing and education cannot cure. 

"* 10. Will you object, that he is no physican, 
nor has any authority to practise ? I cannot come 
into your opinion. I think, he is a physician who 
heals; Medicus est qui medetur : and that every 
man has authority to save the life of a dying man. 

" But if you only mean, he has no authority to 
take fees, I contend not : for he takes none at all. 

** 11. Na}-, and I am afraid it will hold, on the 
©.thei' hand> Medicus non est qui non medetur: I 

gB . A Chronological History [1748' 

am afraid, if we use propriety of speech, he is no 
physician who works no cure. 

" 12. *' O, but he has taken his degree of doctor 
of physic, and therefore has authority." Authority 
to do what ? " Wb.y, to heal all the sick that will- 
employ him." But (to wave the case of those who 
will not employ him : and would you have evciT 
their lives thrown away ?) he does not heal those 
that do employ him. He that was sick before, is 
sick still; or else he is gone hence, and is no more 
seen. Therefore his authority it not w'orth a rush j 
for it serves not the end for which it was given. 

*' 13. And surely he has no authority to kill them, 
by hindering another from saving their lives ! 

" 1 4. I f he either attempts or desires to hinder him, 
if he condemns or dislikes him for it, it is plain to 
all thinking men, he regards his own fees, more 
than the lives of his patients. 

*' II. Now to apply. Seeing life everlasting and 
holiness, or health of soul, are things of so great 
importance, it is highly expedient, that ministers, 
being physicians of the soul, should have all advan^ 
tages of education and learning. 

*' 2. That full trial should be made of them, in all 
respects, and that by the most competent judges, 
before they enter on the public exercise of their ot- 
fice, the saving souls from death. 

*' 3. That alter such trial, they be authorized to 
exercise that office, by those who are impowered 
to convey that authority: (I believe bishops are 
imj)Owered to do this, and have been so, from the 
apostolic age.) 

*• 4. And that tho^e whose souls they save, ought 
in the mean time to provide them what is needtul 
for the body. 

** 5. But suppose a gentleman bred at the univer- 
sity in Dublin^ with all the advantages of educa- 
tion ; after he has undergone the usual trials, and 
been regularly autliorized to save souls from death: 

*• 6. Suppose, I say, this minister settles at-^- for 

«74^-] OJ the People called Methodists, ^9 

some years, and yet saves no soni at all ; saves no 
sinners irom their sins; but after he has preached 
all this time to five or six hundred persons, cannot 
shew, tliat he has converted one from the error of 
his ways. Many of his parishioners dying as they 
lived, and the rest remaining jnst as they were be- 
fore lie came, 

*' 7. Will you condemn a man, -who having com- 
passion on dying souls, and some knowledge of the 
Gospel of Christ, without any temporal reward, 
saves many from their sins, whom the Minister could 
not save. 

" 8. At least did not: nor ever was likely to do it, 
for he did not go to them, and they would not come 
to him. 

" 9. Will you condemn such a preacher, because 
he has not learning ? Or has not had an university 
education ? What then ? He saves those sinners 
from their sins, whom the man of learning and edu- 
cation cannot save. 

** 10. Will you object, " But he is no Minister, 
nor has any authority to save souls ? 1 must beg 
leave to dissent from you in this. I think, he is a 
true, evangelical Minister, diakonos^ servant of 
Christ and his Church, who dtos diakonos, so Mi- 
nisters, as to save souls from death, to reclaim sin- 
ners from their sins ; and that every Christian, if he 
is able to do it, has authority to save a dying soul. 
But if you only mean, he has no authoriiy to take 
tythes, I grant it. He takes none. As he has freely 
received, so he freely gives. 

" 11. But to carry the matter a little farther, I am 
afraid, ft will hold on the other hand, with regard to 
the soul as well as the body, Medicus nan est qui 
nan medetur. 1 am afraid, reasonable men will 
be much inclined to think, he that saves no souls is 
no Mm;ster of Christ. 

"12. *' O, but he is ordained, and therefore has 
authority." Authority to do what ? To save all tiie 
souls that will put themselves under his care. True; 

'©9 A Chronological History [i74^' 

but (to wave the case ot them that will not. And 
would you desire that even those should perish?) 
he does not, in tact, save thcra that are under his 
care. Therefore, what end does his authority serve ? 
He that was a drunkard, is a drunkard still. The 
same is true of the sabbath- breaker, the thief, the 
common swearer. This is the best of the case : for 
many have died in their iniquity, and their blood 
will God require at the watchman's hand. 

" 13. For surely he has no authority to murder 
souls : either by his neglect, by his smaooth if not 
false doctrine, or by hindering another from pluck- 
ing thern out of the fire, and bringing them to life 

" 14. It he either attempts or desires to hinder him, 
if he condemns or is displeased with him for it, how 
great reason is there to fear, that he regards his own 
profit, more than the salvation ot soiils ? 
I am, Rev. Sir. 

Your affectionate brother, 


In this defence of Lay Preachers, three things 
are observable. 1. The Preacher should be wise in 
spiritual things. 2. His usefulness in turning sin- 
ners from the error ot their ways should be ap. 
parent. 3. If such persons give themselves wholly 
to the v/ork, and need support, they have a right to 
claim it, from those to whom they minister. Those 
who answer the above description are undoubtedly 
authorized by God to preach the Gospel, and will 
be certainly received by God's people. But if 
they do not answer it, they have no authority from 
God, nor should they have any from man, to 
preach in Christ's name. 

*7'i^'J Of the People caHed Methodiits. 6t 


From the Conference in 1748, to that in London 
in 1763. 

June 22, 1748, The fifth Conference was held 
in Bristol. Seventeen Preachers were present, 
among whom was Mr. Philip Gibbs, late Baptist 
Minister of Plymouth, who at that time was sta- 
tioned on one of our Circuits. From this time till 
the Conference in 1763, the minutes were not pub- 
lished. It does not appear from the fournals^ that 
there was a set time fixed for holding a Confer- 
ence every year during this period ; though in 
some years there were two Conferences, Mr. Wes- 
ley, it seems, directed the Preachers where they 
should labour, by letter, and conferred with those 
whom he could collect in his journeys ; by which 
means the circuits were supplied with Preachers, 
and the rules of the Society enforced. 

At this time Kingswood School was opened, near 
Bristol, for the education of the Preachers children. 
There had been one erected there before for the 
children of the Colliers, For many years several 
of the Methodists sent their children to be educated 
there. It is now used wholly for the education of 
the Travelling Preachers children. Mr. Wesley 
thus speaks of it ; 

" Friday, June 24, 1748, being the day, we had 
appointed for opening the School at Kingswood, I 
preached on — *' Train up a child in the way he 
should go, and when he is old he will not depart 
from it," Prov, xxii. 6. My brother and I then 
administered the Lord's-supper to many who came 

62 A Chronological History [174 

from far. We then agreed on the general rules of 
the School, which we published soon after." 

From this time a public collection has been made 
through all the Societies once in every year, for 
Kingswood School. In order to encourage the peo- 
ple to contribute to its support, Mr. Wesley in the 
year 1756, asked the Conterence, *' What can be 
done to make the Methodists more sensible of the 
excellency ot" Kingswood School ?" 

The answer agreed upon is published in the ac- 
count of the School at the end ol this volume. The 
people were well pleased with it, for since that time 
they have liberally supported it. 

1749. This year Mr. Wesley began to compile 
the Christian Library, and compleated it in hfty 
.volumes duodecimo. He published it under the 
following title, " A Christian Library : consisting 
of Extracts from, and Abridgments ol, the choicest 
pieces of Practical Divinity ; which have been pub- 
lished in the English Tongue." It is a very use- 
ful work, but the expence was too great for a poor 
people, therefore it is not much known among the 
Methodists. Mr. Wesley remarked concerning it 
in the year 1752, " It cost me two hundred pounds: 
perhaps the next generation may know its worth." 

August 20, 1749. The sixth Conference was 
held at London. 

In the latter end of this year, Mr. Hopper com- 
menced an Itinerant Preacher. In the former year, 
{1748) while he lived at Hindley-Hill, in Allen- 
dale, in the North of England, his labours were very 
useful. He formed Societies at Westallen, Aiesden, 
Ninthead, and Waredale. He tells us in his '* Me- 
moirs," Arminian Mag. vol. iv. page 30, " There 
was then no provision made tor Preachers, or 
iPreachers wives : nor any funds amongst the Me- 
thodists. He that had a staff might take it, go with- 
out it, or stay at home," il he did not chuse to trust 
God in this way. The Societies at that time pro- 

i/^o.] Of the People called Methodists. 6-^ 

vided the preachers with those things which were 
necessary without any fixed allowance. 

1750. In February ot this year, the great perse- 
cution began in Cork. The mob was headed by 
Nicholas Butler^ a ballad -singer^ and committed 
great outrages. Butler was secretly encouraged by 
some of the Magistrates, for the grand jury in the 
spring following, " presented Charles Wesley, Tho- 
mas Williams, Robert Swindels, Jonathan Reeves, 
Samuel Larwood, Joseph Cownley, John Haughton, 
James Wheatley, Charles Skelton. William Tucker, 
and Daniel Sullivan, as persons of ill fame, vaga- 
bonds, and common disturbers of his Majesty's 
peace; and praying that they might be transported! 
These were all Preachers, except the last, v/ho was 
a respectable citizen. His crime was, that he re- 
ceived the Preachers into his house. Mr. Wesley 
observed ironically, *' This memorable presentment 
is worthy to be preserved in the annals of Ireland, 
to all succeeding generations," These good men 
were all liberated in the most honourable manner, 
at the following Assizes ; and the Preachers have 
ever since been treated with peculiar respect in the 
city of Cork. 

March 8, 1750, The seventh Conference was 
held in Bristol. Mr. Wesley only says concerning 
it, ''• I dcsned all ihe Preachers that were in Bristol, 
to meet me at four in the afternoon; and so every 
day while I was in town." 

In the month of July, in this year, Thomas. 
Walsh began to preach at Shronill, within fifteen, 
miles of the city ot Limerick, m Ireland: being ad- 
vised to it by Mr. Wesley. He was one of the 
most useful and laborious ol' the Methodist Preach- 
ers, durmg the short time he lived, which was only 
about eight years alter he began to travel. He died 
tlie 8tn day of April, 1759, in the twenty-eighth 
year of his age, greatly lamented by all that knew 
him. His life was afterwards published by Mr,- 
G 2 

'^4 -^ Chronological History [ * 7,5 1 • 

James Morgan, and is greatly evSteeined by the 

The following is Mr. Wesley's character oi 
Thomas Walsh. •* That blessed man sometimes 
preached in Irish, mostly in English. ; anii where- 
ever he preached, whether in English or Irish, the 
word was sharper than a iwo-edged sword. So that 
1 do not remember ever to have know^i any Preach- 
er, who, in so few years as he remained upon 
earth, was an instrument of converting so many 
sinners from the error of their ways." ** By vio- 
lent straining of his voice, he contracted a true,, 
pulmonary consumption, which carried him ofF. 
O what a man, to be snatched away in the strength 
of his years! Surely thy judgments are a great 
deep r 

He was so thoroughly acquainted with the Bible, 
diat it he was questioned concerning any Hebrew 
word in the Old, or any Greek word in the New 
Testament, he would tell, after a little pause, not 
only how often the one or the other occurred in 
the Bible, but also what it meant in every place. 
Such a master of Biblic knowledge I never knew be- 
fore, and never expect to see again." 

Aug. 25, Mr. John Jane, one of the Preachers, 
died at Epworth in Lincolnshire. His last words 
were, ** I find the love of God in Christ Jesus.'* 
All his clothes, linen, and woollen ; stockings, hat 
and wig, were not sufficient to answer his funeral 
cxpences, which amounted to one pound seventeen 
shillings and three pence. All the money he had 
was, one shilling and four pence. Upon this Mr. 
Wesley observes, *• It was enough for any un- 
married Preacher of the Gospel to leave to his exe- 

March 11, 1751, The eighth Conference began 
in Bristol. Mr. Wesley remarks on this occasion, 
♦» Many of our Preachers came from various parts= 

^75^-1 0/ ike People called Methodists. 65 

My spirit was much bowed down among them, 
fearing some of them were perverted from the sim- 
plicity of the Gospel. But I was revived at the 
sight of John Haime, John Nelson, and those who 
came with them in the evening ; knowing they held 
the truth as it is in Jesus, and did not hold it in 
unrighteousness." He was however pleasingly dis- 
appointed, as those were also who had suggested 
these fears to him. *' Monday, says he, our Con- 
ference began, and the more we conversed, the 
more brotherly love increased. The same spirit we 
found on Tuesday and Wednesday, I expected to 
have heard many objections to our first doctrines. 
But none appeared to have any: we seemed to be 
all of one mind as well as one heart." Mr. Wes- 
ley from this time was not so ready to believe such 
reports. This will appear in the sequel of this 

In April of this year, Mr. Wesley visited Scot- 
land, accompanied by Mr. Christopher Hopper, 
This was the beginning of Methodism in Scotland, 
He observes, *' We met with greater success than 
we expected." It has not prospered much in that 
country. One great design in sending Preachers 
thither is, to make a stand against the overflowing 
of Arianism and Socianism in that kingdom. 

A second Conference was held this year. Mr; 
Wesley speaks thus of it. 1751. Wednesday May 
15th. ♦' We had a little Conference at Leeds with 
about thirty Preachers. I particularly enquired 
concerning their grace, and fruit ; and found reason 
to doubt of one only." This was the first meeting 
of the kind held in that town. 

On the 35th of June, James Wheailey^ one of 
the Preachers, who had grievously sinned, was ex- 
pelled from the Connexion : this was the first in- 
stance of that kind. Mr. Wesley and his brother 
expelled him by giving him the following note, 
dated on this day, and which they afterwards fcund 
it necessary to make public. 

66 A Chronological History [ ^ 75 ^ ► 

*' Because you have wrought folly in Israel, 
grieved the Holy Spirit of God, betrayed your own 
soul into temptation and sin, and the souls of many 
others, whom you ought, even at the peril of your 
own life, to have guarded against all sin ; because 
you have given occasion to the enemies of God, 
whenever they shall know these things, to blaspheme 
the ways and truth of God. — We can in no wise 
receive you as a fellow-labourer, till we see clear 
proofs of your real and deep repentance. Of this 
you have given us no proof yet. You have not so 
much as named one single person, in all England 
or Ireland, with whom you have behaved ill, except 
those we knew before. 

" The least and lowest proof of such repentance 
which we can receive is this. That till our next 
Conference, (which we hope will be in October) 
you abstain both from Preaching and practising 
Physic. If you do not, we are clear; we cannot 
answer for the consequence. 


In this same year, the disputes began in the con- 
nexion respecting our union with the Church of 
England. They seem to have been owing to the 
following causes: — i. Many dissenters had been 
converted to God by the preaching of the Metho- 
dists. They joined the Society, and some of them 
were made Leaders^ and also became Preachers* 
These, though men of real piety, retained some- 
thing of their old prejudices against National Church 
establishments. 2. Some who were originally 
Church-people, changed their sentiments, on ac- 
count of the illiberal treatment they met with from 
some of the Clergy of the established church, and 
filso from the want of piety among the people. 
3. Some of the Preachers also were rather intempe- 
late in their zeal in poipting out the crimes o£ 
v/ic-ked ministers. The disputes arising from these 

j*^2.] Of the l^eople called Methodists, &y 

things caused uneasiness to the Societies while Mr. 
Wesley lived, but it greatly increased in the first 
four years after his death : and hence a niore liberal 
plan became absolutely necessary. 

December 26, Mr. John Bennet, who had joined 
Mr. Wesley in the year 1743, and had been very 
useful in Derbyshire, Cheshire, and Lancashire, at 
length separated. He made the breach, on this day, 
in Bolton-la-moors. He called Mr. Wesley a Pope, 
and charged him with preaching Popery ! and aiso 
with denying the perseverance of the saints, and 
teaching sinless perfection ! The first two charges 
were totally false. The two latter misrepresented. 
Mr. Wesley taught that a believer might, though 
he need not, lall from grace: he never used 
the term sinless perfection; but he exhorted be- 
lievers to love God with all their heart, which he 
termed Christian perfection. Mr. Bennet's words 
made a noise for a few years, and disturbed the 
Societies where he v;as most popular. Then the 
storm blew over ; the Lord supported Mr. Wesley, 
and the Methodists recovered more than they had 

October 16, 17^2, the ninth Conference was held 
in Bristol. At this time it was agreed that the 
Preachers should receive a stipend of twelve pounds 
per annum, in order to provide themselves with ne- 
cessaries. Before this period the Stewards of each 
Society supplied the Preachers with what they 
wanted, so that they received no money except 
what was voluntary from Individuals, and a little 
from the Stewards to pay their travelling expences. 
The consequence was, some popular Preachers had 
abundance, while others were comparatively desti- 
tute. By this regulation the evil was remedied. 
But it was some years before this rule was univer- 
sally adopted. In the year 1762 there was no such 
allowance m the York Circuit. In the year 1764, 
in the Norwich Circuit the practice was to divide 

63 A Chronological History [ j ^5 1 , 

the Love- feast money among the Preachers, which 
M'as very lutle indeed. And in the year 1765, a 
deputation trom the York Cnxuit attended at Man- 
chester in order to plead against the large sum of 
twelve pounds a year; but they were over-ruled, 
and it was finally and universally established. At 
the Conference in 1800, it was increased again, as 
appears by the following minute; *• We recom- 
mend it to every Quarterly Meeting, where it is 
not done, to raise the Preachers stipend to four 
pounds a quarter." 

May 22, 17,53, The tenth Conference began in 
Leeds. Mr. Wesley's account of it is, " Most of 
our Preachers met, and we conversed freely toge- 
ther, morning and afternoon, to the end of the week;, 
when our Conference ended with the same blessing 
as it began. God giving us all to be not only of one 
heart, but of one judgment." 

May 22, 1754, The eleventh Conference began 
in London. Mr. Wesley says of it, *' The spirit 
of peace and love was in the midst of us. Before 
we parted, we all willingly signed an agreement, 
not to act independently of each other; so that the 
breach lately made, has only united us more closely 
together than ever." The breach alluded to was, 
Samuel Larwood, Jonathan Reeves, John Whit- 
worth, Charles Skelton, and John Edwards left the 
Itinerant plan, and got independant congregations 
for themselves in different parts of England. They 
were eminent men in the connexion at this time, 
and probably would not have ceased to travel if 
there had been a provision for their wives and 

This was the first time that the Preachers con- 
firmed their love to each other by signing their names 
to their resolutions. This measure has been often 
recurred to since that time, and it has been produc- 
tive of the happiest effects. 

"^^75^0 Of the People called Methodists, 69 

May 6, 1755, The twelfth Conference began in 
Leeds. *' The point, says Mr. Wesley, on which 
we desired all the preachers to speak their minds at 
large was, whether we ought to separate from the 
Church? Whatever was advanced on the one side 
or the other was seriously and calmly considered : 
and on the third day we were all fully agreed in that 
general conclusion, ** That whether it was lawjul 
or not, it was no ways expedient,'" 

In the month of August, in this year, the re- 
newing of the Covenant, which is now generally 
practised in all the larger Societies, on the last night 
of the old, or the first Sunday of the new year, was 
begun by Mr. Wesley in London. After reciting 
the tenor of the Covenant, in the words of that bless- 
ed man, Richard AlUn^ the people stand up, or lift 
up their right hand in token of assent. It is gene- 
rally a very solemn season, and productive of bless- 
ed effects. 

Mr. Wesleys says, ** Wednesday, August 6. I 
mentioned to the congregation another means of in- 
creasing serious religion, which had been frequent- 
ly practised by our forefathers, and attended with 
eminent blessing ; nam.ely, the joining in a cove- 
nant to serve God, with all our soul. I explained 
this for several mornings following ; and on Friday, 
many of us kept a fast unto the Lord, beseeching 
him to give us wisdom and strength, to promise un- 
to the Lord our God and keep it." The fast pre- 
ceding this mean of grace, and the Sacrament fol- 
lowing it, made it altogether a very solemn season. 
As God is ever the same, delighting in the happiness 
of his creatures, whenever they approach him in this 
manner he will bless them. 

August 26, 1756. The thirteenth Conference was 
held in Bristol. Mr. Wesley's account of it is, 
" About fifty of us being met, the rules of the Soci- 
ety were read over, and carefully considered one by 
one. But we did not find any that coold be spaiccL 

7^ ^ Chronological Ih story 1^767' 

So we all agreed, to abide by them all and to recom- 
mend them with our might. 

*' We then largely considered the necessity of 
keeping in tlie Church, and using the Clergy with 
tenderness. And there was no dissenting voice* 
God gave us all to be of one mind, and of one judg- 

" The rules of the Bands were read and consider- 
ed, one by one : which after some verbal alterations,, 
we all agreed to observe and enforce. 

*• The rules of Kingswood school were also read 
and considered, one by one. And we were all con- 
vinced they were agreeable to scripture and reason. 
In consequence oi which, it was agreed, i. That a 
short account of the design and present state of the 
school be read by every Assistant in every Society. 
2. That a subscription for it be begun in every place, 
and (if need be) a collection made every year. 

'* My brother and I closed the Conference by a 
solemn declaration of our purpose, never to sepa- 
rate from the Church. And all our brethren con- 
curred therein." 

The good produced by thus leading the Preachers 
to consider their first prmciples, made Mr. Wesley 
often do the same while he lived. 

It is probable this was the time that Mr, Wesley 
wrote and published his twelve reasons against sepa- 
rating from the Church of England ; for in the year 
1758, we find Mr. Charles Wtsley adding his testi- 
mony to them ; only with regard to the /irsl rea- 
son, He believed it neither lawful nor expedient for 
kim to separate from it.' This declaration is now 
added to the tract itself. 

The following is Mr. Wesley's account of Mr.. 
Fletcher's joining him as a fellow labourer. *' March 
13th, 1757, finding myself weak at Snows-fields, 
I pruyed that God, if he saw good, would send me 
help at the chapel. He did so. As soon as 1 had 
done prtaching, Mr. Fletcher came, who had just 
then been ordamed Priest, iind hastened to the Cha» 

1758.] OJ the People called Methodists, 71 

pel, on purpose to assist me, as he supposed me to 
be alone. How wonderful are tne ways of God ! 
•When my bodily strengtli failed, and no clergyman 
in England was able arid willing to assist me, he sent 
me help from the mountains of Switzerland ! And a 
help-meet for me in every respect ! Where could I 
have found such another I" 

1757. Mr. Wesley observes, that on May 21, in 
this year, *' being at Keigkly, in Yorkshire, I had a 
little Conference with our Preachers;" but this did 
xiot prevent the regular Meeting. Accordingly we 
find, that on August 4, the fourteenth Conference 
began m London. Mr. Wesley's account of it is, 
" From the first hour to the last, there was no jarring 
string, but all was harmony and love!" 

In the month ot August, in this year, Mr. Alex- 
ander Mather was received as a Travelling Preach- 
er. In his Memoirs, published in the Jrm, Mag, 
vol. iii. page 149, " He says. It was agreed that I 
should travel, and that my wde should have the fix- 
ed allowance of four shillings per week, paid her by 
the Stewards of the London Society, Mess. Brott's 
and Hobbins. This was the beginning of the set- 
tlement for Preacher's Wives, which (with the addi- 
tion of forty shillings a year) continues to this day." 
Mr. Mather was the first married Preacher taken into 
the connexion, and his wife was the first provided 
for by a Hxt sum of money paid her by the Metho- 
dists. He died at York, August, 22, 1800, after 
having travelled forty three years. He had been 
from the first day until his death, a very laborious 
and useful Preacher. Before the time of his admis- 
sion the preachers wives and families were very bad- 
ly provided for : sometimes the Stewards attended to 
their wants, and at other times overlooked them. 
At all times their provision was precarious, 

August 10, 1758, The fifteenth Conference was 
held in Bristol Mr. Wesley says of it, "It began 
and ended in perfect harmony." 

^^ A chronological History [1760, 

x\ugust 8, 1759, The sixteenth Conference be- 
gan in London. Mr. Wesley observes concerning 
it, ** Our time was almost entirely employed in ex- 
amining whether the spirit and lives of our Preach- 
ers were suitable to their profession ? Great was the 
unanimity and love that reigned among us. And 
if there were any who hoped or feared the contrary, 
they were happily disappointed." 

From this time the Moral, Religious, and Ministe- 
rial characters of the Preachers have been strictly ex- 
amined at the Conference in every year .The pu* 
nishments inflicted on an offending brother are, a. 
A rebuke from the President before the whole Con- 
ference. 2. The being put back on trial. 3 .Suspen- 
sion for a year, 4, Expulsion from the body .These 
punishments are inflicted according to the nature of 
the ofifence. 

August 29, 1760, The seventeetb Conference was 
held in Bristol. Mr. Wesley had been detained in 
Ireland by contrary winds. When he got to Bris- 
tol he observes, " I spent the two following days 
with the Preachers, who had been waiting for me all 
the week; and their love and unanimity was such as 
soon made me forget all my labour." This circum- 
stance clearly shews there could be no Methodist 
Conference while Mr. Wesley lived unless he were 
present, or had appointed the person who held it. 

In this year a great revival of religion took place 
among the Metliodists. Many persons, men and 
women, professed to be cleansed from all unrighte- 
ousness and made perfect in love, in a moment; of- 
ten while hearing the word, but more frequently 
while at prayer, or while others were praying for 
them. Mr. Wesley thus speaks of it, ** Here be- 
gan that glorious work of sanctification, which had 
been nearly at a stand for twenty years. From time 
to time it spread, first through various parts of York- 
shire, afterwards in London, then through most 
parts of England, next to Dublin, Limerick, and 

1761.] Of the People called Melhodists, 73 

throngli all the south and west of Ireland. And 
wherever the work of sanctification increased, the 
whole work ot" God increased in all its branches. 
Many were convinced of sin, many justified, and 
many backsliders healed." It continued to increase 
for some years. When" satan could not hinder ^ he 
strove to disgrace it; for a spirit of Enthusiasm got 
into the London Society, and especially among those 
who were most zealous in this work. It manifest- 
ed itself, 1. In trusting to their own feelings and 
impressions, more tiian to the word of God. 2. In 
using irreverent and improper expressions in prayer. 
3. In pretending to the Gift of the discernment of 
Spirits, and Prophesying, i. <?. foretelling thincrs to 
come. And, 4. In condemning those who disap- 
proved of their conduct, as being hlind^ dead^ and 
persecutors. These things disturbed the Connex- 
ion for some time, and ended in the separation of 
Mr. Maxfield, (the first Itinerant Preacher that was 
employed by Mr. Wesley,) and George Bell, the 
two chiefs of these Zealots, from Mr. Wesley, 
They drew after them a considerable number of 
those who approved of their extravagant conduct. 

There were several divisions of this kind during 
the long period of Mr. Wesley's life, but none of 
them were so considerable as to shake the stability 
ot the Connexion. Established Christians know, 
that such things were in the purest days of the 
Church, and that in the present condition of man- 
kind, they cannot be wholly prevented, 

September 1, 1761. The eighteenth Conference 
was held in London. At this time, Mr. Wesley ob- 
serves, ".The work of God was swiftly cncreasino-. 
Meantime the enemy was not wanting in his endea- 
vours to sow tares among the good seed. I saw 
this clearly, but durst not use violence, lest in pluck- 
ing up the tares, I should root up the wheat also," 
He continues, *' Tuesday, September i, our Confe- 

74 A Ch ronological History [1762. 

jence began, and ended on Saturday. I strove to 
guard boih Preachers and people, from running into 
extremes on the one hand or the other." These ex- 
tremes were, 1, Despising this work altogether, on 
account of the extiavagancies of some who were en- 
• gaged in it. 2. Justifying all those extravagancies, 
as if they were essential to it. Mr. Wesley ever 
observed the sober path of Scripture and reason. 

August 9, 1762. The nineteenth Conference 
was held in Leeds. Mr. Wesley's account o( it is, 
*' Our Conference began on Tuesday morning. 
And we had great reason to praise God for his gra- 
cious presence, from the beginning to the end." 

Nov'. 1. in this year, Mr. Wesley wrote his earn- 
est letter to Mr. Maxfield, who was at the head of 
the ungovernable party in London. It begins his 
thirteenth Journal. The following sentence shews 
his sentiments respecting Separation. *' I disap- 
prove, in one word, your divisive $^\ni. Indeed I do 
not believe, that any of you either design or desire 
a separation. But you do not enough y<f^r, ^/'/zor 
and detest it ; shuddering at the very thought. And 
all the preceding tempers tend to it, and gradually 
prepare you for it. Observe, I tell you before ! 
God grant you may immediately and affectionately 
take the warning." But he did not take it, so the 
separation took place, as is before related. 

In the following October, Mr. Wesley observes, 
** Being at Bristol, one who had adorned the Gos- 
pel in life and death, having desired that I should 
preach her funeral sermon, I went with a few friends 
to the house, and sang before the body to the room, 
I did this the rather, to shew my approbation of that 
solemn custom, and to encourage others to follow it.'* 
This custom is still in some degree attended to, but 
it is rather losing ground. 

At the close of this year, Mr. Wesley observes, 
*' Many years ago my brother frequently said, 
« Your day of Pentecost is not fully come. But I 
doubt not, it will. And you will then hear of per- 

17^3*1 Of the PeopU called Methodists. 75 

sons sanctified, as frequently as you do now of per- 
sons justified." '* Any unprejudiced person who has 
read the accounts in my Journals may observe, that it 
was now fully come. He frequently noted the 
work at this time, as being what St. Paul calls, the 
Perfecting of the Saints,'' 

The success which attended Fasting and Prayer is 
thus noticed by Mr. Wesley. *' At this Confei:- 
ence in 1762, Samuel Meggot (now with God) was 
sent into the Barnard Castle Circuit, the people 
were exceeding lifeless : he observing this, advised 
the Society in Barnard Castle to observe every 
Friday as a day of Fasting and Prayer, The very 
first Friday they met together, God broke in upon 
them in a marvellous manner. The neighbouring 
Societies heard of this, agreed to follow the same 
rule, and soon experienced the same blessing,'* 
Mr. Wesley says, I» not the neglect of this plain 
duty, (I mean Fasting, ranked by our Lord with 
Thanksgiving and Prayer) one general occasion of 
deadness amoi-i:J Ciiristians ? Can any one willingly 
neglect it and oe guiltless? 

In the begnning of the year "763, A Greek 
Bishop visited London. Mr. Wesley made en- 
quiry concerning the reality of his office, and was 
lully satisfied that he was a true Bishop. 1. By 
Doctor John Jones, who wrote to the Patriarch of 
Smyrna on the subject. He gave it under his 
hand, that Erasmus (that was the Bishop's name) 
was Bishop o{ Jrcadia in Crete. 2. He was iden- 
tified by the testimony of several gentlemen, who had 
seen him in Turkey. Mr. Wesley then applied to 
him to ordain Dr. Jones, in order to assist him in 
administering the Lord's Supper to his Societies, 
which he did. The Rev. Augustus Toplady took 
offence at this, and published his objections, say- 
ing, " he could only be a Minister of the Greek 
church, which could give him no legal right to act 
as a Minister of the Church of England.'' Mr, 
H 2 ^ 

7^ A Chronological History [1763. 

Thomas Olivers answered Mr. Toplady in a pub- 
lication by consent of Mr. Wesley. He said, 

1. The Doctor did not ojiciate as a clergyman 
of the church of England, but as an assistant to Mr. 
Wesley, in preaching, and administering the Lord's 
Supper in his Socieries. 2. Whoever is episco- 
pally ordained, is a Minister of the Church univer- 
sal, and as such has a right to officiate in any part of 
the globe. 3, This all Episcopalians, who under- 
stand their own doctrines know ; hence it is that the 
Church of England frequently employs, without 
re-orriination, priests ordained even by Popish 
Bishops. ^. Any Bishop in England will acknow- 
ledge the validity of the ordination of a Popish 
Priest by a Popish Bishop." 

Mr. Toplady farther asked Mr. Wesley, in the 
publication alluded to, ** Did you, or did you not 
strongly pr^ess this supposed Greek Bishop to con- 
secrate you a Bishop at large? Mr. Olivers an- 
swered, A^^. But suppose he had? Where would 
have been the blame ? Mr. Wesley was con- 
nected with a number of persons, who have 
given every proof which the nature of the thing 
allows, tiiat they have an inward ca'l to preach the 
Gospel. Both he, and they would be glad if they 
h-.d an ouixvard call too. But no Bishop in Eng- 
land would g;ve it them. What wonder then, if 
he was to endeavour to procure it by any other in- 
nocent means." Two things we learn from this 
anecdote. 1. That Mr. Wesley thought no per- 
son should administer the ordinances ot God with- 
out ordination. 2. That even then he began to feel 
the necessity of having some of the Preachers or- 
dained in order to qualify them for that work. It 
will appear from this History, that he afterwards 
saw it right to ordain some of his Preachers himself. 

Some others of his Preachers, travelling and local, 
sot Erasmus to ordain them. This displeased Mr. 
XVesjey very much ; and those of them who would 
not lay aside acting as clergymen indepeudant of 

,763-] Of the FeopU called Methodists, 77 

him were excluded from the connection. Mr. 
Charles Wesley would not let Doctor Jones assist 
him in administering the Lord's Supper, so that 
the end Mr. Wesley had in view in getting him or- 
dained, failed through the opposition he met with 
from his brother. 


From the Conference in 1763, to that in 1765, 

JL HE twentieth Conference was held in London, 
July 19th, 1763, and ended the 23d. All the Mi- 
nutes of the former Conferences, respecting dis- 
cipline, were now, for the first time published. 
As they afford proper materials for this history, I 
shall extract the greater part of them. Mr. Wes- 
ley's account oi this Conference, which sat only 
five days, and yet transacted so much business (a 
strong proof of their attention and expedition !) is, 
•* It was a great blessing that we had peace among 
ourselves, while so many were making themselves 
ready for battle. This alludes to the recent sepa- 
ration, (which took place in the London Society) 
of wiiich Mr. Maxfield was the Leader, 

DON, 1763. 

2- Can there be any such thing as a general union 
of our Societies throughout ^rngland? — A. A pro- 
posal for ihis was mjde some time since. The sub- 
stance of it is this. " May not all the Societies in 
England be considered as one Body, united by one 
H 3 

78 A Chronological History [i7^3* 

Spirit ? May not that in London, the Mother So- 
ciety, consult for -the good of all the Societies? 
May not the Stewards of that Society answer let- 
ters trom all parts : and give advice, at least in 
temporals ? 

g. But how can the state of all the Societies be 
known to the Stewards of London ? — A. Very easily 
by means of the Assistants. 

g. Who is the Assistant ? — J. That Preacher in 
each circuit who is appointed from time to time 
to take charge of the Societies and the other Preach- 
ers therein. 

Mr. Wesley appointed these to assist him in the 
government ot the Societies. He described how 
they should be qualified for their office, and what 
were their peculiar duties. They were first called 
Superintendants; and since Mr. Wesley's death, as 
the office is no longer a relative one, this name has 
])?en restored. It resembles that of Pastor, Elder, 
or Bishop in the Primitive Church, with this dif- 
ference, the Primitive Bishops held their office for 
life, unless excommunicated ; not so the Methodist 
Superintendants, being Itinerants they are often 
changed. The union of the Methodists is one of 
the chief causes of their increase ; but Mr. Wesley 
soon found that this could not be effected by the 
Stewards, who attend only to the temporal affairs 
of tlieir respective Societies. But by the efforts 
of the Itinerant Preachers it was soon accom- 

The qualifications of an Assistant as laid down 
by Mr. Wesley are, *' i. Walking closely with 
God, and having his work greatly at heart. 2. Un- 
derstanding and loving discipline, the Methodist 
discipline in particular. 3. Loving the Church of 
Lngland, and resolving never to separate from it." 

The business ot an Assistant is, i. *' To see that 
the other Preachers behave well, and want nothing. 
2. To visit the Classes quarterly in. each place, re- 
gulating the Bands, aad delivering new Tickets^ 

17^3*1 ^J ^^^^ People called Methodists. 79 

3. To keep watch nights and Love feasts. 4. To 
take in, or put out of the Bands, or Society. ^. To 
hold quarterly meetings, and therein diligently to 
enquire both into the spiritual and temporal state of 
each Society. 6. To take care that every Society- 
be duly supplied with books, and that the money 
lor them be constantly returned. 7. To send from 
every quarterly meeting a circumstantial account to 
London of every remarkable conversion, and of 
every one who dies in the triumph of faith. 8. To 
take exact lists of the Societies every Easter, and 
bring them to the next Conference. 9. To meet 
the married men, the married women, the single 
men, and the single women, in the large Societies, 
once a quarter. 10. To see that every Society 
have a private room, and a set of the Library for 
the Helper. 1 1. To write an account to Mr. Wes- 
ley of all the defects of the Helpers, which they 
themselves cannot cure. 12. To travel with Mr. 
Wesley, if required, once a year, through the So- 
cieties in his circuit." 

g. How shall we try those who think they are 
moved by the Holy Ghost, and called of God to 
preach? — A. Enquire i. Do they know God as a 
pardoning God ? Have they the love of God abid- 
ing in them ? Do they desire and seek nothing but 
God? And are they holy in all manner of conver- 
sation? 2. Have they gitts as well as grace for the 
work? Have they (in some tolerable degree] a clear, 
sound understanding? Have they a right judgment 
in the things of God? Have they a just conception 
of salvation by faith? And has God given them ut- 
terance? Do they speak justly, readily, clearly? 
3. Have they fruit ? Are any truly convinced of 
sin, and converted to God by their preaching? As 
long as these three marks concur in any one, we 
believe he is called ot God to preach. These we 
receive as a sufficient proof, that he is moved there- 
to by the Holy Ghost. 

£. But how shall we know whether they concur 

8o A Chronological History [i7%» 

or no, in any particular person? — A. i. If he is 
near us, we will talk with him on the preceding 
heads, and then hear him preach. 2. We will de- 
sire him to write down or relate his reasons, why- 
he thinks he is called of God thereto. 3. We will 
examine those who seem to have been convinced of 
sin, or converted to God by his preaching. 4. If 
he is at a distance, we will desire the Assistant to do 
this: and to enquire what is tlie judgment of the 
Society in that place concerning him, 

Q. What method may we' use in receiving a new 
helper? — A. A proper time for this is at a 
Conference, after solemn fasting and prayer. We 
may then receive him as a probationer, by giving 
him the minutes of the Conference inscribed thus. 

*• To A. B. 

*' You think it your duty to call sinners to re- 
pentance. Make full proof hereof, and we shall be 
glad to receive you as a tellow labourer. 

*' Observe, you are not to ramble up and down, 
but to go where the Assistant directs, and there 

" Let him then read and carefully weigh what 
is contained therein, and see whether he can agree 
to it or not. If he can, let him come to the next 
Conference, where after examination, fasting and 
prayer, he may be received into full connexion with 
us, by giving him the minutes inscribed thus : 

** So huig as you freely consent to, and earnestly 
endea^'oui 10 walk by these rules, we shall rejoice 
to acknowledge you as a fellow labourer." 

Q What can he done to prevent unqualified per- 
sons trom preaching or exhorting? — A. 1. Let none 
exhort \n any of our Societies, without a note ot re- 
con uieudation from the Assistant. 2. Lei every 
exnor er see that this be renewed yearly. 3. Let 
eveiy Assistant ri^y^orously insist upoii tins. 

The t<^iiowiiig are the twelve rules of an H'-lper,. 
wiiicu were now agreed upon. These rules every 

1763'] Of the People called Methodists. 81 

preacher must subscribe on his being admitted into 
lull connexion: Some of them were drawn up by 
Mr. Wesley before there v/as any Conference. 

*' I. Be diligent. Never be unemployed a mo- 
ment. Never be triflingly employed. Never while 
away time : neither spend any more time at any 
place than is strictly necessary. 2. Be serious. Let 
your motto be, Holiness to the Lord. Avoid all 
lightness, jesting, and foolish talking. 3. Converse 
sparingly and cautiously with women : particularly 
with young women. 4. Take no step towards mar- 
riage, without first consulting with your Brethren. 
,5. Believe evil of no one; unless you see it done, 
take heed how you credit it. Put the best construc- 
tion on every thing: You know the judge is al- 
ways supposed to be on the prisoners side. 6. Speak 
evil of no one: else your word especially, would 
eat as doth a canker: keep your thoughts within 
your own breast, till you come to the person con- 
cerned. 7. Tell every one what you think wrong 
in him, and that plainly as soon as may be: else it 
will fester in your heart. Make all haste to cast the 
fire out of your bosom. 8. Do not affect the gentle- 
man. You have no more to do with this character, 
than with that of a dancing master: A Preacher 
of the Gospel is the servant of all. 9. Be ashamed 
ot nothing but sin: not of fetching wood (if time 
permit) or drawing water: not of cleaning your own 
shoes, or your neighbours. 10. Be punctual. Do 
every thing exactly at the time: And in general, do 
not 7nend our rules, but keep them : not tor wrath, 
but for conscience sake. 11. You have nothing to 
do, but to save souls. Therefore spend and be 
spent in this work. And go always, not only to 
those that want you, but to those that want you 
most. Observe, It is not your business, to preach 
so many times, and to take care of this or that So- 
ciety : but to save as many souls as you can ; to 
bring as many sinners as you possibly can to re- 
pentance, and with all your power to build theai 

8a A Chronological History [i/^S* 

up in that Holiness, without which they cannot see 
the Lord. And remember ! A Methodist Preacher 
is to mind every point, great and small, in the Me- 
thodist discipane. Theretore you will need all the 
sense you have: and to have all your wits about 
you. 12. Act in all things, not according to your 
own will, but as a son in the Gospel. As such it 
is your part to employ your time, in the manner 
which we direct : paitly in preaching and visiting 
from house to house : partly in reading, meditation 
and prayer. Above all, it you labour with us in 
our Lord's vineyard, it is needful that you should 
do that part of the work which we advise at those 
times and places which we judge most lor his 

The Conference never saw cause to alter or 
amend tliese rules, except in lengthening the time 
of probation from one year \o four. This was don^ 
in the year 1784. 

At this time ail the Travelling Preachers were cal- 
led Helpers^ i. e. Helpers of Mr. Wesley; some as 
Assistants in every part of his office ; and others as 
Preachers : and he considered them with himself, 
as extraordinary messengers, designed by the Lord 
to provoke others to jealousy. He considered them 
as extraordinary^ because in general they were not 
educated for the office, but were mostly young 
men intended for trade. They had no thought of 
Preaching till they knew the Lord; but their la- 
bours were powerfully owned of God in the con- 
version of souls. 

The tol lowing Questions, with the answers given 
to them, I think it proper to insert, because they 
shew the views of Mr. Wesley, and of the Preachers, 
and the principles on whicli they acted. 

g. What is the office of a Christian Minister ?— 
A. To watch over souls, as he that must give an 

Q, What does St. James mean by respect of 
Persons ? A. The rcgaidmg oae person more than 

1763.] Of the PdopU called M?thodists. 83 

another, on account of some ouiward circumstance, 
particularly riches. 

2- Have we not fallen into this, 1. By spending 
more of our time with the rich than with the poor ? 
2. ^y not speaking so plain and home to iheni ? 
And 3. By suffering them to be present at the Love 
Feasts without being in Society ? A, These are pal- 
pable instances of respect of persons. We will en- 
dcaver to avoid ihem lor the time to come." 

g. What may we reasonably believe 10 be God's 
design in raising up the Preachers called Methodists ? 
.—„//. To reform tiie nation, particularly the Chuich, 
and to spread scriptural holiness through the land. 

2- Is it adviseabie to preach in as many places as 
we can, without forming Societies? — j4. By no 
means. We have made the trial in various places 
and t'lat for a considerable time ; and all the seed 
has fallen as by the way side. There is scarce any 
fruit of it remam ng. 

The following inconveniencies attend it: — 1. 
Where there is no Society, the Preachers cannot 
give proper instructions and exhortations to those 
that are convinced of sin. 2. The people cannot 
watch over one another in love: nor can believers 
bear one anoihers burdens, nor build up each other 
in faith and holiness. 

g. Where should we endeavour to preach most? 
— A. 1. Where there is the greatest number of 
quiet and willing hearers. 2. Where there is most 

g. How often should our Helpers preach ? — A, 
Not more than twice a day, unless on a Sunday, or 
_ some extraordinary occasion. 

g. Is Field Preaching then unlawful ? — A. We 
conceive nor. We do not know that it is contrary 
to any Law^ either of God or Man. 

g. Have we not used it too sparingly ? — A. It 
seems we have. 1. Because our call is, to save that 
which is lost. Now we cannot expect such to seek 
us, therefore we should go and seek them. 2. Be- 

84 A Chronological History f^/^S* 

cause we are particularly called, by going into the 
Highways and Hedges (which none else will do) to 
compel them to come in. — Since that time it has 
appeared, that in order to render Field Preaching 
agreeable to the Law of the Land, the ground also 
must be licensed according to the act of Toleration. 

g. Ought we not diligently to observe in what 
places God is pleased at any time to pour out his 
spirit more abundantly? — A. We ought, and at that 
time to send more labourers than usual into that part 
of the Harvest, 

Q. What is a sufficient call to a new place ? — A, 
1. An inviiation from a serious man, fearing God, 
who has a house to receive us. 2. A probability of 
doing more good by going thither, than by staying- 
where we are. 

Q. Do we observe any evil which has lately pre- 
vailed among our Societies? — A. Many of our 
members have lately married with unbelievers, even 
such as v^ere wholly unawakened. And this has 
been attended with fatal consequence ; few of these 
have gained the unbelieving wife or husband. Ge- 
nerally they have themselves either had an heavy 
cross for life, or entirely fallen back into the world. 

Q. What can be done to put a slop to this ? — A» 1. 
Let every Preacher take occasion publicly to enforce 
the Apostles' caution, B^: ye not unequally yoked with 
unbelievers. 2. Let it be openly declared in every 
place, that he who acts contrary to this, will be ex- 
pelled the Society. 3. When any such is expelled, 
let an exhortation be subjoined, dissuading others 
from following that bad example. 4. And let all 
be exhorted to take no step in so weighty a matter, 
without first advising with the most serious of their 

g. Ought any woman to marry wnthout the con- 
sent of her parents? — A, In general, she ought not. 
Yet there may be an exception. For if, 1. a woman 
be under necessity of marrying: If, 2. Her parents 
absolutely refuse to let her marry any Christian : then 

ijb^.'] Of the People caikd Methodists.- 8^ 

she may, nay, ought to marry without their consent. 
Yet even then, a Methodist Preacher ought not to 
marry her. 

At this time, and for some years after, it was cus- 
tomary for the Preachers to expel persons from the 
Society, by mentioning their names in public, and 
also the crimes they had committed. But it was 
found that in so doing they laid themselves open to 
an action, by the party expelled. All they do at 
present is, to declare in the meeting of the Society^ 
That " A. B. is no longer a member of the Society." 
No evil can follow from this. 

The following minutes rnanifest the labours of 
the Preachers ; and also Mr. Wesley's great desire 
to see the truest and most cordial friendship among 
them, as well as a union with respect to their mini- 
sterial work, 

g. What is the office of an Helper? — A. i. To 
expound every morning and evening. 2. To meet 
the united Society, the Bands, the Select Society, 
and the Penitents every v/eek. 3. To visit the 
Classes once a quarter, 4. To hear and decide all 
differences. 5. To receive on trial, for the Socie- 
ty and Bands, and to put the disorderly back on tri- 
al. 6. To see the Stewards, the Leaders, and the 
School-masters faithfully discharge tljeir several of- 
fices. 7. To meet the Leaders of the Bands and 
Classes weekly, and the Stewards, and to overlook 
their accounis." 

I think, says Mr. Wesley,' he must be no fool 
who has gifts sufficient for these things : as neither 
can he be void of the grace of God, who is able to 
observe the rules of an helper." The duties of the 
Preachers are the same since Mr. Wesley's death, 
that they were in his life time, and they strive to 
observe them wherever they find it practicable. 

g. What general method of employing our time 
would you advise us to? — A. i. As often as possi- 
ble to rise at four. 2. From four to five in the 
morning, and frgm five to six in the evening, to rae- 

86 J Chronological History [i/^S* 

ditate, pray, and read, partly the scriptures, with the 
notes on the New Testament, partly Kempis and the 
Instructions for Children, and partly the closely 
practical parts of the Christian Library. 3. From 
six in the morning till twelve, (allowing an hour for 
breakfast) to read in order, with much prayer. Bi- 
shop Pearson on the Creed. Mr. Boeh?ns and 
Nelsons Sermons, the remaining parts of the Chris- 
tian Library, our other tracts and poems, Paradise 
Lost, and Protessor Frank's works. 

g. How may we be more useful in conversation ? 
— y>i. 1. Fix the end of each conversation before 
you begin. 2. Watch and pray during the time. 3. 
Spend two or three minutes every hour in earnest 
prayer. 4. Rarely spend above an hour at a time 
in conversing with any one. 

g. How shall we be assured that no Preacher will 
ever disappoint a congregation? — A^ By asking e- 
very one, 1. Do you see the great sin and fatal con- 
sequences of it? 2. Will you break a limb rather 
than wilfully break your word therein? 3. If you 
do, can you blame us, for not employing you any 

more ? ^ 

0. Might not the children in every place be 
formed into a little Society ? — J, 1 . Let the Preach-.- 
ers try by meeting them together and giving them 
suitable exhortations. 2. By explaining to them in 
an easy familiar manner the Instructions tor chil- _ 
dren, and the Tokens for children. 

g. Would it not be well for every Preacher to 
visit the sick? — A. No time could be employed 
more profitably, either for them or us : and when we 
do so, we should examine them carefully as to the 
state they are in ; and then instruct, reprove, or ex- 
hort accordingly. 

0. How may we make the Leaders of the Clas- 
ses^more useful ?—y^. i. Let each of them be dili- 
gently examined concerning his method of meeting 
a Class. 2. Let the Leaders converse with all the 
Preachers, as frequently and as freely as possible. 

1 7 63 . ] Of the People called Meth odists. 8 7 

3. Let each Leader caicFulIy enquire how every 
soul in his class prospers? Not only how each per- 
son observes the outward rulers, but how he grows 
in the knowledge and love oF God. 4. Let the 
Leaders frequently meet each others Classes. 

g. How can we further assist those under our 
care ? — A. 1. By examining the Society very close- 
ly at the general meeting of the Classes. 2. By exa- 
mining those who are in Band, as to their inward 
state, and their observance of the rules. 3. By 
meeting the married men and married women apart : 
the single men and single women apart. 4. By 
examining and instructing them at their own houses, 
at times set apart for that purpose. 

g. How shall we prevent improper persons from 
insinuating themselves into the Society ?-—/i. 1. 
Give tickets to none till they are recommended by a 
Leader, with whom they have met thne months on 
trial. 2. Give notes to none but those who are re- 
commended by a Leader, with wliom they have met 
three or four times. 3, Make them shew their 
Tickets when coming into the Society. 4. Admit 
strangers with caution, and but seldom to the meet- 
ing of the Society. 

2- What can be done in order to a closer union 
of our helpers? — ^. i. Let them be deeply con- 
vinced of the want there is of it at present, and the 
absolute necessity of it. 2. Let them pray for an 
earnest desire of union. 3. Let them speak free- 
ly to each other. 4. When they meet let them ne- 
ver part without prayer. 5. Let them beware how 
they despise each oihers gilts. 6. Let them never speak 
slightingly of each other in any kind. 7. Let them 
defend one another's character in every thing to the 
utmost of their power, and, 8. Let them labour in 
honour each to prefer the other before himself. 

g. How shall we avoid popularity? We mean 
sucti esteem or love from the people, as is not for 
tiie glory of God. — J. i. Earnestly pray for a 
I 2 

8^ A Chronological History [17^^ 

piercing sense of the danger, and the sinfulness of 
It. 2. Take care how you ingratiate yourself with 
any people by slackness of discipline. 3. Or by 
any method which another Preacher cannot follow 
4. Warn the people among whom you are most of 
esteeming or loving you too much. 5. Converse 
sparingly with those who are particularly fond of 
you. 6. Use all the means of grace whether institut- 
ed or prudential. 

The instituted are, i. Prayer, private, family, 
public: consisting of Deprecation, Petition, Inter- 
cession, Thanksgiving. 2. Searching the Scrip- 
tures, by reading, hearing and meditating on them. 
3. Receiving the Lord's supper at every opportu- 
nity. 4. Fasting and abstinence at least one day in 
tvery week. 5. Christian Conference. 

The prudential are those which are agreeable to 
the rules of Christian Prudence, and maybe used 
as private Christians, as Methodists, as Preachers, 
■or Assistants. i. As private Christians. What 
particular rules have you for avoiding evil ? doing 
■good ? growing in grace ? What arts of holy living ? 
and improving time? 2. As Methodists. Do you 
keep the" rules of the Society, and of the Bands? 
TJie morning and evening hour of retirement ? i, e, 
six in the morning, and five o'clock in the after- 
noon. 3. As Preachers. Do you preach morning 
and evening ? Do you meet every Society weekly ? 
Also the Leaders, and Bands if any? 4. As Assist- 
ants. Do you attend to the twelve rules of an Assist- 
ant? Particularly those which relate to the other 
Preachers, the Bands, and the books? Mr. Wesley 
observes, " These means m.ay be used without fruit. 
But there are some means which cannot ; namely, 
watching, denying ourselves, taking up our cross, 
and exercise of the presence of God." 

A set of men acting on these principles, and lay- 
ing themselves out in this manner, could not fail of 
being useful. For the Redeemer hath said, " To 
him that hath shall be given, (z, e. to him that im- 

iy^S'l Of the People called Methodists, 89 

proveth what he hath, more shall be given,} and he 
shall have abundance.'' 

This is the first time we read of the Preachers 
having any thing to do with the books. In every 
circuit now the Snperintendant manages the book 
concerns, by which means the body is increased 
and edified. 

The rules Mr. Wesley then gave the Preachers 
respecting the books, areas follows: " j. Let every 
Preacher recommend to every Society, and that 
frequently and earnestly, the reading the books we 
have published, preferable to any other. And when 
any new book is sent to any place, let him speak of 
it in the public congregation. 2. Let each of you do 
like Williain Pennington : Carry books with you 
through every round. Exert yourselves in this. 
Be not ashamed. Be not weary. Leave no stone 

And at the Conference in 1792, when it was 
found necessary to reprint the minutes, which for- 
bid the Preachers to tollow trades, or be engaged in 
business, it was added. *' N. B. Selling our 
own books is an exception." 

At the Conference in 1801, it was added, 
*' N. B. We hope that the members of our Socie- 
ties, and our other friends, will not purchase any 
of our books which are not printed for our book- 
room, and disposed of by our Preachers, when it is 
considered that the profits of our books are wholly 
applied to the carrymg on of the work of God; and 
we desire the Superintendants to caution all our 
friends on this head." 

At this Conference also the account was drawn 
up of the design and state of Kingswood School, to 
be read by every Assistant at Midsummer, when 
making the collection for it. The Deed of Trust 
also, for the settlement of the Preaching houses, 
which Mr. Wesley got drawn up by three eminent 
Counsel, was published and recommended to the 

- 13 

90 A Chronological History [1763. 

The yearly subscription also was earnestly recom- 
mended to all the Societies* It had been made in 
a few of them before this time, but now an account 
of its necessity was published. It was made in the 
Classes : and every one was exhorted to conlribute 
something, in order to defray the expences occa- 
sioned, 1. By building preaching houses. 2. By 
sending out Preachers who were able and willing to 
travel, but who could not provide themselves with 
necessaries, 3. To support the Preachers while la- 
bouring in the poor circuits in England, Scotland, 
Wales, and Ireland. 4. To enable them to take 
the benefit of the Law when persecuted by wicked 
and unreasonable men. — The expences of building 
are now taken off this Collection, and yet it falls 
short every year of defraying the necessary expences, 
even with the addition of all the profits of the books. 

For the first time, the number of the circuits were 
^aken this year. There were then thirty. one circuits 
{XI the three kingdoms. 

In England Twenty. 

T. London, 

11. Whitehaven,, 

2. Sussex- 

12. Lincolnshire. 

3. Norwich* 

33. Sheffield. 

4. Bedford. 

14. Leeds. 

5. Wiltshire, 

15. Birstall, . 

6. Bristol. 

16. Ha worth. 

7. Devonshire; 

17. York. 

8. Coinuall. 

18. Yarm. 

<). StafTordshise. 

19. The Dales. 

0. Chester, 

20. Newcastle. 

In Scotland Two, 

In Wales Two. 

1. Edinburgh. 

1. Pembrokeshire. 

2. Aberdeen, 

2, Brecknockshire. 

1763-] Of the People called Methodists. 9* 

In Ireland Seven. 






Water ford. 






The North 



In all Thirty One. 

Some of the Preachers at this time appeared to 
be almost worn out, and unable to travel ; and hav- 
ing nothing to subsist on, it led them to institute 
what they called, The Preachers Fund. It is thus 

(2- How may provision be made for old worn-out 
Preachers ? — J, As to their employment, they may 
be supernumerary Preachers, in those circuits 
wherein there is most need. As to their subsist- 
ance, 1., Let every Travelling Preacher contribute 
ten shillings yearly at the Conference. 2. Let this 
be lodged in the hands of three Stewards, approved 
of by the majority of the Preachers. 3. Out of 
this, let what is needful be allowed yearly. 1. For 
the old and sickly Preachers, and their families, (if 
they have any.) 2. For the widows and children of 
those that are dead. 

Two things are observable in this institution. 
1. The Travelling Preachers onl / contributed then 
to the relief of their worn out Brethren. 2. None 
were to be relieved but those who were in need. 
The Brethren in general now help to support this 
great Charity. 

Several other particulars were considered at this 
Conference, and recommended to the brethren, 
which in this History I think it right to mention, 
though seemingly of small importance. The fol- 
lowing directions were given to the Preachers, re- 
spectmg the methody manner^ and subject of their 
preaching: — 

L The method. They were, i.To invite. 2. To 

C)2 A Chronological History , [^7^3* 

convince. 3. To offer Christ. 4. To build up: 
and to do this in some measure in every sermon. 

II. The manner, i. To begin and end precisely 
at the time. 2. To suit their subject to their audi- 
ence, and to choose the plainest texts they could. 
3. To be serious, weighty, and solemn in their 
whole deportment before the congregation ; and to 
tell each other if they observed a deviation from 
these rules. 

III. The subject. — 1. To preach Christ in all his 
offices, and to declare his Law as well as his Gos- 
pel to believers and unbelievers. 2. To insist upon 
practical religion in general ; and upon relative du-^ 
ties in particular. 3. To preach against Sabbath- 
breaking, dram-drinking, evil-speaking, unprofit- 
able conversation, lightness, gaiety, or expensive- 
ness oi apparel, and contracting debts without suf- 
ficient care to discharge them. 

In a word, to preach against all kinds of vice, 
and to call the people to general repentance, in 
order to prevent a general visitation. For national 
sins call aloud for national judgments. This last 
advice led to the following minute. 

g. Should we talk of persecution before it 
comes ? — A. To talk or think before of any parti- 
cular persecution, only weakens our hands. And 
how long the general persecution may be deferred 
God only knows. — From this it appears the Con- 
ference at this time expected a general persecution. 
Blessed be God it is yet delayed! 

The Preachers were earnestly exhorted to attend 
to, and recommend to others, the five o'clock hour 
in the afternoon for prayer, for themselves and 
the work of God. Many have conscientiously at- 
tended to it. 

It appears from these minutes, as well as from the 
rules, that Mr. Wesley wished to see the Methodists 
a plain people as to dress. He did not wish to have 
them singular as the Quakers, but plain, agreeably 
to the Scriptures. He now advised the Preachers 

1764.] Of the Pf,ople called Methodists, 93 

not to give Band Tickets to any who dressed in the 
fashion, not even to married women, who sometimes 
pleaded, that they dressed in the tashion to please 
their husbands. 

Mr. Wesley's care of the Preachers extended to 
the smallest things, even to advise what t'hey should 
take after preaching, namely, *' lemonade, candied 
orange-peel, or a little sort warm ale." But he 
observes, " egg and wine, and all spirituous liquors, 
at that time especially, are deadly poison ; so are 
late suppers." 

His care for the married Preachers is manifest in 
the following minute. 

g. How may the married Preachers be provided 
forp — yf. I. Let the Assistant enquire at the quar- 
terly meeting, what each Preacher's wife will want 
for the ensuing quarter. 2. Let this be supplied 
first of all, out of the common stock. 

1764. In the beginning of this year, Mr. Er- 
skine re-published in Scotland, Mr. Hervey's Eleven 
Letters, and spread them with all his might. They 
prejudiced the Scotch against the Methodist doc- 
trine, and hindered the prosperity of the work, 
These letters did no harm in England. Mr. Wes- 
ley and Mr. Sellon wrote masterly answers to them. 
It was afterwards known, that a Mr. Cudworth, a 
violent Antinomian, had written the most virulent 
passages in these letters. 

April 19, 1764, Mr. Wesley wrote his famous 
Catholic circular letter to all the convened Clergy 
(that he knew) in Engiajid ; who preached, i. The 
doctrine of original sin. 2. Justification by faith. 
3. Holiness of heart and life. He invited them to 
unite with him, and with each other, in order to 
spread holiness through the nation. (The letter may 
be seen in his Life by Dr. Coke and Mr. Moore, 
page 316.) Out of fifty or sixty persons which he 
wrote to, only three vouchsafed hnn an answer, one 
of whom was that blessed man of God, the Rev. 
Vincent Perronet, Vicar of Shoreham. (His Life is- 

94 ^^ Chronological History [1764. 

published in ihe Arminisn Magazine, for Jan. 1799.) 
Mr. Wesley had as good an opportunity of knowing 
the converted Clergy, and was as capable of judging 
concerning them, as any man in England. Since 
that time their number has considerably increased. 

April 22, in this year, John Manners, one of the 
Preachers, died in York. He was singularly useful 
in the revival which began in the year 1760, and 
particularly in the year 1762, in the city of Dublin. 
He was clearly sensible to the last, as well as solidly 
happy in God, saying, *' The way is quite clear : 
my heart is at liberty." The following is the cha- 
racter Mr. Wesley gave of him. *' A plain man» 
of middling sense, and not eloquent, but rather 
rude in speech : one who had never before b^en re- 
markably useful, but seemed to be raised up for 
this single work. And as soon as it was done, he 
fell into a consumption, languished a while and 

August 16, 1764, The twenty- first Conference 
was held in Bristol, The minutes were not printed. 
Mr. Wesley observes concernnig it, " The great 
point I now laboured for was, a good understanding 
with all our brethren of the Clergy, who are hear- 
tily engaged in propagatmg Vital Religion." He 
had long laboured for this; but even those who 
loved and preached the Gospel, had not, in general, 
his enlarged and libei-al mind. Mr. Walker of 
Truro, who attended some of the first Conferences, 
had proposed, in the year 1757, that Mr. Wesley 
should give up the Societies which were under his 
care, to the exclusive superintendance of those Mi- 
nisters, in every place, who were pious, and who- 
also preached the Gospel ; and instanced a Mr. 
Vowler, a parish Minister, in Cornwall, to whom 
Mr. Wesley ouglit, as Mr. Walker observes, in 
justice, to resign the Societies in his parish. Mr- 
Wesley replied, (see the letter entire, in 2vlr. Wes- 
ley's Life, by Dr. Coke, and Mr. Moore, page 3,1a.) 

1764.] Of the People calkd Methodists. 95 

That Mr. VoNvler might be a gracioas person, and 
also preach the Gospel, yet there were sev^eral rea- 
sons why he should hesitate to give up the people 
to him. *' I do not know," he observes, " 1. That 
every one wlio preaches the Truth, has wisdom or 
experience to govern a Flock. 2. I do not kr.ow 
whether he would or could give that Flock ail the 
advantages for holiness which they now enjoy: and 
to leav^ them to hun betore I was assured of this, 
would he \\ii'\i\\Qi justice, nor mercy. 3. Unless they 
were also assured ()f tliis, they could not in con- 
science give themselves up to him : and I have neither 
right n;)r power to dispose of them contrary to their 
own conscience.- — I extend this to every Gospel 
Minister in England. Before I could with a clear 
conscience leave a Methodist Society to such a one, 
all these considerations must come in." 

But these just and liberal sentiments had not all 
that weight which they ought to iiave had with 
these good men. They retamed their former senti- 
ments; and Mr. Charles Wesley, who ceased be- 
ing an Itinerant in the year 1757, and had settled 
at~ Bristol, fully adopted their views. Mr. Wes- 
ley's circular letter now gave them some hope, that 
they might prevail, and twelve Clergymen accord- 
ingly attended this Conference. The proposal for- 
merly made by Mr. Walker was now renewed in 
form, and supported by Mr. Charles Wesley, who 
declared, that if he were a parish Minister, the 
Preachers should not preach in his parish / Mr. 
John Wesley, however, whose constant persever- 
ing mind nothing but Holy Scripture or right reason 
could move, remained firmly fixed in those senti- 
ments which he had expressed in his circular letter, 
and in that to Mr. Walker. The Preachers unani- 
mously agreed with him: and as these Clergymen 
would not unite with him except upon their own 
terms, he was obliged to abandon the idea altoge- 

96 A Chronological History [1765' 


Froin the Conference in 1765, to that in London 
m 1770. 


UGUST 20tb, 1765. The twenty-second Con- 
ference was held in Manchester. This was the first 
Conference that was held there. It did not assemble 
there again till the year 1787. Frorri that time it 
has been lield there every fourth year in the follow- 
ing order. First in London, then in Leeds, then in 
Biistol, and then in Manchester. 

From this period the minutes of the Conference 
were <z«?/2^^//)' publi .hed; and it appears that, (ex- 
cept on rare occasions) only those attended them 
who were Itinerants, and laboured in union with 
each other, under the superintcndance of Mr. 

There were at this time thirty- nine Circuits in 
Great Britain and Ireland; and ninety-six Preachers 
labouring on them. 

I shall insert in this History every thing con- 
tained in these minutes, which is either new or im- 

(9. How late may the evening-preaching begin ? 
And how long should a Love Feast last? — A. Not 
-later than seven o'clock, except in harvest time at 
half after seven. And a Love Feast should last but 
an hour and a half. Every one should be at home 
by nine o'clock. 

g. Are all the Preachers merciful to their beasts? 
— ^^ Perhaps not. Every one ought, i. Never to 
ride hard. 2. To see with his own eyes his horse 
rubbed, fed and bedded, 

g. What can be done to prevent our people 

1765.3 Of the People called Methodists » 97 

needlessly removing from one Society to another? — 
j^. 1. Let none remove without the advice oF the 
Assistant. 2. Let none be received into another 
Society without a certificate from the Assistant, in 
these words, '* J. B. the bearer, is now a member 

of our Society in ■ I believe he has a sufficient 

cause to remove from thence." 3. Let notice be 
immediately given of this in every Society. 4. Let 
there be one Ticket every ^vhere, and the form 
sent directly from London, and so in every suc- 
ceeding quarter, 

g. Are our people good oeconomists ? — A. In 
public and private, enlarge on ceconomy as a branch 
of religion, 

g. Are they guarded in their words ? — A. Not 
sufficiently. Warn them against little oaths, as 
upon my life^ my faith, my honour. And against 
compliments. Let them use no unmeaning words. 

g. Should we recommend calling each other Bro^ 
ther and Sister? — A. It may be done tenderly and 

g. Do they not m general talk too much, and 
read too little? — A. They do. Let them but re- 
trench half the time they spend in talking, and 
they will have time 'enough to read. Speak of this 
every where. Repiove them publicly and privately 
for reading less useful books. Do not talk too 
much yourself. If you stay above an hour at any 
place, take out a book and read. 

Ch Should the men and women sit apart in every 
Chapel ? — A. By all means. Every Preacher should 
look to this. At the next Conference it was found 
this was impracticable, therefore the following excep- 
tion was allowed. *' In those galleries where they 
have been accustomed to sit together, they may do 
so still. But let them sit apart every where below, 
and in all newly erected galleries." 

2- Are the houses that are already built, safe ? — 
A. Not all. Some uf them are not regularly sct- 
- tied yet. Several trustees for others are dead. 

98 A Chronological History [1765. 

Therefore let a person be sent through England to 
survey the deeds, and supply the Trustees wanting." 
So careful was Mr. Wesley to secure the preaching- 
houses, that they might continue to be used for the 
puposes for which they were built. 

g. Have the people left off snuflf, and drams? A, 
Not all. Many are absolutely enslaved to both still. 
In order to redress this great evil, 1. Speak to 
any w^ho takes snufF in sermon time. 2. Let no 
Preacher touch it on any account. 3. Shew the 
Societies the evil of it. 4. Let no Preacher drink 
a dram, on any pretence, q. Strongly dissuade our 
people from it. Answer their pretences ; particu- 
larly those, of curing the cholic, and helping the di-t 

The following advices were given to the Preach- 
ers : J. Use Intercession on Friday, and recom*. 
mend fasting both by precept and example. (From 
this time in many of the large Societies, the hour from 
twelve to one o'clock is spent in wrestling with God 
for ourselves ; the Societies in general ; the success 
of the Gospel every where; and for the prosperity 
of our King and Country.) 2. Encourage ail in 
the Bands to speak freely. This advice gave rise to 
the following minute. 

g. But how can we encourage the women in the 
Bands to speak, since it is a shame for a woman to 
speak, in the Church? 1 Cor. xiv. 35. — A. I deny, 
1. that speaking in that passage means any other 
than speaking as a j{?w/'/z<: teacher. This St. Paul 
suffered not, because it implied usurping authority 
over the man, 1 Tirn, ii. 12. Whereas no authority 
either over man or woman is usurped by the speak- 
ing now in question. I deny, 2. That the church in 
that text means any other than the great congrega- 

Women have at different times and places acted 
as Leaders, (mostly as Leaders of Classes w^herein 
there were no men) and generally they have been 
very useful in that office. A very few women hav^ 

176^.] Of the People called Methodists, 99 

also at different times acted as public Preachers. 
A letter from Mr. Wesley to one of these (Miss Bo- 
sanquet, the present Mrs. Fletcher, of Madely,) 
shews that he thought it might be suffered in some 

Londonderry t June 13, 1771. 

•* My Dear Sister, 
*• I think the strength of the cause rests there, in 
your having an extraordinary call. So I am per- 
suaded has every one of our Lay Preachers : other- 
wise, 1 could not countenance their preaching at 
all. It is plain to me that the whole work of God 
termed Methodism, is an extraordinary dispensation 
of his Providence. Therefore, I do not wonder, if 
several things occur therein whi<:h do not fall under 
ordinary rules of discipline. St. Paul's ordinary 
ruJe was ** I permit not a woman to speak in the 
congregation," yet in extraordinary cases, he made 
a few exceptions, at Corinth in particular. I am, 
my Dear Sister, your affectionate brother, 


Some persons, it is to he feared, have acted in this 
way whose call was very disputable. Lest such 
should be encouraged by this letter, let it be remem- 
bered, that it was written to a very eminent woman, 
who never abused the extraordinary call which she 
believed she had received, to any unworthy pur- 

Oct. J4, 1765, Mr. Alexander Ceats died at 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He was at that time the 
oldest preacher in the connexion. He came from 
Scotland, and engaged in the work of the Lord at a 
very early period. His ministerial abilities were 
veiy extraordinary, quite out of the common way, 
which rendered him exceedingly popular. His con- 
versation out of the pulpit, was wonderfully plea- 
sant, yet exceedingly instructive. He always called 
K 2 

ICO A Chronological History [1766. 

Christ^\i\^ Master. A few days before his death, he 
was sorely tempted by the enemy; but near the close of 
life, he had perfect peace. His faith was clear, and 
he found Christ precious, his portion, and his eter- 
nal all. Being asked a little before he died, if he had 
followed cunningly devised fables? He answered, 
" No, no, no." He was then asked, if he saw- 
land ? He said, " Yes, I do." After waiting a few 
moments at anchor, he put into the quiet har- 

August 12- 1766, The twenty-third Conference 
was held in Leeds. Mr. Wesley observes concern- 
ing it, A hapmer one we never had, nor a more pro- 
fitable one. I ^t was both begun and ended in love-, 
and with a solemn ser-se of the presence of God. 
The Initials of those who ceased to travel were then 
first published in the following manner. 

g. Who are laid aside this year? — A. I. B. and 

J- M- 

The connexion was at this time disturbed respect- 
ing the question of Separation from the national 
Church. Those who v^ished it said, " The 
Methodists were already Dissenters." This gave rise 
to the following minute. 

jg. Are the Methodists Dissenters? — A. No. We 
are irregular, 1. By calling sinners to repentance 
in all places of God's dominion. 2. By using ex- 
temporary prayer. 3, By uniting together in a re^ 
ligious Society. Yet we are not Dissenters in the 
only sense which our Law acknowledges: namely. 
Persons who believe it sinjul to attend the service 
of the Churih : for we attend it at all opportunities. 

Observe, These things were done without autho- 
rity from a Bishop, and (to avoid legal penalties,) 
under cover of the Toleration act : yet the Methor 
dists in general had no scruple of conscience in at- 
tending the service of the Church. They have al- 
ways had these views of the subject, and have the 
same even to this day j nor are any among them to this 

1/56.] Of the People called Methodists, lOI 

hour restrained from the most exact attendance on 
all the ordinances of the Church : and in general, 
these allow equal liberty to those of contrary senti- 

♦* We are not Seceders, nor Ao we bear any resem- 
blance to them. We set out upon quite opposite 
principles. The Seceders laid the very foundation 
of their work in judging and condemning others. 
We laid the foundation of our work, in judging and 
condemning ourselves. They begin every where, 
with shewing their hearers, how fallen the Church and 
Mmistcrs are. We begin every where, with shew* 
ing our Hi^are^s, how fallen they are themselves, '^ 

Mr. Wesley at this Conference, advised the As- 
sistants, 1. To insist on cleanliness and decency 
every where. 2. To give an account to their suc- 
cessors of the state of things in their several curcuits, 
3. So to order the preaching in each circuit, 
that no Preacher should be obliged to miss the 
Church, but to go there at least two Sundays in a 

From the Minutes of this Conference it also ap- 
pears, that some among the Preachers, as well as^ 
the people, thought Mr. Wesley's power too great, 
and wished to curtail it. This led him to consider 
the steps by which he believed God had given him 
tliat authority. On this subject he thus speaks with 
his usual plainness, 

*• Count Zinzendorf loved to keep all things 
dose : 1 love to do all things openly. I will therefore 
tell you all I know of the matter, taking it from the 
very beginning. 

1. In November 1739, ^^^^ ^^ three persons who 
desired to flee from the wrath to coma, and then a 
few more,, came to me in London^ and desired me 
to axivise, and pray with them. I said, " If you 
will meet me on Thursday night, I Will help 
you as well as I can." More and more then desi- 
red to meet with them, till they were increased to 
jnany hundreds. The case was afterwards the same 


102 A Chronological History [17.66. 

at Bristol^ Kingswood, Newcastle^ and many other 
parts of England and Ireland. It may be observed, 
the desire was on their part not mine. My desire 
was to live and die in retirement. But 1 did not 
see, that I could refuse them my help, and be guilt- 
less before God. 

Here commenced my Power : namely, a power to 
appoint when and where^ and how they should meet ; 
and to remove those whose lives shewed that they 
had not a desire to flee from the wrath to come. And 
this power remained the same, whether the people 
meeting together were twelve, or twelve hundred, 
or twelve thousanrl. 

2. In a few days some of them said, *' Sir, you 
want money to pay for tlie lease of the Foundry : 
and likewise a large sum of money to put it in re- 
pair." On this consideration I suOcred them to 
subscribe. And when the Society met, I asked, 
** Who will take the trouble of leceiving this mo- 
ney, and paying ic where it is needful ?" One said, 
** I will do it, and keep the account for you.". So 
here was the first Suward. Afterwards 1 desired 
one or two more to help me as Stewards, and in pro- 
cess of tim.e a greater number. 

Let it be remarked, it was I myself, not the peo- 
ple, who chose these Stewards, and appointed ta 
each the distinct work, wherein he was to help me,, 
as long as I desired. And hesein I began to exer- 
cise another sort of Power, namely, that of appoint- 
ing and removing Stewards. 

3. After a tune, a young man named Thomas 
Maxjield, came and desired to help me as a son in. 
the Gospel. Soon alter came a second, then a 
third. These severally desired to serve me as sons, 
and to labour when and where I ^ould direct. 
Observe, These likewise de&ired me', not I them. 
But I durst not ret use their assistance. And here 
commenced my power, to appoint each of these, 
a;/i<?w and where, and how to labour: i. e. while he 
chose to continue with me. For each had a power 

1766.] Of the People called Methodists. 103 

.to go away when he pleased: as I had also, to go 
^way trom them, or any of them, if I saw sufficient 
cause. The case conrinued the same, when the 
number of Preachers increased. I had just the same 
power still, to appoint when and where, and how, 
each should help me, and to tell any (if I saw cause] 
*' I do not desire your help any longer." 

4. In 1744, I wrote to several Clergymen, and to 
all who then served me as sons in the Gospel, de- 
siring them to meet me in London, and to give me 
their advice concerning the best method of carrying 
on the work of God. And when their number in- 
creased, so that it was not convenient toinvite them 
all, for several years 1 wrote to those with whom I de- 
sired to confer, and they only met me at London, 
or elsewhere: till at length 1 gave a general per- 
mission. Observe, I myself sent for these of my 
own free choice. And I sent for them to advise, 
not govern me. Neither did I at any time divest my- 
self of any part of the power above described, which 
the Providenjce of God had cast upon me, without 
any design or choice of mine. And as it was merely 
in obedience to the providence of God, and for the 
good of the people, that 1 at first accepted this 
power, so it is on the same consideration, not for 
profit, honour, or pleasure, that I use it at this day." 
— I believe it is fully acknowledged that Mr. Wes- 
ley's resolution at that time, proved a blessing to the 
connexion, and has been followed by the happiest 

At the Conference in 1784, After he had made 
the Deed of Declaration, he published in the 
minutes of that year : *' No power which 1 ever 
enjoyed, is given up by the Declarative Deed. No 
such thing could have been supposed, had it not 
been for that improper and ambiguous word Life 
Estate. This also has given the grand occasion of 
offence to them that sought occasion." Mr. Wes- 
ley retained and exercised the power which he be- 
lieved God gave him while he lived. 

104 A Chronological Histary [1766. 

I. But Mr. Wesley says, *' All hitherto is com- 
paratively little. I come now to speak ot greater 

" 1 do not depend on seeing another Conference. 
Therefore I wiil now speak once for all, as taking 
my leave of you. 

" r^annot but know more of the state both of the 
Methodist Preachers and people than any other per- 
son: Because I see more of the Preachers and more 
of the pccpie, in every part. of the kingdom. 

•* '] herefoie I can give you such an account both 
ot the Preachers and ilic people, as no other per- 
son citn. 

*' And you are fully assured, tliat / am not pre- 
judiced against either the Preachers or the people. 

**To begin v;ith the latter. The world says, ''The 
Methodists are no better than other people.'* This 
is not true. Yet it is nearer the truth, than we are 
willing to imagine. 

For, t. Personal religion, either toward God or 
man, is amazingly superficial among us. 

I can but just touch on a i^y^ generals. How- 
Httle faith is there among us, how little communion, 
with God? How little living in Heaven, walking in. 
eternity, deadness to every creature? How much 
love of the world : desire of pleasure, of ease, of 
praise, of getting monr) ? 

How little brotherly love? What continual judg- 
ing one another ? What gossiping, eviUspeaking, 
tale-bearing ? What want of moral honesty? To 
instance only in a few particulars. 

What servants, journeymen, labourers, carpen- 
ters, brick' ay ers, do as ihey would be done by? 
Which of them does as much work as he can? Set 
him d( wn tor a knave that does not. 

Wlio does as^ he would be done by, in buying 
and sellmg, particularly in selling horses? Write 
him knave that does not. And the Methodist knave 
is t^e worst of ail knaves. 

2. Family religion is shamefully wanting, and al-- 
moit in Q\Qiy branch. 

1/66.] Oj the PeopU called Methodists, 105 

And the Methodists in general will be little better, 
till we take quite another course with them. For 
what avails public Preaching alonSy though we could 
preach like angels? 

We must instruct them/ro?;z house to house: Till 
this is done, and that in good earnest, the Methodists 
will be little better than other people. 

But we shall find many difficulties both in our- 
selves and in the people. 

1. In ourselves there is much dulness and lazi- 
ness : So that there will be much ado to get us to be 
faiihtul in the work. 

2. We have also a base, man-pleasing temper^ 
which makes us let men perish, rather than lose 
their love, and let them go q_uietly to hell, lest we 
should anger them. 

3. Some of us have also a foolish bashf ulness. We 
know not how to begin, or to speak plain. We 
blush to speak for Christ, or to contradict the devil, 
or to save a soul. 

4. Our interest stops our mouths, and makes us 
unfaithful in the work of Christ. 

5. But the great hindrance is, weakness of faith : 
so our whole motion is weak, because the spring of 
it is weak. 

./ 6. Lastly, we are unskilful in the work. How 
few know how to deal with men, so as to get witlv 
in them, to win upon them, and suit all our discourse 
to their several conditions and tempers, to chuse 
the fittest subjects, and follow them with an holy 
mixture of seriousness, and terror, and love, and 
meekness, and evangelical allurements? 

And we have as many difficulties to grapple with 
in our people. 

1. Too many o^ them will be unwilling to be 
taught, till we conquer their perverseness by the 
force of reason, and the power of love. 

2. And many are so dull, that they will shun be- 
ing taught, for fear of shewing their dulness. And 

io6 ji Chronological History [i76€. 

indeed you will find it extremely hard, to make theni 
understand the very plainest points. 

And it is still harder, to fix things on their heart, 
without which, all our labour is lost. If you have 
not therefore great seriousness and fervency, what 
good can you expect ? And when all is done, it is 
the Spirit of Grace, he alone who must do the work* 

4. And when we have made some impressions up- 
on their hearts, if we look not after them, they will 
soon die away. 

But as great as this labour of private instruction 
is, it is absolutely necessary. For alter all our preach- 
ing, many of our people are almost as ignorant, as if 
they had never heard the Gospel. I study to speak 
as plain as I can; yet I frequently meet with those 
who have been my hearers many years, who know 
not, whether Christ be God or man ; or, that infants 
have any original sin. And how few are there, that 
know the nature of repentance, faith and holiness ? 
Most of them have a sort of confidence, that Christ 
will justify and save them, while the world has their 
hearts, and they live to themselves. And I have 
found by experience, that one of these has learned 
more from an hour's close discourse, than from ten 
years public preaching. 

And undoubtedly this private application is im- 
plied in those solemn words of the Apostle, I charge 
thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who 
shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing^ 
preach ike word, be instant iit season, out of season ; 
reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-sujffering and 

This is likewise necessary to the greater glory of 
God, and the fuller success of the Gospel. O bre- 
thren, if we could generally set this work on loot, 
in all our Societies, and prosecute it skilfully and 
zealously, what glory would redound to God there- 
by ? If the common ignorance were thus banished, 
and our vanity and idleness turned into the study of 
the way of life, and every shop and every house 

ij66.'] Of the People calUd Methodists. 107 

busied in speaking of the word and works of God : 
surely God would dwell in our habitations, and make 
them his delight. 

And this is necessary to the welfare of our people, 
many of whom neither believe nor repent to this 
day. Look round about, and see how many o^ ti-em 
are still in apparent danger of damnation! And how 
can you walk, and talR, and be merry with such 
people, when you know their case ? Methinks when 
you Kx)k them in the face, you should break forth 
into tears, as the prophet did when he looked upon 
Hazael, and then set on them with the most vehe- 
ment and importunate exhortations. O then for 
God's sake, and for the Nake of poor souls bestir 
yourselves, and spare no pains ttiat may conduce to 
iheir salvation. 

Wiiat cause have we to bleed before the Lord this 
day, that have so long neglected this great and guod 
woik i* that have been Preachers so many years, 
and have done so little by personal instructions for 
the saving of men's souls ? If we had but set on this 
Vv'ork sooner, how many more might have been 
brought to Christ? And how much holier and hap- 
pier, might we have made our Socieiies before now? 
And why might we not have do!;e it sooner? There 
were many hindrances in the way : and so there 
are still, and always will be. But the greatest hin- 
drance was in ourselves, in our dulness, and lit- 
tlciicss of faith and love. O that God would 
thoroughly humble us, and cause us to bewai! our 
own neglects; that we may not think it enough to 
lament the sins of others, while we overlook our 
own 1 

But it is objected, L This course will take up so 
much Time, that we shall have no Time to follow 
onr Studies. 

I a/iswer, i. Gaining Knowledge is a good Thing; 
but saving Souls is better. 2. By this very thing 
you will gain the moit excellent Knowledge of G.^d 
and Eternity. 3. But you will have abundant Tune 

io8 A Chronological History [1766. 

for gaining other Knowledge too, if you spend all 
your mornings tr.erein. Only sleep not more than 
you need: talk nut more than yt)u need. And never 
be idle, nor tnflinrjy employed. But 4. If you can 
do but one, either iollov^ your fludies, or inff j uct the 
ignorant: Let your (Indies alone : I would throw by 
all the libraries in the world, rather than be guilty of 
the perdition of one soul. 

It is objected, II. ♦* The people will not submit 
to it." If some do not, others will gladly. And the 
success with them may be so much, as to repay all 
our labour. O let us herein follow the example 
of St. Paul. I. For our general business, serving 
the Lord with all humility of mind. 2. Our special 
work. Take heed to yourselves^ and to all the flock » 
3. Our doctrine. Repentance toward God, and faith 
in our Lord Jesus Christ, 4. The place and man- 
ner of teaching, / have taught you publicly, and 
from house to house, 5. The object, and internal 
manner, / ceased not to warn every one, night and 
day, with tears. This it is that must win souls, and 
preserve them, 6. His innocency and self-denial 
for the advantage of the Gospel, / have coveted no 
man's silver or gold. 7. His patience. Neither do I 
Count my life dear unto inyself. And among all 
cur motives, these should be ever before our eyes : 
1. The Church of God, which he hath purchased 
with his own blood: 2. Grievous Wolves shall enter 
in: yea, of your ownselves shall men arise, speak- 
ing perverse things. Write all this upon your 
hearts, and it will do you more good, than twenty 
years study of lower things. 

We may i. Every Preacher take an exact cata« 
logue ot those in Society, from one end of each 
town to the other. 2. Go to each house, and give, 
with suuable exhortation and direction, the *♦ In- 
structions for children." 3. Be sure to deal gently 
with them, and take off all discouragements as ef- 
fectually as you can. See that the children get 
these by heart. Advise the grown persons, to sec 

1/66.) Of the People called Me(/)o(ii^fs\ log 

that they understand them. And enlarge upon and 
apply every sentence as closely as you can. And 
let your dealing with those you begin with, be so 
gentle, winning and convincing, that the report of 
it, may move others to desire your coming. True, 
it is far easier to preach a good sermon, than to in- 
struct the ignorant in the principles of Religion. 
And as much as this ^vork is despised by some, I 
doubt not but it will try the parts and spirits of us 
all. So x'\rchbishop Usher; '• great scholars may 
think it beneath them to spend their time in teach- 
ing the first principles of the doctrine of Christ. 
But they should consider, that the laying the foun- 
dation skilfully, as it is the matter of greatest import- 
ance in the whole building, so it is the very mas- 
ter-piece of the wisest builder, according to the grace 
of God^ which is given unto ine^ as a zvise master- 
builder^ I have laid the foundation^ saith the great 
Apostle. And let the wisest of us all try whenever 
we please, we shall find, that to lay this ground- 
work rightly, to make an ignorant man understand 
the grounds of religion, will put us to the trial of 
all our skill." 

Perhaps in doing this it may be w^ell, 

1. Alter a few loving words spoken to all in the 
house, to take each person single into another 
room, where you may deal closely with them, about 
their sin and misery and duty. Set these home, or 
you lose all your labour. At least let none be pre- 
sent but those who are quite familiar with each 

2. Hear what the children have learned by heart. 

3. Chuse some ot the weightiest points, and try 
by farther questions how they understand them. As 
" Do you believe you have sin in you? that you 
was born in sin ? What does sin deserve ? What 
remedy has God provided for guilty, helpless sin- 
ners ? 

4. Often with the question, suggest the answer. 
As, •' W^hat is Repentance ? Sorrow for sin, or a 

ito \^ Chronological Hisfory [1766, 

conviction that we are guilty, helpless sinners ? 
What is Faith ? A divine conviction of things not 

5. Where you perceive they do not understand 
the stress of your question, you must lead them into 
it by other questions. So I have asked some, ** How- 
do you think your many and great sins will be par- 
doned? They answer, ♦♦ by repenting and mending 
my life," and never mention Christ. I ask farther, 
*' But do you think your amendment will make sa- 
tisfaction for your past sins ? They will answer, 
** Wc hope so, or else we know not what will," 
One would think now, these had no knowledge of 
Christ at all. And indeed, some have not. But 
others have, and give such answers only because they 
do not understand the scope of the question. Ask 
them farther, *' Can you be saved without the death 
of Christ?" They immediately say, No. And if you 
ask, " What has he done or suffered for you ?" 
They will say, " He shed his blood for us^" and 
profess, they trust in that for salvation. But many 
cannot express even what they have some concep- 
tions of, nay, can scarce learn, when expressions are 
put into their mouths. With these you are to deal 
exceeding tenderly, lest they be discouraged. 
• 6. If you perceive them troubled that they can- 
not answer, step in yourself, and take the burden off 
them: Answering that question yourself ; and then 
do it thoroughly and plainly and make a full expli- 
cation of the whole business to them. 

7. Thus, when you have tried their knowledge, 
proceed to instruct them yourself, according to their 
several capacities. If a man understand the funda- 
mentals, fall on what you perceive he most needs, 
either explaining further some doctrine of the Gos- 
pel, or some duty, or shewing the necessity of some- 
thing he neglects, as may be most edifying to liira. 
If it be one that is grosly ignorant, give him a short 
recital of the Christian Religion in the plainest 
words.. And if you perceive he understands not. 

1 'yiSG.'] Of the People called Methodists: 1 1 1 

go over it again till he does, and if possible fix it in 
his memory. 

8. Next, enquire into his state, whether convinced, 
or unconvinced, converted or unconverted. Tell 
him, if need be, what conversion is. And then re- 
new and enforce the enquiry. 

9. If you perceive he is unconverted, your next 
business is, to labour with all your skill and power 
to bring his heart to a sense ot his condition. Set 
this home with a more earnest voice than you spoke 
before; for if you get it not to the heart, you do 

10. Conclude all with a strong exhortation, which 
must contain two parts, i. The duty of the heart, 
in order to receive Christ; and 2. The avoiding 
former sins, and constantly using the outward means. 
And here be sure, if you can, to get their prcmisj;; 
to forsake sin, change their company, and use means. 
And do this solemnly; reminding them of the pre- 
sence of God, that hears tlieir promises, and will 
expect the performance. 

11. Before you leave them, engage the head of 
each family to call all his family every Sunday, 
before they go to bed, and hear what they can re- 
hearse, and so continue till they have learnt all the 
instructions perfectly. And afterwards take care 
that they do not forget what they have learned. 

12. Speak differently according to the difference 
of them you have to deal with, as they are dull and 
obstinate, or timorous and tender. Be as plain as 
possible to those of weak capacities, and give them 
Scripture proof for all you say. 

Let us in every town, and wherever it is practica- 
ble, set upon this method in good earnest, and we 
shall soon find \w\\y the people are not better, viz. 
Because we are not more knowings and more holy. 

(l- Why are we not more knowing ? — ^. Be- 
cause we are idle. We forget the very first rule, 
^' Be diligent. Never be unemployed a moment, 
L 2 

1J2 ^4 Chronological History [1766. 

Never be trifllngly employed. Never while away 
^ini^ : neither spend any more time at any place than 
IS strictly necessary." 

1 fear there is altogether a fault in this matter; 
and that few of us are clear. Which of you spends 
as many hours a-day, in God's work, as you did for- 
merly in man's woik? We talk, talk—or read his- 
tory, or what comes next to hand. 
^ We must, absolutely must, cure this evil, or ^ivq 
up the ^vhole work. 

But how? 1. Read the most useful books, and 
that regularly and constantly. Steadily spend all 
the mornmgin this employ, or at least five hours 
in twenty-four. 

" But I read only the Bible." Then you ought 
to teach otiiers to read only the Bible, and by parity 
of reason, to hear only the Bible. But if so, you 
need preach no more. Just so said George BelL And 
What is the fruit ? Why now, he nether reads the 
Bible, nor any thing else. 

This is rank enthusiasm. If you need no book, 
but the Bible, you are got above St. Paul. He 
wanted others too. Biing the books, says he, but es. 
pecially the parchments, those wrote on parchment. 

" But i have no taste for reading." Contract a 
taste for it by use, or return to your trade. 

" But different men have different tastes." There- 
fore some may read less than others ; but none should 
read less than this. 

The sum is. Go into every house in course, and 
teach every one therein, young and old, if they 
belong to us, to be Christians, inwardly and out- 

Make every particular plain to their understand- 
ing. Fix it in their memory. Write it on their 
heart. In order to this there must be line upon 
line, precept upon precept. I remember to have 
heard my father asking my mother, " liow could 
you have the patience, to tell that blockhead the 
same thing twenty times over?" She answered, 

ij66..'] 0/ the People called Methodists, 113- 

" Why, if I had told him but nineteen times, I 
should have lost all my labour." What patience 
indeed, what love, what knowledge is requisite for 
this ? 

Over and above: wherever there are ten c]iil- 
dren in a Society, spend at least an hour with them 
twice a week. And do this, not in a dull, dry, for- 
mal manner, but in earnest, with your might. 

** But 1 have no gift for this." Gift or no gift, 
you are to do it, else you are not called to be a Me- 
thodist Preacher. Do it as you can, till you can do 
it as you would. Pray earnestly for the gift, and 
use the means for it; particularly studying the chil- 
dren's tracts. 

g. Why are not we more holy? Why do not we 
live in eternity ? Walk with God all the day long ? 
Why are we not all devoted to God? Breathing the 
whole Spirit of Missionaries? — A. Because we are 
Enthusiasts : Looking for the end, without using the 
means. v 

To touch onfy upon two or three instances. 

Do you rise at four? Or even at five, when you 
do not preach ? 

TiQ you fast once a week ? Once a month ? Do 
you know the obligation, or benefit of it ? 

Tio you recommend the five o'clock hour for pri- 
vate prayer? Do you observe it? Do you not find 
that any time is no time ? 

O let LIS all stir up th-: gift of God that is in us? 
Let US no more sleeps as do others: but whatsoever 
our hand fndeth to do^ let us do it with our 
might V' 

This faithful description of the Preachers and 
people proved a blessing. For since that time they 
have increased in knowledge and holiness. What 
a blessing to have a faithful Pastor? And what a 
comfort to labour among a people that will endure 
sound doctrine? Such was Mr. Wesley, and such 
are the Methodists. 


114' ^ Chronological History [i/^y* 

' August 18, 1767, The twenty fourth Conference 
was held in London. Mr. Wesley's account of it 
is, " 1 met in Conference with our Assistants, and a 
select number ot the Preachers. To these were ad- 
Jed;, Mr JV kite fie Id, Howell Harris: and many- 
Stewards, and Local Preachers, on the last two days. 
Love and harmony reigned from the begin nig to 
the end. But we have all need of more love and 
holiness : and in order thereto of crying continually, 
' Lord increase our faith." The names of those 
who desisted from travelling, were, for the first time, 
printed in the minutes of this Conference. They 
were, James Stephens, William Whitwell, John 
Morlcy and James Kershaw. Several directions 
were also given to enforce the necessity of the Yearly 
Subscription, Kingswood Collection, and the 
Preachers Fund. The numbers in the several Circuits 
Were now also for the first time piiblislied. Tliere 





In England, 
In Ireland, 


• • 


. 22410 

In Scotland, 
In Wales,- 



: : 



. . 232 

Total. 40 Circ. 104 Preach. 25911 xVIem. 

The following particulars are all that can be con- 
sidered as new. 

Q^. What is the safest way of leaving a legacy for 
the use of our Funds ? — A. To leave it absolutely 
to a person they can confide in : suppose to Mr. 

g. 'Fhe Wedneshury Trustees arc afraid, lest the 
Conference should impose on them one Preacher for 
many years. May not this be guarded against ? — 
jd. Yes. By inserting in the deed. Provided that 
the same Preacher shall not be sent, ordinarily above 

^7^7-] ^J ^^^^ People, called Methodists. 115 

one, never above two years together. (Three years 
are now the utmost limit of the Appointments.) 

(2- How may the books be sprc«id more ? — A, 
Let every Assistant give tliem away piudcntly : and 
beg money oi the rich to buy books for the poor. 

(h What can be done to Revive tlie woi k ? — A, 
1. Let there be a general Fast once a quarter. 2. 
Let any Assistant appoint an occasional in his 
circuit. 3. Let every Preacher strongly insist upon 
practical religion, and relative duties : but in such 
a manner, as to keep Christ continually in view. 

Prayer and fasting have always been remarkably 
owned ot" God. The regular appointed Fasts are 
the first Friday after the 29ih of September, after the 
first of January, after the 25th of March, and after 
the 24rh of June. 

Meetings for prayer have not been confined to the 
Fast days, but are used weekly, and are productive 
of great good. 

g. How shall we put a stop to smuggling ? — A. 
I. Speak tenderly and frequently of it in every 
Society near the coasts. 2, Carefully disperse the 
*' Word to a Smuggler." 3. Expel all those who 
will not leave it off'. 4. Silence every Local Prea- 
cher who defends it. 

0. How may we prevent bribery at the ensuincr 
Election for Members of Parliament? — A. 1. 
Largely shew the wickedness of thus selling our 
country in every Society. 2. Do the same thing 
in private conversation. 3. Read every where the 
" Word to a Freeholder," and disperse it as it were 
with both hands. But observe, a Voter may suffer 
his expences to be borne, and not incur any blame. 

1768. h\ the month of April, in this year, a re- 
markable work of God began among the children at 
Kingswood School. There was a revival of it in 
September 1770; and another in September 1773. 
These revivals gave Mr. Wesley great satisfaction. 
He had a constant and lively concern, for young 

n6 A Chronological History [176$, 

August 16, 1768, The twenty-fifth Conference 
was held in Bristol. Prom Mr. Wesley's account, 
it appears there was at that time a great want of 
Preachers. His words are, '* O ! What can we do 
for more labourers ? We can only cry to the Lord 
of the harvest,''' 

How remarkable ! In the year Mr. Wesley was 
crying to the Lord of the harvest for more labourers ; 
in the same year the following circumstance took 
place at Oxford. 

Extract of a letter Jrojn Oxford, 
" On Friday last, (March 9, 1768) six Students 
belonging to Edmund Hall were expelled the Unu 
versity, after an hearing ot several hours before Mr. 
Vice Chancellor and some of the Heads of Houses, 
for holding Methodistical tenets, and taking upon 
them to pray, read, and expound the Scriptures, and 
sing hymns in a private house. The principal of 
the College the Rev. Dr. Dixon, defended their 
doctrines from the thirty-nine articles of the esta- 
blished church, and spoke in the highest terms of the 
piety and exempiariness of their lives ; but his mo- 
tion was over-ruled, and sentence pronounced 
against them. 

Dr. Dixon, one of the Heads of Houses present, 
observed, that as these six gentlemen v/ere expelled 
for having too much religion, it would be very pro- 
per to enquire into the conduct of some who had 
too Tittle. And Mr. Vice Chancellor was heard to 
tell their chief accuser that the University was oblig- 
'ed to him for his good work.'* 

** St. James's Chronicle for Thursday March ij, 
The following are the names of the young men, 
with the names of those who passed sentence on 
tliem. The sentence was pronounced in the Cha- 
nel. James Matthews, Thomas Jones, Joseph Ship- 

ijoS.] Of the Pdople called Methodists 117 

irian, Benjamin Kay. Erasmus Middleton and Tho- 
mas Grove. For the crimes above mentioned, We, 
David DurelljD.D.ViceCiiancellorot'the University 
and Visitor of the Hall ; Tlionias Randolph, D. D. 
President of C. C. C; Thomas Fothergii!, D. D. 
Provost ot Qucen's-Collcge ; Thomas Xowell, D. 
D. Principal ot St. Mary-Hall, and the Reverend 
Thomas Aiterbury, A. M. ot Christ-Church, Senior 
Proctor, deetn each ot them worthy of being expel- 
led the Hall ; I therefore by my visitorial power do 
hereby pronounce them expelled." 

Though these young men did not unite with Mr. 
Wesley, yet their expulsion and the noise it made in 
the kingdom by means of a Satyrlcal Sermon call- 
ed the Shaver, published by Mr. John Macgowan 
greatly furthered the cause of Methodism, and re- 
moved the prejudice which many had against Lay- 
Preachers. So true is the remark, " Persecution 
furthers the cause it means to destroy." 

At this Conference the following important mat- 
ter was discussed : 

g, Shall Itinerant Preachers follow trades ? — A. 
This is an important quesiion. And as it is the first 
time it has come before us, it will be necessary to 
consider it thoroughly. The question is not whe- 
ther they may occasionally work with their hands, 
as St. Paul did : but whether it be proper tor them 
to keep shops and follow merchandize. The plea 
that was urged for this was, i. Necessity. 2. Doing 
more good. As to the first, Mr. Wesley promised 
to supply all their necessities. As to thesecond plea, 
Doing more good. It was enquired, Is it not doing evil 
that good may come ? Is not the thing in question, 
both evil in itself, (fdr us) and evil in its conse- 
quences ? I. Is it not with regard to the Travelling 
Preachers evil in itself? Is it well consistent with 
that Scripture, 2. Tuji. ii. 4. N^o man that war- 
eih (i. e, takes on him the profession of a soldier, 
as we eminently do} entangleth hiinsi If with theaffairs 
of this life^ plainly referring to the Roman Law, 

ii8 A Chronological History [i76S\ 

which absolutely forbad any soldier to follow any 
other profession. Is it well consistcnt'Avith that 
word, ** Give attendance to readings to exhortation, 
to teaching : meditate on these things, give thyselj 
wholly to them, i Tim. iv. 13 — 15. Can we be 
said to give ourselves wholly to these things, if we 
follow another profession? Does not our Church, 
in her office of ordination, require every minister to 
do this ? It they do it noc, the more shame tor them. 
We above all should mind it, because every Travel- 
ling Preacher solemnly professes to have nothing 
else to do, and receives his little allowance lor this 
very end. 2. Is it not evil in its consequences ? 
Have not some ill consequences appeared already ? 
And is there not the greatest reason to apprehend that 
still worse will follow ? We are enjoined to give no 
offence cither to Jew or Gentile or to the Church of 
God. But this has already offended, not only many 
ol the world, but many ofour ov/n Brethren. Many of 
the Preachers have been much grieved, yea, and 
those most alive to God. For it one Preacher fol- 
lows trade, so may twenty : so may every one. And 
it any of them trade a little, why not ever so much, 
who can say how far he should go ? Theretore we 
advise the Brethren who have been concerned there- 
in, to give up all and attend to the one business. 
And we doubt not but God will recompence them 
an hundred-fold, even in this world, as well as in 
the world to come. It is true, this cannot be done 
on a sudden. But it may between this and the next 

At the conference in the year 1770, It was agreed, 
*' That no Preacher who would n.A relinquish his 
trade of buying and selling cloth or hardware, &c. 
or making and vending pills, drops, balsams, or 
medicines of any kind, should be considered as a 
Travelling Preacher any longer." From this time 
the evil complained of wa5 removed. 

The work ot God seemed then to be at a stand \\\ 
the Circuits. This led to the iollowing enquiry. 

1768.] Of tkd People called Methodists. 119 

g. What caa bs done to revive and enlarge the 
work of God? — J. 1. Spread our books more, car- 
rv them round the circuit with you, and recommend 
them to the Congregation. 2. Let the preaching at 
five in the morning be constantly kept up. 3. Let 
there be more Field-preaching. 4. Put the be- 
lievers into Bands wherever you can. 5. Chano-e 
the Stewards annually. 6. Beware of formality 
in singing ; guard agamst those complex tunes 
which it is impossible to sing with devotion. 
7. Attend to the Quarterly Fasts. 8. Preach Chris- 
tian-perfection, as a gradual and instantaneous bles- 
sing, and press it upon all believers as their priviledge. 

That we may all speak the same thing, I ask, says 
Mr. Wesley, once for all, Shall we defend this per- 
fection or give it up ? You all agree to defend it, 
meaning thereby, as we did from the beginning, 
Salvation from all sin by the love of God and our 
neighbour filling ihe heart. The Papists say, «* This 
cannot be attained until we have been a sufficient 
time in Purgatory." The Dissenters say, ** Nay, it 
will be attained as soon as the soul and body part." 
The o/d Methodists said, " It may be attained before 
we die : a moment after is too late." Is it so or not ? 
You are all agreed, we may be saved from all sin be- 
fore death. The substance then is settled. But as 
to the circumstance. Is the change instantaneous 
ox gradual? It is both the one and the other. From 
the moment we are justified, there may be 2i gradual 
sanctification, or a growing in grace, a daily advance 
in the knowledge and love of God. And if sin 
cease before death, there must in the nature of the 
thing be an instantaneous change. There must be 
a last moment wherein it does exist, and a 
first moment wherein it does not. But should wc 
in preaching insist on both the one and the other ? 
Certainly we must insist on the gradual change : and 
that earnestly and continually. And are there not rea- 
sons why we should insist on \\\g instantaneous also? 
If there be such a blessed change before death, 
should we not encourage all believers to expect it t 

1 2 o A Ck rono logi ca I His to ry [ i ; 6 9 

And the rather because constant experience shews, 
the more earnestly they expect this, the more swift- 
ly and steadily does the gradual work of God go on 
in their souls ; the more watchful they are against all 
sin, the more careful to grow In grace, the more 
zealous of good works, and the more punctual in 
their attendance on all the ordinances of God. 
Whereas just the contrary efifects are observed, 
whenever this expectation ceases. They are saved 
by hope^ by this hope ot a total change, saved with 
a graduailv increasing salvation. Destroy this hope, 
and that salvation stands still ; or rather decreases 
daily. Therefore, whoever would advance the gra- 
dual change in believers should strongly insist upon 
the instantaneous. 

9. Let the Preachers visit the people from house 
to house, and exhort them to walk closely with God. 

10. Be diligent in meeting the children every week. 

11. Read the lives of Missionaries, particularly that 
of Mr. David Brainard. 12. Keep close to the 
Church, 2. e. go to Church, and exhort the people 
to go there also, for this reason, which we have 
learned from long experience, they that leave the 
Church leave the Methodists. The Clergy cannot 
separate us from our brethren, the Dissenting Mini- 
sters can and do. — These rules are in general excel- 
lent for carrying on the work ot God at any time, or 
in any place. At that time they were all found ne- 
cessary both for the Preachers and the people. 
There was then no service in the forenoon in any 
chapel, except in London, which caused the people 
to wander thus. 

August 1, 1769, The twenty-sixth Conference 
was held in Leeds. It now appeared that Metho- 
dism began to spring up in America. We have, 
says Mr. Wesley, a pressing call from our brethren 
at New York, (who have built a preaching-house,) 
to come over and help them. 

g. Who is willing to go ? — A. Two of our 
Preachers, Richard Boardman and Joseph Pill- 

1769.] Of the People called Methodists. i2f 

vioor^ willingly offered themselves for this service : 
by whom we determined to send them fifty pounds 
as a token of our brotherly love, and twenty pounds 
we gave to our brethren for their passage. 

It is a circumstance worthy of note, that about th? 
same period that the great Head of the Church was 
preparing Messrs. Wesleys, Whitefield and others, 
in this land, to stem the torrent of infidelity, and 
propagate divine truth, he manifested the same care 
and concern for the inhabitants of the New World, 
in raising up that burning and sliiiilng light, Doctor 
Jonathan Edwards, to disseminate the seed of eternal 
life in that barren soil. 

In the year 1729, the spirit was poured out from 
on high, and the divine glory began to shine upon 
the land; but in the year 1733, there was a very re- 
markable revival of the work of God in New Eng- 
land, and great numbers of souls were savingly con- 
verted unto God ; (see a Narrative of the laie work 
of God, at and near Northampton, in New Eng- 
land. Wesley's Works, Vol. 17, Page 110.) 

A ^Q-w years after the Lord greatly owned the la- 
bours of that eminently holy and useful man, Mr. 
David Brainard, who was instrumental in con- 
verting many of the poor ignorant Indians to the 
knowledge of the truth. 

In the year 1735, the Rev. John and Charles 
Wesley visited the Continent ; and in ihe year 1737 
the Rev. George Whitefield crossed the Atlantic to 
preach the Gospel in America. Pie paid them a se- 
cond visit in the year 1739, and tlie spirit of the 
Most High did indeed rest upon that great man. 

He revived that pure religion, which was so re- 
rnarkable in the time of Dr. Edwards, but which 
after his death had decayed. Great was his zeal, and* 
great his success. The zealous Ministers raised by 
his labours, who were distinguished by the denomi- 
nation of New Lights^ became the most numerous 
body in New England : and, strange as it may ap- 
pear^ the old, wise, literary body of Presbyterians, 

122 A Chronological History [i7^9* 

'n a synod held among themselves, formally thrust 
out or excommunicated the majority ; declaring 
•they would have no ministerial union with such 
an illiterate body oi men. But the real Mini- 
sters of God were not to be silenced by such means. 
However this revival also was but of short dura- 
tion. Formality on the one hand, and Antinomia- 
nism on the other, again recovered their ascendancy. 

The following account of the rise of Methodism, 
was given by the Methodist Conference in America, 
in the year 1786. 

" During the space of thirty years past, i. e. from 
the year 1756, certain persons, members of the So- 
cieties, emigrated from England and Ireland, and 
settled in various parts of this count»-y. About 
twenty years ago, 1766, Philip Embury^ a Local 
Preacher from Ireland, began to preach in th.e city of 
New York, and formed i\\e first Society of his own 
countrymen and the citizens. About the same 
time, S766, Robert Sirawbndge, a Local Preacher 
from Ireland, settled in Frederic County, in the 
state of Maryland, and preaching there, formed some 
societies." A little after, Thomas Webb, Esq. at that 
time a lieutenant in the 48th regiment ot toot, preach- 
ed at New York and Philadelphia with great success. 
He, with the assistance of his Iriends, erected a cha- 
pel in New York, in the year 1768, which was the 
first belonging to the Methodi.>t Society in America. 

*' In the year 1769, Richard Boardraan and Jo- 
seph Pillmoor came to New York ; they were the 
first regular Methodist Preachers on the Continent. 
In the year 1771, Francis Asbury and Richard 
Wright, of the same order, went over. In the 
year 1773* Thomas Rankin and George Shadford, 
also went over. In July 1773, the first Conterence 
was held in America, at Philadelphia. Mr. Rankin 
presided at it. There were about one thousand 
Members in the different Societies, six or seven of 
whom were Travelling Preachers. In May 1777, 
there were forty Preachers in the different Circuits, 

'7^9-] Of the People called Methodists. i2^ 

and seven thousand Members, besides many hun- 
dreds of Negroes, who were convinced of sin, and 
many of them happy in the love of God. From the 
year 1777, till alter the peace in 1783, there was no 
regular account from America." 

But the Preachers, with Mr. Asbury at their head, 
held their Annual Conferences regularly during the 
whole time of the war: and in the year 1795 they 
ptiblished in one volume all the minutes of their 
several conferences from the year 1773 to 1794 in- 
clusive. In it may be seen the growth and spread 
of infant Methodism to the manhood of twenty-two 
or tv/enty-three years in the United States of Ame- 

Mr. Asbury was admitted upon trial as a Travel- 
ling Preacher, at the London Conference in 1767. 
He has been, and at present is, the most laborious 
and useful man ever sent by Mr. Wesley to Ameri- 
ca. He now {1802) presides as Bishop over all the 
Methodists in the United States. This honour has 
been conferred upon him because of his steadiness, 
zeal and usefulness. There are now three hundred 
and eighty Itinerant Preachers employed in the 
United States, and near eighty-seven thousand 
Members in the Societies, 

After the Societies began to increase, there was 
nothing Mr. Wesley had so much at heart as that 
the Preachers and people should remain united after 
his death. At this Conference he read the following 

*• My Dear Brethren^ 

'* 1. It has long been ray desire, that all those 
Ministers of our Church, who believe and preach 
Salvation by Faith, might cordially agree among 
themselves, and not hinder but help one another. 
After occasionally pressing this in private conversa- 
tion, wherever I had opportunity, 1 wrote down my 
thoughts upon the head, and sent them to each in a 
letter. Out of fifty or sixty to whom I wrote, only 

124 j^ Chronological History [i7%« 

three vouchafed me an answer. So I gave this up- 
1 can do no more. They are a rope of sand : and 
such they will continue, 

*• 2. But it is otherwise with the Travelling 
Preachers in our connexion. You are at present one 
body. You act in concert with each other, and by 
united councils. And now is the time to consider 
what can be done, in order to continue this union ? 
Indeed, as long as I live, there will be no great dii- 
iiculty : I am, under God, a centre of union to all 
our Travelling, as well as Local Preachers. They 
all know me and my communication. They all love 
me for my work's sake; and therefore, were it only 
out of regard to me, they will continue connected 
with each other. But by wliat means muy this con. 
iicxicn be preserved when God removes me from 
■you ? 

*' 3. I take it for granted, it cannot be preserved 
by any means, between those who have not a single 
eye. Those i\ bo aim. at any thing but the glory of 
God and the salvation of men ; who desire, or seek 
any earthly thing, v/hether honour, profit, or ease, 
will not, cannot continue in the connexion, it will 
not answer their design. Some, perhaps, will pro- 
cure preferment in the Church. Others will turn 
Independants, and get separate congregations, like 
John Edwards and Charles Skelton. Lay your ac- 
counts for this, and be not surprized if some you 
do not suspect be of this number, 

" 4. But what method can be taken to preserve 
a firm union between those who chuse to remain 
together ? Perhaps you m.ight take some such steps 
as these : On notice of my death, let all the Preachers 
in England and Ireland repair to London within six 
•weeks. Let them seek God by solemn fasting and 
prayer. Let them draw up articles of agreement, 
to be signed by those who chuse to act in concert. 
Let those be dismissed who do not chuse it, in the 
most friendly manner possible. Let the remainder 
chuse by votes, a committee of three, five, or 

1769-] Of the People called Methodists, 125 

seven, each of whom is to be Moderator In his 
turn. Let the committee do what I do now. Pro- 
pose Preachers to be tried, admitted, or excluded. 
Fix the place of each Preacher tor the ensuing year, 
and the tim.e of the next Conierence. 

" 5. Can any thing be done now in order to lay 
a foundation for this future union? Would it not be 
well for any that are willing, to sign some articles 
of agreement before God calls me hence ? Suppose 
something like these, 

" We whose names are under-written, being, 
thoroughly convinced of the necessity of a close 
union between those whom God is pleased to use as 
instruments in this, glorious work, in order to pre- 
serve this union between ourselves, are resolved, 
God being our helper, 

'* I. To devote ourselves entirely to God, denying 
ourselves, taking up our cross daily, steadily aiming 
at one thing, to save our own souls, and ihem tiiat. 
hear us. 

*• II. To preach the old Methodist doctrines, and 
no other, contained in fche minutes of the Gonfe- 

" III. To observe and enforce the whofe Metho- 
dist discipline, laid down in the mmures." 

Having lelt these propositwns with the Preacher;?, 
that they might consider rhem maturely, he brought 
them forward at the Conferences in 1773, 1774, and. 
1775; at each of which, all the Preachers present 
signed them.. At the first of these Conferences 
there were forty-eight Preachers present. At the 
.second, twenty -five who were not at the former 
Conference ; and at the third, twenty-eight who 
were at neither of the former ones. These articles 
of union were signed in the whole by one hundred 
and one Preachers. 

From the Ivlinutes of this Conference it appears, 

that the married Preachers were, before this time, 

sent only to the Circuits which could maintain 

^hem. This was productive of many inconvenient 


1^6 J Chronological History [^//o. 

cles, as there were but very few Circuits which 
could do this. To remedy this evil, every Circuit 
was required to do a little towards paying the sti- 
pend of the Preacher's wives ; so that a married 
rreacher might be sent into any Circuit whether it 
could wholly provide for his family or not. 


From the Conference in 1770, to that in Leeds in 

August 7th, 1770, The twenty-seventh Con- 
ference was held in London. At this time the 
names oi" the Preacher's Wives that needed support 
were published, and the Circuits which were to pro- 
vide for them were also mentioned. There were 
then forty-three to be provided for by the Circuits 
in general. The children were to be supported by 
the Circuits on which their parents laboured. It 
was now agreed, that a Preacher should receive 
Twelve Pounds a year for his wite, and Four 
Pounds a year for each of his children, to be paid 
quarterly i the boys till they were eight years of 
iige, fit to go to Kingswood School ; the girls till 
they were fourteen, fit to go to business. 

The failure of some of the Menibers, who were 
men of business, occasioned the following Minute, 

0. What shall we do to prevent scandal when 
any c^f our Members becomes a bankrupt? — A. In 
this (fase, let two of the principal Members of the' 
Society be deputed to examine his accounts, and 
if behave not kept fair accounts, or been concerned 
^n that base practice, of raising money by coining 

1770.] Of tilt People called Methodists. 127 

Notes, (commonly called the bill trade,) let him be 
immediately expelled the Society. 

To raise a bulwark against Antinomianism, the 
following Propositions, respecting Doctrine, were 
now agreed to ; 

Take heed to your doctrine. We said, in 1744, 
*' We have leaned too much towards Calvinism," 
Wherein ? i. *' With regard to Mans Faithfulness, 
Our Lord himself taught us to use the expression. 
And we ought never to be ashamed of it. We 
ought steadily to assert, on his authority, that if a 
man is not faithful in the unrighteous mammon^ 
God will not give him the true riches. 2. With re- 
gard to working for life. This also our Lord has 
expressly commanded us. Labour, fErgazestheJ 
literally, work for the meat that endureth to ever- 
lasting life. And in fact every believer, till he 
comes to glory, woxk^for as well as from life. 3. We 
have received it as a maxim, ** That a man is to do 
nothing, m order to Justification :" nothir:g can be 
more talse. Whoever dtsires to find favour with 
God should cease from evil and learn to do well. 
So God himself teaches by the Prophet Isaiah. 
Whoever repents should do works meet for repen^ 
tance. And if this is not m order to find favour, 
what does he do them for ?'' 

Review the whole affair. 1. Who of us is now 
accepted of God ? He that now believes in Christ, 
with a loving and obedient heart. 2. But who 
among those that never heard of Christ ? Pie that 
feareth God and worketh righteousness, accordino- 
to the light he has. 3. Is this the same wi:h, "^ He 
that is sincere?" Nearly, if not quite. 

4. Is not this " Salvation by works ?" Not by the 
merit ot works, but by works, as a condition. 
^. What have we then been disputing about for these 
thirty years ? I am afraid, about words, (nam.ejy in 
some of the foregoing instances.; 6. As to mi^ni 
itself, of which we have been so dreadfully afraid, 
we are rewarded, according to our works, yea, be~ 

128 A Chron o logic a I Bis to ry L^77^-^ 

causs of our works. How does this differ {vomfor 
the sake of our works? And how differs this trom 
secundum merita operuni. As our works deserve? 
Can you split this hair ? I doubt I cannot. 

7. The grand objection to one of the preceding 
propositions, is drawn from matter of fact. God 
does in fact justify those, who by th.eir own confes- 
sion, neither feared God nor wrought righteousness. 
Is this an exception to the general rule ? It is a 
doubt whether God makes any exception at alL 
But how are we sure that the person in question 
never did fear God and work righteousness? His 
own saying so is not proof: for we know how all 
that are convinced of sm, undervalue themselves in 
every respect. 

8. Does not talking, without proper caution, of 
a justified or sanctified j^^/^?, tend to mislead men ? 
Almost naturally leading them to trust in what was 
done in one moment? Whereas we are every mo- 
ment pleasing or displeasing to God, according to. 
our works. According to the whole of our inward 
tempers, and outward behaviour." 

When these Propositions were published, the 
Honourable and Rev. Walter Shirley, Chaplain ,to 
the Countess of Huntingdon, sent the following 
circular letter through the three kingdoms." 
♦' Sir, 

Whereas Mr. Wesley's Conference is to be held' 
at Bristol, on Tuesday the 6th of August next, it is 
proposed by Lady Huntingdon, and many other 
Christian Friends (real Protestants) to have a meet- 
ing at Bristol, at the same time, of such principal 
Persons, both Clergy and Laity, who disapprove of 
tlie above Minutes ; and as the same are thought 
injurious to the very Fundamental Principles of Chris- 
tianity, it IS turther proposed, that they go in a body 
to the said Conference, and insist upon a formal Re- 
cantation of the said Minutes ; and in case of a re- 
fusal, that they sign and publish their Protest against> 
them. Your presence, Sir, on this occasion is par. 

^77'^''] Of the People called Methodists, 129 

ticularly requested: But if it should not suit your 
convenience to be there, it is desired that you will 
transmit your sentiments on the subject to such per- 
son as you think proper to produce them. It is sub- 
mitted to you, whether it would not be right in the 
opposition to be made to such a dreadful Heresy^ 
to recommend it to as many oF your Christian 
Friends, as well of the Dissenters, as of the esta- 
blished Church, as you can prevail on to be there, 
the cause being of so public a nature. 
I am, Sir, 

Your obedient Servant, 

" P. S. Your answer is desired, directed to the 
Countess of Huntingdon, or the Rev. Mr. Shirley, 
or John Lloyd, Esq. in Bath; or Mr. James Ire- 
land, Merchant, Bristol ; or to Thomas Powis, Esq. 
at Berwick, near Shrewsbury ; or to Richard Hill, 
Esq> at Hawkstone, near Whitchurch, Shropshire. 
Lodgings will be provided. Enquire at Mr, Ire- 
land'5, Bristol." 

This brought on a long controversy between 
the Calvinists and Arminians. In this dispute, 
the Reverend John Fletcher, one of the holier 
men of this age, was eminently conspicuous. With 
wisdom and zeal becoming an apostle, he vindicated 
the Minutes, and silenced his antagonists. What 
"he wrote upon that subject is contained in seven vo- duodecimo ; and is well worthy the perusal of 
all lovers of the Bible. 

This blessed man died Auirnst 14, 1785, in the 
fiTty-sixth year of his age. His life was afterwards 
published by Mr. Wesley, and also by Mr. Gilpen : 
both these Memoirs are very useful and instructive. 

Sunday, Nov. iB, Mr. Wesley being desired by 
Mr. WhitejieUV s Executors to preach his funeral 
sermon, he performed that labour of love on this 
day at the Tabernacle. That blessed man was found 
dead on his knees in his chamber on Sunday, Sept. 
30, 1770, in Newbury, near Boston, in America, 
in the fiFty-fixth year of his age. The text Mr. 

13.<* A Chronological History t^774* 

Wesley cliose was, Let me die the de.ath of the righ. 
(eous, and let my last end be like his, 

August the 6th, 1771, The twenty-eighth Confe- 
rence was held in Bristol. Mr. Wesley observes 
concerning it, " We had more Preachers than 
usual in consequence of" Mr. Shirley's circular 
letter. At ten on Thursday morning, he came with 
nine or ten of his friends. We conversed freely 
for about two hours. And I believe they were sa- 
tisfied, that we were not such dreadful Heretics as 
they imagined, but were tolerably sound m the 

1772, In the beginning ofthis year, ^<7/2n5'??2z/^, on© 
©f the Preachers, who laboured mostly in the North 
of Ireland,, died in the faith. He was a remarkably 
useful man. Many hundreds were converted by 
his instrumentality ; upwards of twenty o\ whom 
afterwards became Preachers.. 

August 4, 1772, The twenty-niuth Conference 
was held at Leeds. 

August 3, 1773, The thirtieth Conference, ia 

In this year, Mr. Wesley published his works in 
thirty-two volumes duodecimo. Some of these 
were extracts from other writers, which he had long- 
circulated among the people : others were wrote on 
the spur of the moment, and manifest the fertility 
q\ his mind ; and others were ccmposed in defence 
of the great doctrines of Christianity. They fornv 
a rich collection of the purest and most exalted di<- 

August 9, 1774, '^^"'^ thirty-Srst Conference was 
held in Bristol. 

Nothing new was done at these Conferences. The 
connexion enjoyed great internal peace though still 
warmly opposed by the Calvinists, on account of 
the minutes which were published in the year 1770. 

The Preachers were mueh united ; but the Socie- 
ties were in general burthened with debt, occasioned 

4774*] Of the People called Methodists, 151 

by their buildinj^ Preaching-houses. The chief part 
oi the time of these Conferences therefore was 
taken up in forming rules in order to extricate the 
people out of these difficulties. 

November 5, 1774, John Downs ^ who had been 
a Preachei' for many years, died in the Lord. On 
the day of his departure he said, ** I feel such a 
love to the people at West-street, (London) that I 
-could be content to die with them. I do not find 
jnyself very well ; but I must be with them this 
evening.'' He went thither, and began Preaching 
on, Co7?ie unto me ye that are zveary and heavy 
iaden. After speaking ten or twelve minutes, he 
«unk down, and spoke no more, till his spirit re- 
turned to God. Mr. Wesley gives him the follow- 
ing character. " I suppose he was, by nature, full 
us great a genius as Sir Isaac Newton. I will men- 
tion but two or three instances of it. When he 
was at school, learning Algebra, he came one day 
to his master, and said, '* Sir, I can prove this 
proposition a better way than it is proved in the 
book." His master thought it could not be ; but 
upon trial, acknowledged it to be so. Some time 
after, his father sent him to Newcastle with a clock 
which was to be mended. He observed the clock- 
maker's tools, and the manner how he took it in 
pieces, and put it together again. And when he 
came home, first made himself tools, and then 
made a clock, which went as true as any in the 
town. A third proof of it was this. Thirty years 
ago, while I was shaving, he was whirling the top 
of a stick. I asked, *' What are you doing?" He 
answered, " 1 am taking your face, which I intend 
to engrave on a copper-plate." Accordingly with- 
out any instruction, he first made himself tools, 
and then engraved the plate. The second picture 
which he engraved, was that which was prefixed to 
the Notes upon tb.c New Testament. I suppose 
such strength of genius has scarce been known ia 
Europe before. 

132 A Chronological History {.^775* 

For several months past, he had far deeper com- 
munion with God than ever he had in his life: and 
for some days he had been frequently saying, '' I 
am so happy that I scarce know how to live. I enjoy 
such fellowship with God, as I thought could not 
be had on this side heaven." And having now fi- 
nished his course of fifty-two years, after a long 
conflict with pain, sickness, and poverty, he glo- 
riously rested from his labours, and entered into the 
joy of his Lord." 

1775. In March of this year, Mr. John Crook, 
at that time a zealous Local Preacher, visited the 
Isle of Man, The Lord blessed his labours with 
uncommon success. He soon commenced an Itine- 
rant Preacher ; and has laboured in that Island at 
different times, between nine and ten years. 

August I, 1775, The thirty-second Conference 
was held in Leeds. Mr. Wesley observes concern, 
ing it : " Having received several letters, intimating 
that many of the Preachers were utterly unqualified 
for the work, having neither grace nor gifts suffi- 
cient for it, I determined to examine this weighty 
charge with all possible exactness. In order to this, 
I read those letters to the Conference ; and begged, 
that every one would freely propose and enforce 
whatever objection he had to any one. The objec- 
tions proposed were considered at large : in two or 
three difficult cases, Committees were appointed for 
that purpose. In consequence of this, we were all 
fully convinced, that the charge advanced, was 
without foundation : that God had really sent those 
labourers into his vineyard, and had qualified them 
for the work. And we were all more closely united 
together than we had been for many years." 

It was also asked, g. Are not many of the Classes 
too large? — A. Yes, Divide every one which con- 
tains above thirty members. It would be well if 
this rule was constantly attended to. 

After the Preachers had signed the articles of 

1776.] Oftkt PcQplc called Methodists, l%% 

Union, already mentioned, they concluded with 
these words, '* We all deny that there is, or can be, 
any merit, properly speaking, in Man,'* 

August 6, 1776, The thirty-third Conference was 
held in London. Mr. Wesley was very strict in 
examining into the gifts, graces, and usefulness of 
the Preachers. The result was, one was excluded 
for insufficiency, and two for misbehaviour. ** And, 
says he, *' we were thoroughly satisfied, that all the 
rest had both grace and gitts for the work wherein 
they were engaged." At that time there were one 
hundred and fifty -five Travelling Preachers in Great 
Britain and Ireland. 

Mr. Wesley's, Fletcher's, and SelIon*s works 
were recommended to the Preachers as an antidote 
against the poisron of absolute Predestination ; in 
lorder that they might be enabled to guard the 
people against being drawn away by that doc- 

August 13, 1776, Thomas Coke, L. L. D. joined 
Mr. Wesley. He thus speaks of this incident in his 
eighteenth Journal, page 23. " Being at Kingston, 
near Taunton, I found a Clergyman, Dr. Coke, late 
Gentleman-Commoner of Jesus College, in Oxford, 
who came twenty miles on purpose. I had much 
conversation with him, and a union then began, 
which I tvu-st shall never end.** ,His name did not 
appear on the Minutes till the year 1778. In that 
year he was appointed to labour in London. Since 
that time he lias been a very active useful man in 
the connexion. 

April 2, 1777, Mr Wesley laid the foundation- 
stone of the New Chapel in London, 

May 18, 1777, Mr. Wesley says in his journal. 
" I buried the body of Jose/ik Guilford, a holy man, 
and a useful Preacher. Surely never before did a 
man of so weak talents, do so much good ! He died 
as he lived, in the full triumph of faith, vehemently 
rejoicing in and praising God!'* 

*34 Jf Chronological History 0777, 

August 5, 1777, The thirty-fourth Conference 
Vas held in Bristol. Mr. Wesley observes concerning 
it, *' I now particularly enquired of every Assist- 
ant fas that report had been spread far and wide) 
Jlave you reason to believe from your own observa- 
tion, that the Methodists are a fallen people? Is 
there a decay or an increase in the work of God 
where you have been ? Are the Societies in general 
'more dead or more alive to God than they were some 
years ago?" The almost universal answer was, 
•' If we must know them by their fruits, there is no 
decay in the work of God, among the people in ge- 
neral. The Societies are not dead to God : they 
are as much alive as they have been for many years. 
And we look on this report as a mere device of Sa^ 
tan, to make our hands hang down." 

** But to come to a short issue. In most places, 
the Methodists are still a poor despised people, labour 
ing under reproach, and many inconveniencies : 
therefore, wherever the power of God is not, they de. 
crease. By this then you may form a sure judg- 
ment. Do the Methodists in general decrease in 
number ? Then they decrease in grace : they are a 
fallen, or at least a falling people. But they do not 
decrease in number ; they continually increase : 
therefore they are not a fallen people." 

•* The Conference concluded in much love. But 
there was one jarring string ; John Hilton told us, 
he must withdraw from our connexion, because he 
saw the Methodists were a fallen people." 

Mr. Wesley, for the first time, mentioned in the 
Minutes of this Conference, those persons who died 
in the work. 

g. What Preachers have died this year? — A. 
John Slocombcy at Clones, an old labourer, worn out 
in the service. John Harrison, near Lisbum, a pro- 
mising yoiuh, serious, modest, and much devoted to 
God. IVtUiam Lumley at Hexham, a blessed young 
man, a happy witness of the full liberty of the chil- 
dren of God. And }Villta?n Mindiiorp, near Dun* 
inr, an Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile. 

1777-1 OJ the Feopk called Methodists* 1-35 

The propriety of inserting these accounts appear* 
ed at once, so that the same has been done every, 
year from that time. Thus an honourable testirao* 
ny has been borne concerning those who have de- 
served it, and who have continued to labour in uni- 
on with their brethren till they finished their course; 
it has served also to excite the survivors to follow; 
them as they followed Christ. 

g. What is the Yearly subscription ? — A, No- 
thing. There is only one contribution this yeai:, 
namely, For the New Chapel in London. 

Great exertions were made by the Preachers for 
that Chapel ; but this was soon forgotten, and a law- 
suit commenced about it in little more than a year 
after Mr. Wesley's death 1 When the suit had cosX 
1200I. the difference was amicably settled ! Before 
the agreement took place, the Lord Chancellor de^ 
termined the four following particulars, i. That th^ 
majority of the Trustees bound the minority in ^l 
things agreeable to the letter of the Trust-deed. 
2, That the Trustees had a right to choose Stewards for 
themselves, in order to manage the concerns of the 
Trust. 3. That whatever money was subscribed by 
individuals and laid out on the Trust premises, was 
to be disposed of by the Trustees according to their 
Trust-deed. 4. That no Trustees could remove a 
Preacher from the Pulpit without proving him immoral 
in his life, or erroneous in his doctrine. 

At the Conference in the year 1796, when the 
above dispute was settled, it was asked, 

jg. How shall we avoid the being entangled- in 
Law ? — A, Let no district meetings, no Preacher, 
or number of Preachers, or people whatsoever, on 
any consideration, involve the Conference in a Law- 
suit, nor. have any demand on the Conference fc*- 
the expences, or any part of the expences of a Law- 
suit ; more especially concerning Chapefs or Preach- 
ing-houses, without the consent of the Conference 
previously obtained." 

Ixi the course af this Law-suit, when it was in the 
N 2 

13^ A Chronological History 077^' 

Exchequer in equity, the Counsel for the Trus- 
tees urged the Couri to appoint a Receiver ot" the re- 
venues of the Trust Premises. The Lord Chief 
Baron said, ** The Trustees are in possession, and 
the Charity goes on.'* Viewing the Chapels vest- 
ed in the hands of Trustees in the light of a Chari- 
ty, has produced two good consequences, i. That it 
is no sin tomake collections for them on the Lord's 
day. 2. That if any Trustees were to embezzle the 
Revenues of the Chapels and refuse to shew their 
accounts, they can be made to shew them by an ap- 
peal to the Court of Chancery. 

January i, 1778, Mr. Wesley began to publish a 
periodical work, which he entitled *• The Armini- 
an Magazine ; consisting of Extracts and Original 
Treatises on Universal Redemption." He continu- 
ed this work while he lived. The Conference have 
done the same since his death. It is a very useful 
work, has been widely circulated, and has done 
much good. 

1778. This summer Mr. Wesley held a Confe- 
rence at Dublin in Ireland. The Rev. Edward 
Smyth, (who some time before had been expelled 
from a church in the North of Ireland, for preach- 
ing the truth,) was now in connexion with the 
Methodists. He revived the controversy respecting 
the Church of England, and laboured with all his 
might, and with manifest uprightness of mind, to 
persuade Mr. Wesley and the brethren to separate 
from it. The debate ended by the Conference 
agreeing to the following propositions, which were 
afterwards adopted by the English Conference, and 
published in the Minutes. 

Q. Is it not our duty to separate from the Church, 
considering the wickedness both of the clergy and 
the people? — A> We conceive not. 1. Because 
both the priests and the people were full as wicked 
in the Jewish Church, and yet God never com- 
manded the holy Israelites to separate from them^ 

J778.] Of the People called Methodists* 1 37 

2. Neither did our Lord command his disciples to 
separate from them, he rather commanded the con- 
trary. 3. Hence it is clear, that could not be the 
meaning of St. Paul's words, Coine out from among 
them, and be ye separated 

jg. Have we a right view of our work? — A. 
Perhaps not. It is not to take care of this or that 
Society, or to preach so many times : but to save as 
many souls as we can : to bring as many sinners as 
we can to repentance, and with all our power to 
build them up in that holiness, without which they 
cannot see the Lord. 

(g. Why do so many of our Preachers fall into 
nervous disorders ? — A. Because they do not suf- 
ficiently observe Dr. Cadogans rules. To avoid in- 
dolence and intemperance. They do indeed use 
exercise. But many of them do not use enough : 
not near so much as they did before they were 
Preacliers. And sometimes they sit still a whole 
day. This can never consist with health. They 
are not intemperate in the vulgar sense. They are 
neither drunkards nor gluttons. But they take 
more food than nature requires j particularly in the 

2- What advice would you give to those that are 
nervous ? — A. Advice is made for them that will 
take it. But who are they ? One in ten, or twenty ? 
Then 1 advise. 1. Touch no dram, tobacco, or 
snufF. 2. Eat very light, if any, supper. 3. Break- 
fast on nettle, or orange-peel tea. 4. Lie down 
before ten ; rise before five. 5. Everyday use as 
much exercise as you can bear: or, 6. Murder 
yourselt by inches." These rules are as necessary 
for the people as the Preachers. 

August 4, 1778, The thirty-fifth Conference was 
held in Leeds. The following minute is all that is 
either new or important. 

Q. Is it not adviseabie for us to visit all the jail$ 


13^ A Chronological Histo ry [ i y ^g.,- 

we can? — A, By all means. There cannot be 3 
greater charity." 

Sunday, Nov. 1, Mr. Wesley opened the new 
Chapel in London. 

August 3, 1779, The thirty-sixth Conference 
was held in London. Now, for the first time, ap- 
peared a general decrease, which made Mr. Wesley 

g. How can we account for the decrease in so 
many Circuits this year? — A. It may be owing, 
partly to want of preaching abroad, and of trying 
Tiew places : partly to prejudice against the King, 
and speaking evil of dignities, (at the time of the 
American war) but chiefly to the increase of worldly 
mindedness, and conformity to the world, 

g. How can we stop this evil-speaking? — A. 
Suffer none tl^iat speak evil of those in authority, or 
that prophesy evil to the nation, to preach with us. 
Let every Assistant take care of this. 

There was also a want of money to carry on the 
work. The collections fell short. This induced 
the Conference to adopt the following measures-, 
that it might not be so in future. Part of the 
yearly subscription had been hitherto set apart to 
pay off the debts of the Chapels; it was now agrecid 
that it should be so no more. The following re- 
gulations v^^ere adopted. " 1. Let every Circuit 
bear its own burden, and not lean upon the Con- 
ference. 2. Tell every one expressly, " We do 
not make a subscription for paying debts." 3. Let 
all the Assistants in Ireland do the same as those in 

From hence it appears, that the support of the 
Gospel depends on the piety of the people. This^ 
is universally true. 

The following Minutes also appear; 

g. Shall any Assistant take into the Society, any 
vwhom his predecessor has put out?— ^. Not without 
&yst consulting him.. 

1781.] Of the People called Methodists. 13^ 

. What can be done to revive the work in Scot- 
land p — ^. 1. Preach abroad as much as possible. 
2. Try every town and village, 3. Visit every 
member of every Society at home. 

Sunday, August 8, 1779, Mr- Wesley observes 
in his Journal, " This was the last night which I 
spent at the Foundry. What hath God wrought 
therein forty years!!" He now removed to the 
house built for him and the Preachers in the City 

August 1, 1780, The thirty-seventh Conference 
began at Bristol. Mr. Wesley observes concerning 
it, " We have been always hitherto straitened for 
time. In future let nine or ten days be allowed for 
each Conference, that every thing relative to the 
carrying on of the work ot God may be maturely 
considered." At this time the large Minutes con- 
taining the whole of our discipline, were revised, 
and solemnly confirmed. 

June 7, 1781, Mr. Wesley being in the Isle of 
Man, says, '* I met our little body of Preachers. 
There were two and twenty in all." (Local Preach- 
ers.) So greatly had God blessed the word since 
Mr. Crook first visited them in the year 1775. 

August 7, 1781, The thirty-eighth Conference 
was held at Leeds. The followmg matters were 

g. If Bankrupts ever are able, is it not their 
duty to pay their whole debt? — A, Doubtless it is. 
It they do not, they oughi not to continue in our 

g. Ought we not to exhort all dying persons, to 
be then, at least, merciful after their power? — A. 
We ought ; without any regard to the reflections 
which will be cast upon us on that account. 

At this Conference, Mr. Wesley began to draw 
money out of the Preachers Fund, in order to 
support the wives of the Travelling Preachers, 
■which could not be supported by the Circuits, it 

140 A Ch ronological History [1781. 

was naw agreed to request the people to contribute 
to the Fund. Mr. Wesley drew up the following 
address to be presented to the people on the occa- 
sion. It had the desired effect, the people willingly 
contributed to the support of their old Preachers. 

*• To the Members and Friends of the Methodist 

** Friends and Brethren, 

** As several of the Preachers in our connection, 
who have spent their time and strength in calling 
sinners to repentance, are now so superannuated that 
they can no longer keep a Circuit, and as others of 
them (who are gone to iheir reward) have left des- 
titute widows and children behind them: in oider 
to make some small provision for these^ it has been 
agreed on in Conference, that every Travelling 
Preacher shall, out of his little allowance, subscribe 
a guinea yearly. 

*' But as this sum is in no wise sufficient to an- 
swer the growing demands, several of our friends 
have offered their assistance, by subscribing some- 
thing yearly : and if others of you shall see good to- 
follow their laudable example, it will, no doubt, be 
pleasing to God, a comfort to his worn-out servants,, 
and a great encouragement 10 those who are stili la- 
bouring in our Lord's vineyard; and, of conse- 
quence, give great satisfaction to your affectionate 
brethren and servants in the Gospel, 

A. B. \ ^ 
C D f -Stewards. 

Rules respecting taking out marned Preachers to 
travel. It was observed, ** As we have neither 
money nor houses for any more wives, What can 
we do ? — A. We must admit no more married 
Preachers, unless in defect of single Preachers." 
At the Conference in 1798, it was asked, 
g. Why cannot more married Preaciers be taken 
out to travel, seeing we have many of unblemished 

1782.] Of the People called Methodists. 141 

characters in divers Circuits? — A, 1. Because our 
temporal circumstances are exceedingly straitened, 
so that we cannot provide for them. 2. We have, 
at present, a sufficiency oF single men to supply 
the Circuits." In the year 1800, it was asked, 

" g. Have not some Local Preachers been in- 
jured, by being encouraged to expect they should 
be called out to travel, without sufficient reason ? — • 
A. This has been the case in a few instances. And 
that it may not be the case any more, Let no 
Preacher, or number of Preachers, encourage any 
person to give up his business, and prepare to travel, 
without the authority of the Conference." 

It was also asked at this Conference in 1781, 

** g. Can we erect a School for Preachers chil- 
dren in Yorkshire ? — A, Probably we may. Let 
our brethren think of a place, and a master, and 
send me word." This has been often talked of, 
but nothing has been done. The reasons are, i. 
Want of unanimity among the brethren respecting 
the measure. 2. Want of money to defray the ex- 

In July 1782, Dr. Coke was delegated by Mr. 
Wesley to hold a Conference in Dublin. This has 
been continued annually at the' same place ever 
since, and Dr. Coke has for the most part presided 
at it. It has, under God, proved a great blessing 
to the Irish Methodists. At this time, (1782} there 
were only fifteen Circuits, thirty-four Travelling 
Preachers, and six thousand four hundred and 
seventy-two members in the Societies. At present 
(1802J there are more than double that number of 
Circuits, Preachers and members. 

August 6, 1782, The thirty-ninth Conference 
was held in London. At this time the Trustees of 
the Chapel at Birstali, in Yorkshire, manifested a 
want of confidence in Mr. Wesley, and the Con- 
ference. They desired liberty to chuse Preachers, 
lu connexion with the body ; but they were not 

142 ^ Chronological History [1788. 

willing to subiTili to ?}.e appointment of the Con- 
ference. Tir, y vv^rc tiie more positive in this, as 
their Ch-ipel.wjb iu;t iCitlcd according to the Me- 
thodist plan. 

This was the fiist time that any thing o^ the kind 
appeared. (It was in tins pLiCc tl at John Ntlson 
began his labours. j The toliowng resolutions were 

2* VV^hat can be done wi-h r< gard to the preaih- 
ing house at Birstall ? — A. If the Trustees still re- 
fuse to settle it on the Methodist plan, 1. Let a plain 
state of the case be drawn up. 2. Let a collection 
be made throughout all England, in order to pur- 
chase ground, and to build another preaching-house 
as near the present as may be. This difference, after 
a time, was amicably settled. The following mi- 
nutes also appear. 

g. Several members of our Societies who make 
conscience of Sabbath- breaking, have been much 
distressed; Barbers in particular. What can be 
done to relieve them? — A. i. Let no members of 
our Society have their hair dressed on a Sunday. 
2. Let all our members that possibly can, employ 
those barbers. 

g. Is it well for our Preachers to powder their 
hair, or to wear artificial cui:ls? — A. To abstain 
from both is the more excellent way. 

g. Ought any person to be continued as a mem- 
ber of our Society in Ireland, who learns, or per- 
forms the military exercise as a volunteer, on the 
Lord's day? — J. No: certainly. Let him be ex- 
cluded. N . B. Meeting on the parade, in order 
to attend divine service, is not to be considered as 
an infnngement of this rule. Nor shall the above 
minute refer to any thing which it m?iy be neces-- 
sary for them to do, in case of an actual invasion, 

g. Ought any person to be excluded our Society, 
who, after proper admonition, will on the Lord's- 
day continue a spectator of the exercise of thQ VQ« 
lunteers ?— .^, Certainly they ought* 

1782.] Of the People called Methodists, 143 

It was recommended to every Assistant to remind 
every Society that our or-gina! rule was, 1. For 
every member to contribute one penny weekly, 
(unless in extreme povtity.) 2. And one shilling 
quarterly, at the renewing of the Tickets. 3. ' And 
to ask each member, Can you afford to observe our 
rule ? And receive what he is able to give. It was 
-then observed ; " The Scripture says, If anj man 
that is called a brother be a fornicator ^ or covet* 
ous, with such an one no not to eat. And put away 
from among yourselves that wicked person. This 
is an express command : and it is of unspeakable 
importance. These money-lovers are the pest of 
every Christian Society. They have been the main 
cause of destroying every revival ot religion. They 
will destroy us, it we do not put them awaj^. 2, But 
how shall we know them, without the miraculous 
discernment of Spirits? — A. i. By their own con- 
fession. Tell any one alone, v/ith all tenderness, 
*' I am to give an account of your soul to God. 
Enable me to do it with joy. I am afraid you are 
covetous. Answer me a few questions, in order 
to remove that fear." 2. By their fruits. For in- 
stance, a man not worth a shilling enters our So- 
ciety. Yet he freely gives a penny a week. Five 
years after, he is worth scores of pounds. He gives 
a penny a week still. I must think this man covet- 
ous, unless he assures me he bestows his charity 
some other way. For every one is covetous, whose 
beneficence does not increase in the same propor» 
tion as his substance." 

The following rules were agreed to. 

0. Shall we insist on that rule," Sing no 
hymns ot y<»ur own composing ? — A. Undoubtedly: 
and let those who will not promise this, be ex- 
cluded at ihe next Conference." 

0* It was agreed last year, that all the Preach- 
ers should join as one man to prevent people's talk- 
ing before and alter sermon. Has tuis been done ? 
— ^. Hardly at all. 

144 A Chronological History [0^3' 

i2» But what can be done now,? — A. i. Let the 
Preacher desire every person to go silently away. 
2. Let no Preacher speak one word in the preach- 
ing-house, 3. Let each Preacher do this over 
and over, till the point is gained.*' It was also ad- 
ded, " No person can be a Travelling Preacher, who 
cannot preach both morninj and evening, 

July 29, 1783, The fortieth Conference was held 
in Bristol. Mr. Wesley found it necessary at this 
time, to change the master of Kingswood School, 
on account of a total want of discipline. He ob- 
serves also, *' The children must never play; and 
a master must be always present with them." He 
"Would have them, instead of play, to learn husbandry, 
or some mechanic art. At this Conference it was 
also enquired, 

jg. What can be done to get all our preaching- 
houses settled on the Methodist plan? — A. Let Dr. 
Coke visit the Societies throughout England, as far 
as is necessary for the accomplishment of this de- 
sign; and let the respective Assistants give him all 
the support in their power. This work exposed the 
Doctor for a time to a great deal of reproach, 
and in many instances he failed of his object. 

Mr. Wesley •♦ acknowledged, that the needlessly 
multiplying of Preaching-houses was a great evil," 
but it does not appear that he or the Conference 
could prevent it. So they endeavoured to bear it as 
well as they could. 

February 14, 1784, Mr. Wesley consulted with 
the London Preachers respecting a proposal of send- 
ing Missionaries to the East Indies; and observes, 
** After the matter had been fully considered, we 
were unanimous in our judgment — That we have 
no call thither yet, no invitation, no providential 
opening of any kind." Perhaps the time will shortly 

February 28, 1784, Mr. Wesley executed the 
Deed or Declaration, constituting one hun- 

,^54-] OJ the Peoplt called Methodists. 145 

died of the travelling Preachers, " The Conference 
of the People called Methodists." The design of 
this was to give a legal specification of that pinase 
*' The Conference of the People called Methodists." 
which is inserted in all the Deeds of the Chapels. 
By virtue of this Deed, the Conference claims the 
power of appointing Preachers to preach in those 
Chapels. It is as follows ; 

Jn Attested Copy of Mr. Wesley's Declaration 
and Establishment of the Conference of the People, 
called Methodists, enrolled in his Majesty's High 
Court of Chancery 

Co 3fl to IDfjOm these Presents shall come, 
John Wesley, late of Lincoln-College, Ox- 
ford, but now of the City-Road, London, 
Clerk, sendeth greeting: 

WHEREAS divers Buildings commoniv caMed 
Chapels, with a messuage and dwelling-house, or 
other appurtenances to each of the same belong-ng, 
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 o£ 
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 Trus- 
tees in the said several deeds respectively named, and 
the survivors 01 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 

14^ -^ Ch rono logical History [ 1 7^4 . 

he should nominate and appoint, might therein 
j)reach and expound God's holy word : And upon 
iurthcr 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 ior 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 afore- 
said : and after the decease of the survivor of them 
the said John Wesley and (viiarles Wesley, then 
upon further trust, that the said respective Trustees 
and the survivors of them and their heirs a:id assigns, 
and the Trustees for the time being for ever, sliouid 
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 Metho- 
dists 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 
inessuages and dwelling-houses or other appurte- 
nances to the same belonging, situate in various 
parts of Great Britain, and also in Ireland, to cer- 
tain trustees, in each of the said giits and convey- 
ances 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 
treated 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 mean- 
ing thereof, it has been thought expedient by the 
said John Wesley, on behalf of himself as donor 
ot the several Chapels, with the messuages, dwel- 
ling-houses, or appurtenances before mentioned, as 

1784'] OJ the People called Methodists, 147 

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 Conterence 
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 suc- 
cession and identity thereof is to be continued; 
Now therefore these presents witness^ that for ac- 
complishing 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 con- 
sisted of the Preachers and Expounders of God's 
holy word, commonly called Methodist Preachers, 
in connection 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, ur 
Leeds, to advise with them for the promotion of tli« 
gospel of Christ, to appoint ihe said persons so 
summoned, and the other Preachers and Expounders 
of God's holy word, also in connection with, and 
under the care ol the said Jolin Wesley, not sum* 
iRoned 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 ot unworthy and admission of new 
persons under his care and into his connection to be 
Preachers and Expounders as aforesaid, and also of 
other persons upon trial for the like purposes ; the 
names oi all which persons so summoned by the 
said John Wesley, the persons appointed with the 
Ciiapcls and premises to which they were so ap- 
pointed, together with the duration ot such ap- 
pointments, and of those expelled or admitted into 

O a 

14^ A Chrcnohgical History [17S4. 

connection or upon trial, with all oth^r matters 

transacted and clune at the said yearly Conference, 
have year by year been printed and published under 
the title of Minutes of Conference. And these pr t- 
sents further witness, and the said John Wesley doth 
hereby av( uch and further declare, that the several 
persons herein after named, to wit, the said John 
Wesley c.nJ Ciiarles Wesley,* of the city of London ; 
John Aiiefi*, Bristol; Charles Almore, York; 
John Booili, Colchester; Jeremiah Brettel, Lynn; 
Johri Barber, Northampton ; John Brcadbent,* 
Oxford ; John Brettel,* Gloucester ; Samuel Bards- 
ley, Macclesfield ; Joseph Bradford, Leicester ; 
Samuel Bradburn, Leeds; Isaac Brown, Birstall ; 
Joseph B:nson, Haliiax; George Button, Isle of 
Man; Thomas Briscot^', Yarm ; William Broothby*, 
Newcastle upon Tyne ; Andrew Blair*^, Corke >. 
George Brown, Clones; Thomas Barber, Charle? 
mont ; Thomas Coke, London; James Creighton, 
London; Thomas Cooper, Colchester; Joseph 
Cole, Oxford ; Jonathan Cousins, Gloucester j 
Thomas Carliil*, Grimsby; Thomas Corbitt*, 
Gainsborough ; Pvobert Costcrdine*, Colne, Wil- 
liam Collins*. Sunderland ; John Crook, Lisburne ; 
William Dufton*, Halifax; Thomas Dixon, New- 
castle upon Tyne; John Easton*, Colne; John 
Fenwick*, Burslem ; Henry Foster*, Belfast; 
William Green*, Bristol; John Goodwin, Chester, 
Parson Greenwood*, Liverpool ; James Hall*, Ply- 
mouth ; William Hoskins*, Cardiff; Joseph Har- 
per^, Grimsby ; Thomas Hanby*, Burslem ; Tho- 
mas Hanson*, Huddersfield ; Lancelot Harrison, 
Scarborough ; Robert Hopkins, York ; Christo- 
pher Hopper*, Newcastle upon Tyne; William 
Huiitei*, Berwick upon Tweed; Edward Jackson, 
Hull ; Daniel Jackson, Diiblin ; Joshua Keighle) *, 
Seven Oaks; John Leech, Brecon ;• Thomas Long- 
ley, Derby ; Robert Lindsay*, Sligo ; John Ma- 
son*, Salisbury ; John Moon*. Plymouth Dock ;- 
John Murlin*, Manchester ; William Myles, Not- 

1784.] Of the People called Methodists, 149 

tingharn ; Alexander Mather*, Brad forth ; Henry- 
Moore, Cork; Duncan M'Allum, Aberdeen; Jo- 
nathan Parkin, Lynn; Joseph Pescod, Bedforxi ; 
Wilham Percival, Manchester: John Pawson, 
York ; Christopher Peacock", Yarm ; John Pea- 
cock*, Barnard Castle ; Nc4icmiah Pi ice*, Athlone; 
Richard Rodda, Birminghatn; Thomas Rankin*, 
London; James Rogers, Macclesfield; Jeremiah 
Robertshaw*, Leicester ; James Ray*, Gainsbo- 
rough ; Robert Roberts*, Leeds ; Benjai»'in Rhodes, 
Keighiey ; Jasper Robinson*, Isle of Man; Tho- 
mas Riithertord, Dublin; George Story, Salisbury ; 
William Saunders*, Brecon ; William Simpson*, 
Sheffield ; Robert Scott*, Lincoln ; George Shad- 
ford*, Hull ; John Shaw*. Huddersfield ; Joseph 
Saunderson, Dundee; Thomas Tennant*, London; 
James Thom, St. Austle ; Joseph Taylor, Red- 
ruth; Thomas Taylor, Sheflfield ; William Thomp- 
son*, Leeds ; Barnabas Thomas*, Hull ; W^iliiam 
Thorn*, Whitby ; Zechariah Udall, Liverpool ; 
Thomas Vasey, Liverpool; John Valton*, Bristol; 
James Wood. Rochester ; Richard Whatcoat, Nor- 
wich ; Christopher Watkins*, Northampton ; Fran- 
cis Wrigley, St. Austle ; Duncan Wright*, Chester ^ 
William \Varrener, Dundee ; Richard Watkinson*, 
Limerick; Gentlemen, being Preachers and Expoun- 
ders ot God's holy word under the care and in connec- 
tion 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 befcre-named, and, 

Note. Ai the end of the names, are the places where 
those Preachers were stationed at the time the deed was 
made and inrolled. This mark * shews that those Preach- 
ers have died, or ceased to travel ; as none but Itinerant 
Preachers can be of the hundred who constitule the Con- 


15<5 A Chronological History [17S4J 

their successors for ever, to be chosen as herein after 
mentioned, are and s'nall for ever be construed, taken 
and be the conference of the People called Methodists. 
Nevertheless upon the teims and subject to the regu- 
lations herein-alter 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, Bris- 
tol, or Leeds (except as after mentioned) for the 
purposes aforesaid; and the time and place of hold- 
ing every subsequent Conference shall be appointed 
at the preceding one, save that the next Conterence 
alter the date hereof, shall be holdcn at Leeds in 
Yorkshue, the last Tuesday in July next. 

Second, The act of the majority in nun^berof the 
Conference assembled as aforesaid, snail be had, 
taken, and be the act of the whole Conference to all 
intents, purprises, and constructions whatsoever. 

Third, That after the Conference shall be assem- 
bled 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 
a sufficient number of persons objects of such elec- 
tion: and during the assembly ot 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 
Con'erence, shall not be less than five days, nor 
more than three weeks, and be concluded by the 
appointment o\ the Conference, if under twenty- 
pne days ; or otherwise the conclusion thereof shall 

1784-] Of the People called MetJiodists, i^t 

follow of course at the end of the said twenty-one 
days; the whole of all which said time of the as- 
sembly of the Conference shall be had, taken, con- 
sidered, and be the yearly Conterence ot the PcojdIg 
called Methodists, and all acts ol the Conference 
during such yearly assembly thereof, shall be the 
acts of the Conference and none others. 

Sixth, Immediately after all the vacancies occa- 
sioned by death or absence are filled up by the elec- 
tion of new members as atoresaid, the Conference 
shall chuse a president and secretary of their assem- 
bly out of tliemselves, 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 tvv^o members in all acts of the Conference 
during his presidency, and such other powers, pri- 
vileges and authorities, as the Conference shall from 
time to time see fit to entrust into his hands. 

Seventh, Any member of the Conference absent- 
ing hnnself from the yearly assembly thereof for 
two years successively without the consent or dis- 
pensation 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 io all intents and purposes, 
as though he was naturally dead. But the Confe- 
rence shall and may dispense \yith 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 menjber thereof. 

Eighth, The Conference shall and may expel and 
put out from being a m.ember thereof, or from being 
in connection theiewith, or from being upon trial, 
any person member of the Conference, admitted 
into connection, or upon trial, for any cause which 

1^2 J Chronological History [1784. 

the Conference may see fit or necessary ; and 
every nieinber ot tliC Conleience so expelled and 
pui our, shall cease 10 be a member theieuf to all in- 
tents and Durposes, as though he was naturally dead. 
And trie Conlerence numediaieiy after tiie expulsion 
of any mt-nibcr tliereuf as abnesaid, shall elect 
another person to be a member of the Conleience in 
the ^tead ui s'.;ch member so expelled. 

Nini^ Tiie Conference shall and may admit into 
connection with tiiem, or upon trial, any person or 
perst>ns whom they sliall approve, to be Preachers 
and Expoundeis of God's holy word, under the care 
land direction of the Conference, the name ol every 
such person or persons so adniitied into connection 
or upon trial as aforesaid, with the time and de- 
grees of the admission, being entered in the Jour- 
nals or Minutes of the Conference. 

Tenths No person shall be elected a member of the 
Conference who hath not been admitted in connec- 
tion with the Conference as a Preacher and Expoun- 
der of God's holy u'ord, as aforesaid, lor twelve 

£icvetithy The Conference shall not nor may no- 
minate or appoint any person to the use and enjoy- 
ment 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 con- 
veyed upon the trusts aforesaid, who is not either a 
member ot the Conference, or admitted into con- 
nection 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 chap- 
pels and premises already given, or to be given or 
conveyed upon the trusts aforesaid, except ordained 
jijiUisters ot the church of England. 

Tzvei/t/i, That the Conference shall and may ap- 
point the place of holding the yearly assembly there- 
of at any other city, town, or place than London, 
Bristol or Leeds, when it shall seem expedient so to 

Thirieenihf And for the convenience of the chap* 

1784.] Of the People called Methodists, 1^3 

pels 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 noc 
otherwise, appoint and delegate any member or mem- 
bers 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 con- 
ference so appointed and delegated as aforesaid, the 
same being put into writing, and signed by such de- 
legate 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 pur- 
poses whatsoever, from the respective times, when 
the same shall be done by such delegate or delegates ; 
notwithstanding any thing herein contained to the 

Fourteenthy All resolutions and orders touching 
elections, admissions, expulsions, consents, dispen- 
sations, delegations, or appointments and acts what- 
soever of the Conference shall be entered and writ- 
ten in the Journals or Minutes of the Conference 
which shall be kept for that purpose, publickly 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 enter- 
ed 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, receiv- 
ed, and be evidence of all and every such acts of 
the said Conference.^and of their said Delegates with- 
out 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 

1^4 -^ Chronological History f^^^i* 

are hereby required and obliged to enter and sub- 
scribe as aforesaid every Act whatever of the Confe- 

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 mem.bers 
thereof shall decline or neglect to meet together an- 
nually for the purposes atoresaid, during the space 
of three years, that then, and in either of the said 
events, the Conference of the people called Metho- 
dists 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 afore- 
said, 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^ 
<md the survivors of them, and the Trustees for the 
time being, do, shall, and may appoint such persoa- 
and persons to preach and expound God's holy 
word therein, and to have the use and enjoyment 
thereoFj 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 extin- 
guish, lessen, or abridge the Liie-estate of the 
said John Wesley, and Charles Wesley, or either of 
them, of and m any of the said Chapels and pre- 
mises, 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 auiht<ruy wl'atsoever. In wit- 
ness whereof the said John Wesley hath hereunto 
set his hand and seal, tiie tweniy-eighth day of Fe- 
bruary, in the twenty-fourth year ot the reign of 
ou Sovereign Lord George the 1 bird, by the Grace 
ot Gud ot Greac Britain, France, and Ireland, King» 
Defender of the faith, and so torth, and in tiie yesu: 

*7^4-] Of Cue People called Methodists. 155 

■of oar Lord one thousand, seven hundred and 


Sealed and Delivered (being first duly 1 
stamped) in the presence of j 

William Clulow, Quality-Court^ Chancery^ 

Lane, London. 
Richard Young, Clerk to the said William Clu- 
The above is a true Copy of the original Deed 
{which is enrolled in Chancery J and was there- 
with examined by us 


The following is the Deed for settling the 
preaching-houses, as it was published in the year 
1788. All that part respecting Mr. Wesley must 
row be left out of the Deeds ot the Chapels, as he is 
no more. 

g. What is the Conference plan ? — A. It is as 
follows : 

'• Cibil^ 9."^^nture made between Ben^ 

jamin Heaps, of , in the county of , 

on the one part, and Thomas Philips, Hatter, 
on the other part, iIDitne^?Ct}), That in considera- 
tion of five shillings, lawful money of Great Bri~ 
iain, by the said T. P. and to the said B. H. truly 
paid, before the scaling and delivering hereof (the 
receipt whereof the said B. H. doth hereby acknow- 
ledge) and for divers other considerations him there- 
unto moving; the said B. H. hath granted, bar- 
gained and sold, and by these presents doth bargain 
and sell, unto the said T. P. and their heirs and 
assigns for ever. All that lately erected house or 
tenement, with the yard thereunto adjoining, situ- 
ate in — — — aforesaid, now in the tenure or 

occupation of , together with. all the ways, 

drains and privileges to the said premises appertam- 
ing, and all the profits thereof, with all the right, 

156 A Chronological History [^7^4* 

title and interest in law and equity : Co Kf^allC and t0 
^^OlD, the said house, yard and oiher premises, to 
the said T. P. their heirs and assigns for ever. 
j!)c\iCit^c!t\!?;? upon special trust and confidence, 
and to the intent that they and the survivors o£ 
them, and the Trustees for the time being, do and 
shall permit Jchn IJ'esley of the City Road, Lon- 
don, Cierk, and such other persons as he shall from 
time to time appoint, and at all times, during his 
natural life, and no other persons, to have and en- 
joy the free use and benefit of the said premises ; 
that the said Jolui Wesley, and such other persons 
as he appoints, may therein preach and expound 
God's holy word. And after his decease, upon far- 
ther trust and confidence, and to the intent that the 
said T> P. or the major part of them, or the surviv- 
ors of them, and the major part of the Trustees of 
the said premises tor the time being, shall from time 
to time, and at all times for ever, permit such per- 
sons as shall be appointed at the yearly Conference 
of the people called Methodists, as established by a 
Deed -Poll of the said John Wesley under his hand 
and seal, bearing date the 28th day of February in 
the year J 784, and enrolled in his Majesty's High 
Court of Chancery, and no others, to have and to 
enjoy the said premises, for the purposes aforesaid. 
Provided always, that the said persons preach no 
other doctrine than is contained in Mr. Wesley's 
Notes upon the New Testament, and four volumes 
of Sermons: and upon further trust and confidence, 
that as often as any of these Trustees, or the Trustees 
for the time being, shall die, or cease to be a member 
of the Society commonly called Methodists, the rest 
of the said Trustees, or of the Trustees for the 
time being, as scon as conveniently may be, shall 
and may chuse another Trustee or Trustees, in order 
to keep up the number of — Trustees for ever. In 
witness whereof the said B. H. hath hereunto set his 
hand and seal, the day and year above written." 
If the preaching -house is in debt, a clause may 

1784.] Of tlu People called Methodists, 157 

be inserted, empowering the Trustees to mortgage 
the premises. 

At the Conference in 1790, it was added, '* No 
house shall be undertaken, nor a stone laid, till the 
house is settled after the Methodist form, verbatim. 
N. B. No lawyer is to alter one line, neither need 
any be employed." 

The Deeds of the Preaching-houses must have, 
on the first skin of parchment, one twenty shillings 
stamp, and one ten shillings stamp, and no other. 
On the second skin of parchment, one twenty shil- 
lings stamp, and no other. On the third skm, (if 
wanting) to the sixteenth, the same. 

If it relate to a Preaching-house out of London, 
it must be acknowledged by the person or persons 
conveying the premises to Trustees, (after the exe- 
cution of it) before a Master Extraordinary in 
Chancery. N, B. Almost every eminent Attorney 
at Law in the country, is a Master Extraordinary in 
Chancery. It must be presented to the Enrollment 
Office, v/ithin six lunar months after its date, or it is 
of no value. A lunar month is twenty-eight days. 

The following words, or words t^.this purport, 
must be inserted on the margin of the Deed, by the 
Master in Chancery : ** y^. B. of the parish of ■ 

in the county of (and C D, &.c, if the pre- 
mises have been purchased in the names of two or 
more) did appear before me, this ■ day of .. 

in the year of , and did acknowledge that he 

did sign, seal and deliver this Indenture as his own 
Act and Deed ; and prays that the same may be en- 
rolled in his Majesty's High Court of Chancery. 

E. F. 
Master Extraordinary in Chancery.'* 

ijS A thronological History [1784. 


From the Conference in 1784, to Mr. Wesley's 
Death in 1791. 

July 27, 1784, The forty-first Conference was 
held at Leeds. Messrs. John Hampson, sen. and 
John Hampson, jun. his son ; William Eells, and 
Joseph Pillmoor, with a few other Travelling 
Preachers, were greatly offended at the Deed Mr. 
Wesley had executed. Their names were not in- 
serted in it. They strove to make a party among 
the Preachers, but were disappointed. By Mr. 
Eletcher's friendly efforts, a partial reconciliation 
was effected between them and Mr. Wesley : but it 
was of short continuance. Soon after the Confer- 
ence, Mr. Hc..^3pson, senior, became an Indepen- 
dant Minister ; but being old and infirm, and the 
people poor among whom he laboured, he was as- 
sisted with 12/. a year out of the Preachers Fund 
•while he lived. The Conference took no notice of 
his death in their yearly Minutes. He died in the 
year 1795. Mr. Hampson, jun. procured ordina- 
tion in the Established Church, and got a living in 
Sunderland, in the north of England. Mr. Eells 
also left the connection, and some time after, joined 
Mr. Atlay at Dewsbury; and Mr. Pillmoor went to 
America, but not in connection with Mr. Wesley. 
At this Conference it was considered, 
Q. Ls not the time of trial for Preachers too 
si^ort ? — J. It is. For the time to come, let them 
be on trial four years. 

0. Many of our brethren have been exceedingly 
kuit by frequenting feasts or wakes on Sundays. 

1784O OJ the Feople called Methodists, 159 

What do you advise in this case ? — A, Let none 
of our brethren make any feast or wake, neither go 
to any on Sunday, but bear a public testimony 
against them. 

g. Is the making candles for our own use, with- 
out paying duty for them, contrary to law ? — A, Cer- 
tainly it IS. It is a species of smuggling, not to be 
practised by any honest man. 

Mr. Nicholas Manners, one of the Travelling 
Preachers, had disturbed the connection in some 
measure, by preaching false doctrine. He denied 
original sin. His case was considered at this Con- 
ference, and the brethren came to the following 
conclusion : *' No Preacher who denies original 
sin, can preach among us : and we advise our bre- 
thren not to hear him." He was a good, mistaken 
man. After some time he went to America, and 
strove to spread his opinions there ; but he failed in 
his design. He then returned to England, and sunk 
-into obscurity. 

One of the Norman Isles, Jersey, appeared on 
the minutes at this time. In the countries we have 
hitherto considered, (the Isle of Man excepted) the 
English language has been universally spoken. 
But Divine Providence led Mr. Wesley, with the 
Preachers in connection with him, into an unexpect- 
ed line of usefulness. 

The islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and 
Sark, are situated in St. Michael's Bay, near the 
coast of Normandy. They are the only remains of 
the Norman dominions annexed to Great Britain by 
William the Conqueror. The inhabitants in gene- 
ral, (those of the two principal towns excepted] 
speak only French. 

\n a regiment of soldiers, which was sent over to 
Jersey in the American war, there were a few seri- 
ous Christians who had heard the Gospel in one of the 
sea-port towns of England. These men finding no 
help for their souls in the Island, wrote to Mr, 
P 'J. 

i6o j^ Chronological History [^7^4, 

Wesley, entreating him to send them a Preacher* 
Mr. Brackenbury a gentleman of lortune in Lin-- 
colnshire, who had joined the Society, and soon af- 
terwards preached in connection with Mr. Wesley, 
was present when the letter was received, and offered 
his service, as he had some acquaintance with the 
french language. Mr. Wesley readily accepted the 
offer. Mr. Biackenbury set off for Jersey, rented 
a house in the town ol St. Helier, preached the 
Gospel through the Island, and was the means of 
turning many from their sins to God. 

In the year J786, Mr. Wesley sent Mr. Adam 
Clarke to the Island of Jersey. In the course of 
these events, a shopkeeper of the Island of Guern- 
sey, whose name was Arrive, visited Jersey, and under 
tiie preaching of Mr. Brackenbury was brought to 
repentance. He then invited Mr, Brackenbury to 
visit Guernsey : he went, and was universally well 
received. Dr. Coke, who about this time visited 
these islands, followed Mr. Brackenbury in Guern- 
sey, and formed ^he first Society in that Island. 
Afterwards Mr. Clarke, with much pain and diffi- 
culty, accompanied by many remarkable provi- 
dences, erected a very commodious Chapel m the 
town of St. Peter ^ in which a large congregation re- 
gu larly attended. 

Mr. De Queteville, a native of Jersey, was also 
very useful m the midst of great persecution m 
the Island of Guernsey, particularly m the country 
parts, where the French language alone is spoken. 

In rhe beginning of the year 1787, Mr. Clarke 
visited the Isle of Alderney. When he arrived, he 
knew not where to go : he had no acquaintance in 
the Island nor had any person invited him thither. 
Pof some tim.e he was perplexed in reasoning on his 
situation, till that word of the God of Missionaries 
powerfully impressed his mind, *' Into whatsoever 
house ye enter, first say, peace be to this house, — 
and in the same house remain, eating and drinkmg 
such things as they give" Luke 10. 5 — 7. 

1^84-] Of the People called Methodists, x6i 

On this be took courage, and proceeded to the 
town, which is about a mile distant from the har- 
bour. Alter having walked some way into it, he 
took particular notice of a very poor cottage, into 
which he found a strong inclination to enter. He 
.did so, with a " Peace be to this house!'' and found 
in it an old man and woman, who, as soon as they 
understood his business, bade him, *' welcome to the 
best food they had, to. a little chamber where he 
might sleep, and, what was still more acceptable, to 
then- house to preach in " He now saw clearly the 
hand of Providence in his favour, and was much en- 
couraged. The Lord owned his labours while he staid 
QD the Island ; after this, the native Preachers, rais- 
ed up in Jersey and Guernsey, visited it, and by 
their means a Chapel has been erected, a large so- 
ciety formed, and many souls brought to an ac- 
quaintance with God. Smce that time, a society has 
been formed in .9flr4, and religion flourishes in them all. 

The Methodists had hitherto one form both of 
Worship and Discipline in every place ; but an ex- 
traordinary Providence, the Independance of Ame~ 
rica, confirmed by the peace of 1783, occasioned an 
extraordinary change in this respect. Durinlj the 
war, the Societies on that Continent were deprived 
of the Ordinances of God, Baptism, and the Lord's 
Supper, the Clergy of the Church of England hav- 
ing been generally silenced, or having fled to Engi 
land. From the time of the peace, the new Civil 
Government was universally acknowledged; but no 
Ecclesiastical authority of any kind was either exer- 
cised or claimed by any person or peisons whatsou 
ever. In this situation, the Societies desired Mr. 
Wesley's advice ; and, as he observes, *' his scruples 
being at an end, he conceived himself at perfect li- 
berty to exercise that right which he doubted not 
God had given him.'* 

He accordingly, soon after the Conference, or- 
dained Dx, Coke, and through hinv, Mr, Asburv. to 


J 62 A Chronological History [^7^* 

be joint Superintend ants over the brethren in North 
America : as also with the assistance of Dr. Coke, 
and the Rev. Mr. Creighton, Richard V/hatcoat 
and Thomas Vasey, to act as Eiders among them. 
He likewise abridged the Liturgy of the Church of 
England, and advised all the Travelling Preachers to 
use it on the Lord's day, in all their congregations : 
and the Eiders to administer the Lord's Supper every 
Sabbath, according to the same ritual. 

As this circumstance forms a new Epoch in the 
history of Methodism, it is necessary to consider 
what Mr. Wesley says upon the subject, also the ef- 
iect it had upon the American brethren. In the- 
aoth Journal, page 71, he says, '* Wednesday 
Sep. 1, being now clear in my own mind, I took a 
step which I had long weighed, and appointed three 
of our brethren to go and serve the desolate sheep 
in America, which I verily believe will be much to 
the glory of God." In tiie Minutes of the Confe- 
rence for 1786, he says, •' Judging this (the state 
of the Societies in America after the peace) to be a 
case of real necessity, 1 took a step which for peaice 
and quietness I had refrained Irom taking for many 
years : I exercised that power, which I am fully per- 
suaded the Great Shepherd and Bishop of the 
Church given me. 1 appointed three of our la- 
bourers to go and help the m by not only preaching 
the word of God, but likewise administering the 
Lord's Supper and baptizing their children, through- 
out that vast tract of land, a thousand miles long 
and some hundreds broad." 

The following Is the >etier he wrote to the Ameri- 
can brethren ci|n this subject. 

Bristol, Sep. lo, 1784, 
To Dr. Coke, Mr. Alsbury, and our Brethiea 
in North America, 

** J. BY a very uncommon train of Providences* 
many oi the Provinces oi North-Amcrica are total 

1784'] Of the People called Methodists* 163 

\y disjoined from their Mother-Country, and erect- 
ed into Independent States. The English Govern- 
ment has no authority over them either Civil or 
Ecclesiastical, any more than over the States of HoU 
land* A civil authority is exercised over them, 
partly by the Congress, partly by the Provincial As- 
semblies. But no one either exercises or claims 
any Ecclesiastical Authority at all. In this pecu- 
Har situation some thousands of the inhabitants of 
these States desire my advice ; and in compliance 
with their desire, I have drawn up a little Sketch, 

*' 2. Lord Kin'g's account of the Primitive 
Church convinced me rrany years ago, That Bi- 
shops and Presbyters are the same order, and conse- 
quenily have the same right to ordain. For many 
years I have been importuned from time to time, to 
exercise this right, by ordaining part of our Travel- 
ling Preachers. But I have still refused, not only 
lor Peace' sake ; but because I was determined, as 
liale as possible to violate the established order of 
the national Church to which I belonged. 

•' 3. But the case is widely different between Eng- 
land and North-America. Here there are Bishop^ 
who have a legal Jurisdiction. In America there 
are none, neitherany Parish Ministers. So that forsome 
hundred miles together there is none either to bap- 
tize or to administer the Lord's Supper, Here there- 
fore my scruples are at an end : and I conceive my- 
self at fuH liberty, as I violate no order and invade 
no man's right, by appointing and sending Labour- 
ers into the Harvest. 

*• 4. I have accordingly appointed Dr. Coke and 
Mr. Francis Asbury to be joint Superintendants 
over our Brethren in North America : As also Ri- 
chard Whatcoat and Thomas Vasey, to act 
as Elders among them, by baptising and administer- 
ing the Lords Sapper. And I have prepared a Li- 
turgy little diH'eimg fi^m that of the Church of 
England (I think, the best constituted national 
Church in the world] which I advise all the Travel- 

164 A Chrcnological History [1-)%^. 

ling-Preachers to use on the Lord's Day, in all the 
Congregations, reading the Litany only on Wednes- 
days End Fridays, and praying extempore on all 
other days. I also advise the Elders to administer 
the Supper of" the Lord on every Lord's Day. 

** 5. If any one will point out a mote rational and 
scriptural way, of feeding and guiding those poor 
sheep in the wilderness, I will gladiy embrace it. 
At present I cannot see any better method than that 
I have taken. 

** 6. It has indeed been proposed, to desire the 
English Bishops to ordain part ot our Preachers for 
America. But to this I object, i. I desired the Bi- 
shop of London, to ordairi only one ; but could not 
prevail : 2. If they consented, we know the slow-. 
ness of their proceedings ; but the matter admits of 
no delay. 3. If they would ordain them now^ they 
would likewise expect to govern them. And how 
grievously would this entangle us? 4. As our Ame- 
rican Breihren are now totally disentangled both from 
the State, and from the English Hierarchy, we dare not 
intangle them again, either with the one or the other. 
They are now at lull liberty, simply to follow the 
Scriptures and the Primitive Church. And we 
judge it best that tiiey should stand fast in that Li- 
berty, wherewith God has so strangely made them 


At the Conference held in Baltimore in America, 
in January 1785. The American brethren publish* 
ed to the world this letter and the effect it had on 
them. The effect is as follows, as published in their 
minutes. " Therefore, at this Conference we formed 
ourselves into an independent church: and lollow- 
ing the counsel of Mr. J( hn Wesley, who recom- 
mended the Episcopal mode of church government, 
\ve thought It best to become an Episcopal church, 
making theEpiscopal office elective, and the elected 
Supenntendant, or Bishop, amenable to the body of 

lySS'] Of the People called Methodists. 16^ 

Ministers and Preachers." At that time there were 
more than eighteen thousand members iu the Socie- 
ties in America, who willingly submitted to his ad- 
vice and authority. They aho observed, '* As the 
translators of our version of the Bible have used the 
English word Biskop instead of Siiperintendant, it 
has been thought by us, that it would appear more 
scriptural to adopt their term Bishop,'* 

Several persons, especially some who had left the 
work, seemed much displeased with Mr. Wesley 
on account of his thus acting as a Biskop, as they 
termed it. But those who regarded Hoiy Scripture, 
and the Episcopacy of the Primitive Church; and 
considered the extraordinary call which Mr. Wes- 
ley now had to the exercise of this authority, were 
perfectly satisfied that he acted in the order of God. 
The great increase of the Societies, and of true re- 
ligion among theto since that time, has abundantly 
confirmed this sentiment. That circumstance also, 
the Ordination being private, which gave scope to 
the ill-nature of these persons, had no weight with 
those unprejudiced persons, who considered, that 
the persons ordained were Itinerants, not appointed 
to any particular Church, and consequenily not 
needing that kind of sanction which may be need- 
ful for Ministers who are exclusively to superintend 
a particular flock. But there is nutiiing, however 
scriptural or reasonable, that may not be censured 
by bigotry or malevolence. 

March 24, 1785, Mr. Wesley observes in lus 
Journal, " 1 w^as now considering, how strangely 
the grain of mustard-seed, planted about fitty years 
ago, had grown up. It has spread through all Great 
Britain, and Ireland, the Isle oj If'tght, and the 
Isle of Man: then to America, through the whole 
continent, into Canada; the Leeiuard Islands, and 
Newjdundland, And the Societies, in all these 
parts, walk by one rule, knowing religion is holy 
tempers, and striving to worship God, not ia form 
only, but likewise in spirit and in truth,'' 

i66 A Chrono logical History [1785. 

May 9, 1785, On this day that venerable and 
holy man, the Rev. Mr. Perronet, Vicar of Shore- 
ham, entered into the joy of his Lord, in the ninety- 
second year of his age. Two days before his death, 
his grand-daughter, Miss Briggs, who attended him 
day and night, read to him the three last chapters of 
Isaiah. He then desired her to go into the garden, 
to take a little fresh air. Upon her return she 
found him in an extasy, with the tears running down 
his checks, from a deep and lively sense of the 
glorious things which she had just been reading to 
him; and which he believed would shortly be ful- 
filled in a still more glorious sense than heretofore. 
He continued unspeakably happy all that day. On 
Sunday his happiness seemed even to increase, till 
he retired to rest. Miss Briggs then went into the 
room to see if any thing was wanting ; and as she 
stood at the feet of tl)e bed, he smiled and said, 
"* God bless thee, my dear child, and all that be. 
longs to thee ! Yea, he will bless thee!" This he 
earnestly repeated till she left the room. When 
she went in the next morning, Lis happy spirit was 
returned to God ! 

This blessed man, (like those great and good men, 
Messrs. Grimshaw- and Fletcher,) being possessed 
ol the Love that envictk not^ hut rejoiceth in the 
Truth, continued steadily attached to Mr. Wesley, 
and to the Methodists, from the first day unto the last. 
He received the Preachers joyfully, fitted up a room 
in the parsonage-house for preaching,' and attended 
their ministry himself at every opportunity, ever- 
more praising God for what he heard. His house 
was one of the regular places of the Kent Circuit, 
(and so continued to the day of his death,) and all 
his family were members of the Society. Had all 
the Ministers of the Established Church, or even 
those of them who were convinced ot the truth 
preached by Mr. Wesley and his Assistants, be- 
haved in this truly Chrstian manner, Methodism, 
£0 called, i. e, the doctrine and practice of Evan- 

1785O Of the People called Methodists, 167 

gelical Haliness, would, according to Mr. Wesley's 
hope, have leavened the Church, and even the 
shadow of separation from it would have been pre- 

The Sunday Schools. This excellent insti- 
tution was begun by Mr. Raikes of Gloucester, in 
the year 1784. His design was, 1. To prevent the 
children of the poor from spending the Sabbath in 
idleness, filth and mischief. 2. To instruct them 
in the first rudiments of" learning and the Christian 
religion. Mr. Wesley no sooner heard of it, than 
he approved of it. He published an account of it 
in the Arminian Mag. for Jan. 1785, and exhorted 
his Societies to imitate this laudable example. They 
took his advice. Labouring, hard-working men and 
women began to instruct their neighbour's children 
and to go with them to the house of God, on the 
Lord's day. 

The consequence was, many thousands of those 
who were as Wild Jss's Colts, now repay the 
Christain labour bestowed upon them by being use- 
ful members of Society, and not a few of them 
know and adorn the Gospel of God their Saviour. 
Annual charity sermons are preached where the 
schools are, and considerable sums of money raised 
for their support. 

There are at present about thirty thousand chil- 
dren instructed by tfie Methodists in Great Britain 
on the Lord's-day. 

In the year 1798, Mr. Joseph Mayer, of Stock- 
port, published an excellent defence of these schools: 
what he wrote in two large pamphlets is well worthy 
the perusal of all those who wish to encourage these 

The conductors of the Methodist Sunday Schools 
in London, have at this time (1802,) formed a Com- 
mittee for corresponding with persons in the country, 
engaged in the same work, with a view of extending 
and establishing schools on the plan of employing gra- 

i68 A Chronological History [i7^5» 

tuitous teachers only in the different parts of the king- 
dom. They have already distributed some hundreds 
of the proposed plans, and have received some very 
satisfactory and encouraging accounts of the success 
which is likely to attend their labours of love. For 
the present year, ( 1802) Thomas Pearson Esq. No. 
25, Clement's-lane, is Treasurer of the Society; 
Mr. William Marsden, of Jame's Street, Old Street, 
is Secretary ; and Mr. Thomas Morris, City Road, is 
Secretary to the Committee of Correspondence. For 
a fuller account of the design of this Committee, 
see Methodist Magazine for the year j802, page 
388 and 430. The Books of this Committee are 
open for the inspection of the public at the places 
above mentioned. 

July 26, 1785, The forty-second Conference 
was held in London. Mr. Wesley remarks con- 
cerning it, ** About seventy preachers were present, 
whom I had invited by name. One consequence 
of this was, that we had no contention or altercation 
at all, but every thing proposed was calmly consi- 
dered, and determined as we judged would be most 
for the glory of God." 

•* Having, (he continues) with a few sele^rt 
Friends, weighed the matter thoroughly, I yielded to 
their judgment, and set apart three of our well tried 
Preachers, Jokii Paws on, Thomas Hanby, and 
Joseph Taylor, to minister in Scotland. And I 
trust God will bless their ministrations, and shew 
that he has sent them." He also recommended to 
the Scotch Methodists, the use of the a- 
bridged Common Prayer, This latter they de- 
clined ; the former they were thankful for. The 
reasons he gave for this (in the Minutes of the Con- 
ference in 1786) are, i, That he never was connect- 
ed with the Church of Scotland. 2. The desire of 
doing more good. 3. The absolute necessity of the 
case, as the Scotch Ministers had repeatedly refused 

i7^c5-J ^S ^^^ Peopld called Methodists, 169 

to give the Methodists the Sacrament, unless they 
would leave the Societies. 

The following rules v/ere considered and agreed 

g. Is it proper to sell any books on the Lord's 
day ? — A. By no means, Neither to talk of world- 
ly things, more than is strictly necessary. 

g. Is it lawful to employ a hair-dresser on a Sun- 
day 1—A. We are fully persuaded it is not. 

(7. Is it right to send our children to a dancing 
school ? — A, It is entirely wrong. Neither do we 
think it right for any that keep boarding-schools to 
admit a dancing master into their house. 

llie deed which Mr. Wesley got drawn up made 
so much uneasiness in the connection, that in order 
to quell it the following papers were signed ar.d 
published in the Minutes. 

London, July 30, 17S5. 

*' We whose names are undei written, do declare 
that Mr. Wesley was desired, at the last Bristol Con- 
ference, without a dissentient voice, to draw up a 
Deed which should give a legal specification of the 
phrase," ** The Conference of the People called 
Methodists : " and that the mode of doing it was en- 
tirely left to his judgment and direction. 

And we do also declare. That we do approve 
of the substance and design of the Deed which Mr. 
Wesley has accordingly executed and enrolled,'* 

London, July 30, 1765. 

*' We whose names are underwritten, but who 
were not piesent at the last Bristol Conference, do 
declare our approbation of the substance and desigix 
of the Deed which Mr. Wesley has lately executed 
and enrolled for the purpose of giving a legal speci- 
fication of the phrase " The Conference of the Peo- 
ple called Methodists." 

The former was signed by thirty nine preachers, 


lyo J Chronological History C*?^?. 

the latter by thirty : the whole of the Preachers 
who were at the Conference. 

The American Minutes were published with those 
of the EngHsh Conlerence, and continued to be so, 
with a few exceptions, till the year 1790. It was then 
thought unnecessary to publish any thing more than 
the numbers in the Societies, which is still done e- 
very year. 

The British dominions in America, viz. Nova 
Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland, ap- 
peared for the first time on the Minutes of this 

Methodism had its rise in the following manner 
in these parts. 

In the year 1765, Mr, Lawrence Coughlan, at 
that time a Travelling Preacher, in connection with 
Mr. Wesley, was ordained by the Bishop of Lon- 
don, at the request of the Society for the Propaga- 
tion of Christian Knowledge, that he might be qua- 
lified for the office of a Missionary in the island of 
Newlonndland. He accordingly went there, and 
his labours >vere crowned with success in several 
parts of the Island. After seven years continuance 
there, he returned home through want of health. 
The people were then as sheep that had no shepherd. 
After a time the Lord raised up a few of the inhabi- 
tants, who had been Methodists in these kingdoms. 
They formed Societies, and exhorted the people to> 
walk according to the Methodist rules. To encou- 
rage them three Travelling Preachers were then sent 
thither, two from the United States^ and one from 
England. Newfoundland has continued on our mi- 
nutes since that time, unless perhaps when their ac- 
counts could not come time enough for insertion. 

In the year 1791, a favourable change took place 
in their behalf. Mr. William Black, (who was 
born in Huddersfield, in Yorkshire, in the year, 
1760,) visited Nova Scotia. His labours were at- 
tended with great success. In the year 1792, he 
was appointed Superintendant of the whole work in 

1786*] Of the People called Metkodistsi 171 

British America ; which office he has held ever since. 
He has been instrumental in uniting the scattered 
members, restoring discipline, and by the united la- 
bours of himself and his brethren, the kingdom of 
God has been greatly enlarged in these parts. 

July 25, 1786, The forty-third Conference was 
held in Bristol. The question respecting our union 
with the Church was still agitated, and after much 
deliberation the following regulations were adopted. 

0. In what cases do we allow ot service in Church 
hours? — ^. 1. When the Minister is a notoriously 
wicked man. 2. When he preaches Arian, or any 
equally pernicious doctrine. 3. When there are no 
Churches in the town sufficient to contain half the 
people. And, 4. When there is no Church at all 
witnin two or three miles. And we advise every 
one who preaches in the church hours to read the 
psalms and lessons with part of the church prayers ; 
because we apprehend this will endear the church 
service to our brethren, who probably would be 
prejudiced against it, if they heard none but extem- 
porary prayer. Mr. Wesley accordingly recom- 
mended to his Societies the abridged Common Prayer 
Book, under the following title, •* The Sunday 
Service of the Methodists." — He certainly approved 
of a Liturgy, or Form of Prayer, tor public wor- 
ship, as many enlightened men have done; but in 
many parts the people did not approve of it, even 
where they wished to be allowed service in the church 

The cases mentioned above, in which the service 
might be allowed, are certainly weighty, and plainly 
shew, that Mr. Wesley was fully convinced, that 
some kind of separation might, in particular cases, 
be a duty. But he truly loved the Church itself, 
and from it he would not separate. 

The following is the Preface which he published 
to the Prayer Book. '• I believe there is no Liturgy 
in the world, either in ancient or modern language, 

i/^ J Chronological History [1786, 

-.vhich breathes more of a solid, scriptural, rational 
piety than the Common Prayer of the Church of 
lingiand. And though the main of it was compiled 
considerably more than two hundred years ago, yet 
:s the language of it not only pure, but strong and 
elegant in the highest degree. 

; Little alteration is made in the following edition 
of it, except in the following instances : 1. Most of 
the holy-days (so called) are omitted, as at present 
tinswering no valuable end. 2. The service of the 
Lord's Day^ .the length of which has been often 
complained of, is considerably shortened. 3. Some 
sentences in the offices of Baptism, and for the Bu- 
rial of the Dead, are omitted. And, 4. Many 
i'salms left out, and many parts of the others, as 
being higlily improper for the mouths of a Christian 
Congregation. JOHN WESLEY." 

"Where the Methodists have service in Church- 
hours, it would be an advantage to the congregations 
if the Preachers would read the Liturgy, and study 
to read it well ; it would be one means of leading the 
people to " Hold fast the form of sound words," 
■ Mr. Wesley gave the following advice to the 
Preachers at this time. — '* Never preach a Funeral^ 
Sermon but for an eminently holy person : nor then 
without consulting the Assistant. Preach none for 
hire. Beware of panegyric, particularly in London." 

He adds : ** I advise the Assistants, 1. To esta- 
blish morning preaching in all large towns, at least. 
2. To exert themselves in restoring the Bands. 3. The 
Select Societies. I advise all the Preachers, 1. Al- 
ways to conclude the service in about an hour. 2. 
Never to scream. 3. Never lean upon, or beat the 
Bible. 4. Wherever you preach, meet the Society. 
5. Never take part against the Assistant. 6. Have -. 
Love-Feasts in more places. 7. Exhort all to sing, 
and all to stand at singing, as well as to kneel at 
prayers. " 

At this Conference Mr. Wesley appointed Dr. 

t786.] OJ the People called Methodists. 173 

Coke to visit the Societies in the British dominions 
in America. He also sent William Warrener, 
whom he appointed to labour as a Missionary in An- 
tigua, and IVilltam Hammett, and John ClarAe^,_to 
labour as Missionaries in Newfoundland. VVith 
these the Doctor sailed. By distress of weaiher 
they were prevented trom going to the place of their 
destination ; so they all landed on Christmas day 
1786, on the Island of Antigua. Here they found 
a large Methodist Society walking in the fear of God, 
who welcomed them in the name of the Lord. 

The following particulars shew the rise of Metho- 
dism in this Island. Nathaniel Gilbert, Esq. Spea- 
ker of the House of Assembly in Antigua, who 
had heard the Gospel in England, wrote a letter ta 
Mr. Wesley, dated May 10, 1760, in which he in- 
i'ofmed him there was then the dawn of a Gospel day 
in that Island. Mr. Gilbert had begun to exhort the 
Islanders to turn to the Lord, and had considerable 

In 1779, Mr. John Baxter, a Local Preacher, 
went from the Royal Dock at Chatham to that Island. 
He watered the seed sown by Mr. Gilbf.Tt. He af- 
terwards resigned his office, which beheld under Go- 
vernment, in order to preach the Gospel to the poor 

Dr. Coke considered his being driven to the West- 
Indies as providential. He therefore left the two 
Missionaries intended for America, to labour in these 
islands with Mr. Baxter and Mr. Warrener, where 
there was the greatest prospect of doing good. These 
were the firft Missionaries from the English Confe- 
rence to the We5t-India Islands. Since that time 
the work has greatly increased in these islands. We 
now (1802 have Missionaries in Antigua, Do ni- 
nica, St. Vincent's, Barbadoes, Grenada, Si. Chris- 
topher's, Nevis and Moniserrait ; in l\:)rt id, Spa- 
nish Town and the other Virgin Islands; iii St. 
Bartfiolomew's, Jamaica, Providence and the oiher 
Bahama Islands ; and at Bermuda. There is a 


J 7 4- A Ch rono logical His to ry [1787 

prospect of doing much good in all these plac-cs. 
So greatly has the Lord prospered his work in 
sixteen years! 

August 9, 1786, Mr. Wesley set out on his se- 
cond visit to Holland, and returned Sept. 6, His 
former visit was in the year 1783. He found there 
a truly pious people, to whom he preached several 
times, and rejoiced to find that true religion was 
essentially the same in every place. 

July 31, 1787, The forty- fourth Conference was 
held in Manchester. The following particulars 
were considered. 

0. Are there any directions to be given concern- 
itig Preachers to whom we are strangers ? — ^. i. Let 
no person that is not in connection with uj preach in 
any of our Chapels, or Preaching-houses, without 
a note from Mr, Wesley or from the Assistant ot the 
Circuit from whence he comes, wliich mu^t be re- 
newed yearly. 2^. Let none of our friends who 
travel on business expect to be entertained at the 
Preachers houses. 

0^. Are there any directions to be given concern- 
ing singing?—^. Let no Anthems be introduced 
into any of our Chapels, or Preaching-houses, for 
the time to come, because they cannot properly be 
■ called Jt/z«^ worship. 

Nov. 3, 1787, Mr. Wesley observes in his last 
journal, (page 85,) *• 1 had a long conversation with 
Mr. Clulozo, (an attorney) on the execrable Act, 
called the Conventicle Act. After consultmg the 
Act of Toleration, with that of the tenth of Queen 
Anne, we were both clearly convinced, that it was 
the safest way to license all ouv Chapels, and all our 
Travelling Preachers; and that nojustice, or bench 
of justices, has any authority to refuse licensing 
either the Houses or the Preachers." He was not 
•willing that either should be licensed before this 
time, as he greatly wished to- continue his connec- 
tion v/ith the National Church, so far as the blessed 

i/Zj^l Of the People called Methodists. im5 

work of saving souls from death in every place 

would permit. 

Mr. Wesley had hitherto ordained Ministers 
only for America and Scotland, but from this pe- 
riod, being assisted by the Rev. James Creighton, 
and the Rev. Peard Dickenson, Presbyters of fhe 
Church of England, he set apart for the sacred office, 
by the imposition of his hands and prayer, Messrs. 
Alexander Mather, Thomas Rankin, and Henry 
Moore, without sending them out of England ; 
strongly advising them at the same time, that acco/d« 
ing to his example they should continue united to the 
Established Church, so far as the blessed work in 
which they were engaged would permit. The for- 
mer of these brethren, Mr. Mather ^ he ordained a 
Bishop or Superintendant. 

It may be useful to subjoin here extracts from 
those Acts above mentioned, with others of a later 
date, relative to this subject. 

The Act of Toleration, made in the first year of 
King William and Queen Mary, which was declar- 
ed a public Act, by the 19th of King George the 

By this, " It is enacted, that none of the penal 
Statutes made against Conventicles, or against pa- 
pists or popish recusants, (except the 2^th of Charles 
the second, concerning the qualifying for offices, 
and 30th of Charles the second, containing the de- 
claration against popery) shall extend to any person 
(jissenting from the Church of England." 

'* Any person dissenting from the Church of 
England^ who shall at the General Sessions of the 
Peace to be held for the county or place where 
such person shall live, take the oaths ot Allegiance 
and Supremacy, and subscribe the said Declaration 
against Popery, of which the Court shall keep a Re- 
gister : and no officer shall take any fee above 6d. fof 
registering the Same, and 6d. for a certihcate thereof^ 
signed by such Officer. 

* 90^' ^ C/5 r (7 « ^ logical His to ry [ 1 7 87 » - 

" Provided that the place of meeting be certifieA 
to the Bi hop of the Diocese, or to the Arch Dea- 
con ot the Archdeaconry, or to the Justices of the 
Peace at the General or Quarter Sessions. And the 
register or cleik of the peace shall register and re- 
cord the same, for which no greater tee shall be 
taken than 6d. And provided that during the time 
of meeting the doors shall not be locked, barred, or 

And by the statute made in the 10th of Queen 
Anne, any Preacher or Teacher, duly qualified, 
shall be allowed to officiate in any congregation, 
although the same be not in the county where he was 
so qualified, provided that the place of meeting hath 
been duly certified and registered ; and such Teacher 
or Preacher shall, if required, produce his certifi- 
cate of his having so qualified himself, under the 
hand of the elerk of the peace where he was quali- 
fied; and shall also, betore any justice of such 
county where he shall so officiate, make and sub- 
scribe such declaration and take such oaths as afore- 
said, if required. 

** And every such Teacher and Preacher, having 
taken the oaths, and subscribed as aforesaid, shall 
from thenceforth be exempted from serving in the 
Militia of this kmgdom, and from serving on any 
Jury, or of being appointed to bear the office of 
church warden, overseer of the poor, or any other 
parochial or ward office, or other office in any hun* 
dred, city, town, parish, division, or wapingtake. 

** And by the Aft made in the 19th ytar of George 
the Third, 1779, Dissenting Ministers were excused 
from signing ro a part ol the thirty-nine Ariicle.% wherx 
they were licensed." for until that time they h^d to 
subscribe the whole o< the Articles of the Established 
Church, except three and part of another. All 
that they now do, is, subscribe to the following De- 

" I, A. B. do solemnly declare, in the presence 
of Almighty God, that 1 am a Christian and a Pro- 

1787.] Of the Peopk called Methodists. 17" 

testant, and as such that 1 believe that the Scriptures 
of the Old and New Testament, as commonly re- 
ceived among Protestant Churches, do contain the 
revealed will of God, and that I do receive the same 
as the rule of my doctrine and practice." 

In order to get a place licensed, all that It re« 
quires is, that the place or building shall be certified^ 
i. e. that notice shall be given of the intention to 
perform divine service therein, either to the Bishop 
of the Diocese, or to the Archdeacon of the Arch- 
deaconry, or to the Justice of the Peace of. the 
Quarter Sessions for the county, city, or place in 
which it is situated, that it may be registered in the 
Court to which application is made. A proper and 
sufficient form for this purpose is as follows : 

•' We whose names are underwritten, [^any tuio cr 
three of the par ties concerned^ do hereby certify, 

that a certain building situate, in , is 

intended to be used for religious worship, under and 
by virtue of the statute of the first of King William 
and Queen Mary, entitled, An Act for exempting 
their Majesty's Protcstanc subjects dissenting from the 
Church of England from the penalties of certain 

Signed A. B, 


I have noted in order every step which Mr. Wes- 
ley took with respect to his union with the Church 
of England ; and from the whole it appears, 
that his settled judgment at length was. That by the 
great and continued encrease of the Societies, and 
the difference of opinion on that subject, among 
both Preachers and People, as well as from the be- 
haviour of many of the Clergy, it would be abso- 
lutely necessary that the ordinances should be admi- 
nistered to those who desired them ? — And that he 
therefore took these steps that there might, in this 
extension of privilege, be as near a conlormity to 
the Church of England as possible ? — Can it be de- 

If 8 A Chronological llisiory ["^7^7' 

nied that this is more agreeable to the whole of the 
work in which he had been so long engaged, than 
any other more contracted plan could be ? — And is it 
not cerram that the union of the body could not have 
been maintained in any other way? — This will be 
still more evident in the subsequent parts of this 

March 29, 1788, This day Mr. Charles Wesley 
fell asleep. His brother gave him the following 
character in the yearly Mmutes. 

0, Who died this year? — A» Charles Wesley, 
who, after spending fourscore years with much sor- 
row and pain, quietly retired into Abraham's bosom. 
He had no disease, but after a gradual decay of 
some months, 

" The weary wheels of life stood still at kst.'* 
His least praise was his talent for poetry : although 
Dr. Watts did not scruple to say, That, " that single 
poem, Wrestling Jacoo, was worth all the verses he 
himself had written." 

The Hymns which were composed by him arethose 
which are chiefly used by the Methodists in their 
worship ; and they certainly breathe more of the 
spirit of genuine religion than any which are bor- 
rowed from other poets. 

The last verses he composed were these : 

" In age and feebleness extreme, 

" Who shall a helpless worm redeem ? 

'* Jesus I my only hope thou art, 

" Srength of my failing flesh and heart ; 

" Oh ! could I catch a smile from thee, 

" And drop into eternity 1" 

He could scarcely articulate when he dictated 
these to his wife. 

May 13, 1788, Mr. Wesley taking a reviev/ of 
the work in which he had spent his life, thus re- 
marks especially on its scriptural liberality. " There 
is no other Religious Society under heaven, which 

1788.] OJ the People called MethodiHs. 17*9 

requires nothing of men in order to their admission 
into it, but a desire to save their souls. Look all 
around you, you cannot be admitted into the Church 
or Society of the Presbyterians^ Baptists, Quakers, 
or any other, unless you hold the same opinions 
with them, and adhere to the same mode of worship. 
The Methodists alone do not insist on your holding 
this or that opinion, but they think and let think. 
Neither do they impose any particular mode of wor- 
ship, but you may continue to worship in your for- 
mer manner, be it what it may. Now I do not 
know any other religious society either ancient or 
modern, wherein such liberty of conscience is now 
allowed, or has been allowed since the age of the 
Apostles ! Here is our glorying, and a glorying pe- 
culiar to us ! What Society shares it with us ?" — 
Blessed be God we still enjoy this liberty ; and even 
with encrease! 

July 29, 1788, The forty-fifth Conference was 
lield in London. Mr. Wesley's account of it is, 
" One of the most important points considered at 
this Conference was. That respecting the Church. 
The sum of a long conversation was, 1. That in a 
course of fifty years, we had neither premeditatedly 
nor willingly varied from it in one article, either of 
doctrine or discipline. 2. That we were not yet 
conscious of varying from it in any_ point of doctrine, 
3. That we have in a course of years, out of neces- 
sity, not choice, slowly and warily varied in some 
points of discipline by preaching in the fields, by ex- 
temporary prayer, by employing Lay-Preachers, by and regulating Societies^ and by holding 
yearly Conferences. But we did none of these things 
till we were convinced we could no longer omit 
them, but at the peril of our souls." It is evident 
from this account that with regard to discipline, Mr. 
Wesley followed the Scripture and the openings of 
Providence. What the Conference has done since 

i8o J Chronological History [1788, 

his death has been perfectly agreeable to the sam-e 

The following new rule was made at this Con- 

g. Many of our Preachers have been obliged to 
go tigm the house of one friend to another ior all 
their meals, to the great loss of their time and to the 
injury of the work of God. What can be done to 
prevent this evil in future ? — A. Let every Circuit 
pi-ovide a sufficient allowance for the Preachers, 
that they may in general eat their meals at their own 

Mr. Wesley for the first time published the fol- 
lowing letter, addressed to his Societies from the Con- 

*' To cur Societies in England and Ireland. 
" Fifty )ears ago, and ior several years following, 
all our Preachers were single men, when in process 
of time a few ot them married. Those with whom 
they laboured, maintained both them and their 
wives, there being then no settled allowance either 
for the one or the other. But above thirty years 
ago, it was found most convenient to fix a stated al- 
lowance fqi both, and this was found by the Circuits 
•where they were stationed ; tdl one year some of the 
Circuits complained of poverty. Dr. Coke and I 
supplied what was wanting. Thenext year the number 
of wives increasing, three or four of them were sup- 
plied out of the Contingent Fund. This was a bad 
precedent, for more and more wives were thrown 
upon this Fund, till it was likely to be swallowed 
up thereby. We could think of no way to prevent this, 
but to consider the state of our Societies in England 
and Ireland, and to beg the members of each cir- 
cuit to give us that assistance, which they can easily 
do without hurting their families. 

" Yv^ithin these fifty years, the substance of the Me- 
thodists is increased in proportion to their numbers. 
Therefore if you are not straitened in your own 
bowels, this v/ill be no grievance, but you will 

1789-] OJ the People called Methodists. iSi 

cbearfully give food and raiment to those, who give 
i^p all their time and strength and labour to your 

London, Jug. 2, 1788. JOHN WESLEY." 

The same address was published in the Irish Mi- 
nutes the year following in the very same words, 
which shews Mr. Wesley did not confine himself to 
exactness as to the dates ; but states the facts. The 
first time alluded to was in the year 1740, just forty- 
eight years before ; the second was in the year 1752, 
just thirty. six years before. 

July 28, 1789, The forty-sixth Conference was 
held in Leeds. A very painful business came be- 
fore the brethren. A new Chapel had been built at 
Dewsbury in Yorkshire, as usual by subscription ; 
but those who were nominated Trustees, assumed 
the Proprietorship, and refused to settle it according 
to the Methodist plan. The consequence was, that 
after some fruitless negociation, another Chapel was 
built, and a collection was made, first in the Confe- 
rence, and then throughout England, to defray the 

It is remarkable that only two instances of this 
kind occurred while Mr. Wesley lived. The former, 
namely Birstall, was soon settled ; this latter dispute 
never was ; and true religion received a wound in 
the contention which it has never recovered in that 

Mr. Wesley thus speaks of this occurrence in his 
Journal : '* About a hundred Preachers were present, 
and never was our Master more eminently present 
with us. Saturday, Aug. 1, We considered the 
case of Dewsbury. house, which the self-erected 
Trustees robbed us of. The point they contended 
for was this, " That they should have a right of 
rejecting any Preachers, which they should disap- 
prove." But this we saw would destroy Itinerancy,'. 
So they chose John Jtley, (Mr. Wesley's Book* 

1,82 ji Chronological History [1790* 

Steward) for a Preacher who adopted William Eells 
(see page 158,) for his Curate. Nothing remained 
but to build another Preaching-house, towards 
which we subscribed two hundred and six pounds 
on the spot." 

It was asserted concerning some of the Preach- 
ers, that they did not approve of settHng the Cha- 
pels on the Methodist plan ; therefore one hundred 
and fifte~en, being all that were present at the Con- 
ference, signed a paper, expressive of their entire 
approbation of that plan ; namely, That Mr . Wesley, 
and after him the Conference^ should have the entire 
nomination and appointment of the Preachers to the 
Chapels, it being impossible to continue the Itine- 
rant plan in any other way. 

It was asked, g. Are there any directions to be 
given to the Preachers ? — A. Yes. 1. Let the rules 
of the Society be read in every Society once a quar- 
ter, 2. Let no person into the Love- feast without 
a Society ticket, or a note from the Assistant. 3. Let 
every Watch-night continue till midnight. 4. Let 
the money collected at the Love- feasts be most con- 
scientiously given to the poor. 5. Let no Preacher 
go out to supper, or be from home after nine at 
night. 6. Let the Preachers children dress exactly 
according to the rules of the Bands. 


Of this Mr. Wesley speaks as follows. Bristol 
March 14, 1790. *' Sunday v/as a comfortable day. 
In the morning, I met the Straiigers Friend Society, 
instituted wholly for the relief, not of our Society, but 
for poor, sick, friendless Strangers. I do not know 
that I ever heard or read ot such an institution till 
within a few years ago. So this also is one of the 
fruits of Methodism." 

A Society of this kind had been formed in Lon- 
don in 1784. This in Bristol was instituted in Sep- 
tember 1780. James Chubb and Thomas Delve 
vvere the first Stewards. There is a remarkable ac- 
count of Mr, Delve in. the Arminian Mag. for 

lygo.'] Of the FeopU called Methodists, \^^ 

August 1794; and there was another instituted in 
Liverpool in the year 1787. The following are the 
rules which Mr. Wesley drew up and published lor 
the Strangers Friend Society in Bristol : they are the 
first that were drawn up and published tor these So- 

*' 1. Many have, been the charitable Institutions 
which have commenced in Eni^land in little more 
than half a century. One of these has been a new 
kind : I believe never heard of before. Four or five 
years ago, a few poor men in London, agreed to pay 
each a penny a week, in order to relieve Strangers 
who had no habitation — no cloaths — no food — no 
friends. They met once a week and assigned to 
each his share of the work for the ensuing week; to 
discover proper objects, 'who indeed were easily- 
found) and to relieve them according to their seve- 
ral necessities. And they took care of their souls as 
well as their bodiej:, instructing them in the principles 
of religion, of which till then they had little more 
knowledge than the beasts of the held. 

*' 2. A little Society of the same kind has lately 
been founded at Bristol. Being deteniHned to do 
them all the service 1 could, 1 appointed them to 
meet at six o'clock every Sunday morning at the 
new room, with the resident Preacher and two Stew- 
ards; who are to receive all contributions, and keep 
account of all disbursements. 

*' 3. At the weekly meeting, first the names are call- 
ed over, then each has his work assigned for the fol- 
lowing week. Next, enquiry is made whether each 
has fulfilled his appointment the preceding week. 4. 
Any member, who without a sufficient cause is ab- 
sent from this meeting, or does not fulfil his ap- 
pointment, pays two pence for the use of the poor. 
5. If any of the members are sick, they shall be vi- 
sited twice a week. 

Bristol^ March j2, 1790. 

R 2 

j84 ji Chronological History [1790 

y; This Society has been of great use to the poor in 
^the City of Bristol, and particularly so since James 
Ewer, Esq. and Thomas Stock, Esq. were appointed 
Treasurer and Secretary. 

In the year 1791, Mr. Adam Clarke instituted a 
Society of this kind in the City of Dublin. He 
published an account ot it, and recommended it to 
^ 'the consideratien of all those who earnestly wish to 
ameliorate the condition of the poor. After this, 
they were universally adopted by all the large Socie- 
ties m Great Britain and Ireland. And as their de- 
sign is to relieve the destitute and afflicted of e- 
very nation and denomination, (except a Methodist) 
some charitable persons of all persuasions contribute 
freely to their support. Thousands have been res- 
cued from the extreme of human misery, and not 
a few brought to the knowledge of God, since they 
were first instituted. No doubt, the blessing of 
those v\:ho were ready to perish has, and shall come 
upon the conductors and supporters of this Charity. 
g. But should not a poor strange Methodist be 
relieved ? — A. I think iie should. 

July 27, 1790, The forty-seventh Conference 
was held in Bristol. This was the last at which Mr. 
Wesley was present. From the Minutes it appears 
he appointed nine Preachers as " a Committee for the. 
management of the West India affciirs," i. e. the Mis- 
sions ; and six Preachers to be a Building Commit- 
tee for Great Britain, and four for Ireland. It 
would appear by this that he wished to see the dif- 
ferent labours of the Conference divided into sepa- 
rate Committees, which would undoubtedly save a 
great deal of time, and give scope to the talents of 
many more of the Preachers than can be at present 
employed in the business that comes before them. 

The following rules were also agreed to, 1. No 
Preacher shall preach three times ^the same day to 
xh^same congregation. 2. No Preacher shall preach 
oftener than twice on a week day, or oftener than 
three times on the Lord's day. 3. No Preacher 

I790-] Of the People called Methodisis. 185 

Shall in future leave the Conference be^" )re the con- 
clusion of it, without consent publicly obtained in 
the Conference 4. No A sistant shall take into the 
SocKt\ any whom his predecessor had put out, with- 
out first -onsulting him. 5. No Preacher shall re- 
turn home to his family after preaching in the even- 
ing, till after he has met the Society. 

The general Minutes from 1744 to 1789, were at 
that time published. .From them we learrf the man- 
ner in which the Preachers proceed to business at 
the Conference. It is thus detailed: , 

(7. What is the method wherein we usually pro- 
ceed in our Conferences ? — J. We enquire, 

I. What Preachers are admitted into full connec- 
tion this year? 2. Who rem.ain on trial ? 3. Who 
are admitted on trial ? 4. Who desist from travel- 
ling ? 5. Who have died this year ? 6. Are thtre 
any objections to any of the Preachers ? (they are 
then named one by one J 7. How are the Preachers 
stationed this year ? 8. W^hat numbers are in the So* 
cieties ? 9. What is the Kingswood collection ? 10. 
What boys are received this' year? 11. What girl^ 
are assisted ? 12. What is contributed for the year- 
ly expences ? 13. How was it expended? 14 
What is contributed towards the fund for superan- 
nuated Preachers and Widows ? 1^. What demands 
are there upon it ? 16. How many Preachers wives 
are to be provided for ? 17. By what Societies ? i8» 
When and where may our next Conference begin i^ 

Since Mr. Wesley's death, when the Pr<iacher8 
assemble, the first thinu they do is to elect a Presi- 
dent and Secret;;rv, wmch is done by ballot. The 
Minutes of the Districts are then read over: alter 
which the Conference proceeds according to the a- 
bove method. 

I shall conclude this chapter with an account of 
the Conferences Mr. Wesley heid in Ireland ; and 
v/ith a view of tl^ state of the connection at. the time 
of his death, 

R 3 

i86 A Chronological History [1790. 

August 14, 1752, The first Conference was held 
in Limerick. Mr. Wesley only observes concern- 
ing it, " These two days I spent m Conference with 
our Preachers." 

April 20, 17,56, The second Conference began in 
Dublin. His account of it is, " All our Preachers 
TCiQi. I never before found such unanimity among 
them. They appeared not only to be of one heart, 
but likewise of one mind and judgment:. " 

June 17, 1758, The third Conference met in Li- 
merick. He observes, *' Our little Conference 
began, at which fourteen Preachers were present. 
We settled all .things here, which we judged would 
be of use to the Preachers or the Societies, and con- 
sulted how to remove whatever might be an hin- 
drance to the work of God. 

July ,5, 1760, The fourth Conference was also 
held in Limerick. He says, *' Ten of us met in a 
little Conference. By the blessing of God we were 
all of one mind, particularly witii regard to theChurch, 
Willing to attend there, be the Minister good or bad. 

The other Conferences were all held in DiiDlin, 
and generally in every second year; but Mr. Wes- 
ley for the most pait only mentions them without 
entering into any particulars. They were held in 
theyears 1762, 1765, 1767, 1769, 1771, 1773, 1775. 

July i9, 1775J The eleventh Conference was 
beld immediately after a severe illness which Mr. 
Wesley had in the North of Ireland. A; thar time 
Mr. Payne, one of the Preachers, prayed, " that God 
would add to the lite of his aged scixatu, httcen 
years!" Mr. Gayer, at whose house Mr Wesley 
lay, declared, " That he had no dcmbt God would 
answer the prayer." It is remarkable, that Mr, 
Wesley lived after this fifteen years and a few 

July 7, 1778, The twelfth Conference was held 
m Dublin. The Minutes were then, for the first 

1790.] Oftht People called Methodists. 187 

time, published. The same has been done at every 
succeedmg Cv)nrerence ; but these Min ues contain 
nothing material, except the increase of the So- 
cieties, which will be noted in the general state- 
ment. The thirteenth Conlerence was held ni the 
year 1783. The fourteenth in 17B5. The filteenth 
in 1787. 

July 3, 1789, The sixteenth (the last Confe- 
rence at which Mr. Wesley presided; was held in 
Dublin. He observes concerning it, " I had 
much satisfaction in this Conference ; in which, 
conversing with between forty and fifty Travel- 
ing Preachers, I found such a body of men as I 
had hardly believed could have been brought to- 
getiier in Ireland ; men of so sound experience, 
so deep in piety, and so strong understanding, 
that I am convinced they are no w^y inferior to 
the EngHsh Conference, except it be in number." 

Doctor Coke, as Mr. Wesley's representative, 
held a Conference in Dublin in the year 1782, there 
having been none there since the year 1778. Also in 
the years 1784, 1786, 1788, and in the year 1790, 
There was none there in the year 1791, on account 
of Mr. Wesley's death, none having a richt to 
appoint who should hold a Conference. The 
Brethren met together by way of Committee, and 
appointed six of their body to attend the English 

Since that period the Doctor has been regularly 
chosen by the English Conference to preside at the 
Irish one, and this has been perfectly agreeable to 
the wishes of the Irish brethren expressed in their 
cfBcial annual letters. 

When the Doctor was first appointed after Mr. 
Wesley's death, in i1ie year 1791, it was declared, 
that *' No letters of complaint, or on Circuit bu- 
siness, shall be written to England on account of 
this appointment. The Committee of the Districts 
shall determine all appeals whatsoever during the 
intervals of the Conference. And therefore all 

i88 A Chronological History f^ZOO* 

applications on Society business during the said in- 
tervals, which cannot be dttermined by the^ Assis- 
tants ot the Circuits, shall be made to the Com- 
mittees only." The Doctor has been appointed by 
the Conference to visit the Societies m Ireland, 
which he has done, and generally to the edification 
of the people. 

The reason why Mr. Wesley was absent from 
Ireland from 1778 to 17^3, was, his English friends 
were unwilling to kt him go during that period on 
account of his controversy with Father O'Leary. 
But their fears were needless, the Protestant Volun- 
teers would have protected him, and when he came 
in the year 1783, he was cordially received by all 
ranks of people : he even had a friendly interview 
with his antagonist Father O'Leary. They breakfast- 
ed together at a tiiend's house in the city ot Corke, 
and parted in love though not united in sentiment. 

The State of the Connection at the Conference pre- 
ceding the Death of Mr. Wesley. 




In England, . . . 




. 52,832 

In Ireland, .... 





In Wales, . . . 




In Scotland, . . . . 





In the Isle of Man, . 




. 2580 

In the Norman Isles, 





In the West India Isles, 





In the British Domi- 1 
nions in America, J 





In the United States ^ 


. 43.265 

of America, J 



Total. 216 511 120,233 

The first Preachers began to assist Mr. Wesley 
as Itinerants ni the year 17^0. Twenty-five years 
after, viz. in the year 1765, their names and &ta- 

f 79 1 •] Of the People called Methodists, 1 89 

tions were for the first time published in the Mi- 
nutes of the Conference. All therefore who came 
into the connection during that period may be con- 
sidered as the hrst race of Methodist Preachers. 
The last Conference which Mr. Wesley presi- 
ded at, was in the year 1790, exactly twenty-five 
years from the year 1765. The Preachers 
who were admitted into the connection during this 
period may be considered as the second race or Me- 
thodist Preachers. Those who have been admitted 
since Mr. Wesley's death, may be considered as 
the third ''race. For all their names, and the year 
when each began to travel, see the Eleventh Chap- 


From Mr, Wesley's Death in 1791, to the Confc^ 
rence m 1794. 

VyN Wednesday, March 2, 1791, at ten o'clock 
in the forenoon, Mr. Wesley departed this life, at 
his house in the City Road, London. He fell 
asleep while several of the Preachers, with the fa- 
mily, were on their knees commending him"; to. God. 
He had preached on the preceding Thursday^ for the 
last time at Leatherhead, on the London Circuit, 
on Isa. Iv. 6, 7. and was but five days confined. 
He had often prayed that he might not live to be 
useless, and his prayer was answered. His last 
words were, " The best of all is, God is with us 1" 
The death of such a man was no com.non loss. It 
was deeply felt by the whole connection. Thou- 
sands of the people, with all the Travelling Preach- 
ers, went into mourning for him. The pulpits, and 

1 90 J Chronological History [ 1 79 1 . 

many of the Chapeis, not only in the Methodist 
Connection, but in others also, were hung with 
black cloth. In every place something was said by 
way ot Funeral Sermon ; and in many places dis- 
courses were preached on the same subject, which 
were afterwards published. Many Ministers, both 
ot the Establishment and among the Dissenters, 
mentioned his long, laborious, devoted, useful life, 
with great respect ; and exhorted their hearers to be 
followers of him as he had been of Christ. 

Thefollowiiig is Mr. Wesley's Last Will and Tista* 


In the name of God, Amen ! 

I JOHN WESLEY, Clerk, some time Fellow of 
Lincoln-College, Oxford, revoking all others, ap- 
point this to be my last Will and Testament. 

I give all my books now on sale, and the copies 
oi them (only subject to a rent charge of 85/. a 
year to the widow and children of my brother) to 
my faithtui friends, JohnHorton, Merchant, George 
Wolff, Merchant, and William Marriott, Stock-bro- 
ker, 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 Cieighton, Pcard Dickenson, Thomas Ran- 
kin, George Whitfield, and the London Assistant 
for the time bemg, still to superintend the printing- 
press, and to employ Hannah Faramore and George 
Paramore as heretofore, unless four of the Commit- 
tee judge a change to be needful. 

1 give the Books, Furniture, and whatever else 
belongs to me in the three houses at Kingswood, in 
trust to Tiiomas Coke, Alexander Matncr, and 
Henry Moore, to be still employed in teaching and 

1791.] Of the People called Methodists* 19I 

maintdiiilng the children of poor Travelliiig Preach- 

I give to Thomas Coke, Doctor Jo^m White- 
head, and Hemv Moore, all the hooks which are 
in my study and bedchamber at London, and in my 
studies elsewhere, in trust tor the use of the 
Preaciiers 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 burnt 
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 Collin^, John 
Easton, and Isaac Brown. ^\ 

I desire my gowns, cassocks, sashes, and bands, 
may remain at tlie Chapel for the use ^f the clergy- 
men attending there. \ 

I desire the London Assistant for me time being 
to divide the rest of my wearing apparel between 
those four of the Travelling Preachers that want it 
most ; only my pellise I give to the Rev. Mr. 
Creighton ; my watch to my friend Joseph Brad- 
ford ; my gold seal to Eliz. Ritchie. 

I give my chaise and horses to James Ward and 
Charles Wheeler, in trust, to be sold, and the mo- 
ney to be divided, one half to Hannah Abbott, and 
the other to the poor members of the Select Society. 
Out of the lirst money which arises from the sale 
of books, I bequeath to my dear sister Martha 
Hall, (if alive) 40I. to Mr. Creihgton aforesaid, 40I. 
and to the Rev. Mr. Heath 60I. 

And whereas 1 am empowered by a late Deed to 
name the persons who are to preach in the New 
Chapel at London, Cthe Clergymen fora continuance) 
and by another Deed to name a Committee for ap- 
pointing Preachers in the New Chapel at Bath, 1 
do hereby appoint John Richardson, Thomas Coke, 

192 ^ Chronological History [.^79'^* 

James Creighton, Peard Dickenson, Clerks ; Alex- 
ander Mather, William Thompson, Henry Moore, 
Andrew Biair, John Valton, Joseph Bradford, 
James Rogers, and William Myles, to preach in 
the New Chapel at London, and to be the Com- 
mittee for appointing Preachers in the New Chapel 
at Bath. 

I likewise appoint Henry Brooke, Painter, Ar- 
thur Keen, Gent, and William Whitestone, Sta- 
tioner, all of Dublin, to receive the annuity of 5/. 
(English) left to Kingswood school by the late Ro- 
ger Shiel, Esq. 

I give 61. to be divided among the six poor men, 
Hamed 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, ex- 
cept the tears of them that loved me, and are fol- 
lowing me to Abraham's bosom. I solemnly ad- 
jure 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 connection 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 the Executors of 
this my last Will and Testament, for which trouble 
they will receive no recompence till the Resurrec- 
tion of the just. 

Witness my hand and seal, the 20th day of Fe- 
bruary 1789. 


Signed, sealed, and delivered by the 
said Testator as for his last Will and Tes- 
tament, in the presence of us 


1791.] Of the People called Methodists* 193 

Should there be any part of my personal estate 
undisposed of by this' my Will, I give the same 
unto my two Nieces E. Ellison, and S. Collet, 


William Clulow, 
Elizabeth Clulow, 

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. 


Mr. Wesley's Will being read, it was found that 
he had bequeathed all his b6oks, (his only property) 
with the copies of them, (subject to a (iebt of one 
thottsand six hundred pounds, due to the widowr 
and children of his brother, by marriage settle- 
ment,) to Mr. John Horton, Mr. George WolfF, and 
Mr. William Marriott, in trust for the general 
fund of the Methodist Conference, in carrying on 
the work of God by Itinerant Preachers ; on condi- 
tion that they should permit the Rev. Dr. Coke, the 
Rev. James Creighton, the Rev. Peard Dickenson, 
Mr. Thomas Rankin, Mr. George Whitfield, and 
the London Assistant for the time being, to super- 
intend the printing-press, and to employ the primer, 
&c. as heretofore : and to two ot this Committee, 
viz. Mr. Rankin, and Mr. Whitfield, he bequeath- 
ed all his types, printing-presses, and every thing 
pertaining thereto, in trust for the use of the Con- 

His manuscripts he bequeathed to Dr. Coke, Dr. 
Whitehead, and Mr. Henry Moore, to be burnt or 
published, as they should see good. The three 
gentlemen first named were appointed Executors, 
and the Will, which was dated the 2o:h uf Fe^ 

194 A Chronological History [^791* 

bruary, 1789, was witnessed by William and Eliza- 
beth Clulow. 

An inventory of the stock of books was taken 
soon after Mr. Wesley's interment : and his manu- 
scripts, with all the letters of his correspondents, 
were then also carefully sealed up, and deposited 
with Mr. Rogers, the Superintendant of the Lon- 
don Circuit, until Dr. Coke should return from 
America, in order that they might be examined, 
and disposed of according to the Will ; a printed 
copy of which was sent to all the Travelling preach- 
ers in the connection, signed by the three Exe- 
cutors, and abo the Preachers in London, with the 
following note subjoined. — " Since the death of 
the Rev. Mr. Wesley, a Deed, bearing date Octo- 
ber 5, 1790, and executed by him beiore two wit- 
nesses, hath appeared, wherein he gives all his 
books, stock in trade, &c. to Thomas Coke, 
Alexander Mather, Peaid Dickinson, John Va!|on, 
James Rogers, Joseph Taylor, and Adam Clarke, 
in trust, for carrying on the work of God by Itine- 
rant Preachers ; subject to the debt already men- 
tioned, with all debts and legacies specified in the 

•' N. B. The intent of this deed, with respect 
to the application of the produce of the books, &c. 
is exactly the same as expressed in the Will ; and 
the Executors and Trustees are perfectly agreed, 
and resolved to act in concert fulfilling the desire of 
the deceased." 

A short time after Mr. Wesley's death, a report 
being circulated ihat Mr. Hampson, Jun. formerly a 
Travelling Preacher, had a history of Mr. Wesley 
ready for the press, the Executors, with the concur- 
rence of the Committee for printing, published the 
following caution in the newspapers. 

*♦ The Executors of the late Rev. John Wesley, 
think it necessary to caution his numerous friends 
and the public, against receiving any spurious or 
hasty accounts of his life, as three gentlemen, to 

x79i'J Of the People called Methodists. 193 

v>fhom he has bequeathed his manuscripts and 
other valuable papers, will publish an authentic 
narrative as soon as it can be prepaied for the 
press." Mr. Hampson, Jun. had been a Tra- 
velling Preacher, and was educated at Kings- 
wood school. Through his father's influence he 
was received into the connection, and continued 
so for upwarfl^' of seven years. He then pro- 
cured ordination, and got a living in the Esta- 
blished Church. The report appeared in a short 
time t^ be well founded. Mr. Hampson in- 
tended to have published these Memoirs in Mr. 
Wesley's life time, as his preface sets forth. 

Two of these gentlemen, viz. lyw Goke and 
Mr. Moore, were absent from London, and fully 
engaged in the work as Itinerants. Dr. Whitehead 
resided in London, and at that time acted as a local 
Preacher, under the direction of Mr. Rogers, the 
Superintendant. This gentleman had also been a 
Travelling Preacher for some years. He after- 
wards studied physic, and joined the society of 
Quakers. About three years before Mr. Wesley's 
death, he again joined the Methodist Society, and 
was received by Mr. Wesley wiih his usual kind- 
ness. He was much esteemed by all the parties, 
and was therefore with the consent of all, appoint- 
ed to compile the " Narrative :" Mr. Wesley's pi^ 
pers, at the Doctor's earnest request, were also de- 
livered into his care by Mr. Rogers, with the con- 
sent of Dr. Coke and Mr. Moore, that he mio-ht 
select at his leisure what was needful for tne 
work ; the whole to be afterwards examined. — 
Dr. Whitehead proposed to Mr. Rogers, that he 
should have one hundred pounds for his trouble and 
loss of time ; which was fully agreed to; at a meet- 
ing of the Executors and the Printing Committee 
united; only they determined, at the request of 
Mr. Rogers, thdt the Doctor should have one hun- 
dred guineas, as being a handsomer sum. — I have 

S 2 

19^ A Cli ronological His to ry [ 1 7 9 1 • 

been the more particular in these transactions, as I 
shall have to speak of some facts necessarily con- 
nected with them in the course of this history. 

- July 26, 1791, About a week after the above 
agreement, the forty-eighth Con lerence assembled at 
Manchester, according to the appointment of the 
former year. There were present upwards of two 
hundred Travelling Preachers from various parts of 
the three kingdoms. Every person present seemed 
deeply sensible of the impoitance of the occasion* 
Tor more than fifty years, Mr. Wesley had been, 
under God, the Father and" Head af the whole 
connection. And though far the greater part of 
tlic Societies had been formed by the labours of- the 
Preachers, -and inany of them Mr. \Ve?ley had 
never visited, yet having begun the work, and 
formed the rules by which the whole was govern- 
ed : having by unv/earied labour in travelling, 
preaching, and v/riting, for ' upwards of halt a 
tentiiry, given to ihe whole v/ork a consistency 
ancl order j^ which, under God, ensured its stability, 
he was" jiisily considered a centre of union both 
•to Preachers and People, and as having an apos- 
tolic and fatherly authority over tlie whole body, 
He still continued to visit the principal places every 
J^o ^ars, and to preside at the Conferences. 
^ M^ William Thompson was chosen President, 
jt^And ]3i:. Coke Secretary. — The Preachers had con- 
versed together previously to the regular opening 
of the Conference, and were greatly strengthened 
and comforted by knov/ing each others mind, that 
they were determined to abide in the good way in 
"which they had been called, and to be followers of 
then- deceased father as he been of Christ : and 
the first business done when the Conference was 
■ opened, was the passing a unanimous resolution to 

that effect. 
•^ The following Minute was then prepared for in- 

tygi.'] Of the People called Methodists. 197 

** It may be expected, that the Conference 
should make some observations on the death ot Mr, 
Wesley, but they find themselves utterly inadequate 
to express their ideas and feelings on this awiul and 
affecting event. 

•* Their souls do truly mourn for their great loss; 
and they trust they shall give the most substantial 
proofs of their veneration for the memory of their 
much esteemed father and friend, by endeavouring,, 
though with great humility and diffidence, to follow 
and imitate him in doctrine, discipline, and life." 

Mr. Bradford, who used to travel with Mr. Wes- 
ley, then delivered the following letter to the Presi- 


Chester, April y, J/Sc*' 
'* My Dear Brethren, 

" Some of oar Travelling Preachers have ex- 
pressed a fear, that alter my decease you would ex- 
clude them either from preaching m connexion with 
you, or from some other privileges which they now 
enjoy. I know no other way to prevent any such 
inconvenience, tlian to leave these my last words 
with you. 

•* I beseech you by the m^ercies of God, that 
you never avail yourselves of the Deed of Decla- 
ration, to assume any ■ superiority over yo'ur htt~ 
thrcn : but let all things ^o on among those Itinerants 
who chuse to remain together, exactly in the san>e 
manner as- when I was with you, so far as circum- 
stances will permit. 

" In particular I beseech you, if you ever loved 
me, and if you now love God and your brethren, 
to have no respect of persons in stationing the 
Preachers, in chusing children for King5,\vooi 
school, in disposing ol the yearly contribution, 
and the Preacher's fund, or any other public monrv. 
But do all things with a single eye, as I have done 
horn the beginning, Go on thus, doing all thing" 


198 ^ Chronological History [1791. 

without prejudice or partiality, and God will be 
with you even to the end. 


The Conference immediately and unanimously 
resolved, that all the Preachers who were in full 
connection with them, should enjoy every privi-- 
lege that the members of the Conference enjoy, 
agreeably to the above written letter of their vene- 
rable deceased Father in the Gospel, and consistent 
with the Deed of Declaration. 

The thiee Ejgs.cutors of Mr. Wesley's Will hav- 
ing come from London in oider to confer with the 
Preachers respecting the books which Mr. Wesley 
had left, and the debt of one thousand six hundred 
pounds, with which they were encumbex^ed, the 
Conference entered upon that business. 

By the will, tlie Stock and Copy-right of those 
Tracts which Mr. Wesley had published in the latter 
part of his life, (his Works had been published more 
than fourteen years, and to them no copy-right could 
be attached) were left in trust to the three executors 
for the benefit of the fund already mentioned ; but 
by a very express clause which immediately followed, 
the Executors were to have nothing to do wi;h the 
Printing, which was put into the hands of a Com- 
mittee expressly named for that purpose. His Types, 
Presses, &c. were alfo left, not to the three Execu- 
tors, but to two Preachers, in trust for the u/e of the 
Conference. — By the I>eed which Mr. Wesiev had 
executed after the Will, the Stock and the Copy- 
right ot all the books and tracts which Mr. Wesley 
had published, or even might publish during the re- 
mainder of his life, were given to seven Trustees 
therein named, for the same purpose as that m.en- 
tioned in the Will ; wiih this difference, that whereas 
in the Will the profits were directed to be applied ta 
the carrying on the work of Gud by Itinerant Preach^ 
erSy (a very general description, and which would 
nive greut laiitude in the application] in the Deed it 

1791.] OJ the People called Methodists, 199 

was expressly declared, that the profits should be ap- 
plied to the above use, according to ike Deed of De^ 
claration refpecting the Conference, which Mr. Wes^ 
ley had filed in Chancery in the year 1 784. The seven 
Trustees were also ordered and empowered to pay afl 
such debts as he should owe at the time ot his death, 
and any legacies or annuities which he should be- 
queath by his Will. From all these particulars, the 
Preachers assembled had no doubt that the printing, 
the distribution of the books, and tiic appUcation of 
the profits, were defigned by Mr. Wesley, to be as 
heretofore, under the direction of t!ie Conference. 

The Preachers from these considerations being per- 
fectly satisfied of Mr. Wesley's defign refpecting his 
property ; and the feven Trustees ot the Deed having 
declared, that they were willing and desirous that 
every thing should go on as heretofore under the di- 
rection of the Conierence, they proceeded to con- 
sider what should be done res[)ecting the debt of one 
thousand six hundred pounds, to which the property 
was liable, and for which the Tjustees of the Deed, 
and the Executors of the Will were both refponsible; 
and they came unanimously to the following refolu- 
tion, viz. to borrow the one thousand six hundred 
pounds, and to pay the debt immediately, as being 
mofl for the honour of their deceafed Father ; and to 
do their utmoll in their several Circuits to dilpose of 
the Stock that this money might be repaid, and the 
surplus used according to the design o^ the Testator, 
in the support of the Gospel in tlie poor Circuits. 

They next considered how they should behave to- 
wards the three Executors of Mr. Wesley's Will. 
The Conference were sensible tliat they were very 
respectable men, and that they as well as the Trustees 
of the Deed, had a right to be saiibhed, that the pro- 
perty Mr. Wesley had left, and to vvMich they had 
administered, should be used according to the design 
yf the Testator. It was therefore propos-jd, that the 
three Executors sliould be incorporated with the 
Preachers in order that they might be present at the Con- 

2O0 A Chronological History [^79-1 

fercnc€3 when this money should be disposed of; and 
that they should be members of the Committee in 
London, for the regulation of the press, and the ex- 
amination of the accompts. This proposal was also 
agreed to, without a dissenting voice. 

The three Executors were then introduced; and 
the President informed them of the refoiutions which 
the Conference had passed respectmg them and the 
property to which they had administered, adding, 
** We think this will be a sale and effectual way to 
fulfil the design of the Testator." The Executors 
replied, That in their opinion, their authority was to 
continue over the property, for tlie benefit of the Con- 
ference, as lonfT as they should live, and therefore they 
CQuld not comply, with the proposal. The President 
replied, that certainly their authority could only ex- 
tend to the property which Mr. Wesley died possessed 
of; that it could not extend to what might arise out 
of it by means of the Preachers, The Executors an- 
swered, that they would maturely consider what had 
been proposed, and then give an answer. 

The next morning the three gentlemen attended, 
and delivered the following, paper : 

*' Having maturely considered the situation in 
which we stand, as Executors to Mr. Wesley, and- 
Trustecs of his property, for the use of the Confe- 
rence, after payment of his debts and legacies, and 
being sworn in ihe Ecclesiastical Court faithfully to 
execute his Will, it is our opinion, that wc cannot 
legally or conscientiously divest ourselves of the trust 
reposed in us, or extend its administration beyond the 
designs of the Testator. We are fully sensible that 
the Conference have it in their power to render the 
property of small value ; but we trust- that they will 
not come to any resolution of that kind, as whatever - 
it may produce will be solely at their disposal, and vv'e 
wish to alTord them every assistance and support in 
our power tov/ard carrying on the work oi God agree-* 
ably to Mr. Wesley's design." 

When this paper was read, one of the Preachers 

1791.] OJ the People called Methodists. 201 

observed, •• That he coald not think that it was 
Mr. Wesley's design, that they (the Executors) should 
have the management of the property in the exclusive 
way then claimed, as he had executed a Deed which 
had placed that authority in the hands of Seven Per- 
sons, members of the Conference." One of the Ex- 
ecutors immediately replied, '^ That they had taken 
advice respecting that Deed, and were informed that 
it was good for nothing ; and that any claim on that 
ground iooul4 he resisted.'' The President then in- 
formed the three gentlemen that the Preachers were 
determined to give up the whole property if the Exe- 
cutors persisted in their refusal of the union proposed 
to them by the Conference, as they were certain the 
Testator's design could in no other way be iulfilled; 
Upon this, further time for consideration was desired 
by the Executors, who the next morning delivered 
the following note : 

" To meet the wishes of the Conference we are 
willing wholly to give up our trust to them. (This 
the Conference did not " wish," as is plain from their 
proposals to the Executors,) after discharging the debts 
and legacies, provided we can do it legally. In order 
therefore conscientiously to divest ourfelves of the 
charge, v^e will without delay take the opinion o-f 
the King's Advocate, and one other eminent Doctor 
of Civil Law, whether it can be done: and if so, 
what will be the proper mode to be adopted. The 
cafe we are willing to submit to your own statement." 

This proposal was maturely considered by the Con- 
ference, who were fully satisfied that Mr. Wesley 
intended, as was clear even from the Will alone, that 
the printing, and the disposal of the books, should be. 
under the direction of the Conference ; and that the 
utmoft the Executors could reasonably demand was, 
to see that the profits were difpofed of according to 
the design of the Testator. This the union of the 
Executors with the Conference fully secured. . The 
exclusive management contended for, was in itself to- 
tally impracticable, and also plainly contrary io the 
•^^sign of the deceased: it app ear e-d also to the Preach- 

ao2 ji Chronological History [^791' 

eis, notwithstanding their conviction of the upright- 
ness of the three gentlemen, to be highly unreafona- 
ble. To seem therefore, while thus impressed, to 
consent to us being referred to legal opinion, whether 
they should submit to act in the way proposed, when 
they were determined not to submit, would be insin- 
cerity. For as it was a question that rested with 
themselves, they were determined to give up the le- 
gacy (which certainly any Legatees may do) rather 
than submit to a demand which they saw would de- 
stroy their unanimity, and impede their usefulness. 
Beside, the delay of a year, (before which period the 
Conference could not again assemble,) would be at- 
tended with great inconvenience. They therefore 
refolved to give up at once to the three Executors, 
all that the law could possibly give them ; thus avoid- 
ing, as most becoming their character, all further 
contention whether legal or otherwise. — The follow- 
ing answer was sent the same day to the three gen- 

•* The Conference beg leave to return the follow- 
ing answer to the Executors of the late Rev. Mr. Wes- 
ley's Will, as containing their ultimate resolutions, in 
respect to the business between them and the Exe- 

I. They return the Executors their sincere thanks 
for the trouble which they have taken in coming down 
from London to Manchester on the business of their 

IL They inform the Executors that they resign all 
their claim and right to the whole stock of books and 
pamphlets of which Mr. Wesley was possessed at the 
tnne of his death, into the hands of them, the Exe- 

in. They will purchase the above-mentioned stock 
of the Executors, (if the Executors please) at any, 
time between this and the fost of September nzy^U. 
paying to the Executors fuch a sum of money as will 
be sufficient to enable them to discharge every obli- 
gation which may then lie upon them on account oi 
Mr. Wesley's Wiil." 

i^pi*] OJ ttu PeopU called Mdhodiits. 203 

Thus ended this painful bufiness for that time. It 
b not easy to arrive at any clear or certain conclu- 
sions concerning the motives which induced these 
good men to refuse the proposal of acting in union 
with the Preachers, and to insist upon an exclufive 
management. The opinion of their Lawyer, that the 
Deed was informal^ and therefore void^ no doubt in- 
duced them to suppose, that such a management be- 
longed to them of right. Yet it is hard to say how 
they could imagine this, when even the Will itself 
expressly excludes them from having any thing to do 
with printing, and gives the whole superintendance 
in that line to a Committee of Preachers expressly 
named, of which Committee the Executors were not 
even to be members. The Conference certainly of- 
fered them more than the Will gave them. Had they 
accepted the proposal, the accompts, and even the 
printing, not only of any of Mr. Wesley's books, 
but of all 7iezju hooks, (with which, as Executors of 
Mr. Wesley, they could, of right, 'have nothing to 
do,) together with the disposal of the profits, would 
all have been under their inspection. This union I 
am convinced would have been attended with the 
happiest effects. These gentlemen however thought 
otherwise; and certainly they were justifiable in fol- 
lowing their own judgment, as the Preachers were 
on their part, in chusing what appeared to them the 
most excellent way. 

The Conference proceeded to settle the business 
of priming for the ensuing year. They appointed a 
Cummittee to supermtend the accompts, to examine 
every thing which should be proposed to be printed 
at their press during the year; and also empowered 
this Conjniittee finally to settle with the three execu- 
tors at the expiration of the month given them to 
consider the proposal of the Conference. 

The executors then departed. Upon their re- 
turn to London, they consulted the Solicitor Ge^ 
neral, (now Lord Eldon,) and the King's Advocate, 
concerning Mr, Wesley's WiU^ and also the Dud, 

t04 J Chronological History [*795, 

and received for answer, That the Deed was Tes- 
tamentary ; and that it superseded the IV2II, in res- 
pect to the boolis^ copy-right, i^c. being made sub- 
sequent to the Will. The executors hereupon in- 
formed the seven Trustees of the Deed of the opini- 
on they had received. The Trustees immediately 
went to London, and took out letters of Administra- 
tion accordingly. 

The publishmg a Life of Mr. Wesley was then 
considered, and several objections were made to 
Dr. Whitehead as the Biographer, chiefly on ac- 
count of his known versatility, and the short time 
he had been in the connection since his last admis- 
sion. But Mr. Rogers entirely satisfied the bre- 
thren on these points, and the Doctor authorised 
to compile the Life, and also appointed one of the 
Committee already mentioned, for examination and 
superintendance. • The Committee thus appointed 
consisted of the following persons : The Kev. Dr. 
Coke, the Rev. James Creighton, the Rev. Peard 
Dickinson, Mr. James Rogers, Mr. Richard Rodda, 
Mr. George Whitfield, and Dr. Whitehead. 

This business being settled, the Conference con- 
sidered the state of the connection at large. Con- 
siderable uneasiness had been manilested among the 
people from the time or Mr. Wesley's death, con- 
cerning the question which had often before been 
agitated : Some who were attached to what was 
called. The Old Plan, viz. a strict connection 
with the National Church, printed circular letters, 
strongly insisting on that plan being adopted. This, 
as might be easily foreseen, provoked replies from 
those who in several places wished to have the plan 
so extended, as to comprehend every scriptural 
privilege. Thus a dispute was revived, which con- 
tinued for four years, and was productive ot great 
uneasiness to the Pieachers. 

The letters above-mentioned occasioned the fol- 
lowing Minute. 

g. Is It necessayy to enter into any engagement 

i79*-J Of the Ptople called Methodists. 205 

in respect to our future plan of CEConoray ? — J. We 
engage to follow strictly the plan which Mr. Wes. 
ley left us. — This answer was variously interpreted, 
according to the wishes 01 the two panics already 
mentioned. Hence the dispute became more warm. 
But the Conference could not be more explicit, as 
they saw it was impossible at that time to satisfy those 
who thus contended. 

Many fears having been expressed, that after 
Mr. Wesley's death the Preachers would cease to 
travel; to remove these, the following Minute was 

g. Are any directions necessary concerning sta- 
tioning of the Preachers l—^A. No Preacher shall 
be stationed for any Circuit above two years succes- 
sively, unless God has been pleased to use him as 
the instrument of a remarkable revival. 

The Conference being sorely pressed to provide 
for the families of the Preachers ; to avoid an un- 
due increase of this burthen the following Mmute 
was adopted. 

2* Whereas we have been disappointed by mar- 
ried Preachers coming out to travel in expectation 
of being themselves able to maintain their wives 
independantly of the connection, who very soon 
became entirely dependant on it: how shall this be 
prevented in future? — A. Let no Preacher be re- 
ceived on this plan, unless he can bring in writing 
such an account of his income, signed by his 
Superintendant, as shall satisfy the Conference, 
2. If any person shall propose to keep a Preacher's 
wife or children, he shall give a bond to the Con- 
ference for the sum he is to allow. 

To oppose a great and encreasing evil, the fol- 
lowing rule was made. 

g. Have we not made too great advances to- 
wards conformity to the world ? — /I. We fear we 

(7. How shall we prevent this?— ^.1. Those. 

Sio6 J Chronological History [i79i» 

school-masters and school-mistresses who receive 
dancing-masters into their schools, andtliose parents 
who employ dancing-masters for their chiiiren, shall 
be no longer members ot our Societies, 2. Let every 
Superintendant read the '* Thoughts on Dressy" once 
a year, in alt his S(;cieties. 

France appeared on the Minjrtesof the Confer- 
ence this year! A change tliat was favouiable to re- 
ligious liberty, having taken place two years before 
in the government o\. that country, IVtlUam Maky, 
a native of the island of Guernsey, was sent into 
Normandy and Bntanny, to preach the Gospel to 
the inhabitants. He had considerable success, 
and his name appeared for France in the Minutes 
for 1792. But the war which broke out between 
this country and France in the beginning of 1793, 
and the revolutionary government, with the horrors 
that followed in that distracted nation, rendered his 
mission nearly abortive. 

Since the return of Peace, there is a prospect, 
blessed be God, that the Gospel in its life and power 
%vill find its way through France and Italy. 

At this Conference, the Honourable William 
Wilberforce, Member of Parliament for the County 
of York, sent a letter to the Conference accompanied 
with a present of one hundred and two volumes, of 
** The Evidence that appeared before a Select Com- 
mittee of the House of Commons, relative to the 
Slave Trade." One for each Member of the Con- 
ference, two for the President, and two for the Se- 
cretary. In his letter he complimented them on their 
piety and zeal, and intreated them to use their influ- 
ence in getting petitions signed and presented to Par- 
liament, praying for the abolition of the above trade. 
The Conference sent him a polite answer, in which 
tiiey promised to comply with his request. From a prin- 
ciple of conscience they entered heartily into the work, 
and were instrumental in a m.easure of promoting 
■v%rhat appeared the general sense oi the country a: 

1791.] Of the people called Methodists. 2oy 

that time respecting the Slave Trade, namely, 
" That 7t ought to be abolished." 

To supply the want ot Mr. Wesley's Superin- 
tendance, local authorities were instituted. The 
Circuits were I'ormed into Districts. There were 
not less than three, nor more than eight Circuits in 
each District ; in ereneral there were five. England 
was divided into seventeen Districts, Ireland into five, 
Scotland into two, and Wales ibrmed one. 

The Districts have authority, 1. To try and sus^ 
p^nd Preachers who are found immoral, erroneous 
in doctrine, or deficient in abilities. 2. To decide 
concernmg the building of CL-apels. 3. To examine 
the demands from the Circuits respectmg the sup- 
port of the Preachers, and of their families. 4. To 
elect a Representative to attend and n>rm a Com- 
mittee four days before the meeting of the Confer- 
ence, in order to prepare a draft of the stations for 
the ensuing year. Three things the District Assenj* 
blies cannot do: 1. They cannot make any rule. 
2. They cannot expel a Preacher. 3. They cannot 
station the Preachers. — An appeal to the Confer- 
ence is allowed in all cases. 


In this year (1791) it was agreed, j. The As- 
sistant of a Circuit shall have authority to summons 
the Preachers or his District who are in full connec- 
tion, on any critical case, which, according to the 
best of his judgment, merits such an jnterlerence. 
And the said Preachers, or as many of them as can 
attend, shall assemble at the place and time appoint- 
ed by the Assistant aforesaid, and shall form a Com- 
mittee tor the purpose of determining concerning 
the business on which they are called. They shall 
choose a chairman for the occasion, and their decision 
shall be final till tie meeting of the next Conference^ 
when the Cliairman of the Coinmittee shall lay the 
Minutes of their proceedings before the Conference, 
T 2 

sso8 A tkrcnolcgical History {.^Jd^^^ 

Provided nevertheless, that nothing shall he done by 
any Committee contrary to the resolutions of the Con- 
ference. 2, " Let the District Committees settle the 
temporal accounts of their respective Districts annu- 
ally. 3. The Committee of every District in England 
and Scotland shall elect one of their body, to form a 
Committee to draw up a plan for the stationing of the 
Preachers in Great Britain ; which Committee shall 
meet at the place where the Conference is held, 
three days in the week preceding the Conference, 
(now it is four days ; they begin on the Wednesday.) 
in order to draw up the above mentioned plan. The 
Committee of every Disirict in Ireland shall send 
one of their body to meet the Delegate two days be~ 
fore the Irish Conference for the same purpose. 

in rlie year 1792, it was added, 1. The Chair« 
man, shall have authority to call a meeting of the 
Committee of his District on any application of the 
Preachers or people, which appears to him to re- 
quire it. But he must never individually interfere 
with any other Circuit but his own. 2. "Whenever 
the Chairman has received any complaint against a 
preacher either from the Preachers or Ahe people, he 
shall send an exact account of the complaint in writing 
to the person accused, with the name of the accuser, 
cr accusers, before he calls a meeting of the District 
Committee to examine into the charge. 3. If it ap- 
pear on just grounds to any Assistant, that the Chair- 
man of his District has been guilty of any crime or 
misdemeanor, or that he has neglected to call a 
meetmg of the District Committee when there were 
sufficient reasons for calling it, such Assistant shall 
have authority in that case to call a meeting of the 
District Committee, and to fix the time and place of 
meeting. The Committee thus assembled, shall have 
power, if they judge necessary, to try the Chairman, 
and, if found guilty, to suspend him from bemg a 
Travelling Preacher till the ensuing Conference, or 
to remove him from the office of an Assistant, or to 
depose him from the Chair, and to elect another in 
his place. 

179 1'] 0/ the People called Methodists. 20 g 

In the year 1793, it was enquired, Q. Slial 
any alteration be made concerning the exercise of 
the office oF a Chairman of a District? — J. U any 
Preacher be accused of immorality, the Preacher ac- 
cused and his accuser shall respectively choose two 
Preachers of their District; and the Chairman of 
tlie District shall, with the four Preachers chosen as 
above, try the accused Preacher ; and they shall 
have authority, if he be found guilty, to suspend 
him till the ensuing Conference, ii they j'^'^ge it ex- 
pedient. 2. If there be any difference between the 
Preachers in a District, the respective parties shall 
choose two preachers ; and the Chairman of the Dis- 
trict with the four Preachers so chosen, shall be final 
Arbiters to determine the matters in dispute. In 
both c?ses the Chairman shall have a casting voice in 
case of an equality. 

In the year 1794, it was added, " All deficiences 
shall be minuted down, as far as possible, in the 
District Meetings." 

In the year i"97, it was added, *' 1. In order to 
render our Districts more effective, the President 
of the Conference shall have power, when applied 
to, to supply a Circuit whh Preachers, if any should 
die or dtsist trom travelling; and to sanction any 
change ot Preacher w'nch it may be necessary to 
make in the inteivals of tlie Conference; and to 
assist at any District Meeting, if applied to for that 
purpose by the Cl. airman of the District, or by a 
majority of the Sr.perintendants in such District. 
And he shall have a right, if written to by any 
who are concerned, to visit any Circuit, and to 
enquire into their affairs with respect to Metho- 
dism, and, in union with the Dij^trict Committee, 
redress any grievance. 

2. The Cliairman of each District, in conjunction 
with his bretiiren of the Committee, shall be re. 
sponsible to the Conference for t'.ie execution of 
the laws, as far as his District is concerned. 

210 j^ Chronological History C*79^' 

3. That no Chairman may have cause to com- 
plain of the want of power; in cases which (accord- 
ing to his judgment) cannot be settled in the ordina. 
ry District Meeting, he shall have authority to sum- 
mon three of the nearest Superintendants to be in- 
corporated with the District Committee, who shall 
have equal authority to vote and settle every thing 
till the Conference. 

4. The Conference recommends it to the Super- 
intendants of the Circuits, to invite, on all impor- 
tant occasions, the Chairman of their respective Dis- 
trict, to be present at their Quarterly Meetings. 

^. The Chairman of every District shall be cho- 
sen by the ballot of the Conierence, after the names 
of all the Preachers of the District have been read 
to them by the Secretary." 

In the year 1798, it was added, •* In our yearly 
District Meeting, in the examination of characters, 
not only morality and religion^ in a general sense, 
should be kept in view; but a particular enquiry 
must be made, whether our Rules, as set forth in the 
large Minutes, are observed by each individual in 
every station.*' N. B. The Minutes of each Dis- 
trict shall be road in the Conference." 

In the year 1799, it was added, *• A Book shall 
"be kept by the Committee of each District, in 
which every thing resolved upon or transacted shall 
be minuted down, and every such book shall be 
handed down to the Chairman successively. 2. The 
Annual Meeting shall be held in future as soon as 
possible after the Midsummer Quarter Meeting." 

Ln attending to these rules an expence was incur- 
red which was not at first foreseen : So that in the 
year 1800, the following rules were added, *' 1. 
Let no Preacher, Steward, or Leader, on any ac- 
count, $end for our President or Secretary, without 
bearing his expcnces. 2. No bill for letters shall 
be brought to the Conference. Let every Superin- 
tendent 'inform his brethren, that they arc to pay 
for ail the letters ihcy write on public business." 

In the year iSoij it was added, ♦* 1. All ordina^ 

f792.] Of the People called Methodists, fin 

ry deficiencies, such as salaries for Pveaclier's, 
Wives, Children, Servants, House-ren', Coals and 
Candles, shall be paid at the District Meetings by 
the means of the yearly collection raised in each 
District respectively : and as far as is necessary, by 
extra collections and subscriptions raised through 
the District." 

" 2. That the Superintendant of evtry Circuit 
shall invite the General Steward ol his Circuit to be 
present at the Annual Meeting of the District Com- 
mittee, during the settling ofevery thing relating to 
the finances of" the District ; and every Circuit 
Steward shall accordingly have a right to be present, 
and to advise at the settlement oi' all the financial 

The business being ended, the Conference broke 
up. Great was the comfort of the Preachers that 
such a foundation was laid for the peace and pros- 
perity of the Societies. The Lord, they saw, was 
better to them than their boding fears. His servants 
were of one heart and of one mind. The voice of 
thanksgiving asceufied up on high and they departed 
to their several Circuits blessing and praising God, 

July 31, 1792, The forty-ninth Conference be= 
gan In London. Mr. Alexander Mather was elect- 
ed President, and Dr. Coke Secretary. 

The Preachers had no sooner assembled than they 
were involved in a dispute which had occasioned 
great uneasinesss throughouf tiie connection in the 
preceding year. 

It has been already observed, that at the former 
Conference, upon the representation of Mr. Rogers, 
the Sperintendant ot the London Circuit, and the 
other Members of the Committee who were appointed 
by Mr. Wesley's Will to manage the printing, the 
appointment ot Dr. Whitehead to compile a Life of 
Mr. Wesley, was confinijed. The Docu^r had al- 
ready entered upon tlie work, and proposals had 
been punted by the Committee, and sent into the 

212' A Chronological History ["1792. 

Circuits, that the Preachers might procure subscrip- 
tions. Dr. Whitehead, however, soon after the 
Conference, to the astonishment of all concerned, 
declared his intention oi publislnng-the Life as an In- 
dependant Man. He also declared that he would make 
s.uch use of the Manuscripts of Mr. Wesley, with 
which he had been intrusted, as he Azwzj-^//^should think 
proper ; and that he would not suffer them to be exa- 
mined, as Mr. Wesley had ordered m his Will, pre- 
viously to the pubhcation, unless the two other 
Trustees of these Manuscripts would enter into an 
engagement, that he should retain in his hands all 
those papers which he should judge to be necessary 
for the work. He insisted also that the copy-right 
of the book should belong to him ; and tliat if it 
should be published from the book-room, he would 
have half the clear profits. 

As the Doctor had engaged (see page 195,) to 
compilethe Life for the Book-room, (?. ^.for the charity 
to which Mr. Wesley had bequeathed all his literary 
Property,) the Committee expostulated with him on 
his unfaithfulness, and the extravagance of his new 
demands. Their expostulations were however in 
vain. They had acted with great simplicity towards 
the Doctor. Having a high opinion of his integrity 
and attachment to the cause iii which they were all 
engaged, they had given aii the necessary maferials 
into his hands, and so were compleatly in his power. 
He was fully sensible of this advantage, and perse- 
vered in those demands with which he knew the 
Committee could not comply. This strange con- 
duct occasioned great uneasiness, not only in the 
London Society, but throughout the whole con- 

When this uneasiness was at a considerable 
height, the seven Trustees of Mr. Wesley's Testa- 
mentary Deed went to London to take out letters of 
Administration. Being informed of the dispute, 
they united their efforts to those of the Committee, 
to makepeace, and in order thereto, they determmed to 

1792.] Of the 'People called Methodists. 213 

sacrifice a considerable part of the income of the 
cliarity. Accordingly they consented to give Dr. 
Whitehead one halt of the clear profits of the book 
for two years, provided the Manuscript should be 
approved by the Committee appointed to superintend 
the printing. To the first of these proposals the Doc- 
tor agreed, but he absolutely refused to comply with 
the latter : and as nothing great or small could be 
printed without such approbation, (which the Doctor 
well knew,) the Trustees were obliged, at length, af- 
ter some fruitless expostulation, to leave the Doc- 
tor to his own way. 

A Life of Mr. Wesley had, however, been ad- 
vertised from the book-room, and the Connecuon 
eApected it. The Trustees therel'ore, in conjunctioii 
with the Committee, appointed the two other Trus- 
tees of Mr. Wesley's manuscripts, to compile a 
life according to that first intention. The work 
was accordingly undertaken and compleated without 
any profit or emolument whatsoever to the panics. 
The whole edition, consisting of ten thousand co- 
pies, was sold in a few weeks, and a second edition 
published when the Conference assembled. 

Doctor Whitehead was by this time not quite %o 
sanguine concerning the Memoirs v;hich he was 
writing, as when he rejected the proposals of the 
Committee. He addressed the Conference, and 
complained of the ill treatment which he said he 
had received. The Conference answered, that be- 
fore they could listen to any complaint from him, 
he muse consent to an examination of Mr, Wes- 
ley's papers, according to his Will, as he could 
not appear before them as an upriglit man, till he 
should do so. They declared, that if he would 
consent to this, they would gladly hear any thing 
which he had to say in his own defence, or any 
accusati&n which he should bring against any mem- 
bers of their body who had opposed him. 

This reply produced the proposals, which the 
Doctor has primed in the advertisement prefixed to . 

'21^ A Chronological Histo ry 1^79^* 

his Memoirs. They consist of three parts. In 
the first the Doctor proposes an examination of the 
manuscripts. In the second, that the Conference 
should take his Life of Mr. Wesley, (of which 
tliere was at that time 128 pages printed) off his 
hands, upon some CDnditions therein mentioned. 
And in the third, that he should be restored to his 
place as a Local Preacher. 

As the Conference could not suppose that Dr, 
Whitehead had any serious expectation that th^y 
would have any thing to do with the Life of their 
honoured Father which he was writing, and as his 
restoration as a Preacher must depend (as long as 
any upright discipline should remain) upon his faith* 
fully acting according to Mr. Wesley'? Will, as a 
Trustee ot his papers; the Conference in consider- 
ing the Doctor's proposals, in the first instance only 
attended to that particular. The following was the 
Doctor's final proposal upon this leading point. 

*' All the Manuscripts of Mr. Wesley shall be 
fairly and imJiartiaUy examined by Dr. Coke, Mr, 
Moore, and Dr, Whitehead. Such papers as they 
shall unanimously deem unfit for publication, shall 
be burned immediately. Out of the remainder^ 
Dr. Whitehead shall be at liberty to select such as 
he thinks necessary for his work ; and the remainder 
to be given into the hands of Dr. Coke and Mr. 

Such was tlie Doctor's proposal, even in this 
stage of the business! Alter many declarations that 
he was willing, and had oFten proposed to enter 
into an examination of Mr. Wesley's papers, at 
length it tuUy appeared what kind of examination 
be would consent to, viz. That his single nega- 
tive should preserve any paper from destruction ; 
and his single affirmative enable him to use any 
paper in such a way as he himself should think 
proper: And this the Doctor called a fair and im. 
partKil examination ! 

As there could be no hesitation among upright 

j792.] Oj the Feopk called Mdhodi.its. 215 

men upon such a prppo^al as this, a reply was im- 
mediately sent, signed by the President and Secre- 
tary, pointing, out the injustice and total want of 
ingenuousness, as well as tlie unfaithfulness to the 
deceased, which was manifest in the proposal re- 
specting the examination of the manuscripts; and 
again declaring, in substance, that while he re- 
fused to fulfil his duty uprightly, as a Trustee of 
Mr. Wesley's papers, they could have nothing to 
do with hitn in any other character. To this the 
Conference received no answer. 

The Conference were thus obliged, as the Com- 
mittee had been before, to leave the Doctor to pur- 
sue his own way, contenting themselves with bear- 
ing their testimony against an evil which they could 
not prevent. The Will of Mr. Wesley was thus 
violated in a point which has been always considered 
by eminent men with peculiar solicitude, and con- 
cerning which they expect the Inost sacred fidelity 
from their surviving friends. 

In the Life of Mr. Wesley, written by Dr. Coke 
and Mr. Moore, no raeniion was made of this un- 
happy dispute, nor even a hint given of it. The 
writers were satisfied that it was known, though but 
very imperfectly, to the Methodist connection. 

But Dr. W^hitehead pursued the direct contrary 
course, and in the Memoirs which he published, 
concealing the facts which 1 have no^v stated, he re- 
presented those who contended with him as having 
persecuted him with the most malignant spirit^ and 
m the most illiberal manner ^ merely because he 
would write an iin partial Life of Mr, Wesley! In 
so plain a case however, it is quite sufficient to state 
the facts, as I have thought it my duty thus to 
do: the unprejudiced reader may draw his own con- 

In the year 1797, a reconciliation took place be- 
tween the Doctor and his London friends, chiefly 
through the mediation of Mr. Pawson. He is now 

2i6 J chronological History [i^ol, 

imited to the Society, restored to his ofEce of Local 
Preacher, and very friendly with his brethren. 

The Conference proceeded. — It was enquired, 

g. What regulations shall be made concerning 
the office of the President of the Conference ? — 
j^. I. The same person is not to be re-chosen above 
once in eight years. 2. The President's power 
shall cease as soon as the Conference breaks up. 
This latter rule is contrary even to the letter of the 
Deed inrolled in Chancery, which says, " The 
Conference shall chuse a President, who shall con- 
tinue such until the election of another President in 
the next or other subsequent Conference." In the 
year 1793, it was added, ** That no person should 
vote by proxy at the election of a President." 

As there was great uneasiness in the nation, 
through seditious publications, the Conference 
unanimously adopted the following Minute. 

Q. What directions shall be given concerning our 
conduct to the civil government? — ^. i. None of 
us shall, either in wiiting or conversation, speak 
lightly or irreverently of the Government under 
■which he lives. 2. We are to observe, that the ora- 
cles of God command us to be subject to the higher 
powers : and that honour to the king is there con- 
nected with the fear of God. 

The uneasiness respecting the ordinances increas- 
ed throughout the connection. Mr. Wesley having 
been used to administer the Lord's Supper to the 
Societies in his annual visits, the loss of this privi- 
lege vi^s an additional inducement to those who 
contended for the more liberal plan. Many peti- 
tions were presented on that side ; while several ad- 
dresses, from persons ot considerable weight, in- 
sisted that the privilege should not be granted. The 
Preachers also were divided in sentiment on the 
subject. But they loved each other; and they 
knew it was a question concerning which they 
might innocently differ, and that therefore even the 
bought of division or separation on account of it, 

1792.] Of the People called Methodists. 217 

sh()u!(] be abliorred. For some time they kncA' not 
what to do. They were sensible that eiiher to aliow. 
or refuse the privilege vrould greatly increase t!ie 
uneasiness, and perhaps cause a division. At- 
lengtli it was proposed to decide the question for 
that )'ear (for they did not dare to go turther) by 
lot. Tiiis they knew was allowed, and even re- 
commended in scripture in difficult cases. The 
lot decided that the Sacrament should not be adrai- 
nistcred in the Societies for that year. This was 
made known to the people in an address, wlierein, 
they were exhorted to live in peace, and to love one 
another, notwithstanding this difference of senti-- 
n>ent. This was the first instance of the Confe- 
rence addressing the people. Since that time it has 
been frequently done, and has been followed with, 
good effects. 

Some irregularities respecting Ordination havin^^r 
given offence in the preceding year, to prevent the 
like in future, the following Minute was adopted. 

g- What rules shall be made concerning Ordina- 
tion? — J. J. No Ordination shall take place in the 
Methodist connection without, the consent of the 
Conference previously obtained. 2. If any Brother 
shall break the above-mentioned rule, by ordaining 
or being ordained, without the consent of the Con- 
ference previously obtained, the Brother so breaking 
the rule, does thereby exclude himself. 

g. What direction is to be given concerning 
the children of the Preachers ? — J. No Preaclier 
is to receive any thing from the Circuits on account 
of his children, after they have arrived at the age of . 
seventeen. The year before it was agreed, that, 
•' The Preachers children that cannot be admitted' 
into the schcx)), and are allowed iil.per ann. for. 
their education, shall not receive the usual salary of 
4/. cither from the Circuit, or Irom the yearly col- - 

In the year 1796, it was added, '* If a Preacher " 
cannot give a satisfactory, reason why his son should . 

2iS" J Chronolocrical lUstoi 

not go to the school, he sliall not be allowed the 12/. 
a year out of the Collection." 

While a Preacher's son is receiving the 12/. froiri 
the School, he is to receive nothing from the Cir= 
cuits or the Funds. 

The Rules of the Preacher's Fund (see p. 91,) 
were considered, enlarged, and materially altered. 
At its first institution, none were to have any claim 
upon it, but those who should need it. But now 
the Preachers .subscriptions were raised from half 
a guinea a year to a guinea, and the Preachers, 
■when superannuated, were to have twenty shillings a 
year for every year they had travelled. Their wi- 
dows also were to have a yearly allowance according 
to the same rule, viz. the years which their hus- 
bands had been engaged in the work. 

Had the fund been supported entirely by the sub- 
scriptions of th.e Preachers, it is probable this 
change in the Rules would have been unnoticed. 
But many of the people contributed to it, with the 
sole view of rendering their worn-out Preachers 
comfortable in their old age. Many persons were 
therefore much grieved on account of these rules, 
and some who were enemies took much pains to in- 
crease the offence. 

After considerable uneasiness the Conference re- 
considered the rules in the year 1796, and added a 
clause, declaring that they would not see a Brother 
(or his widow) in distress, supposing that the years 
he had travelled did not entitle him to an adequate 
support from the fund, but that they would in that 
case shew him mercy. 

But still this did not give satisfaction. The 
right of such to what they should really need was 
unquestionable. Therefore at the Conference in 
179B, a few of the Preachers from twelve to 
twenty years standing, formed an Institution called 
** the Itinerant Methodist Preacherc Annuity." 
They chose Mr. Henry Moore President, Mr. Adam 
Clarke Secretary^ and Thomas Roberts, Esq. 

^79^'j Of the People calkd Methodists, 21 q 

Treasurer ; and drew up rules for this new Fund 
which they got registered according to Act of Par- 
liament. This measure, though founded upon the 
most upright principles, gave offence to some of the 
senior brethren. At the Conterence in 1799 ^^^^ 
subject being fully considered, the new Fund was 
unanimously adopted by the Conference, and all 
the Preachers became members of it : what the 
brethren who first formed it, had done was consider- 
ed as a blessing to the body. The whole ended by 
coming to the following equitable conclusion. 

Q. Are there any regulations to be made in re- 
spect to the Preacher's fund ? — A. The subscriptions 
oi the Travelling Preachers shall in future be con- 
sidered as separate from the subscriptions of the 
people: and the subscriptions of the people shall be 
considered as farmin.i( a Fund of Chanty, which is to 
be applied only to the assistance of real objects 
of mercy among the Supernumerary and Super- 
annuated Preachers, and the Widows of Preachers : 
nevertheless, those who have hitherto received al- 
lowances from the fund, shall continue to receive 
them, notwithstanding this regulation as a retros- 
pective law would be unjust, l he subscriptions of 
the Preachers, being their own money, subscribed 
in general with great difficulty, out of their little 
pittance, shall be distributed among the Supernu- 
merary and Superannuated Preachers, and Widows, 
according to strict and impartial rules of justice. — * 
Rules were accordingly made for that purpose; and 
it was agreed, that the fund should be legalized ac- 
cording to Act of Parliament. This regulation 
seems to give universal satisfaction. 

A short time before the Conierence assembled 
this year, the Rev. John Richardson departed this 
lite. The following account was given of him in 
the Minutes. 

*' Like his great Master, he tvas a man of sorrows, 
and acquainted with grief. The uniformity of his 
life, the Ciirisuan simplicity of his manners, the 
U 2 

220 ji Chronological History [^792' 

meekness of his spirit, and the unction which at- 
tended his Ministry For twenty- nine years in the 
* Lity ul' London, will be ever remembered by many 
hundreds, with gratitude, to the God oF all grace. 
After labouring under a severe asthma for-twenty-six 
years, he died in the fifty-eighth year oi his age. 
'Ihe last words he uttered, just before he expired, 
were " God is always with me." He served Mr. 
Wesley as his Curate in London, on which account 
his name was not always mentioned in the Minutes 
of the Conference. He read the funeral service 
over Mr. Wesley, and was soon after buried ni the 
same grave with liim. 

}>lr. JViUia?7i Hammctty one of the Missionaries 
sent to the West Indies, having in the beginning 
of the year 1791, landed in America lor the reco- 
very of his health, he was cordially received by 
the Methodists in the United States ; but unhappily 
differing with his Colleagues, he made a schism and 
divided the .Society in Charkstown. He appealed 
to the English Conference, by sending them a print- 
ed account of the cause of the difference. The mat- 
ter was • now considered ; and it was dismissed by 
sending the following letter to Mr. Asbury and all 
the American Preachers, In which the English 
Brethren express the closest union with their Ame- 
rican Biethren. 

To Mr* Asbury, and all //k American Prtacin 


Very Dear Brethren, 

WE are desired by the English Conference to as- 
sure you of their cordial love towards you. They 
earnestly desire that the most cordial love may sub- 
sist without any interruption between you and them, 
and the most perfect union which the nature of 
things will admit of. 

lliey esteem union and concord among brethren 
as one of the greatest of blessings ; and therefore 
([o most deeply disapprove of the schism which 
William Hanniiett has made in the city of Churles- 

1792.] Of the People called Methodists. 221 

toTun^ and do acknowledge no further connexion with 
him, who could so attempt to rend the body of 

Wishing you every possible blessing in Jesus 
Christ, botli in your own souls and in your labours, 
we remain, 

Your truly affectionate Brethren, 
Signed, in behalf of the Conference, 

Alex. Matpier, President. 
Thomas Coke, Secretary. 
London^ Aug. 15, 1792. 

This letter was printed and circulated at the una- 
nimous requestof the General Conference met in 
Baltimore in November 1792. 

This Conference having sat nearly three w^eeks, 
closed in the following manner. 

O. What shall we do more to promote the work 
of God ? — ^d. We do, at this solemn hour of the 
night (pad ten o'clock on the 15th of August) de- 
vote ourselves to the service of Almighty God, in a 
more unreserved and entire manner than ever we 
have hitherto done ; and are all determined to spend 
and be spent in his blessed work. And this our so- 
lemn dedication of ourselves to God, w-e do unani- 
mously signily by rising from our seats in the pre- 
sence ot the Lord ! 

July 29, 1793, The fiftieth conference met at 
Leeds. Mr. John Pawson was chosen President, 
and Dr. Coke Secretary. 

The agitation respecting the Ordinances was now 
so great that the Conference was obliged to come to 
a determiniation on the quellion. Alter a long dis- 
cussion it was decided, by a very large majority, that 
the Societies should have the privilege of the Lord's 
Supper where they unanimously desired it. — Unani- 
muy was requned, that, it possible, division might 
be prevented. To avoid ofience, it was at the same 
time resolved, 1. That no Gowns, Cassocks, Bands, 


Q.12 A Chronological History [^793* 

or Surplices, should be worn by any of our Preach- 
ers. 2. That the Title of Reverend should not be used 
by them towards each other in future. 3. That 
the distinction between ordained and unordained 
Preachers should be dropped. This latter Rule, al- 
though certainly made with a good intention, yet ap- 
pears to be a violation of Order, and a departure 
from Mr. AVesley's Plan. 

The senior Brethren wishing to continue in the 
work as long as possible, the following rule was 

g. What directions shall he given concerning Su- 
perannuaied Preachers? — A. Every Preacher shall- 
be considered as a Supernumerary for four years 
after he has desisted Irom travelling, and shall after- 
wards be deemed Superannuated. 

The following Rules were agreed to : " 1. Every 
Preacher, before he is admitted into full connection 
shall draw out a sketch of his life and experience. 
2. All Local Preachers shall meet in Class. No 
exception shall be made in respect to any who have 
been Travelling Preachers in iormer years, 3. No 
Preacher who has been suspended or expelled, shall 
on any account be employed as a Local Preacher^ 
without the authority of the Conference." And in 
the year 1796 it was enquired, *' g. What can be 
done to bring certain Local Preachers more fully to 
observe our disciplme? A, 1. Let no one be per- 
mitted to preach, who will not meet in Class, and 
who is not regularly planned by the jSuperintendant' 
of the Circuit where he resides. 2-. Let no Local 
Preacher be allowed to preach in any other Circuit 
without producing a recomnr.endation from the Su- 
perintenddut of the Circuit where he lives: nor sui- 
ter any invitation to be admitted as a plea, whether 
from men in office or not, without the previous know- 
ledge and full consent of the Superintendant of the 
place where anyone may ask him to preach. 3.. Let 
no Local Preacher keep Love-feails without the ap- 
poinimenl of the Superintendant, nor any way in-. 

1794-] Of the People called Methodists. 223 

terfere with bis business as mentioned in tbe large 
Minutes. We must caretully'atLcnd to our rules, 
that all things may be done decently and in order. 

This Conierence bore ample teilimony to the 
piety and usetulness ot Joseph Cownley, one of the 
old Preachers, who died in the /preceding year. His 
Life was afterwards written in a very pleasmg manner 
by Mr. John Guahier, and is published in the Armi- 
nian Magazine, for 1794. 


Fro?n the Conference in 1794, to that in Briflol in 

July 28, 1794. The fihy-firfl Conference was 
held in Bristol. Mr. Thomas Hanby was elected 
President, and Dr. Coke Secretary. 

The- Societies in general had acquiesced in the 
determination of the last Conference. Many of them 
had availed themselves of the privilege allowed, 
while others continued to pursue, in peace, the way 
which they had hitherto walked in. But in some 
places considerable uneasiness still prevailed. A 
number of Trustees from some of the principal Cha- 
peis assembled at Bristol at the same time with the 
Preachers. They desired admission to the Confe- 
rence, and presented an Address, expressive of their 
sentiments, respecting their own situation and privi- 
leges, and also respecting the administration of the 
Ordinances. When they retired, the Conference took 
th.eir Address into consideration, and a negociation 
commenced, wlnch ended in an agreement, m which 
some of ti;e fcnuer Rules were confirmed, and the 
k>iiuwing added tg them. 

2^4 A Chronological Risiary [1794* 

With regard to Trustees, The Trustees in con- 
junction with the Superintendant Preacher, [who 
shall have one vote only) shall choose tlieir own 
Stewards, who sliall receive and disburse all seat- 
rents, and such collections as shall be made for 
the purpose of paying interest for money, due 
upon the premises, or for reducing tlie principal, pro- 
vided also that his books shall be always open for the 
inspection of the Superintendant, and audited in his 
presence once every year, or oftener if required. 
Provided always, that when the necessities of the 
work of God require it, the Trustees shall allow- 
quarterly what may appear requisite for carrying on 
the work, so that it be not cramped. Provided, that 
if the seat-rents and collections fall short of wliat will 
be sufficient to discharge the rents, interest of money, 
and other necessary expences o[ the Chapels, the de- 
ficiency shall be made good out of som.e other re- 
venue of the Society. Provided also, that nothing 
in these Resolutions shall be construed to extend or 
alter any of the powers contained in the Trust 

That the Trustees may have the fullest assurance 
that the Conference love them, and have not the 
shadow of a desire to oppress them, any more than 
tp reject any proposals which they conceive calcu- 
feted to restore and preserve peace and harmony, 
the following articles are added. 

1. No Trustee however accused, or defective in- 
conforming to the establishde rules, shall be removed 
from the Society, unless Ins crime, or breach of the 
Rules of the Society, be proved in the presence of 
the Trustees and Leaders. 

2. If any Preacher be accused of immorality, .a 
meeting shall be called of all the Preachers, Tiusteeb^ . 
Stewards, and Leaders of \.\\*t Circuit, in which the 
accused Preacher labours: and if the charge be 
proved to the Sctisiaction of the majority of such 
meetirg, the Chairman oi the District, in which that 
Circuit is situated, shall leinove the convicted 

I794-] Of the PccpU called MethoJuls. 2'2^ 

Preaclier from the Circuit on the request o[" tlie 
majority of the meeting : nevertheless, an appeal an 
either side to the Conference, shall re-main-. 

By this agreement the authority of the Trustees, 
as such, was fully acknowledged ; and it satisfied 
those who did not wish to be considered as PropriC' 

The Sacrament was at this Conference gran-ted to 
ninety three places in England, the names of which 
were printed in the Minutes. 

The Nation being still uneasy through political dis- 
cus, ions, the Conference unanimously adopted thy 
following caution. 

Q. Is it necessary to make any observations on tlie 
present important crisis of public affairs? — J. We 
most difectionately intreat ail our Brethren, in thti 
name of God, to honour the King, Let us dauy 
pray for our Rulers, and submit ourselves to every 
ordinance ofManJor thz Lord's sake. 

The year that followed this Conference was a time 
of great uneasiness. The trustees of that Chapel in 
Bristol, which has been already mentioned as the first 
which Mr. Westley built, (see p. ii,) were exceed- 
ingly averse to the Ordinances being allowed to the 
Societies. They had laboured in this cause a consi- 
der a'bl^. time, and seemed much dissatisfied that more 
liberal views should prevail. — The Conference hav- 
ing, at their faie-sdtiiijg, granted to ninety-three 
places, the privilege of having the ordinances of 
God in thiit way. which they desired, ccnvinced 
those Trustees, that their labour had hitherto been 
in vain, and they determined on a more decisive 
opposition ; and to risk all consequences ratiier than 
allow the liberty contended tor. 

An opportunity of fully declaring themselves no\^ 
offered. The Lord's Supper had been administered, 
during the Conference, at a Chapel in the suburbs, 
in which some of the Preachers had assisted. 
This \vas repeated on the day after the Confe- 

226 A chronological Histcry [^794' 

rence broke up. One of the Preachers who thus as- 
sisted had been appointed for the Bristol Circuit, for 
the ensuing year; but two days alter his appoint* 
ment, he was served with an Attorneys leLter. sign- 
ed by the Tiustees of the old Clrapel, charging him 
at Jus peril not to trespass on their Prermses, as- 
signing no reason but that they had 7iot appointed 
hnn to preach therein^ and that no other persons had- 
any authority so to do. Thus the blow was struck, 
a«d a precedent formed, which if submitted to, wotild 
have subjected every Preacher in the connection, to 
a similar exclusion, in this summary way, by the se- 
parate authority of a few men, without a charge pre- 
ferred or trial of any kind ; and even contrary, as in 
this instance, to the judgment, aiid wisnes, both of 
the Society and Circiiit. 

But happily for the Unity of the Body, this deci* 
sive measure, met with a resistance as prompt, and 
as decisive. Almost the whole Society withdrew 
from the Chapel from which their Preacher was thus 
excluded; and without contendmg the question of 
right, they im^mediately proceeded to erect another 
Chapel. They also appealed to their Brethren at 
large, declaring, that the steps they had taken were 
not only to vindicate their own just rights, but also 
those of the whole Community. *' This act, fsaid 
theyj left us no room for hesitation. To remain in 
passive submission to those who could thus, confid- 
ing in their Xf^c/ Powers, place themselves beyond 
the reach of all Christian rules, and especially of 
those upon which our happy religious iellowship is 
founded, we are certain could not be tl^e will ot the 
Lord concerning us." 

The event fully justified this conclusion. Their^ 
opponents however had many Friends throughout 
the connection, and these spared no pains during the 
year, to defend what had been done, and to insure 
its success. 

As hostilities among the Mc-thodists have lone; 

1794-] Of the People called Methodists. 227 

ceased, and each party think better of each other 
than they did ; in order to render this History satis- 
factory to present and succeeding readers, I sliall 
mention the names ot the acting persons in this dis- 

Mr. Henry Moore was the preacher wh-o received 
the Lawyer's letter. It was as iollows : 

Bristol, Aug. iith^ 1794. 
" Mr. Henry Moore, 

*' Wethe undersigned, Trustees for the Methodist 
Preaching-House called the New Room in the Horse- 
Fair, and also for Guinea-street Chapel, do give 
you this Notice, that you are not appointed bv us to 
preach or expound God's holy word in either ot those 
places, and that no other person or persons have or 
hath any legal right to muhe that appointment but 
only we the Trustees.: we therefore forbid and cau- 
tion you against 'attempting trespassing upon the 
above Trust Premises, as you will answer it at your 

Henry Durbin, 
Danikl Lane, 
William Pine, 

William Gheen, 
Edward Stock, 
Thomas Roberts, 

Daniel Wait, Jun. Nath. Gutord." 

John Curtis, | 

Witness, James Huges, Attorney. 

Here we see Mr. Moore was expelled from these 
Chapels without a fault alledged against him. These 
Gentlemen pleaded in defence of their conduct. 
I. Mr. Wesley's observations on the Methodists 
leaving the church, together with quotations from 
some oi the Minutes ot the Conferences on that sub- 
ject. 2. Some Trustees of other Chapels encou- 
raged them to persist in their opposition to the intro- 
duction of the Lord's-Supper among the Methodists. 
3. They were countenanced by some very respec- 
table preachers, particularly by Messrs. Joseph 

2 28 u4 Chronological History [^795; 

Benson, Richard Rodda, Jeremiah BiCttcl!, and 
Thomas Vascy. Bui it is plain from the af^reement 
to th.e pacific plan wh.ich took place in twelve months 
afterwardvS, that the parties thong])t more scriptu- 
rally on the subjects in dispute : And to the honour 
of these Trustees, I am hcippy to say, that in Octo- 
ber 1 800 they made over tlie Chapel in Guinea-street 
to the Trustees ol the TS^cw Chapel, the laiter be- 
coming responsible for the debt that was on it : so 
that now the three Chapels in Bristol are all settled 
on the Methodist plan. 

July 27, 1795, The fifty- second Conference as- 
sembled at Manchester. Mr. Joseph Bradford was 
chosen President, and Dr. Coke Secretary. 

As the connection had been so greatly agitated, it 
was agreed that the first day should be spent in fast- 
ing and prayer, that God would shew us mercy, and 
grant wisdom from above to direct us how we might 
yet keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. 
We did not ask in vain. Several of the Trustees, 
and other persons, who had assembled from various 
parts on account of the dispute, joined wiih the 
Preachers in their addresses to the Throne of Grace, 
and partook with them of the Lord's Supper, which 
concluded the service of the day. 

The next morning the Conterence chose a Com-- 
mittee of nine Preachers, by ballot, to draw up a 
plan of Pacification, to be presented to the Brethren 
who diflfered from tliem on the subjects in question. 
Ihe Plan was's^on compleated, and having obtained 
the unanimous approbation of the Conference, it was 
presented to the n.eeting of Trustees, and with a few 
ad-dii.ions proposed by ihem, and acceded to by the 
Conterence, it was accepted by a large Majority. 
Being then fully confirmed by the Conference, this 
happy bond of union was made known tq the Socie- 
ties, prefaced by a suitable Address, and signed by 
the President and Secretary, Since ihat time the 

179^.] Of the People called Methodists, 21^9 

connection has enjoyed peace respecting the ordi- 


I. Concerning Public WorJIiip. 

1. The sacrament of the Lord's Supper shall not be 
administered in any Chapel, nor Baptism adminis- 
tered, nor the dead buried, nor service in Church 
hours, except the majority of the Trustees of that 
Chapel on the one hand, and the majority of the 
Stewards and Leaders belonging to that Chapel (as 
best qualified to give the sense of the people) on the 
other hand, allow of it. Nevertheless, in all c^ses 
the consent of the Conference shall be obtained, be- 
fore any of these things be introduced. — It was also 
added. That these majorities must testify in writing 
to the Conference, that they are persuaded no sepa- 
ration will be made thereby. 

2. Where there is a Society but no Chapel, if the 
Society desire any or all of these things, the Stewards 
and Leaders of that Society must attend to the same 

3. Where the Lord's Supper has been already 
peaceably administered, the administration of it shall 
be continued in future. 

4. Wherever the Lord's Supper shall be admi- 
nistered according to the face-mentioned regulations, 
it shall always be continued, -e^ccept the Conference 
order the contrary. 

5. The Lord's Sapper shall be adVninistered by 
those only who are authorised by the Conference : 
and at such times and in such manner only, as the 
Conference shall appoint. 

6. The administration of Baptism and the Lord's 
Supper, accordmg to the above regulations, is in- 
tended only for ihe members of our own Society. 

7. We agree, that the Lord's Supper be admww. 
tered among us, on Sunday evenings only: except 
where the majority of the Stewardi aad Leaders dc- 


230 A Chronological History [^795' 

sire it in Church hours; or where it has already been 
administered in those hours. Nevertheless, it shall 
never be administered on those Sundays on which 
it is administered in the parochial Church. 

8. The Lord's Supper shall be always adminis- 
tered in England according to the form of the Esta- 
blished Church: but the person who administers, 
sliall have full liberty to give out hymns, and to use 
exhortation and extemporary prayer. 

9. Wherever Divine Service is performed in Eng- 
land on the Lord's day in Church hours, the officiat- 
ing Preacher shall read either the service of the 
Established Church, our venerable Father's Abridg- 
ment, or at least the Lessons appointed by the Ca- 
lendar. But we recommend either the iull service, 
or the abridgment. 

n. Concerning Discipline. 

1. The appointment of Preachers shall remain 
solely with the Conference ; and no Trustee, or 
number of I'rustees shall expel or exclude from 
their Chapels, any Preacher so appointed. 

2. Nevertheless, if the majority of the Trustees, 
or the majority oi the Stewards and Leaders of any 
Society, believe tliat any Preacher appointed for 
their Circuit, is immoral, erroneous in doctrine, de- 
ficient in abilities, or that he has broken any of the 
Rules above-mentioned, they shall have authority to 
summon the Preachers of the District ; and all the 
IVustees, Stewards, and Leaders of the Circuit, to 
meet in their Chapel on a day and hour appointed, 
(suflicient time being given.) The Chairman of the 
District sljall be the President of tlie assembly : and 
every Preacher, Trustee, Steward and Leader, shall 
have a single vote, the Chairman possessing also the 
casting voice. And if the majority of the meeting 
judge that the accused Preacher is immoral, errone- 
ous in doctrine, deficient in abilities, or has broken 
any of the Rules above-mentioned, he shall be con- 
i-ideicd as removed from that Circuit; and the Dis- 

x/p^O Of the People called Methodists. 231 

trlct Committee shall, as soon as possible, appoint 
another Preacher, for that Circuit; instead ot the 
Preacher so removed; and shall determine among 
themselves how the removed Preacher shall be 
disposed of till the Conference, and shall have au- 
thority to suspend the said Preacher from all public 
duties till the Conference, if they judge proper. 
The District Committee shall also supply, as well as 
possible, the place of the removed Preacher, till 
another Preacher be appointed. And the Preacher 
thus appointed, and all other Preachers, shall be sub- 
ject to the above mode of trial. And if the District 
Committee do not appoint a Preacher for that Cir- 
cuit, instead of the removed Preacher, within a month 
after the aforesaid removal, or do not fill up the 
place of the removed Preacher, till another Preacher 
be appointed, the majority of the said Trustees, 
Stewards, and Leaders, being again regularly sum- 
moned, shall appoint a Preacher for the said Circuit, 
provided he be a member of the Methodist connection, 
till the ensuing Conference. 

3. If any Preacher refuse to submit to the above 
mode of trial, in any of the cases mentioned above, 
he shall be considered as suspended till the Confe- 
rence. And if any Trustees expel from any Chapel 
a Preacher, by their own separate authority, the 
Preachers appointed for that Circuit, shall not preach 
in that Chapel tiil the ensuing Conference, or till a 
trial takes place according to the mode mentioned 

4. If any Trustees expel or exclude a Preacher by 
their own separate authority, from any Chapel in 
any Circuit, the Chairman of the District shall sum- 
mon the members of the District Committee, the 
Trustees of that Circuit who have not offended, and 
the Stewards and Leaders of the Circuit. And the 
Members of such assembly shall examine into the 
evidence on both sides; and il" the majority of them 
determine, that the state of the Society in whicli the 
exclusion took, place, requires that a new Chapel 

X 2 

2^2. A Chronologzcal History [i795- 

should be built previous to the meeting of the Confe- 
rence, every proper step shall be immediately taken 
for erecting such Chapel. And no step shall on 
any account be taken to erect a Chapel for suck 
purpose, before the meeting of the Conference, till 
such meeting be summoned, and such determination 
be made. 

^. No Preacher shall be suspended, or removed 
frv)m his Circuit, by any District Committee, except 
he have the privilege of the trial before-mentioned. 

6. The hundred Preachers mentioned in the en- 
rolled Deed, and their successors, are the only legal 
persons, who constitute the Conference: and we 
think the junior brethren have no reason to object 
to this proposition, as they are regularly elected ac- 
cording to seniority. 

7. If a Travelling Preacher, Local Preacher, 
Steward or Leader, shall disturb the peace of the 
Society by speaking for or against the introduction 
of the Lord's Supper in our Societies, or concern- 
ing the old or new Plan, so called, he or they 
shall be subject to the tiial and penalties before- 

8. We all agree the pulpit shall not be a vehicle 
of abuse. 

9. Nothing contained in these rules, shall be con- 
strued to violate the rights of the Trustees, as ex- 
pressed in their respective Deeds. 

It w^as agreed at this Conference, that no Preacher 
be required to administer the Sacrament against his 
own approbation : and should it be granted to any 
place, where the Preachers of the Circuit are all 
unwilling to administer it, the Superintendant shall 
in that case invite a neighbouring Preacher who is 
properly qualified to administer it. 

When we consider the union of the Methodist 
Societies with the Established Church, and yet that 
they are open to all those of every denoramation 
who fear God and keep his commandments, the ne- 
cessity of such a Plan will appear. For, if there 

1795-1 Of the People called Methodists, 233 

had been a general allowance of the ordinances every 
where, many of the Societies would have separated. 
If on the other hand, they were not allowed in any 
place, the same evil would have followed. .The 
Plan adopted at this time preserved the body toge- 
ther, and laid a foundation for lasting peace. 

After strongly recommending the sanctihcation of 
the Sabbath, and prohibiting the use of tobacco a- 
mong the Preachers, in any shape or way, unless in 
cases of absolute necessity, the Conference con- 
cluded with the following declaration. 

" In order that all the Preachers may be perfect- 
ly easy respecting our form of Government, it is 
acrreed, that no change shall be made m this, unless 
first proposed and agreed to in full Conterence." 

g. Wha: directions shall be given concerning 
those received upon trial, who have been inserted ia 
the reserved list, and have been called out in the 
course of the ensuing year? — A. If they shall have 
travelled nine months in the year ensuing, they shall 
be entitled to the privileges of those who have tra- 
velled the whole year ; but not otherwise. At the 
Conference in 1799, it was added, '* If they are 
called out in the course oi the year, they shall be 
considered at the following Conference as having 
travelled one year.'' 

It was now also agreed upon, " That all those wha 
have travelled four years, and are well recommend- 
ed by their respective Superintendants, f^hall be ad- 
mitted into full connection, though absent from the 
Conference, provided that sufficient reasons be given 
for their absence. Nevertheless, they shall pass 
through the usual examination at the next Con- 
ference, at which they shall be present." 

g. What directions shall be given concerning 
the appointment of Stewards? — A. As several in- 
conveniences have arisen respecting the change of 
Stewards, to remedy this, let it be observed, that 
the office of a Stcv/ard ceases at the end of the year: 
and every Assistant is required to change at leait 

234- A Chronological History [1796. 

one Steward every year, so that no Steward may be 
in office above two years together, except in some 
extraordinary cases.'* 

It was also agred, 1. That the money collected 
in each Circuit for the Yearly Collection, for Kings- 
wood School, and the Preachers Fund, be entered 
in the General Steward's books of their respective 
Circuits. 2. That the first day of every Confer- 
ence be dedicated to fasting and prayer, for the 
blessing of God on our important work. And it 
is desired, that our Societies and Congregations may 
join us in the same solemn duties." At first when 
this was appointed, they only chose the President 
and Secretary, now, in order to redeem time, they 
proceed to business, but keep the day dedicated to 
God, Divine Service being at five in the morning, 
at eight, at twelve, and at seven in the evening. 

July 25, 1796, The fifty-third Conference was 
held in London. Mr. Thomas Taylor was chosen 
President, and Dr. Coke Secretary. 

The Plan of Pacification was proposed to the 
Irish Conference this year ; but they refused to 
adopt It, by saying in their printed Minutes, *' It 
was not expedient at present." This proves the 
Methodists can differ on some points, and yet re- 
main one Body, united by one Spirit — the Spirit 
of Divine Love. 

The Plan of Pacification had satisfied all the mo- 
derate people, who only desired scriptural and rational 
llbertv. But there was a party who were not satis- 
fied with this, but remained still contentious. A 
young man named Alexander Kilhcun, (who had 
been admitted upon trial as a Preacher, in the year 
1785) became the champion of this party, and oc- 
casioned great uneasiness by various pamphlets 
which he published. He had not only unhappily 
imbibed the levelling doctrines which were common 
in that day, but had even strangely applied them 
to Religion, and the order of the Church of Christ. 

1796.} Of the People called Metkodists. 235 

He insisted that the people were held in gross bon- 
dage. That they ought to rise up and deliver them- 
selves, and assume that power which of right be- 
longed to them. — That the Preachers were merely 
their servants, and ought to be obedient to their 
will : and every thing contrary to this wild unscrip. 
tural theory, he termed Popery and Priestcraft ! He 
also traduced the character ot the Preachers in the 
vilest manner. The party whose cause he espoused 
supported and abetted him by every means in their 
power, so that the Societies in several places were 
rent in pieces in the dispute. When the Confer- 
ence assembled, he was unanimously expelled the 
connection. The Minutes of the Trial were pub- 
lished, and every Preacher signed his name to a paper, 
testifying his approbation of the sentence. (This 
was the only instance of that kind.) He afterwards 
used all his influence from the pulpits of the Dis- 
senters to which he had access, and also from the 
press, to bring the Preachers into disrepute, not only 
with the Methodists, but with the nation at large. 
But he failed of his object, and on December 20, 
1798, while employed in his revolutionary schemes, 
he was called into eternity at Nottingham, after a 
few days illness occasioned by a bone sticking in his 
throat ! 

The following memorandum for the time of Con- 
ference was now published. It was drawn up by 
Mr Bradburn. 1. Be tender of the character of 
every brother; but keep at the utmost distance from 
countenancing sin. 2. Say nothing in the Con- 
ference but what is strictly necessary and to the 
point. 3. If accused by any one, remember re- 
crimination is no acquittance; therefore avoid it." 
4. Beware of impatience of contradiction ; be firm, 
but be open to conviction. The cause is God's, and 
he needs not the hands of an Uzzah to support his 
ark. The being too tenacious of a point, because 
you brought it forward, is only feeding self. Be 
quite easy, if a majority decide against you. 5. Use 

236 j4 Chronological History [^79^. 

no craft or guile to gain any point. Genuine sim- 
plicity win always support itself. But there is no 
need always to say all you know or think. 6. Be- 
ware of too much confidence in your own abilities ; 
and never despise an opponent. 7. Avoid all light- 
ness of Spirit, even what would be innocent any 
where else. — Thou God seest me! 

The following Rules were agreed to. i. From 
henceforward we recommend it to every Circuit 
to provide the horse or horses necessary for that 
Circuit. But if any Circuit choose rather for the 
Preachers to ride their own horses, we submit, on 
this condition, that no Preacher shall make any 
collection or subscription towards paying for horses ; 
but that all collections judged needful for this pur- 
pose, shall be made either by the Circuit-Stewards, 
©r the Stewaids of the particular Societies. 2. Let 
no man, nor number of men, in our connection, on 
any account or occasion circulate letters, call 
meetings, do, or attempt to do any thing nezv, till 
it Ras been first appointed by the Conference. 
3. No person shall be suffered on any pretence 
to partake of the Lord's Supper among us, unless he 
be a member of our Society, or receive a note of 
admission from the Assistant, which note must be 
renewed quarterly. And if any Leaders, Stewards, 
or Trustees refuse to be regulated by this rule, the 
Sacrament shall not be administered where this is 
the case. 4. As we desire to have every proper 
information on whatever concerns ourselves or our 
people, we will gladly receive intelligence not 
only from our Quarterly, and Leaders Meetings, but 
from any individual member of our Society; as 
well at the District-Meeting, as at the Conference; 
provided always the postage of letters containing 
such information, be paid by the persons that write 
or send them. N. B. The letters that concern the 
stations of the Preachers, should be sent so as to be 
at tlic place of Conference the w^eek before the time 
appointed for the meeting thereof. 

1796.] OJ the People called Methodists, 237 

In the year 1799, two rules were added. " i. Let 
no letter or petition be considered as official, unless 
it come from the regular Quarterly-Meeting, signed 
bv the majority of the brethren then present." This 
rule does not repeal the former, but explains the let- 
ters which are official. *' 2. Let a Committee be 
chosen by ballot, to consider all addresses and pub- 
lic letters, and to draw up answers to them." 

But at this Conference in 1796, the letters and 
addresses were read in full Conference, and a Com- 
mittee appointed to examine them, and make a re- 
port to the Conference. And this is the way that 
is always done, if the letter or address is of the 
least moment. 

Since the second edition of this work was pub- 
lished, the Life of Mr. Kilham was published by 
Mr. Grundel. At the close of it several letters are 
published which he received from some very re- 
spectable Preachers in the old connection. They 
prove, 1. That he was only the tool of a party. 
a. That he was not supported by those brethren at 
the time of his trial as they should have done. 
3. That he was through the whole business a sincere, 
though a mistaken and troublesome man. 


Mr. Wesley at first invited the Preachers by let- 
ter whom he wished to come to Conference. Af- 
terwards he gave a general permission to all fhe 
Travelling Preachers to attend if they pleased, la 
the year 1785 he restricted this, and would let none 
come but those whom he invited. His directions 
to the Preachers were, i. Let not all the Preachers 
from any Circuit come to Conference. 2. Let none 
of those who stay on the Circuits, leave them dur- 
ing Conference on any pretence, not even to go and 
see their relations. 3. Let those who attend set out as 
late, and return as soon as possible. 4. Let none 
attend but those whose Circuits provide for their 

^S^ A Chronological History [i/Q^* 

travelling expences, the Preachers who labour in 
Scotland and Wales excepted. 

At the Conference in the year 1792, The sub- 
ject was considered. " (). What directions shall 
i)e given concerning the attendance of the Preachers 
at the Conference? — A. We all agree to confirm 
our former Rule, that no Preacher, except the As- 
sistant, and the Preachers to be admitted, and the 
Preachers against whom any complaint is to be 
lodged, shall come to the Conference, unless the 
Circuit in which he laboured bear his travelling 

• In the year 1793, it was added, *• 1. The Cir- 
cuit, or themselves must bear the expence to and 
from the Conference. 1. Every Assistant shall be 
at liberty to attend the Conference or not : but in 
case of absence, he shall send all his papers which 
are necessary, by the representative of his District, 
3. One Preacher only shall attend the Conference 
irom Ireland, and one from Scotland." 

At the Conference in 1794, it was added, ** The 
District Committees respectively are to fix upon 
the Preachers, who are to attend the Conference ; 
and the expences of their going to and returning 
from the Conference, shall be defrayed by their re- 
spective Circuits." In the year 1795, it was added, 
*• Only one Preacher shall attend the Conference 
from Scotland^ viz. one year "^n Assistant from 
this side of the Forth, and the next year one from 
the other side. 2. Only one shall attend from JVaUs^ 
except when the Conference is at Bristol, at which 
all the Assistants may attend. 3. Only two shall 
attend from Cornwall^ except when the Conference 
is at Bristol. 4. Only one shall attend from each 
District North of York, except when the Confer- 
ence is at Leeds or Manchester. 5. Only one shall 
attend from each District, South and South-east of 
London, except when the Conference is at London. 
6. Only one shall attend from the Lincolnshire Dis- 
trict, when the Conference is at Bristol. 7. With 

T796.] Of the PiopU called Methodists, 235?. 

respect to the other Districts and Circuits, we con- 
nrm the rule recorded in the Minutes of the last 
year. The District Committees respectively shall 
trom year to year fix upon the Preachers, who are 
to attend the Conference; and the expences of their 
going to and returning from the Conference shall 
be defrayed by their respective Circuits. 8. la 
respect to those, who are to be admitted from time 
to time — those who shall be JVest of Bristol and, 
in IValeSy shall be admitted only at the Bristol Con- 
ference: those who shall hcSoutk and East of Lon- 
don and in the neighbourhood^ shall be admitted 
there; and those in the North, at Manchester and 
Leeds. 9. Nothing in the above resolutions shall. 
be construed to prevent those Preachers trom attend- 
ing the Conference, against whom there lies any 
accusation 01 complaint. 10. In order that all the 
Preachers may be perfectly easy respecting our 
form of governtnent, it is agreed that no change 
shall be made in this, unless first proposed and 
agreed to in full Conference." 

At this Conference in 1796, several of these rules 
were published again. It was also added, *' 1. Let 
no Circuit be kft without a Preacher during the 
Conference. And if any Preacher, or Preachers 
so left in a Circuit, shall, during the Conference, 
leave such Circuit, he or they sliall be suspended 
till the next Conference. 2. Whoever leaves the 
Conference before the business is all finished and 
the Journals signed, must not complain, whatever 
rnav be done afier their departure." 

Those rules were made to prevent too great a 
number of the Preachers from attending the Con- 
ference. This inconvenience was occasioned, i. By 
the Minute that was made at the first Conference af- 
ter Mr. Wesley's death, whicii granted to all the 
brethren in connection the same privileges as the 
Hundred, except where it should be found incon- 
sistent with the Deed of Declaration. 2. The un- 
settled state of the connection owing to the disputes 

S540 A Chronological History [.^797^ 

respecting the ordinances. These begat, 3. A want 
of confidence, between those who differed concern- 
ing these things. Though these evils no longer 
exist, and the greatest harmony reigns among the 
brethren, yet something remains to be done in order 
to fix the precise number of Preachers who shall at- 
tend the Conference, and by whom they shall be 
appointed to go. For until these two points are 
agreed on, it will be impossible to keep the Preach» 
ers from the Conference. 

July 3t, i797t The fifty-fourth Conference was 
held in Leeds. Dr. Coke was chosen President, 
and Mr. Samuel Bradburn Secretary. 

From the time of the preceding Conference, the 
connection was in a very uneasy state, through the 
incessant labours of the disaffected party already 
mentioned, to disturb the people, and make their 
minds evil affected towards the Preachers. Being 
irritated by the expulsion of their partizan, Mr. 
Kilham, and having no hope of being permitted to 
rule in the connection (through the old pretence of 
vindicating the rights of the people,) they laboured 
incessantly to bring about a division ; and they de- 
term.ined that it should be as considerable as calum- 
ny, and the popular cry of liberty y could make it. 
Among other things, they asserted in various publi- 
cations, that the Preachers were really divided in 
sentiment, and that a considerable number were of 
Mr. Kilham's judgment, only they wanted his cou- 
rage to declare it. Therefore when the brethren 
met, the first thing they did was to draw up, and 
sign the following declaration. 

" Whereas we the undersigned have on this and 
the preceding day, carefully revised the rules drawn 
up and left us by our late venerable Father m the 
Gospel, the Rev. Mr, Wesley, which were publish- 
ed by him in our large Minutes, to which we con- 
sented when we were admitted, and by which we 
were regulated during his life: and whereas we 
have collected together those Rules which we believe 

*797'] Of the People called Methodists. an 

to be essential to the existence of Methodism, as 
well as others to which we have no objection; we 
do now volunlarily and in good faith, sign our 
names, as approving of, and engaging to comply 
with the aforesaid collection of rules, or code of 
laws, God being our helper." — One hundred and 
forty-five of the brethren signed their names to 
this Declaration. This has been followed with the 
best effects. 

Two o»lv of the Travelling Preachers, who were 
present, William Thorn, and Stephen Eversfield,' 
refused to sign the Declaration, and separated from 
their brethren. A third, Alexander Cummin, sig- 
nified his dissent by letter. They joined Alexander 
Kilham, and made a schism under the name of 
'* The New Itinerancy." — It is an awful thing to 
disturb and divide communities of real Christians, 
(and especially those by whose instrumentality we 
have been brought to the knowledge of God,) upon 
points of doubtful disputation ! Had Mr. Wesley and 
bis helpers acted thus, their labours would not have 
been so owned of God, and their zeal would have 
proved a curse rather than a blessing to the world. — 
This great evil has however, in this case, been at- 
tended Vv'ith good consequences to the connection, 
as it has carried away some persons who had been 
very troublesome in the Societies for several years. 

The Conference being now convinced that a di- 
vision must take place, determined to remove every 
possible pretext from those who sought occasion 
against them ; and to make every sacrifice which 
tticy could make, consistently with that cause of 
God and Religion intrusted to their care. The fol- 
lowing letter will shew this determination in the 
clearest light. 


Leeds, August ^^ 1797. 
" Dear Brethren, 
<* We think it our duty to inform you by the 
earliest opportunity, of the measures we have taken. 

z^t ^ Chronological History {^^797 • 

in order to satisfy those of our brethren, who have 
been made more or less uneasy by sundry publica- 
tions circulated through the Societies : and we trust, 
that on a serious consideration of the regulations we 
have agreed to at this Conference, you will see that 
the sacrifices in respect to authority, which we have 
made on the part of the whole body of Travelling 
Preachers, evidence our willingness to meet our 
brethren in every thing which is consistent with the 
existence of the Methodist Discipline, and our rea- 
diness to be their servants for Jesus's sake. 

♦* In respect to finances, or money-matters. — We 
have determined, i. To publish annually a very mi- 
nute account of the disbursements or application of 
the yearly collection : And, 2. A full account of 
the affairs of Kingswood School. 3. That ail bills for 
the support of Travelling Preachers, and their fami. 
lies, in respect to deficiencies, house-rent, fire, can- 
dles, sickness, travelling expences, and all other 
matters of a temporal kind for their support, for 
which the Circuits cannot provide, shall first meet 
with the approbation of the Quarterly Meeting, and 
be signed by the general Steward of the Circuit, 
before they can be brought to the District Committee. 

" 11. In respect to all other temporal matters, it 
has been determmed, 1. That no Circuits shall be 
divided, till such division has been approved of by 
their respective Quarterly Meetings, and signed by 
the general Stewards, 

** 2. That no other temporal matter sha'l be trans- 
acted by the District Committee, till the approbation 
of the respective Quarterly Meetings be first given, 
signed by the Circuit Stewards. 

'* III. In respect to the receiving and excluding 
private members ot the Society. 

'* 1. The Leaders Meeting shall have a right to 
declare any person, on trial, improper to be received 
into the Society : and after such declaration, the 
Superintendant shall not admit such person into the 

^797 '1 0/ ^^^^ People called Methodists. 243 

" 2. No person shall be expelled from the Socie- 
ty for immorality, till such immorality be proved at 
a Leaders Meeting. 

V IV. In respect to the appointment and removal 
of Leaders, Stewards, and Local Preachers ; and 
concerning Meetings, 

** 1. No person shall be appointed a Leader or 
Steward, or be removed from his office, but in con- 
junction with the Leaders Meeting : the nomination 
to be in the Superintendant, and the approbation or 
disapprobation in the Leaders Meeting. 

*' 2. The former rule concerning Local Preachers 
is confirmed, viz- That no person shall receive a 
plan as a Local Preacher, without the approbation 
of a Local Preachers Meeting. 

** 3. In compliance with a request made by the 
Committee of persons from various parts, namely, 
That the Conference be requested to reconsider and 
revise those rules, which relate to the calling of 
Meetings, and appointing Local Preachers, made 
last year; we say, No Local Preacher shall be per- 
mitted to preach in any other Circuit than his own, 
without producing a recommendation from the Su- 
perintendant of the Circuit in which he lives ; nor 
suffer any invitation to be admitted as a plea, but 
from men in office, who act in conjunction with the 
Superintendant of that Circuit which he visits. 
The design of this rule is to prevent any, under the 
character of Local Preachers, from burdening the 
people, either by collecting money, or by living 
upon them ; and to prevent improper persons, who 
bear no part of the expence, from inviting Local 
Preachers thus to visit them. But it never was in- 
tended to reflect the least disrespect on any of our 
worthy brethren, the Local Preachers, who, consi- 
dered as a body, we greatly respect. And it should 
not be lost sight of, that several of the most respec- 
table Local Preachers in the kingdom, who were iri 
the Committee which met the Committee of Preach- 
ers appointed by the Conference, declared their high 

44 ^ Chrenotogical History \_^797' 

approbation of the rule, and desired that it might be 
strengthened as much as possible, as none could 

justly complain of it. 

" 4. As the Committee above-mentioned requests 
ed also that the Mmute of the last Conference 
concerning the callnig of Meetings to consider of 
the affairs of the Society or Connection, be explain- 
ed ; and as we are exceedingly desirous of preserving 
the peace and union of the whole body, we have 
agreed upon the following explanation, viz. 

** I. As the Leaders Meeting is the prop?r meet- 
ing for the Society and tl.e Quarterly Meeting 
for the Circuit, we think that other formal meet- 
ings, in general, would be contrary to the Metho- 
dist oeconom.y, and very prejudicial in their conse- 
quences : But, 

•' 2. In order to be as tender as possible, consis- 
tently with what we believe to be essential to the 
welfare of our Societies, v.'e allow, that other for- 
mal meetings may be held, if they first receive the 
approbation ot the Superintendant, and tiie Leaders 
or Quarterly Meeting ; provided also, that the Su- 
perintendant, if he please, be present at every such 

** V. In respect to all new rules, which shall be 
made by the Conference, it is determined, that if at 
anv tmie the Conference see it necessary to make 
any new rule for the Societies at large, and such 
rule should 'be objected to at the first Quarterly 
Meeting in any given Circuit ; ^nd if the major part 
of that meeting, in conjunction with the Preachers, 
be of opinion that the enforcing of such rule in 
that Circuit will be injurious to the prosperity of 
that Cucuit, it shall not be enforced iti opposition 
to the judgment of such Quarterly Meeting before 
the second Conference. But it the rule be confirm- 
ed by the second Conference, it shall be binding to 
the whole connection. Nevertheless, the Quarterly 
Meetings rejecting a new rule, shall not by publica- 
tions, public meetings, or otherwise, make that rule 
a cause of contention; but shall strive by every 

1797«] ^1 ^^^^ People called Methodists, 245 

means to preserve the peace of the connection. — 
Thus brethren, we have given up the greatest part 
of our executive government into your hands, as 
represented in your different public meetings. 

*' The Conterence has reserved to itself the ma- 
nagement ot its own Book Concerns. This is most 
reasonable; as the institution was established for the 
carrying on of the work of God under the direction 
of Mr. Wesley and the Conference; was continued, 
by the Deed or Codicil of Mr. Wesley's Will, lor 
the use of the Conference; as the whole burden of 
the management of the business lies upon the Con- 
ference and the servants they employ, and on the 
Superintendants of Circuits ; and also, as it is the 
only fund which can supply any deficiencies of the 
yearly collection, as the accounts published in our 
Mmutes for several years past clearly evidence, the 
yearly collection having not been nearly sufhcient 
for the wants of the Preachers and their families, 
and for the carrying on of the work of God m ge- 

The admitting Delegates from the people into the 
District and Conference Meetings, was the popular 
cry of the contentious party at this time. The 
Conference came to the following resolutions res- 
pecting it. 

" As to Delegates, the Conference having ma- 
turely considered the subject, are thoroughly per- 
suaded, with many of our Societies, whose letters 
have been read in full Conference, that they can- 
not admit any but regular Travelling Preachers into 
their body, either into the Conference or District 
Meetings, and preserve the system o^ Methodism 
entire, particularly the Itinerant Pian, v.'hich they 
are determined to support. But let it be well ob- 
served, that it is fully and explicitly understood, 
that if there be any accusation against a Preacher, 
or any difficult affair to settle, not only the Circuit, 
or Town Steward, but any Leader, or even Member 
of the Society, shall be admitted as evidence to the 


24^ A Chronological History 1^79'^ 

District Meeting, provided the matter has been firs 
heard at a Quarterly Meeting." 

Since Mr. Wesley's death, the Conference has at 
times addressed circular letters to all the Societies. 
They have also received addresses from the Irish 
Conference, which they have Answered ; and from 
the American Conference, to which also they have 
replied. These . letters and addresses are signed 
in behalf of the respective Conferences by the Pre^ 
sident and Secretary ; are published annually in the 
Minutes, and contain a considerable degree of infor- 
mation and advice, which is very profitable to the 

After the division which took place at this time, 
a few Trustees of some Circuits opened the Chapels 
to the Preachers united with Mr. Kilham, and re- 
fused thoFe sent by the Conference. The Preachers 
at first seemed disposed to apply to equity, in behalf 
of the Societies thus injured. But upon further 
consideration, they submitted to the evil in the cases 
which then occurred, esteeming it better to build 
other chapels, than to encounter the trouble or ex- 
pence of a lawsuit. One thing however is clear, that 
those Trustees who have acted in this manner, are 
guilty of a very gross violation of the trust reposed 
in theme 


From tht Confer tnct in 1798, to that in Bristol in 

July ^o, 179S, the fifty-fifth Conference v/as 
held in Bristol. Mr. Joseph Benson was chosen 
President, and Mr. Samuel Bradburn Secretary. 

1798.] Of the PeopU called Mtlhodists. 247" 


In the year 1791, Doctor Coke was appointed 
by the Conference their Delegate to the West In- 
dies, and nine of the brethren were appointed a 
Committee for examining into the character of Mis- 
sionaries going to the Islands, also the accounts and 
letters relative to the Missions. 

In the year 1793, ^^^ Conference for the first 
time appointed a general collection through the 
whole connection to be made for their support. 
Doctor Coke had been unwearied in his endeavours 
to raise money for this end from their rise in the 
year 1786. The second general collection granted 
by the Conference was in the year 1796. Since then 
it has been granted regularly every year. 

In the year 1797, the District Committees were 
ordered to enquire at their several Districts whether 
any Preacher was willing to go to the West Indies ? 
And if there was, the Chairman was to inform Dr. 
Coke before the meeting of the Irish Conference. 

In the year 1798, it was desired they should en- 
quire whether any Local Preachers were wiliino- to 
go. The same enquiries are made annually. 

In the year 1799, it was agreed respecting the 
Missionaries, i. That any Missionary whose state 
cf health required it, according to the judgment of a 
Physician, should be at liberty to visit Bermuda 
or the Continent of America, Nova Scotia or New 
Brunswick, and continue there as long as expedient, 
or till he received further directions. 2. The Mis- 
sionaries in the West Indies shall not be consider- 
ed as under the regul.:tions of the connecuon in Ku- 
rope, in respect to marriage. (In Europe a man 
must travel four yeais as an Itinerant before he is al- 
lowed to marry) — But none of the Preachers who are 
not in full connection, are to marry, till they have 
consulted the Conieience or Dr. Coke : nor are any 
oi the Preachers, married or single, to return to Eu- 
rope, till they have previously consulted the Doctor, 

84^ A Chronological History ^t?^'^ 

and received the approbation of the Conference or 
of Dr, Coke. 3. We in the fullest manner take those 
Missions under our own care, and we consider Dr. Coke 
as our Agent: and we desire him to draw up a state- 
ment of the work of God in the West Indies, with 
a short address to the people ; and to send print<5^ 
copies of it to all the Supeiintendants. 

In the year 1800, the tollowing Rules were a.* 
dopted. 1. The Superintendants in the West Indies 
shall be responsible to the English Conference, and 
to their Agent, the Rev. Dr. Coke. 2. The Super- 
intendants shall keep exact accounts of all monies 
received by them on account of the Missions, and 
cf ail disbursements of that money, and transmit those 
accounts annually to Dr. Coke, or, in his absence, 
to the London Superintendant, to be laid before the 
Conference. 3. That the collections and disburse- 
ments at large, shall be annually laid before the 
Conference, or before a Committee appointed by 
the Conference ; that they also shall be transcribed 
into the ledger, and published as the Conference 
shall appoint. 4. That a yearly collection, as in 
Europe, shall be made in ail the Islands where it is 
practicable, for the support of the work. 5. That no 
person shall, in future, be employed as a Missionary, 
who is not received upon trial by the Conference, 
according to our rules, or inserted in the list of re- 
serve. 6. That all our Rules of Discipline, respect- 
ing the admission and exclusion of members, hold- 
ing Love feasts, &c. be strictly enforced as in 
Europe : and that the authority of the Superinten- 
dant, in all these things, be the same in every place. 
y. Every Superintendant is to propose, as soon as 
possible, to the Quarterly Meeting, any Local 
Preacher who is qualified for, and willing to go on 
a foreign Mission, that he may be afterward propos- 
ed to the District Committee, and lastly to the Con- 

In the year 1801, it wds added, " We observe, 
for the satisfaction of the Missionaries, that (except 

1798.] Of the People called Methodists, 249 

those who were married at the time they left Europe, 
and were then Local Pjeachers) they are entiiled to 
all the privileges of the Travellmg Preachers in Eu- 
rope-; and on their return in due time, agreeably to 
rule, shall be considered as Members of the Preaclu 
ers i-und according to the number of years they 
have travelled, on the payment of five guineas, and 
afterwards cornplyiug witti the rules of the 
Fund. We also appoint Dr. Coke Treasurer of the 
Mission Fund. 

In the year 1802, it was agreed, 1. That every 
West India Missionary, v;ho has been previously- 
received into full connection, shall be obliged to 
labour in that Archipelago, for four years. 2. That 
every Missionary who has previously travelled in 
Europe on trial, shall be obliged to travel in the 
West Indies for five years. 3. That every Mis- 
sionary who has not previously travelled at all ivi 
Europe, shall be obliged to travel in the West In- 
dies for six years. 4. The Missionaries are desired 
to send to Dr. Coke by the April Packet, a regular 
account of their receipts and disbursements for the 
preceding year. The Conterence insist upon it, 
that all the Missionaries shall in future comply with 
this Minute. 

A collection was made at this Conference by the 
Preachers, and one appointed to be made through 
the wliole connection, for the Societies at Notting- 
ham and Huddersfield, whose Chapels were wrest- 
ed from them by the unfaithful Trustees, who join- 
ed the schism under Mr. Kilham, to enable them 
to finish the new houses they had began to build. 

The Methodists in Ireland suffered considerably 
during the past year owing to the Rebellion which 
broke out in that kingdom. Part of the Address of 
the Irish Conference to the English Brethren thus 
describes their situation. — " To attempt a descrip- 
tion of our deplorable state, would be vain indeed. 
Suffice it to say, that loss of trade, breach of confi- 
dence, fear of assassination, towns burnt, countries laid 

9.f^o A Ckrdnological History t^79^' 

waste, houses for miles without an inhabitant, and 
the air tainted with the stench of thousands of pu- 
trid carcases already cut off, form some outlines of 
the melancholy picture of our times. However, in 
the midst of (his national confusion, we, and our 
people in general, blessed be God, have been won- 
detuliy preserved ; though some of us were impri- 
soned for weeks by the Rebels ; exposed also to fire 
and sword in the heat of battle, and carried (sur- 
rounded by hundreds of pikes) into the enemy's 
camp and plundered of almost every valuable, yet 
we have not suffered the least injury in our per- 
sons! And moreover, God, even our own God, 
has brought us through all, to see and embrace 
each other in this favoured City, (Dublin.) that 
the Church would therefore, praise the Lord for his 
goodness^ and for the wonders he hath done for us 
the meanest of his Servants. 

The English Conference manifested a most Chris- 
tian and Brotherly spirit when this Address was 
read. They sympathized with their Brethren, and 
agreed that all their wants should be supplied before 
their own necessities were considered. 

It was also added, i. If a Preacher marries a 
widow who has children by her former husband,, 
such Preacher shall have no assistance either from 
the public funds, or from the Circuits in which 
he labours, for the children which his wife 
has had by her former husband. 3. In the exa- 
mination of the candidates, let each be required to 
answer any question the President may ask him, 
respecting the doctrines contained in the eight volumes 
of sermons, which Mr. Wesley left in his Will to 
the Preachers. Every Superintendant is to take care 
that the Preachers on trial have the eight volumes to 
read. And every one when received into full con- 
nection shall have the eight volumes given him as a 
present from the Book-room." 

July 29, 1799, The Fifty-sixth Conference be* 

'799'] Of ike People called Methodists, 25 1 

gan at Manchester, Mr. Samuel Bradburn wa3 
chosen President, and Dr. Cuke Secretary. 

Mr. Asbury, in his address to this Conference, 
stales the fol lowing particulars of the woik in the 
United States of America. He observes, " We 
have from one to two ihousand Tiaveliing and Lo- 
cal Preachers. They are daily rising and coming 
forward (with proper recommendations from their 
respective Societies) to receive ordination, and the 
regulations and ordinations of the seven yearly Con- 
ferences, form a weighty concern indeed." 

By a letter received from Gibraltar, (in Spain) 
the Conference were informed, that there were fifty 
persons in Society in that place. They walk ac- 
cording to the Methodist Rules, and earnestly desire 
that a Preacher may be sent to them. This the Con- 
ference have not yet been able to do; but as this 
Society is inserted in the Minutes, no doubt that 
help will be soon afforded them. 

Mr. Nebuchadnezzar Lee, who was formerly a Tra- 
velling Preacher in Ireland, also wrote to the Con- 
ference from Bengal in the East Indies, earnestly 
requesting that a Missionary might be sent thither. 
The Conference was obliged to postpone this also 
to a future day. 

Mr. Wiiham Thompson, Mr. Thomas Olivers, 
and Mr. John Murlin, three of the old Travelling 
Preachers, died this year. The Conference men- 
tioned them with much respect in the Minutes. Mr, 
Murlin began to labour, like many of his brethren, 
without purse or scrip. In a few years he became 
possessed of a considerable property by marriage : 
yet he continued to labour, as before, using his for- 
tune only ds a means of doing more good. An emi- 
nent instance of faithfulness I 

The American Mmutes bore. the most honour- 
able testimony to the piety and ust^fulness of Mr. 
John Dickins, a native of London, who had labour- 
ed in America many years; and wlio, as they ob- 
serve, after standing the shock of two seasons. 

£^2 J Chronological History [i799' 

(1703 and 1797,) of that dreadful complaint the 
Yellow Fevtr^ fell in the third awful visitation in 
1798. A short extract of a letter written by hirn a 
little before bis death to Mr. Asbury, is highly ho- 
nourable to his memory. 

'* My much esteemed friend and brother ! I ut 
down to write as in the jaws of death. Whether 
Providence may permit me to see your face again 
in the flesh, I know not. But 1 hope through 
abundant Mercy» we shall meet in the presence of 
God. I am truly conscious, that I am an unpro- 
fitable, a very unprofitable servant; but 1 think my 
heart condemns me not, and theretoie I have con- 
fidence towards God. — Perhaps I might have left 
the city, (Philadelphia) as most of my friends and 
brethren have done, but when I thought of such a 
thinjT, my mind recurred to that Providence which 
has done so much for me, a poor v/orm; so that I 
•u'as afraid of indulging any distrust : so I commit- 
myself and family into the hands of God, for life 
or death." — He closed his Christian course on Sep-' 
tember 27, J 798, in the fifty-second year of his 
age, commendmg his soul to God, with uncom- 
mon joy, peace, and triumphant assurance of heavenly 
bliss. His brethren close a long account of his 
industry, uprightness, and faithfulness, with ob- 
serving, that in the cause of God, he never J eared 

This year the Irish Conference beholding the 
horrors which ignorance, and the most depraved 
superstition had occasioned in that kingdom, and 
feeling a lively concern tor the poor natives, who 
are subject to the church of Rome, set on foot a 
mission for their instruction and edification. Three 
Preachers who can preach both in English and 
Irish willingly offered themselves for this service. 
The English Conference encouraged this benevolent 
design, and the best effects are hoped from it. Mr. 
Wesley longed over the souls of that benighted 
people ; and their countryman, Mr. Thomas Walsh, 

^799'] ^J ^^^^ Pt^opU called Methodists, 2J3 

(see page 64,) fell a sacrifice chleny to his great 
exertions in their behalf. Love still hopeth all 
things ; and perhaps the time will soon come when 
they also shall worship God in spirit and in truth, 
and walk in love as he also has loved them. 

The names of the Irish Missionaries are James 
M'Quigg, Charles Graham, and Gideon Ousley. 
Dr. Coke procured protections for them from the 
Lord Lieutenant, Marquis Cornwallis, addressed to 
all the civil and nulitary officers in the kingdom. 
They have already met with considerable success, 
so that we are constrained to hope that the Lord 
will support it. 



It is therefore resolved, 

1. That this Institution be called, The^ Itinerant 
Methodist Preachers Annuity. 

2. That every Preacher who is now, or shall be 
hereaher received into full connection with the 
Conference of the people called Methodists, may 
become a member ot this Society. 

3, That as the Methodist Preachers, late in con- 
nection with the late Rev. John Wesley, have a 
property in books, in their Book -room. City Road^ 
London, which property is valued at, and is worth 
ii^ thousand pounds sterling ; and that said Preach- 
ers, agree to convey said property to this Society, 
to be applied to its use according to the rules and 
regulations of the same : and the Steward of said 
Book-room shall give a bond to the Treasurer of 
said Society, for the above sum of six thousand 
pounds sterling, bearing legal interest from the 
date of these presents, which interest is to be paid 
annually into the hands of said Treasurer, to be 
applied to the use of said Society, accordinor to 
its rules and regulations. 

4, That every Preacher shall subscribe annual'/ 

2^54 -^ Chronological History [^709' 

one guinea^ the n)oiiey to be paid at the Confe- 

5. That every member of this Society who is 
made a supernumerary or is superannuated by the 
Conierence, shall receive Irom this Instfttition the 
sum ot twenty-four guineas per ann. the payments 
to be made every six moiiths, and to commence 
from the time in which the said member was su- 
perannuated or made a supernumerclry. 

6. That every Preacher who has travelled regu- 
larly tzuenty years, in connection with, and under 
the direction of the Conference of the people called 
Methodists, shall, on being superannuated, or de- 
clared supernumerary, be entitled to thirty guineas 
per annum, the payments to be made every six 
months, and to commence from the time in which 
the said member was superannuated or made a su- 

7. That the widow of such member, under the 
regulations hereafter mentioned, shall receive the 
aforesaid sum of twenty four guineas^ or thirty 
guineas, to be paid as above specified, as long as 
said widow coniiniies unmarried ; but that her an- 
nuity on her marriage shall immediately cease: it 
being generally understood that the husband pro- 
vides for his wife. 

8. That every Annuitant shall continue to sub- 
scribe one giiuiea annually, to the support of this 

9. That no member of this Institution shall be 
considered as a supernumerary or superannuated 
Preacher, but he who is declared such by the Me- 
thodist Conference, on account of some corporeal 
or mental infirmity. 

10. That if a member of this Society above fifty- 
five years of age marry a woman under forty, she 
shall not at his decease be entitled to any support 
iVom this fund. 

1 1 . That a member expelled from the Methodist 
connection by the Conference, or who shall of his 

-799- J Of the People called Methodisls. 2^5 

pikvn accord withdraw from being an Itinerant 
Preacher, or from continuing to be a member ot 
this Society, shail be considered as excluded to all 
intents and purposes from receiving any benefit 
from this Institution ; and that such member shall 
forfeit ail the money he has paid into its funds. 

12. That the widow of a Preacher who has been 
married to said Preacher after he had travelled 
twenty years^ shall not be entitled to the Annuity 
of thirty guineas, till she have paid down ten gui^ 
neas for the use of this Society, over and above 
what her said husband had paid before into said So- 
ciety's funds ; but that said widow may, and shall 
be permitted to pay said ten guineas by instalments 
of two or more guineas per annum, above her an- 
nual subscription. 

13. They agree, that if any married Preacher die 
before he have travelled ten years, his w^idow shall 
not be entitled to the Annuity of twenty-four gui- 
neas, till she have paid ten guineas into the funds 
of said Society ; but that said widow sliall be per- 
mitted to pay said ten guineas by instalments, as in 
Lhe preceding case. 

14. And whereas it has been usual for several 
of the members and friends of the Methodist So- 
cieties, late in connection with the late Rev. John 
Wesley, to subscribe certain monies annually, for 
the support of superannuated Preachers, and their 
widows, and whereas provision is made by the Act 
ot Parliament, entitled, (" An Act for the En- 
couragement aiid Relief of Friendly Societies,) 
tor the receiving such voluntary subscriptions, it 
is hereby agreed, that an account of such contri- 
butions shall be taken by the Steward of the So- 
ciety, and kept separate frpm the account of the 
subscriptions of the members of said Society : and 
for the better execution of the merciful designs of 
said contributions, it is hereby agreed, that a com- 
mittee of at least eleven persons, accorcjmg to 
section the 5th of the aforesaid Act, shall be chosen 

Z 2 

2"^6 A chronological History [1799. 

•£>y ballot, at the annual meeting of said Society ; 
which Cammittee shall hear all claims on the aiore- 
said contribution, and shall determine on the sum 
to be allowed to each claimant, as a member of, 
or claimant on said Society, according to the pre- 
sent rules and regulations ; and if said claimant be 
dissatisfied with the sum allowed kim^ or her^ by 
raid Comniittcc, ke or she may appeal to the Society 
at large, at their next annual meeting,- whose judg- 
raent shall be final and decisive. 

15. That a Treasurer be appointed who shall re- 
ceive and put out as soon as possible to legal 
interest, the monies belonging to this Institution, 
giving proper security for such monies to the So- 
ciety, and that Thomas Roberts, of Somerset- 
street, in the city of Bristol, Esq. be appointed 
the Treasurer. 

16. That two Stewards be chosen annually, who 
shall be empowered to draw such monies out of the 
Treasurers hands, as may, on the rules and regu- 
lations of this fund, be claimed by any member of 
this Society. 

17. That if in the judgment of a majority of 
the members of this Scciety, its funds should be 
found to have increased so as to admit of an in- 
crease of the Annuities, such addition shall be 
made to the Annuities, as, in the judgment of the 
majority of the members, the funds shall be decHD- 
ed capable of affording. 

18. That if the Expenditure should at any time 
exceed the income, a majority of the members, at 
one of the annual Conierences of the people called 
Methodists, shall fix on a plan which shall cause 
the Income at least to equal the Expenditure, by 
increasing the annual subsriptions, or by lessen- 
ing the Annuities, or by both, — or, by any other 
method which the wisdom of the members may de- 
vise, so as still to preserve the Institution according 
to its original spirit and design. 

39. Provided, that if this Society should be .so 

'799*1 Of the People called Methodists, 257 

dinjinished as not to be able to support two Annui- 
tants, then the Society- shall be dissolved, and the 
remaining monies equally divided among the sur- 
viving members. 

20- That every thing relative \g the management 
of this Society, shall be done by a majority of the 
members then present. 

2 1 That any member neglecting to send his an- 
nual subscription at the time above-mentioned, shall 
be fined, for the first year two shillings and six- 
pence, for the second year, kaJf a guinea : the 
fines io be throvvii into the common stock : but if 
he neglect to send in his subscription for three 
years, he shall be excluded, and forfeit all the mo- 
nies he has paid into this fund; unless such peisoii 
may have been employed by the Conference in any 
of the foreign missions; the case oi' such a member 
to be determined by a majority of the members 
then present. 

92. If a man who is superannuated or a supernu- 
merary, and who is a claimant on this fund, become 
again an efTective man, he shall cease to be an An- 
nuitant: but, if he become again a supernumerary, 
or be superannuated, he shall have the same clairn 
as heretofore, on the provisions and regulations 
already mentioned. 

23. That the books of said Society shall be so 
kept that any member may have free access to them 
at ail times. 

24. That all the accompts of said Society shall 
be publicly read over at, and approved by the An- 
nual Meeting of said Society. 

23. That after the present year, (1799) every 
new member shall, on his admission, ^^y five gui- 
neas into the funds ot said Society. 

26. That all difficulties and disputes relative to ■ 
inQ business of this Society, shall be referred to a 
Committee of eleven persons chosen by ballot from 
the members then present : and the judgment of the 
majority shall be finally decisive, provided the said 



ig^ A Chronological History C^799. 

Judgment be not contrary to any thing in the exist- 
ing rules ot" this Society. 

27. That these rules shall be registered according 
to the provisions made by an Act of Parliament tcr 
the legalization and support of charitable Institu- 

Signed by order of the Society, 
Ma?ichesier, Henry Moore, Chairman. 

j^ifg. 8, 1799. Adam Clarke, Secretary. 

City of Bristol^ At the Court of GeneralQuarter 
arcd Coutity oj v Sessions of the Peace ofour Sove- 
tht same City, J reign Lord the King, held in and 
for the City of Bristol, and County of the same 
City, in the Guildhall of the said City, on Friday 
the seventeenth day of January, One Thousand 
Eight Hundred, before John Morgan, Esq. Mayor 
of the said City, Sir John Durbin, Knight, and 
John Noble, Esq. Aldermen of the same cit}% 
Justices assigned and so forth, 

At tliis Court the foregoing Rules, Orders and 
Regulations, were cxlubited to the said Justices at 
the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace held as 
above-mentioned, who after due examJ nation thereof, 
(as far as tlie Act of Parliament in that behalf ex- 
tends) allowed and confirmed the same. 

Signed, at the above Sessions, by 

Town-CUrk and Clerk of the Peace, 



Item. I, A. B. do hereby give and bequeath the 

sum of , unto tlic Treasurer for the 

time being, of a voluntary Society, called the Itim 
neraui Methodist Preacher's Annuity, instituted by 
the Methodist Preachers, late in connection with 
the Rev. John Wesley, deceased, and registered 
according to the Act of Parliament, entitled, " An 
Act for the Encouragement and Relief of Friendly 
Societies," the same to be paid within months 

1799'] OJ thd P&GpU called Methodists. 259 

next after my decease, out of my personil estate, 
in trust, to be applied to the uses and purposes of 
said Society. 


This was instituted this year (1799) in London, 
by a few of the principal Members of tlie Society. 
It cannot be better recorded than by inserting its 
rules as drawn up by the good men who set it on 
foot, and wlio now conduct it. 

" I. A subscription shall be opened for the casual 
relief of Itinerant Methodist Preachers of Mr. Wes- 
ky's connection and their families, when in sickness 
or otherwise distressed. 2. A Committee shall be 
appointed, of SQvtn persons, resident in or near 
London, to transact the business of this Society. 3. 
Out of delicacy towards their Brethren, no Itinerant 
Preacher shall be a Member of this Committee. ^^. 
The Commiitee shall hold a monthly Meeting, whea 
cases shall be considered, and relief sent to the most 
necessitous. 5. The London Committee shall elect 
Country Members, in order to extend the usefulness 
of this Society, by increasing the subscription, and 
estabiishing a necessary correspondence m various 
parts ot the kingdom. —Country Members to be pre- 
sent at the Monthly Meetings when in- London. 6. 
The Committee shall publish an Annual Report 01 
the proceedings of this Society, their accounts shall 
then be stated, and an outline be given of the cases 
relieved; but great delicacy shall be observed 
with respect to the names of those Preachers, who 
may have had assistance : these shall at all times 
be kept as private as can be consistent v;ith respect to 
the welfare of the Society." 
The Committee chosen, are, 

Mr. Joseph Bulmer, -^ 

Mr. Joseph Butterworth, . 

James Hamilton, M.D. | 

William Marriott, Esq. J. of London. 

Mr. Robert Middleton, 

Thomas Stock, Esq. 

Christopher Sundius, Esq; 

26o ^ Chronologiccd History-. [i799» 

Country Members.. 
Mr. William Gleathing, Malton... 
Thomas Holy, Esq. Sheffield. 
Mr. Michael Longridge, Sunderland. 
William Smith, Esq. Newcastle. 
Mr. John W'^ard, jun. Durham. 
William Marriott, Esq. Hoxion Square, Treasurer. 
Joseph Butterworth, 43, Fleet Street^ Secretary, 

To whom all communications lor ths Society may 
be addressed. 

Eor a tY;lier account 01 the design and utility of 
this institution, consult the Methodist Magazine for 
Aug. 1801. and for July 1802* This was begun- 
without any solicitation from the Preachers, has 
been attended wuh the happiest effects already ; and 
is patronized by many of the wealthy Members of the 
Society throughout Great Britain. 

In the year 1801, 240/. was given to Preach- 
ers in distress from this Fund; though it is at present 
in an infant state. It is calculated to encourage the 
servants oi God to labour faithfully in his vineyard,. 
as it is an additional proof of God's greiit love to 
those who preach his Gospel without the prospect of 
fee or reward but what arises wholly from his pro- 
mise and providence. 

The Committee submitted the design and rules to 
the Conference. The effect it had on the Brethren: 
may be seen by the following letter. 

•• To the Committee of the Preacher's Friend 
Society : 

Dear Brethren, 

Manchester August, 12, 1799. 

Your plan for the establishment of a Preachers 
Friend Society has been read in Conference, and tlie 
Conference authorize us to return you their unani- 
mous thanks for your noble, generous, and disin^ 
terested design of relieving distressed Preachers in 
the way you have proposed. 

The Conference have also come to an unanimous 
vote, that your plan and resolutions shall b€ insert. 

T799-] Of the People called Melhodists, 261 

f-d ill the Magazine, and recommended to our Bre- 
thren at large. 

With tlic utmost respect and affection we are, 
vei y dear Brethren, yours in the Lord. 
S. Bradburn, President. 
T. Coke, Secretary. 

A. Clark E, Secretary to the Preach- 
ers Annuity Society.'* 


The dispute between the Executors of Mr* 
Wesley's Will and the Conference has been already 
noticed, also tho. happy conclusion to which it was 
brought. In the year 1795, it v/as ordered, i. 
Every Preacher who has the care of books, shall 
remit all the money he can to Mr. WhitHeid be- 
fore or at Christmas. 2. All the interest which is 
due to the Preachers Fund, shall be paid out of 
the Book-room the next year. Six thousand pounds 
was borrowed from the Fund to support the con- 
nection; so that the interest which is annually 
paid from the Book-room is 300/. a year. 

In the year 1796, the Conterence appointed Mr. 
Mather and Mr. Pawson to superintend the exami- 
nation of the books in London, and to print a state- 
ment of the book account for the information of 
'the Preachers. 

In the year 1797, the Conference declared its 
resolution to reserve to itself the management of its 
own book concerns, as being most agreeable to 
the design of the Institution, also to Mr. Wesley's 
Will; and as the profits are wholly expended by 
tl-pe Conference in supporting Itinerancy among the 
Methodist Preachers, It was also agreed, that 
every Superintendant should settle his accounts 
with, and pay the balance to Mr. Whitfield, at 
every Conference for the preceding year. 

In the year 1799, it was agreed, 1. That an annual 
account shall be presented to, and read in the Confe- 
rence, of the receipts and disbursements, and of the 

nGz A Chronological History [.^797't 

balance respecting the Book-room : and each Chair- 
man of the Districts respectively shall have a copy 
of the aforesaid account ; which shall be transcribed- 
by him, or some person employed by him, for each 
Superintendant in his District, and the Superinten- 
dants shall deliver a copy to each of their col- 
leagues who are in fiill connection. 

2. An account of our stock of books in London, 
shall be taken, in as exact a manner, and as soon- 
as possible; but so as not to interrupt the regular 
business, 3. As soon as the stock is taken, a ware- 
liouse-book shall be provided, in which shall be en- 
tered all the stock in hand, and all the books which 
shall be printed from time to time, v;ith an exact' 
account of the number: And, on the other hand, 
an entry shall be made of all the books taken out 
for the wholesale and retail trade." It was also 
agreed, that Mr. Wesley's Sermons in nine volumes^ 
should be given to every Preacher in tuU connec- 
tion, who had not had them before. And the 
Preachers were desired to send to the Book Commit- 
tee, full accounts of the deaths-ot e^ninently pious 


In the year T774, it was asked, " Q, Are not 
the Preachers who come to the Conference bur- 
densome to the Societies on the way? yl. Fre- 
quently. To prevent this, i. Let every Preacher 
pay for his horse's keeping. 2. Let each of those Socie- 
tiesfixonan inn where thehorseswill betaken careof." 

In the year 1781, it was asked, *' g. Wliat 
can be done to lessen the burden which lies on 
those Societies where the Conference is held? 
ji. Let every Preacher pay for his own hor.>c." 

In the year 1791, it was added, *' Let the 
Postacre of all letters sent to the Conference on 
public business, be paid by the Stewards ot the So- 
cieties from which ihey are sent. But the postage 
of the private letters sent to the Preachers during 

^799- J Of the People called Methodists, 263 
the sitting of the Conference, shall be paid by the 
Conference," 7. e. by the Society where the Con- 
ference is held. 

In the year 1799, it was added, «* AH letters, 
sent to I he Conference, or to the representative- 
meeting, are in future to be sent post-paid ; and 
the Preachers are desired to inform our friends of 
this particular; and that the Conference cannot 
afford to pay the postage of the immense quantity 
of letters, which are annually sent to them." 

In the year 1800, it was added, " Let every Super- 
intendant inform his brethren, that they are to pay 
for all the letters they write on public business. 

In the year 1802, it was added, "No letters sent 
to the Conference, or directed to any of the 
Preachers where the Conference is held, if the pos- 
tage be not previously paid, shall in future be at. 
tended to by the Conference." 

To guard against impostors it was added, •' Le 
the Certificate usually given, be printed, and let no 
person be received into any Society without one of 
these, .signed by one of the Travelling Preachers in 
the Circuit from whence he came. 

To promote the administration of the Lord's 
Supper, it was added, " A Supcrintendant, or 
r,ome other Travelling Preacher in full connection, 
who IS willing to administer the Lord's Supper,' 
shall be appomted for every Circuit, where it is rel 
gularly adramistered ; who shall administer that 
holy ordinance in all such places in his Circuit, as 
are allowed that privilege according to the rules of 

It was also added, " We are resolved never to 
station Preachers in Circuits for the third year, 
except in cases of very peculiar emergency. 

Tlie Mmute against anthems was republished. It 
is as follows : " Is not formality in singing creep- 
ing i.i, by singing those complex tunes a7id anthems 
which It IS scarcely poss ble to sing with devotion ? 

The repeating the s.ime words so often, and es- 
p. cialiy while another is repeating other words, (the 

2 64 J Chronologic a I Histc ry [ 1 800. 

horrid abuse which runs through the modern church- 
music) as it shocks all common-sense, so it neces- 
sarily brings in dead formality, and has no religion 
in it. Besides, it is a flat contradiction to our 
Lord's command, use not vain rejtetitions'. For 
what is a vain repetition, if this is not? What end 
of devotion does it serve? Sing no anthems. 

The fifty- seventh Conference was held in Lon- 
don, July 28th, iSoo. Mr. James Wood was 
chosen President, and Mr. Samuel Bradburn, Se- 
cretary. The following Address was unanimously 
voted, and transmitted to his Majesty by the Presi- 
dent ; the ground of it was, the late wicked attempt 
made on the Life of our most excellent King. 

From the London Gazette, 

St. James's, August 8, 1800. 
The following Address having been transmitted 
to the Duke of Portland, his Majesty's Principal 
Secretriry of State for tlie Home Department, has 
been by his Grace pre«ented to the King; which 
Address his Majesty was pleased to receive very 


The humble Address of the Ministers of the 
People called Methodists, assembled in Conference. 
May it please your Majesty, 

We, your Majesty's dutiful and loyal Subjects, 
the Preachers of the Gospel, late in connection 
with the Reverend John Wesley, deceased, being 
assembled in our fifty-seventh annual Conference, 
beg leave to approach your Majesty with that vene- 
ration which becomes all the servants of the King 
of Kings, to feel towards those whom He has ap- 
pointed in his adorable Providence to execute Righ- 
teousness and Judgment in the earth, and to express 
ourabhorrenceof the late atrocious attempt against the 
life of your Majesty, as also our thankfulness to Al- 
mighty God for his gracious protection so mani- 
festly extended towards your sacred Person. 

We humbly desire to express to your Majesty 

iSoo.] Of the Atopic called Methodists. 265 

that we have in conjunction with the people under 
our care, upon several occasions, united with 
others of your Majesty's loyal subjects, in testify- 
ing our sincere respect for and attachment to your 
Majesty's person and government, and our detesta- 
tion of ail sedition and rebellion ; and we beg leave 
to repeat the same dutiful sentiments upon this oc- 
casion. We are determined to obey the sacred in- 
junctions of the God whom we serve, ** to pray for 
Kings and for all that are in authority ; to be subject 
to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake ; to 
obey Magistrates; to be ready for every good 
work ; and to lead a quiet and peaceable life in all 
godliness and honesty. 

That Almighty God may preserve your Majesty 
from every known and secret enemy, and long con- 
tinue you as the Father of your People, and the 
Minister of God to us for good, is the ardent 
prayer of your Majesty's loyal and dutiful subjects. 
Signed, in behalf of the Conference, 

JAMES WOOD, President. 
New Chapd, City Road, 
London^ July 30, 1800. 

It was now proposed to appoint a Mission in 
North Wales. Mr, Owen Davis, and Mr. John 
Hughes were chosen for that purpose. They willingly 
complied with the wishes of their brethren, who 
recommended them to the Lord by solemn prayer. 
Their labours have been crowned with success. 

They converse with the people and exhort them 
in the Welch language to turn to the Lord. They 
are still labouring m the same country. 

The Conference was still pressed for the want of 
money in order to support the work. They in- 
treated the Societies in their yearly address to give 
them pecuniary aid, that they might be extricated 
out oi their distresses. 

This is now a serious burthen, and unless the 

sSS J Chronological History [iSoo. 

Lord multiply the Societies, one of these two 
rules must be adopted : i. The people must increase 
their subscriptions, or 2, The Conierence must 
lessen the nuniber of the Preachers. 

It was thought necessary to publish the following 
directions. '* i. We fear there has sometimes 
been irregularity in some of the meetings. And 
we think that some of our heareiis are in danger of 
mistaking emotions of the affections for experimen* 
tal and practical godliness. To remedy or prevent, 
^s far as possible, these -errors, let Mr. Wesley's 
Extract of Dr. Edward's pamphlet on Religious 
AfTections be printed, and circulated among our 

2. Vv^e recommend to the Preachers and all our 
Societies Dr. Coke's Commentary. 

3. Let none in our connection preach charity 
sermons, where theatrical sin gerrs 2^n6. bands oj mu^ 
SIC are introdiiced. And let the Stewards, Trus- 
tees, and Leaders, be informed that such a practice 
is offensive to the Conference, w^ho believe it has 
been hurtful to the minds of many pious people. 

4. We strictly ordain, tliat the Lord's Supper be 
administered in England, according to the form of 
the Established Church, as expressed in the rules 
of pacification. 

5. Let the Representative of every District write 
to his Brethren, (who remain in the Circuits) in- 
forming them where they are stationed, as soon as 
possible, that the stationary Committee may be ena- 
bled to please every one as far as possible. 

6. In future, let the aged Preachers be provid- 
ed with Circuits before any of the others. And no 
®ne shall be stationed in London, Bristol, Birming- 
ham, Manchester, or Liverpool, till he is received 
into full connection. 

7. Henceforward let no Preacher be declared Su- 
perannuated, or stationed as a Supernumerary, with- 
out the recommendation of the District Committee 
to which he b'!longs, unless, for particular reasons^ 

i-8oo.] Of tht People called Methodists, 267 

the Conference, with his own consent, judge it pro- 

8. No Chapel taken horn- m unjustly, shall ever 
be purchased by us. Let no Chapel be built on the 
Tontine plan, u e. where the persons concerned ia 
building them, design to make them their own pro- 
perty, and turn them to their own temporal advan- 

The 20th of October in this year (1800), there 
was a general Conference of the American Preach- 
ers held in Baltimore in America. It is held every 
fourth year. Mr. Richard Whatcoat, the first Lay- 
preacher Mr. Wesley ordained, was by the voice of 
his brethren chosen Bishop of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, along with Dr. Coke, and Bishop 
Asbury. Mr* Whatcoat set but as a Travelii?ig 
Freacher in England in the year 1769, and travelled 
with an unblameable charaaer in England and Ire- 
land till the year 1784, when he was ordained by 
Mr. Wesley and sent to America. He manifested 
a sweet humble spirit while he laboured in Europe, 
was much respected by those who knew him, and 
was very useful in the Circuits where he was sta- 
tioned. It is. a pleasure to his Brethren in Europe 
to see by his late appointment that he has conducted 
himself in the same manner in America* 

Tliere is another Society instituted among the 
Methodists, which is of great importance, as it is cal- 
culated to improve and benefit the lowest class of 
eivil Society. It \v^as first instituted in London in 
the year 1772, and received Mr. Wesley's hearty 
approbation. The members of it were then called 
Work-house Preachers. In Bristol they are called 
Village Preachers. In Leeds, Prayer -Leaders ; and 
in Dublin, Poor-house Preachers. In London it is 
now called the friendly union. But their ob- 
ject in each place is the same, and their Rules near- 
ly so. 

In the year 1800, the nature and c -sign of this 
Society was approved, and the following Rules for 
A a 2 

268 A Chronological History [1800^. 

its regulation and government, were sanctioned by- 
Mr. Joseph Benson, Superintendant of the London 
Circuit, in conjunction with Mr. James Wood and 
the rest of the Preachers appointed for London by 
the Conference held there this year» They are as. 


Jesus Christ, in order to mortify human vanity^ 
"to convince the world tFiat Religion was a plains 
simple thing, and that a little common sense, accom- 
panied with an ardent love to God and Man, was 
sufficient to propagate it, without any aid derived; 
from the schools of human science, took twelve poor 
ijlitcrate men into his company, admitted them to aa 
ilitimacy with himself, and, after he had kept them 
awhile m tuition, sent them to preach the good tid- 
ings of salvation to their countrymen. He never 
paid any regard to the place where he delivered his 
sermons. He preached in the temple, in synagogues, 
publick walks, and private houses, on mountains, 
3J1 barges and ships. His Missionaries imitated him ; 
and convenience for the time, wa.s consecration of 
the place. 

Wherever the Love of God is shed abroad in the 
Heart, it will, like the fountain from whence it flows, 
diffuse itself abroad. It being an active and benevo- 
lent principle, induces those who enjoy it to endea- 
vour to bring others 'to partake of the same blessing, 
and to do them good in every possible way. Influenc- 
ed by this sacred, living fire, and touched with a tender 
sympathy, two or three young men consulted how^ 
they might best lay themselves out, according ta 
their little ability, for the good of their fellow crea- 
tures. They soon turned their eyes towards the Sick 
and Poor in. Workhouses, prisons, hospitals, &c. as- 
persons the most abject and forlorn. At the same 
time, providence concurring, an open door was set 
before them in one or two Workhouses, which were 
visited once or twice a week, in rotation. Thev 
there expounded to the people some portion of God's 
sacred word, and generally began, and concluded 

xSoo.] Of the People called Methodists i 269 

ivith Singing and Prayer. In the course of two or 
three years, more Workhouses being opened for 
their reception, and more young men offering them- 
selves to the work, some of whom seemed not to b@ 
called to act in the same line with their elder bre- 
thren, and yet wished to be useful in some way or 
other ; they formed themselves into a Society, for 
the better regulation and carrying on their benevo- 
lent design. They agreed that those whose talents 
were more confined, should visit the Sick, and en- 
quire first into the State of their minds, and thea 
give them instruction, advice, or encouragement, as 
to them might seem meet. Such was the origin, 
and such is the general design of our Friendly Union, 
which, through the blessing of God, has been pro- 
ductive of many happy effects. There have been 
some, through our poor endeavours, in various 
places, that have been deeply convinced of sin, and 
have heartily embraced the Faith of the Gospel. 
And we have likewise had very satisfactory evi- 
dence concerning others, that they have changed a 
state of misery and woe, for the Paradise of God.. 


T. A Meeting shall be held every Sunday 
Morning at the- New Chapel, City Road, at seven 
o'clock ; and every Monday Evening at eight. The 
Quarterly Meetings shall be held the first Monday 
alter every Quarter day. 2. Every Member liv- 
ing more than a mile from the place of Meeting, 
shall be entitled to a plan of his appointments. 

N. B. All the Preachers are to have plans. 


On Sunday Mornings, to examine whether the 
appointments have been attended to the preceding 
Sunday: To read over the plan for the day; make 
the collection, and to endeavour to edify one ano- 

On Monday Evenings, the first and third in every 
A a 3 

aya A'CHronolcgical History [1803* 

month to hear trial Sermons, and Preachers in rota- 
tion. On the other Evenings to attend to any.busi^ 
ness relative to the work in which we are engaged.. 

On the Quarterly Meetings, to examine the cha- 
racter, abilities, and attendance, of each Member ;, 
to hear appeals ; to audit the accounts; to propose 
new places,, and choose the officers. 

I. In order to admission, the candidate must, 
have been a Member of the late Rev. John Wes- 
ley's Society,, twelve months ; a man of strict piety 
and irreproachable character ; having, a gift for 
Prayer and Exhortation- 2d. Having signified the 
name, and place of abode, of his Class Leader, he 
shall be asked the following Questions, with any 
other the Steward shall think proper to propose to - 

I. What are the motives, that induce you to- 
wish to belong to this Society.? 2. Will you en«- 
gage, if received into this Society, cordially to sub- 
mit to the discipline established among uSj and 
faithfully, and constantly to attend the places ap-- 
poinied you by [the Committee ? 3* The preceding 
questions being answered to the satisfaction of a 
iriajority of the persons present, the Steward shall,, 
in the ensuing week, enquire of. his Class Leader, 
the character,, and abilities, of the candidate ; and,, 
the Sunday following he shall communicate the in- 
formation he has received, to the members present,, 
(the Candidate withdrawing,) who shall judge of 
such information and act with respect to receiving 
him as they shall think proper. No person shall be 
admitted but by a majority of votes, taken by ballot. 
4th. Every Candidate that is admitted shall be six 
months on trial,, before he be fully received; or 
have a vote on any occasion., ^th. the Secretary, 
shall .signify to the Society when any Candidate has. 
been six months on trial ; if he then approve of the 
work, and the Society approve of him, he shall be 
fully received, the Steward reading to hini the folr- 
-lowing address* 

i8oo.] Of the People called Methodists. c; i 

Dear Brother y 
It appears to the Members here present, as far as 
they can judge, that your intention and desire are as 
you say, to glorify God, and be helpi'ui to your 
fellow creatures. Upon these considerations we 
receive you into this Society. Permit me lovingly 
to exhort you to make it your daily study and pray- 
er, to be approved of Him in whose cause you are 
engaged. Do not suffer, on the one hand, those that 
reject the counsel of God against themselves, to 
discourage you, for such you will meet with; nor 
the dry, formal, quiet professor, on the other ; but 
turn your eye to your great example, who went 
about doing good, and patiently endured the con- 
tradiction of sinners against himself. I say, con- 
sider him, who thought it no dishonour to perform, 
with his own hands, the meanest offices, that he 
might testify his render regard for the souls of men. 
Thus it is written, " he took a towel and girded 
himself, and poured water into a bason, and washed 
his Disciples feet." Consider his agony and bloody 
sweat, his cross and passion, and all the pains and 
labour he underwent to save your soul from endless 
deaUi; and let these things be deeply impressed on 
your mind, &o as to raise in you suitable returns of 
gratitude, and a desire to pluck others as brands 
from the burning, that they may be partakers of the 
same salvation that God hath merciiully imparted to 
you. And though this may be sometimes irksome 
to flesh and blood, yet let the value of immortal 
souls, and the love you bear to the blessed Jesus, so 
influence your heart, that you may vigorously and 
cheerfully labour in so good a cause. And that you 
may not grow weary nor faint in your mind, reflect 
frequently on the satisfaction it will yield you in a 
dynig hour to consider that you were enabled to give 
this proof of your love to Christ and the souls of 
men. But on the other hand, think with yourself 
what will be the woeful consequence of your bury- 
ing your talent. Instead of your death-bed being 

2^ 2 ACkron ological His to ry [ 1 8©o 

comfortable and happy, it will be attended with bit- 
ter reflections on your unfaithfulness to the grace of 
God, and a fearful expectation of sharing the dismal 
fate of that servant, who feared, or neglected to use 
the gift that God had bestowed upon him. But I 
hope, my brother, better things of you, and that you 
will so act in your little sphere, that God, in the 
judgment day, will admit you into glory, saying 
** well done good and faithful servant, thou hast 
been faithful over a few things, enter ihou into the 
joy of thy Lord." 6. Every Member, thus fully 
received, shall be six months before he shall be pro- 
posed as a. Preacher^ and if he be approved, shail 
continue on trial six months more before he be fully, 
admitted as a. Preacher. 


1. This Society shall consist of two classes,, 
viz. Preachers,, and Visitors. 2x1. If any brother 
among those wha visit, the sick, judge that he would 
be more extensively, useful as a Preacher, lie shall 
first answer the following questions, with clearness, 
and propriety, and the answers must be approved by 
a majority of the brethren present, betore he can be 
admitted to preach betore the Society. 

Qu.€Stion& to be answered by those who judge they 
are called to be Preachers. 

1. What is your motive for offering yourself to 
become a Preacher? 2. What do you believe con- 
cerning the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? 3. What 
are your ideas of man in his original state? 4. 
What is man in his present state? 5. By what 
means came he into this state? 6. How can man 
recover the forfeited favour and image of God? 7. 
How extensive did God design his salvation to be ? 
8. Is It possible that a soul, that has been a par- 
taker of the grace of God, should fall away and 
perish ?' 

i8oo.] Of the People called Methodists, 273 


When a person is to be proposed as a Preacher, 
notice shall be given of it two Sunday mornings pre- 
vious to his answering the preceding questions. If 
the brethren who are present when they are an- 
swered, admit the person to preach before the So- 
ciety, the time shall be fixed, and all the members 
summoned to attend, in order that he maybe approv- 
ed or disapproved by a majority, the appointing 
a Brother to preach the Gospel being considered 
one of the most important things the Society are en- 
gaged in. N. B. As the members are not to be 
summoned to hear the questions answered, the an- 
swering of them shall be deferred til! half past eight 
o'clock, in order that most of the Brethjen may be 


I. The gifts and graces of the personr admitted as 
a Preacher being approved, he is expected to make 
progress in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, 
having his mind and heart exercised therein above 
believers in general. He must earnestly seek the 
illumination of God's Holy Spirit, and other ne- 
cessary gifts, by meditation, and prayer, and by 
every possible mean must prepare in private for mi- 
nistering the word in publick. 2. He must en- 
deavour to perform his duty faithfully, wisely, and 
in a spirit of love. In doctrine adhering strictly to 
■what is commonly believed among us. And his te- 
nets, if necessary, must be submitted to the exami- 
nation of the Society, who shall judge of their con- 
sonance with the principles of the late Rev. John 


The visitors shall meet the Preachers at the diffe- 
rent places of appointment, assist in singing, and 
then proceed to every part of the workhouse that is 

S7,4 -^ C^ '^•o w logic a I His to ry [ 1 80 O, 

accessible, persuading, and exhorting such of the 
people as are able, to attentl the public preaching ;- 
the sick, the la!ue, and such as cannot attend, he 
must instruct^ and conclude with prayer. The 
time of continuance in each ward shall be propor^- 
tioned to the number and situation of the persons,, 
but must not exceed half an hour. 


1. The officers of this Society shall consist oF 
a Steward, a Secretary, and a Committee, of nine. 
2; The Steward shall be in ofHce a quarter of a 
year, the Secretary and Committee one year. g. 
Three persons shall be nominated for the offices of- 
Steward and Secretary, and the election shall be 
made by shew of hands. 4. Eighteen members^ 
shall be nominated for the Committee of nine, wha 
shall be chosen by each' member niarking the names- 
of the nine persons he wishes to compose it. 


He shall begin and end all our meetings with' 
prayer to God, for his blessing on our endeavours- 
to promote his glory; shall read the plan of the 
preceding Sabbath, in order to ascertain whether 
the members^ attended according to their respective- 
appointments^ particularly noting omissions, and 
using all proper means to induce each member to 
fulfil his duty.. He must read the plan for the day, 
carefully observing to supply siich places as may be 
vacant; must receive the weeldy subscriptions, 
and all other money collected for the purpose of 
carrying on the work; he must hold this intrust 
during his office, answering every lawftU demand, 
but must not suffer any money to be applied to any 
new purpose without the consent of a majority of 
the members who are present, on the evenings ap- 
pointed for business. It is his duty also to preside 
in all our meetings, put all motions, and endeavour 
to keep order during the discussion of any subj^ect ; 

^"Soo.] OJ the Teople called Methodists, 27^ 

to nominate p'.usons for all offices.; to enquire oiF 
the Class Leaders respecting Candidates ; and to 
conduct all occasional business, such as appointing 
j)ersons to visit the sick members, and vvhatever 
-else may tend to the glory of God, and the prospc. 
rity of the cause in which we are engaged. 


To keep a list of the members names and places 
'-of abode ; — to note the time- of their admission; 
and when any go from us, the reason of ilieir leav- 
ing us ; — to enter the names in the collection book, 
and make the collection every Sabbath day ; — to 
summon the members on particular occasions, and 
t£) keep a distinct account of all our proceedings by 
proper minutes; to keep the money ^sccount-a, and 
lay them before the Society every Quarterly Meet- 
ing,; and punctually to execute every othei' de- 
partment of the writing business. 


To execute all business referred to them by the 
Society, making their Reports with all convenient 


With the permission of the Superintendant 
Preacher, and Stewards, we will hold four Love- 
Feasts in the year — viz. two at the New Chapel, and 
tv/o at Queen- street. 


1. Any member that is not able to attend to his 
appointments, shall give the earliest notice possible 
to the Steward : No excuse shall be admitted, but 
that of sickness, necessary distance, or some urgent 
case, which shall appear satisfactory to the Society. 
2. Should any member be found to neglect his ap-? 
poinLments ; or should omit taking his Society 

27^ -^ Chronological History [iSoO* 

ticket, within one month after the quarterly visita- 
tion of the Classes, or be observed divulging the 
internal business of the Society, — he shall for the 
first instance receive Reproof; for the second, Sus- 
pension ; and for the third, Exclusion. 


As the members of this Society are agreed to 
extend their labours as far as they can consistently 
with other duties, when any new place shall be 
procured by any individual, he shall signify the 
matter, with the circumstances thereof, to the So- 
ciety, for their consideration, and determination. 


As from various causes several members liave 
been obliged for a time to quit the work we are en- 
gaged in, it is agreed, that when the cause is re- 
moved to the satisfaction of the Society, the old 
member shall be restored to his former station, 
and excused going through the forms proposed to 


It is highly necessary, that each member should 
frequently consider the three great ends for which 
this Society was formed, i. That we may glorify 
God. 2. That we may be quickened and con- 
firmed ourselves in his grace, by the mutual help 
of each other. 3. That we may instruct, edify, 
and comfort the sick and needy. 

Let us cautiously avoid all disputings concerning 
things not essential to Salvation, and strike at once 
at the root of sin. Tell them to whom you speak, 
you are sinners born to die. By nature you are 
children of wrath and you must be born again, or 
ye cannot see the kingdom of God. You must put 
off the old man with his deeds, and put on the new 
man, the Lord Jesus Christ, or you will perish tor 
ever. Discountenance all such things as you know 

i8oi.] OJ the People called MdheJuts. 277 

arc hurtful to the souls ot men ; such as plays, 
gaming, and drinking ot" spirituous liquors ; which 
only serve to waste precious time, and lull the im- 
mortal soul asleep, in order to drown it in endless 
perdition. May God Almighty give us his bles- 
sing, and life for evermore I 

Mr. William Palmer and Mr. John Hop wood, are 
at present very useful, active members in this So- 
ciety in London. 

The fifty-eighth Conference was held in Leeds, 
July 27, 1801. Mr. John Pawson was chosen 
President, (this was the second time he was chosen 
to that office) and Doctor Coke, Secretary. Mr, 
Pawson was no sooner elected, and took the chair, 
than a debate arose respecting a volume of sermons 
which he published, in which were some expres- 
sions reflecting on the Nobility of the land, and the 
Clergy of the Established Church, which were ta- 
ken notice of, and resented by the Antijacobin re- 
viewers, as also now by the Conference. The de- 
bate ended by the adoption of the following Minute. 

Q. What is the sense of the Conference on the 
unguarded expressions in Mr. Pawson's sermons, 
printed in London in 1799? A. The Conference 
does declare its utter disapprobation of the sense 
put upon those passages by certain anonymous wri- 
ters, and hold in the greatest abhorrence the senti- 
ments which that sense conveys : but they are at 
the sanie time persuaded, that their venerable friend 
Mr. Pawson did not intend to convey any such 
sense to the minds oi his readers. And Mr. Pawson 
himself does solemnly declare, as in the presence of 
God, that it never was his design that those passages 
should be so understood: that he only intended 
to shew how carefully the Lord hath giiarded the 
ministry, so that the people might not be deceived 
by false teachers. Mr. Pawson's peaceable turn of 
mind has been so fully manifested to the Conference 

^^79 A Chronological History [ } 80 1 . 

for thirty-nine years, that they are constr-iined to 
believe, that to wish any descripiion oF men to be 
persecuted, was and still is at an infinite distance 
from his thoughts. N. B. The edition referred to, 
has been quashed by Mr. Pawson, as far as possible^. 

The following Rules were agreed to. 1. If any 
Circuit petition the Conference for a Preacher, and 
their petition be granted, every extraordinary ex- 
pence incurred by the removal of such Preacher to 
his new Circuit, shall be borne by that Circuit. 2. 
No Preacher shall be stationed in any Cifcuit, 
^vhcre he has laboured for one year, or for two or 
three years successively, till the expiration of seven 
years from the time he has left such Circuit. 3. We 
earnestly request our brethren never to send any 
petition to the Conference which will in any degree 
clash with our printed rules. 

Owin^ to tfie embarrassed state of the connection 
for the want of money to carry on the work, the 
following plans were adopted. 1. An address was 
sent to all the Societies, entreating them to raise a 
sum tantamount to 6d. a member to enable them to 
pay off their present debt. 2. Appointing each 
District to supply the ordinary expences of the 
Preachers and their families in the district where 
they laboured. First, by means of the yearly sub- 
scription made in the District, and expended at the 
Annual District Meeting, in the presence of the 
Stewards belonging to each Circuit in the District. 
Secondly, if the yearly subscription is deficient, by 
an extraordinary collection made in the District, in 
pi^oportion to the numbers in each Circuit in the 
District, in order to raise the sum wanted. The 
ordinary deficiencies are declared to be, salaries oi 
Preachers, wives, children, servants, house-rent, 
coals and candles. 3. By reiusing to send any 
help to Ireland, either from the English yearly sub- 
scription, or from the books sold in England. And 
for this end, an address was sent to the Irish bre- 
thren, informing them that dire necessity led to this 

iSoi.] OJ the People called' Methodists. 279 

measure. 4. By exhorting the members of our So- 
cieties to buy our books, as the profits of them are 
expended in carrying on the work. 5. By appoint- 
ing the profits of the books, to be laid out in sup- 
plying ilie extraordinary wants of the Preachers m 
Great' Britain. Thc*e>^traordinaries are declared to 
be. I. Travelling expences^ 2. Afflictions in fami- 
lies. 3. Furniture for Preachers houses in poor 
Circuits, 4. Expences of supernumerary Preacheis. 
,5. Helps to chapels, and 6. Helps to Preachers re- 


The first time any thing was published on this 
head, was when the' Rules lespecting DiscipHne 
were printed in London in the year 1763. Then 
it was said, " Let none print any thing ot his own, 
till it has been approved by the Conference." 

At the Conference in 1765, The following rule 
was agreed on, Q. Ougbt we to insist upon our 
rule, that no Preacher print any thing without )'our 
approbation [i.e. Mr. Wesley's) ? yf. Undoubtedly; 
And whoever does it for the time to come, cannot take 
it ill, if he is excluded from our connection. Let 
every one take this warning, and afterwards blame 
none but himself. 

At the Conference in 1781, it was asked, 0^ 
Have not our Preachers printed without my [i. e. 
Mr. Wesley's) consent and correction P A. Several 
of them have (not at all to the honour of the Me- 
thodists) both in verse and prose. This has, 1. 
Brought a great reproach. 2. Mticli hindered the 
spreading more profitable books. Therefore we all 
agree, 3. That no Preacher print or reprint any- 
thing for the time to come, till it is correctf^d by Mr. 
Wesley. And 4. That the profits thereof shall gu 
to the common stock. 

At the Conference in 1789, it was asked, (2* 

aSo A Chrenc'logical History [i8oi. 

Are there any directions to be given concerning the 
books? A. No books are to be published without . 
Mr. Wesley's sanction : and those vvljich are ap- 
proved of by him, shall be printed at his press in 
London, and sold by his book-keeper. 

The following are the Rules agreed on by the ' 
Conference since Mr. Wesley's death. At the 
Conference in 1792, it was asked, (9. What direc- 
tions are to be given concerninoj books ? A. No 
contracts shall be made by our Book Steward in 
respect to books with any authors or booksellers, or 
With any other person. 

At the Conference in 1793, it was asked, g. 
Who are the Book Committee for the ensuing, 
year ? A. All the Preachers stationed ^n London, 
who shall have united to tViem as corresponding' 
■fj5cmbers. Messrs. Fawson, Benson, Bradburn, 
Clarke, Moore, and T. Taylor, N. B. I'he Com- 
mittee in London are to consult the corresponding 
members in respect to all publications of impor- 
tance, previously to their being committed to the 
press. At the Conference in i79'5, The following 
persons were added to this Conn-nitbee, Messrs. 
Bradford, Allen, Rodda, Gaultier, aad Martin- 

At the Conference in 1796, it was- asked, g, 
Can any thing be done to stop the abuse of print- 
ing and publishing among us ? A. The liberty of 
the press being considered as our undoubted pri- 
vilege, the subject was fully examined, and alter 
some debates the Conference came to the following 
conclusions, namely, 

I. That, as the Preachers are eminently one 
body, nothing should be done by any individual, 
which would be prejudicial to the whole, or to 
any part thereof. Therefore no Preacher shall pub ^ 
lish any thing but what is given to the Conference, 
and printed m our own press. The Book-Commit- 
tee to determine what is proper to be printed. 2, 

i8ji.] Of the PeopU called Methodists, s8i 

That as a reward for his labour, whatever shall be 
approved oi by the Book-Committee, and printed, 
the author shall have a hundred out of every thou- 
sand of the boo^ks, whether great or small. And 
if published in the magazine, he shall have a rea- 
sonable allowance, the Conference being judges. 
3. That any Preacher who has books on hand, may 
sell them ; but if another edition of any book be 
wanted, he shall give it to the Conference, as 
though it were a new manuscript. N. B. Several of 
the Preachers, whose writings have been highly 
approved of, agreed to the above regulations, 
merely to restrain improper persons from publishing : 
the peace and honour oi the connection outweigh- 
ing with them every other consideration. 

At the Conference in 1797, it was added, " The 
article made last year and published in the Minute?, 
relative to printing, shall stand in its full force, 
with this exception, should a manuscript be re- 
jected by the Book Committee, a Preacher may 
print it, provided he do not sell it at our Chapels, 
nor advertise it from our pulpits. The design oi 
this rule is to prevent any Preacher in our connec- 
tion from selling at the doors of our Chapels, or 
otherwise, or oifcring to sell any books, or pam- 
phlets among our people, but those which belong to 
the Conference, aiid come from our Book-room. 
N. B. If a Preacher be attacked by any of our 
enemies and hi*^ character misrepresented, his print- 
ing a reply in his own defence shall not be deemed 
a breach of this rule." 

At the Conference in i8or, The following per- 
sons were appointed to supply the Magazine with 
matter, along with the Committee already formed, 
and also to read, and to sanction or reject any ma- 
terials proposed to them by others : viz. Dr. Coke, 
Messrs. J. Wood, T. Wood, Rutherford, Brettal, 
J, Rogers, Rhodes, T. Roberts, Myles, Atmore, 
£ntwistle, Bartholomew and Sutcliffe. N. B. Ajiv 

282 A Chronological History [i8or 

materials which are sent to the Editor, sanctioned 
by three of the above Preachers, and Committee, 
shall be published; but if the London Committee 
have not discretionaiy power allowed them in any 
given instances to make alterations, excisions, &c. 
the materials shall be published with the names of 
those who sanction it. 

At the Conference in 1802, the following ques- 
tion was asked, 2* -^^^ there any directions to be 
given concerning the sale of books ? J, There are, 
1. The Preachers shall not engage as booksellers for 
any books, except those which regularly come 
through the Book-room. 2. No books published 
by Preachers for their own profit, shall be sent to 
Brother Whitfield, or sold by him. 

These are excellent rules and should be strictly 
attended to ; they are calculated to make the 
Preachers good writers, as now, if a Preacher pub- 
lishes any thing, otherwise than as these rules direct^ 
he must appeal to the nation at large; if what he 
publishes is read with profit by a religious public in 
general, it will no doubt benefit the Methodists in 
particular ; and if what he writes is approved by thic 
connection agreeably to these rules, there is every 
reason to believe it will be a blessing to the people. 
Whefreas if what is written is rejected by the bre~ 
thren, and slighted by the public, there is every rea- 
son to believe the publication was of no account. 

The following is the account of the spread of 
Methodism in America, which I received by means 
of my brother Mr. Zachary Myles, from the two 
Bishops, Messrs. Asbury and Whatcoat, in the Sum- 
mer of 1801. 

From St. Mary's in Georgia, on the South Line 
et Georgia, to Penobscot and Pleasant River in the 
Province of Maine, where Circuits are formed and 
Preachers travel, is a distance of sixteen or seven- 
teeji hundred miles: this takes in the Carolinas, 

iSoi.] Of the Feop-U called Methodists, 283 

Virginia, Maryland, Philadelphia, New York, 
Boston, &c. chiefly on the sea coast. 

From Philadelphia to- the Natckes (which lies 
near the Spanish settlements) in the New Western 
Territory, through Kentucky, the Methodists have 
extended 1400 miles. There was a Circuit formed 
last year (1800) at the Natches ; the Preacher, Mr. 
Cibson, was eighteen days travelling through two 
Indian nations, the Chickasaws and Chopstaws, in 
order to get to the settlements of the white people. 
While travelling through the wilderness, he had 
to enquire his way of the savages, and to get his 
subsistence from them. Tliere are no Missionaries 
at present among those Indian nations. People ga 
from all parts of the States to these back settle- 
ments, because the land is good and cheap, and tiic 
Methodist Preachers follow them in order to admi- 
nister to them the Word of Life. Mr. Asbury has 
travelled to the utmost limits of these places in the 
course of his Ministry. 

In the year 1802, there was an Increase of 13860 
members to the Societies in the United States. 
There was never such a large increase in any one 
year to our Societies in Europe. Blessed be God 
we can rejoice in their prosperity. 

At the same time, (1802) Seven Conferences 
were appointed to be held in the United States dur- 
ing the next year. The First at Cumberland in Te- 
nessee, Oct. 2, 1802. The Second at Camden, in 
South Carolina, Jan. i, 1803. The Third at 
Droomgooles, in Virginia, Alarch 4, 1803. The 
Fourth at Baltimore, April 1, 1803. The Fifth at 
Duck Creek, near Philadelphia, State of Delaware, 
May 1, 1803. The Sixth at Boston, in New Eng- 
laiid, the second Thursday in June 1803. And 
the Seventh at Ashgrove, near New York, July 1, 


A Chronological Eistary [1802. 

The fifty-ninth Conference was held at Brillol, 
July the 26th, 1802. Mr. Joseph Taylor was chosen 
President, and Dr. Coke Secretary. 

The following is the State of the Connedion, 
Places. Circuits. Preachers. Members. 

England, «, 
Wales, . , 
Isle of Man, . 
Norman Isles 
Weft India Isles, 
British Dominions ^ 
in America, J 
United States 

of America 













5 7 

• 4 













The State of the CollcBions at this Conference. 



3 4 

3 o 

€. s. 
Extraol-dinary Colle6lion . . . . '^&6i 18 

Yearly Colle61:ion 2337 

Kingswood Collection , . . . ♦ 1744 13 
Preachers Fund Colleftion — "1 - f; 

received from the People J * * '^'^ ^ 

Mission Colle8ion [not pnblifhed,) 
Received from the Profits of the Books ^ 
towards carrying on the Work m \ 1087 

Great Britain. ) 

£ cpji^ 4 2 
The Irish ColleBions are ?iot included. 

Two things are obfervable in this account : i . The 
money received from the profit of the Books is the 
leaft sum that has been received towards supporting 
the Work fince Mr. Wesley's death. 2. The Col- 
lections from the People are the greateil that ever 
were raised in any one yean No doubt it was through 

1 8o2 .] Oj the people called Methodists. 2 85 

forgetfulness that the Conference did not return the 
people thanks for this noble inllance oi their gene- 
rofjty and love; and I believe they v/ill do it next 

At the Conference in 1793, it was firft agreed, 
that the Sacrament fhould be adminiftered in Eng- 
land on certain conditions. In 1794 it was granted 
to ninety-three Societies, who complied with those 
conditions. In 179^, 1796, 1797, and 1798 the 
places and number were not publilhed ; for this- rea- 
son, the Conference was unwilling to grieve their 
friends who were againft the introdu^Hon of the 
Lord's Supper, by letting them see the numbers 
that petitioned for that ordmance. In the year 1799 
it was granted to- forty-one places. In 1800, to for^ 
ty-three. In 1801 the places were omitted. In 
1802 the privilege wa^ granted to forty-one Societies. 
The whole number of places mentioned in the Mi- 
nutes are two hundred and eighteen where the Sa- 
crament is administered by the Preachers ; but it is 
certainly adminiftered in many more, though not 
mentioned for the reason already given. 

At the Conference held in Dublin this year, (1802) 
which was the thirty-second held in that kingdom 
by the Methodifts, (fixteen by Mr. Wesley and six- 
teen by Dr. Coke,) there was a serious debate upon 
th« propriety of women preaching and exhorting in 
public congregations. The debate ended by adopt- 
ing the following rule : " It is the judgment of the 
Conference, that it is contiary both to Scripture 
and prudence that women fliou-ld preach, or fhould 
exhort in public ;. and wedire6l the Superintendants 
to refufe a Society Ticket to any woman in the Mc- 
thodifl connexion who preaches, or who exhorts in- 
any public congregation, imless (he entirely cease 
from so doing." The Englifli Conference has not 
adopted this rule.. 

In the Address from the British Conference this 
year (1802) to the Irifh Conference, there is the toU 

iS6 A Chronological History [1802. 

lowing paragraph cxprellive of tlicir union. *' We 
moft fincereiy widi to continue and Itrcngthcri every 
band of union, which exifls among, us. When the 
British Isles are united by a new and glorious coiPi- 
pact, it would indeed be a pity, ii the large body of 
Methodists in :hc United Kangdoii) should separate, 
because they are divided by a narrow channel. Wc 
trust that our union with you will be annually closer 
and closer, till our indis:soluble and eteinal union 
take place before the throne of God." 

And as a farther proof of their good will, they^^ 
forgave them the sum of 343/. 10 s. i\\d. which 
they owed them for books sent to Ireland; and also 
39/. the balance of the Subsciiptions for the Preach- 
ers Fund, which was in their hands, and due to the 
Stewards of that Fund in England. Tliis debt they 
discliargcd out of the produce of the English Book 

The following Complaints were presented to the 
Conterence, requesting that methods might be 
adopted to remove the evils complained of, and pre- 
vent a relapse into them again; viz. 1. That 
many of those, who ought to set a better example^ 
dress like the vain women of the world. 2. Some 
of their husbands set them the example. 3. Many 
of our people stand or sit at prayer, instead of kneel. 
4, It is become too common a; custom to sit while 
singing the praises of God. 5, Too many of our 
people sit, while a Blessing: is asked, and Thanks 
returned, at meals. 6* Some are remiss in their 
attendance on the Preaching of God's holy Word. 
To those Complaints the Conference answers, — 

I.. We exhort our sisters to dress as becomcth 
those who profess to walk with Gyd ; and we direct 
their husbands to use all the.ijifli^nces of love and 
piety in this behalf. 2.. We ihsi)^ upon it, that the 
Preachers set the best example in dress and every 
thing. If the Preachers be not moderate in every 
thing, a torrent of luxury will irresistibly break ia 

iSo2.] Of the PeopUcatlcd Kldhodi-sts. 287 

upon us, and destroy the work of Go-'. 3, We 
strongly recommend it tX) all our peopje to kneel at 
prayer : Ar^d "We desire that all our pews may, ns" far 
as possiblc'b'e's-p fdrrn^d 'a!i to acjnit of this in (he 
tasiest manner, arid we' request ^ihat the pev/^ a-nd 
■pulpits be supplied with hassocks. 4. We beg that 
our ^eoplewil! keep close to the excellent rules 
drawn up by our venerable Father in the gospel Mr. 
Wesley, in respect to Singing. The celebrating of 
the praises of the Most High God is an important 
part of divine Worship, and a p<iit in which the 
whole con,8;regation should cndeavoiir vocally to join. 
It is therefore very indecorous not to stand up on so 
solemn an occasion. 5. Tho' it is our privilege and 
duty to set God always before us, we should mani- 
fest our sense of his divine presence on all occasions, 
when we join in solemnly addressing him in public 
company, by our actions as well as words. 6. The 
.last-mentioned evil is so great, that we trust there are 
but very few whom it concerns. But such as it does 
•concern, we must exhort to flee trom the wrath to 
•come. If they have no savour for the Word of 
God, they can have no savour oi God himself. 

It was also added, *' No married Preacher shall 
be allowed anything for a servant, unless he have 
-travelled ten years, or have two children, or one of 
the single Preacher-s boarding with him, or in case 
of Affliction." 

'2,. Can any improvement be made in our present 
■mode of receiving Pieachers on trial? y/. At pre- 
sent, the Candidate is supposed to have passed the 
'Quarterly Meeting, from whom he is recommended 
to the District Meeting. In addition to this, let 
him, if possible, attend the District Meeting, and 
be examined before all the brethren present, respect- 
ing his experience, his knowledge of divine things, 
his reading, his views of the doctrines of the Gospel, 
and his regard for Methodism in general. The 
Pr-acher who examines him, shall be chosen by the 

2<58 A Chronological Hist-vry [1802. 

baPiOt of the District Committee, After the ex- 
amination, the Candidate shall withdraw, and the 
Committee shall deliberate on the propriety or im- 
propriety of his admission on trial, and determine 
whether he shall be recommended to the ensuing 
Conference or not. If it be not convenient for the 
Candidate to attend the District Meeting, three of the 
Committee shall be chosen by ballot, and appointed 
to act in this instance for the Conference." 

The following Rules it i^ necessary to insert, as 
the Preachers act upon them, and they are found in 
the large Muiuies published by Mr. Wesley in the 
year 1789. 

In order that we may have a reserve of Preachers, 
** 1. We will, so far as we can afford it, keep a re- 
serve of young Preachers at Kingswood. 2. Let an 
exact List be kept of those who are proposed for 
trial, but not accepted, because not wanted.'* 
Since Mr. Wesley's death the List of reserve is 
usually deposited with the Superintendant of the 
London Circuit. At present (1802) there is a great 
want of preachers to supply the Circuits; it was riot 
so before since the year 1768. At that time Mr. 
Wesley cried to the Lord of the Harvest, and he 
heard and answered prayer, and this is the only 
remedy in the present case. 

** As you have time, read, explain, and enforce 
in every family, 1. The Rules of the Society. 2. 
Instructions for childien. 3. The fourth Volume of 
Sermons, and 4. Philip Llenry's method of Family 
Prayer. We must needs do this were it only to 
avoid idleness. Do we not loiter away many hours 
in every week? Each try himself: no idleness can 
consist with growth in Grace. Nay without exact- 
ness in redeeming time, you cannot retain the grace 
you received in justification. 

But what (hall we do for the rising generation ? 
Unless we take care of this, the present revival will 
be KJ unius atatis : it v/ill last only the age oj a 

i8o2.] Of the People called Methodists, 289 

a rticin. Who will labour herein? Let him that is, 
zealous for God and the souls of men begin now'^ 

The following advice was given. 

" 1. Let your whole Deportment before the con- 
gregation be serious, weighty, and solemn. 2. 
Always suit your subject to your Audience. 3, 
Chuse the plainest texts you can. 4. Take care not 
to ramble, but keep to your text, and make out 
what you take in hand. 5. Be sparing in Allego- 
rizing, or Spiritualizing. 6. Take care of any^ 
thing awkward or affected, either in your gesture, 
phrase, or pronunciation. 7. Do not usually pray- 
above eight or ten minutes (at most) without inter- 
mission. 8. Always kneel during public prayer, 
9. Frequently read and enlarge upon a portion of the 
Notes; and let young Preachers often exhort, 
without taking a text. 10. Every where avail your- 
selves of the Great Festivals, by preaching on the 
occasion, and singing the Hymns, which you 
should take care to have in readiness, 11. Be^ 
ware of clownishness : either in speech or dress : 
every where recommend decency and cleanliness. 
Cleanliness is next to Godliness. 12. Let no 
person, on any account, call another Heretic, 
Bigot, or by any other disrespectful name, for a 
difference of sentiment." 

Directions respecting Singing, i. Preach fre- 
quently on singing. 2. Speak only what you feel, 
3. Chuse such Hymns as are proper for the con^ 
gregation. 4. Do not sing too much at once, sel- 
dom more than five or six verses. 5. Suit thet^uncj 
to the wc.rds. 6. Often stop short, and the 
people, " Now! Do you know what you said last;*. 
Did you speak no more than you felti* 7. Do np^ 
suffer the people to sing too slow. 8.. Let the wo^ 
men constantly sing their parts alone; let no mau 
sing with them, imless he understands the nctes^ anti 
<;ings the base. .9. Let no Orgaii be placed anv? 
wiiere, till proposed in. the Conterence. 10. Ex; 
hort every one in tiie congregation to sing, n, W 
C c 

-290 A Ch ron logic a I His tcry [1802. 

every large Society let thern learn to sing, and let 
them always learn our own tunes first. 12. Re- 
commend our Tnne-Book eve: v where : and it you 
cannot sing yourseit, chuse a person or two in each 
place to pitch the tune for you." 

Remarks on Preaching. " The most effectual 
way of preaching Christ, is to preach him in all 
his Offices, and to declare his Law as well as his 
Gospel, both to believers and unbelievers. Lee us 
strongly and closely insist upon inward and outward 
Holiness, in all its branches." 

An account of the Method used in receiving a 
new Helper. '* The proper time for doing this, is 
at a Conference, after solemn lasting and prayer. 
Every person proposed is then to be present; and 
each of them may be asked," Have you faith in 
Christ ? Are you going on to perfection ? Do you 
expect to be perfected in love in this life ? Are you 
groaning after it ? Are you resolved to devote your- 
self wholly to God and to his work? Do you know 
the Methodist Plan ? Have you read the Plain Ac- 
count? The Appeals ? Do you know the Rules of 
ike Society? Of the Bands ? Do you keep them ? 
Do you take no Snuff? Tobacco? Drams ? Have 
you read the Minutes of the Conference? Are you 
"willing to conform to them ? Have you considered 
the Rules of an Helper? Especially the first, tenth, 
and twelfth? Will you keep them for conscience 
sake? Are you determined to employ all your time 
in the work of God? Will you Preach every Morn- 
ing and Evening : endeavouring not to speak too 
long, or too loud? Will you diligently instruct the 
children in every place? Will you visit from house 
to house? Will you recommend fasting both by 
precept and example? Are you in debt? Are you 
engaged to marry? (N. B. A Preacher who marries 
while on trial, is thereby set aside.) The time of 
trial is four years. Observe, taking on trials 
is entirely different from admitting a Preacher. 
One on trial may be cither admitted or rejected, 

i8o2.] OJ the People called Methodists, 29 1 

without doing him any wrong. Otherwise it would 
be no trial at all. Let every Superintendant explain 
this to them that are on trial. When he has been 
on trial tour years, if recommended by the Superin- 
tendant, he may be received into tull connection. 

" LcL no person come into the preacher's house, 
unless he wants to ask a question." This direction 
was given because many ot the people made a prac- 
tice ot crowding into the Preachers houses, as into 
coffee-houses, without any invitation whatever. 

*• 0, What is the dnect Antidote to Methodifm, 
(tlie Doctrine of Heart-Holiness?) A. Antinomia- 
nism, and unconditional predestination. All the 
devices of Satan for these fifty years, have done far 
less toward stopping the work of God, than these 
Doctrines. They strike at the root oi Salvation iiom 
sin, previous to glory, putting the matter on quite 
another is^ue. g. But wherein lie the Charms of 
these Doctrines? What makes men swallow them 
so greedily ? J. 1. They seem to magnify Christ: 
although in reality they suppose him to have died 
in vaui. For the absolutely elect must have been 
saved without him>, and the non-elect cannot be saved 
by him. 2. It is highly pleasing to flesh and blood; 
final perseverance in particular. In order to guard 
against it, 1. Let our preachers frequently and ex- 
plicitly preach the truth, though not in a controversial 
way, but in love and gentleness. 2. Very frequently 
both in public and private, advise our people, not 
to hear them. Answer all their objections, as occa- 
sion offers. But take care to do this, with all possi- 
ble sweetness both of look and of accent. 4. Be 
diligent to guard those who are newly convinced or 
converted against tiie predestination poison." 

This Conference was on many accounts tlie hap- 
piest one that the methodists had since Mr. Wesley's 

1. Our worthy President, Mr. Jofeph Taylor^ as 
was expected, gave great attention to the duties of 
his Office, and manifested an amiable spirit through 
C 2 

292 A Chronological History [1802. 

the whole time of Conference. 2. The greatest har- 
mony reigfied among the preachers : during tlie time 
of their fittings, there was no appearance of levity, 
anger or ill-will, but all their debates were carried 
on with seriousness, patience and love. 3. There 
was an increase in the Societies ; though not so great 
as to numbers this year, as in some former ones, yet 
it was very plain both preachers and people had in- 
creased in the life and power of God: they had in- 
creased in grace and in tlie knowJedge of our Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ. 4. The people had given 
the strongest proof in their power, of their love to 
the preachers and the cause in which they were en- 
gaged, by contributing freely to the extraoidinary 
collection to which tb.ey were exhorted by the last 
Conference. So that there was as much money 
raised as extricated the Preachers out of all their dif- 
culties — What could never be said since Mr. Wes- 
ley's death before this time. 5. The congregations 
21 Bristol in the mornings at five o'clock, and in the 
evenings at seven on the week days, were very 
large. But on the Sabbaths they were uncommonly 
large. The sermons were on the great truths of the 
Gospel, well chosen, delivered with great propriety, 
and attended with the power of God. Many persons 
received a sense of divine iavour during the Confe- 
rence. 6. Some of the Ordained Preachers assisted 
in administering the Lord's Supper to some hundreds 
of the people who partook of that holy ordinance on 
the Sabbaths during the Conference. And on the 
morning the Conference broke up, the Rev. Dr. 
Cohe, assisted by the Rev. Adam Averil, adminis- 
tered the Sacrament to the Preachers, after which 
several of them prayed, and parted with niany tears 
accompanied with the kiss of charity. All that were 
present acknowledged the power of God. 

1739-] OJ the People called Methodists, 293 





Who have laboured in Connection with the 



THE years inserted before the names denote the pe- 
riod when those Preac})ers commenced Itinerants. Those 
marked thus jj before the Christian name, were Clergymen 
of the Established Church belore they united with the 
Methodists; and those marked thus § at the same place, 
were made Clergymen after their union with them. Those 
marked thus * died in the work. Tliose marked tiuis f 
"departed from it : some for the want of health, and some 
it is to be feared through a defect of zeal ; but it would 
be impossible in all cases to tell tiie real cause : Let it be 
observed, that this mark does not imply moral guilt. 
Those marked thus X were expelled. Those without a- 
mark are now labouring with their brethren as Itinerants, . 
or as Invalids, nearly worn out in the Lord's service. 
The date at the end of the names, shew the years when 
(hose Preachers died, or when they desisted from travel- 
ling, or were expelled. 

1 have mentioned some very useful Local Preachers, 
because we are commanded to *' give honour to whom 
honour is du -,*' and they as a body have been, and are 
very numerous, and very useful m spreadmg tlie cause 
of Methodism. 

N. B. A few. Laymen assisted Mr. Weslev as Local 
Preachers beibre ItineraiiCy was established, 
C c :; 


A Chronological History 




FROM THE YEAR I739 '^^ ^7^5* 

1739. In this year the Methodist Itinerancy began. 

jj John Wesley, Father of the work, having formed 
the first Society at Oxford in November 1729. He died * 

Il Charles Wesley, the first to whom the appella- 
tion of Methodist v-^as given at Oxford, in 1729, during 
his brother's absence in Lincolnshire. He died * 1788. 

II George Whitefield. The first of the Metho- 
dists that preached in the open air. He began that prac- 
tice in Bristol, Sunday March 2^, ^739' He separated 
from Mr. Wesley, but continued an itinerant Preacher 
while he lived, and was at the head of the Calvinist Me- 
thodists. He died in America * 1770. 








Wm. Allwcod t 
John Atlay f 
William Ashman 


William Biggs f 
John Brown* (ft) 
[ohn Bennett t 
Thos. Beard* (^) 
Cornelius Bas- 
table * 

{[ Richard Tho- 
iT.a.s Balemanf 
Benj. Beanlandf 
Thomas Briscoe* 
Benj. Biggs t 
John Brandon t 











Dan. Bumsteadf 1775 
Wm. Brvantf 1763 
Rd. Blackwall * 1767 
Isaac Brown 
Wm. Brammah* 1780 
Rd. Boardman* 1783 
Js. Brownfield f 1770 


John Ccnhick f 1 742 
Alex. Coates * 1763 
Wm. Crouch -f 1752 
Jos. Cownley* 1793 
Jonath. Catlow-j- 1764 
Ts. Colbeck* (c)i770 
\V illiam' Crabb| i 7 64 
§ Lawrence Cough- 
ianf. 1765 

(fl) A Local Preacher in Newcastle. 
-(*) He died in consequence of ihc" ill treafment he received from 

(c) A Local Preacher in Keighly Circviit, 

17.65-] Of tht People called Methodists. 295 








1 761 


John Catermolef 1771 
Wm. Coward t 1759 
Thos. Carlill* 1801 
IjBenj. Colly* 1767 
John. Cock- 
croft* {d) 1790 
Robert Costerdine 
James Cloughf 1774 
James Cottyf 1780 
§ Mosely Cheekf 1769 
Rich. Coates* 1765 

Wm. Darney* 177*9 
John Downs* 1774 
Edw. Dunstanf 1753 
Mark Davis f 1769 
James Deaves -f 1768 
John Dillon* 1771 
Js. Dempster t 1775 

John Edwards f 1754 
John Easton 
John Ellis t 1772 

William Ellis f 1773 

Jolin Fisher f 1 762 
William Fugill % 1768 
Mich. Fen wick"^ 1797 
Joim Fen wick * 1 7 S 7 
llJohn Fletcher* 1785 
John Furze* 1800 
William Free- 
mantle f 1766 

li Charles Cas- 
per Greaves f 1747 

744 Nich. Gilbert* 1763 
746 Paul Green- 
wood * 1767 
748 Philip Gibbs t I 749 
751 PhiHpGuier^(e)i778 
756 Rob. Gillespyt 1764 
7'j6 §Tho. Greavesti766 
TS7 Js. Glazebrookf 1774 

760 John Gibbs f 1766 

761 Joseph Guilford* 1777 

762 Parson Greenwood 


740 Jc^nHalI*r/) 1798 

740 § Joseph Hum- 
phrey sf 1 741 

741 § John Haugh- 

lonf 1760 

74^ Ts. Hardwick f 1 749 

743 Wm., Holmes * 1747 

744 ii John Hodges f r 750 

745 JoJi" Haime * 1784 
745 i^am. Hitchens* 1747 
745 Thos. Hitchens*. 1747 
745 Wm. Hitchens* 1758 
745 Ebenezer H it- 

ch er.s * [g) 


747 Chris. Hopper* 1802 
747 Howel Harris f 1750 
752 John Hampsonf 178J 

752 Wm. Harris f 1769 

753 John Haugh- 

ton, Jun. f 17^6 

1754 Richard Hen- 
derson f (//) 1 77 1 

(c-/) A Local Preacher in Rochdale. 
{e) A Local Preacher in the county of Limerick. He came with 
liis patents ihe Palatinate in Germany, in the year 1707 5 being 
i>crsecutcd for being a Protebtant. 

(/) A Local Preacher in Bristol, 
{§) A Local Preacher in Cornv/all. 
(A) He was father to the learned John Hcnd.rson. This extra- 
ordinary man was born in fhc county of Limerick in the year 1757 



A Chronological History 


1754 JohiT Hacking i 
I754 Thos. Hanby * 
1758 John Hosnier f 

1760 Thomas Hanso] 

1 76 1 JohnHcsIop t 
1 76 1 Geo. Hudson * 
1764 John Helton f 






James Jones f 
Heib. Jenkins f 
Joseph Jones f 
Samuel Jones f 
§ Jo!m Jones f 
John Jane^ 
Thos Johnson * 
Peter Jaco * 
John ) oil n son 
Fr. Isherwood * 







I': 50 






1762 : 1748 



Sam. Larvvoodf 
Henry Lioyde * 
Thomas Lee * 
Richard Lucas* 
Matli. Lowes ^ 
§WilIiam Ley f 
Sam. Levick * 
Js. Longbottomt 


\\ Charles Man- 
ning f 1754 
John Maddern t 1756 
Hen. Millard^^ /)i746 
§Th.o. Merrick;}: 175.0 




1749 Tit. Knight t (z) 1762 



J 752 Jas. Kershaw f 1767U751 

J 7 50 Thos. Kead * 1762 

John Mcritonf 
§ Rich. Mosst 
James Alorrisf 
Sam. Meggott* 
Thos. Mitchell* 
Jonathan Mas- 
kew t 

Jas. Morgan * 
John Morley t 
Jas. Massiott* 






He began his studies nt Kingswood School, nnd afterwards entered 
the University of Oxford, where he died in November rr88. Theie 
is a reniarUiible account of him in his funeraVscrn:i..)n, preached zwd 
published by the Rev. Mr. Aguttcr: also in the A^niinian Maga- 
zine for March 1793. He was kept seventeen days previous to m- 
terment : Two reasons were assigned io\ this, I. There was no sign 
of putrefaction except on his left hand. 2. The Collegians wished 
to dissect his brain. Three days after he was buried his father had 
his grave opened. His appearance was still the same, but no sign 
of life He was an only child, and his father never recovered the 
shock occasioned by his deatli He was brought from Oxford, and 
buried at Kingswood near Bristol 

(;) He was a Local Pieacher in the Halifax Circuit. 

(k^ The hrst Layman that set out as an Itin'.rant Methodist 

(/) The first that died in the work. He died in Bristol of the 
sraall pox. He was n useful good man* 

lyGj.'] Of the People called Methodists:] 297 















John Murray f ^ 774 
John Murlin * 1799 
Alex. Mather* 1800 
Nich. Mannersf 1784 
John Manners* 1764 
Thomas Mayer t 17^7 
John Morgan* 1782 
John Mason 
Wiiham Mine- 
thorpe * 

John Nelson* 
James North*(w) 1799 
Tnos. Newallf 1780 

James Oddief 
Thos. Ohvers* 
John Oldham* 
John Oliver J 
William Orpe f 

§ Wm. Prior t 
II Henry Piers f 
(I Vmceat Perro- 
net * 

John Pearcef 
Kd. Pearce* {n) 
Ch. Perronett* 
Ed. Perronett f 
John Pool * 
William Pen- 





! 742 § Jonathan 

Reeves f 
1749 Jacob Rowel * 
1757 VVm. Rodd * 
1759 Robert Roberts^ 
I 760 George Roe f 
1762 ijjn. Richardson* 

1762 Jeremiah Robert- 
shavv ^ 

'1762 Tiios. Rankin f 

1763 Martin Roddaf 
176- James Ray f 
1765 Thos. Rourke f 

1 741 Rob.Svvindels* 

1 743 . Wm, Shephardf 

1744 Jn. Slocombe 




Fran. Scott * [o) 
Wm. Shent f 
Ts. Sescombe * 
Chs. Skekun f 
Samson Stams- 
forth * (p) 
1755 Js. Scholeiield J 
1762 George Story 
1762 John Shaw * 
1765 Tnos. Simpson f 
1765 Jas. Stepliens;]; 

1742 David Taylor f 

1743 Jn. Trem'^ataf 

1743 David Trathamf 

1744 II bam. Taylor * 

1745 Silas Told * {q) 

1 746 Joseph Tucker f 
1746 Wm. Tucker f 
1 749 John Turnerf 

\Vm. Roberts f 1760I 1750 Thos. Tobias^" 

Joim Pawson 
Peter Price f 
Joseph Pilmoorf 1705 

§ Ts. Richards f 1759 

{m) A Loc.ll Preacher near Leeds. 
(«■) A Locil Preacher hi Wiltshire. 
(0) A Local Preacher in Wakeiield. 
(p3 a Local Preacher in London, 
(y) A Local Preacher in Londaa, rsnairKably Ubcful to coiid-jna- 
ncd male factors. 


1757 William Thonip 
son * 

yf Chronological History [^739* 

1744 Thomas Wiliest 1748 


1 76 1 


T758 Jas. Thwaite t 

1758 § George Tiz- 
zard t I 761 

1759 J<)'^'->ph Thompson 
Thomas Tavior 
Barnabas I'lio- 
mas t 

Thos. Westall* 
§ Thomas WiL- 
iiams X {r) 
Jas. Wheatle)' % 
Enoch William-s 







1 744 Francis Walkerf 1 7 5 3 

1745 Eleaz. Websterf 1751 
1745 J'l- VVhitford f 1754 

1745 Rd. Wiliiamsonf 175 1 

1746 Edmund VViUsf 1750 

1747 James Wild t 1760 
1750 Walsh ^ i-jc^t) 
1760 Isaac Waldron * 1782 
1763 William Whit- 

wel! t 1 767 

1764. ]n. Whitehead f 1769 
1765 Dime. Wright* 1791 
1765 Kieh. Walsh t 1773 
1705 Samuel Wood- 
cock t 1776 
1765 Wm. Winby * 177* 

These names added together make 220. The wholo 
of these acted as public character? among the Methodists 
tkiring the first twenty-five years of" their Itinerancy. 
Some for a longer and others for a shorter period, some in 
a greater and others in a lesser sphere, i. ^\s the Cir- 
cuits (or Rounds as they were then called) were very ex- 
tensive, the Preachers were almost constantly travelling; 
and living in the friends houses. They were greatly be? 
loved by the people, who were witnesses of their piety, 
both in public and private. 2. As a body they were not 
very learned, their unremitting labours did not admit of 
much improvement, though in this respect some of tlieju 
however were possessed of considerable learning. In ge- 
neral, they \%ere men of sound experience, and mighty 

jn the Scriptures. 

Their beln;^ so oiten absent from 

tlieir families, together with their incessant labours, occa- 
sioned many of them to desist from travelling. 

(0 He liad been excluded August 2> 1744» >'i Bribrol; but was 
rc-arimittcd upon his repentance. Afierwaids he was ordaiued in- 
tiie C hutch.. 

1766.] Of tht 'People called Methodists, 299 


1766 John Allen 

1767 Francis Asburv 

1776 Rt. Armstrong \ 1788 
177^ John Acrutt} 1785 
1773 jjjn. Abraham t 1783 

1780 Joseph Algar 

1781 Charles Atmore 

1782 Gutavus ArmNtrong 

1783 Joseph Armstrong 
17^3 W.Achun^ou t 1786 
i7N'6 John Aikins 

1787 Francis Armstrong 

1789 Jamei5 Anderson 

1790 William Aver 


1766 Richard Burke* 1778 

1766 Wni. Barker t 1780 

1767 II Wm. Buckii-!g- 
ham t ' I 770 

1768 Robert Bell f 1769 

1768 Samuel Bardsley 

1769 John Bredin 

1769 Thos. Barnes f 1770 

1770 Joseph Bradford 

1 77 1 § VVm. Bavnes * 1777 
1 77 1 Charles Boon* 1795 
1 77 1 Joseph Benson 
1771 John Bristol f 1777 

r77(^ George Brown 

1776 Wm.' Booth bv * iBot 

1777 John Blades f 1779 
1 77B Andrew Blair* 1793 
177S Jonath. Brown 

1778 Robert Blake t 1784. 
J 779 Georgf.' Button 

1779 John Booth 

1779 Tiiomas Barber 

1780 Robert Bridgef i ;go 
I 78 I John Barber 

I 782 Jame?^ Bogie 
1783 Samuel Botts 

1782 Thos. Bartliolome\r 

1783 Charles Bondf 1793 

1783 Edw. Burbcck* 1788 

1784 Robert Carr Bracken- 

1784 William Butter- 



1771 [ohn Brett:; 


1772 ]w. Broadbent * 1795 
1774 Jeremiah Brettal 
1774 James Barry * 1783 

1774 Samuel Bradburn 

1775 J"- Beanland* 1798 
1775 Hugh Brown f 1777 

1785 Charles Bland 
1785 John Baxter 
I 78 5 James Byron 

1785 'Wm. Blagborne 

1786 George Baldwin 
1786 John Barrett 
1786 John Beaumont 
1786 Samuel Bates 

1786 Ts. Broadbentf ^799 
1786 William Bramwell 

1786 William Black 

1787 David Barrowclough 
1787 John Burnett * 1788 
1787 John Black * 1790 

1789 Wm. Brandon f 1791 

1 790 John Braithwaitc 
1790 John Boyle t 1802 
1790 Josfj)h BurgvNK 


179^ Tl:omas Brown 
I 790 William Brazier 


A ChronGlogical History 


•^ 1772 



1767 Tbos. Cherry 
1767 Wm. Col'iiis * 
176S Jona'li. Crow 
1770 § R. Caddock 
1772 John Christian f 1777 

1774 TLos. Corbeit ^" 1789 

1775 John Crock 

177^ §Jo!ni Cocksonf 1780 

1776 Richard Cundy 

1776 II ThiOmas Coke 

1777 Wm. Church f 

1779 Jas. Cliristie f 

1780 John CrickctL 
? 780 Joseph Cole 
1780 Jonatiian Cussins 

1774 Andrew 1779 


Peter Dean _,. 
Thomas Davis 

1780 George Dicef 



TRomas Cooper 
jAdam Ciarke 
John Cowme- 
dovv "^ 
!ohn Crosby 
II James Creighton 
Jonathan Lrowther 

John C: lark t ^1^^ 
Kich. Cornifth '^ 1796 
Timothy Crovvther - 
And. LoleiDan * 1786 
Wm. Covvcn f J 787 
Joseph Cross f 1800 
Tlios. Crosf^eyt 178S 
Robert Crowther . 
William Cox 
1790 Jt>hn Cross t 



J 786 


1780 Simon Day 

1784 (I Rich. DiiJonf 

1785 John Dinnen 
John Dequeteville 
\\ Peard Dicken- 
son * 

Ricnard Drewf 
Thomas Dunn* 
Th.omas Dobson 
Geo. Donavanf 
John Denton 
Owen Da^ ir> 
Wm. Dicuade + 
Elakely Dowling 





I 7^2 




I 790 John Dean 





Thcs. Dancer \ 
Jcini Duncan f 
Thomas Dixon 
Robert Dall 
Robert i.)avisf 
W^m. Dulton f 








I 786 

V^ m. Denton * 
John Doncaster 

^ E 

David Evans t 1783 
Robert Empring- 
})c;m ■* 1 792 

Thomas Eden t 1772 
Wrhiam Eells f 1788 
Edward Evans-j- 1782 
Thomas Ellis f 179O' 
Samuel Ed- 
wards f 1788 
James Evans 
Jonathan Edmonson 
Joseph Entwistle Eliott * 
Richard Elliott 



1769 Jos. Fothergill t 

1770 John Fioydef 
1775 Peter Ferguson t 1776 
1774 John Francis f 1775 


,] Of the People called Methodists 










Henry Foster * 17S7 
William Fish 
Francis Frazicr* 1789 
John Furnace 
Thomas Fcarnley 
Wilham Ferguson 
Wiiliam Frank- 

lin f 


John Goodwin 
Joseph Gar nett* 177;^ 
George Gutlirieti778 
James Gaffney^ 1779 
William Gill t 1779 
George Gibbon 
William Green f 1796 
John Glascott f 1783 
'Walter Griffeth 
John Gaultler 
Robert Gamble* 1 791 
David Gordon* i8oo 
James Gore * 1790 
John Grace 
Jolm Gilles % 1 798 
Thomas Gill 
JVIichael Grif- 

feth t 
Samuel Gates 
Daniel Graham* i 794 
Charles Graham 
Edward Gibbon 
John Graham 
Thos. Greavesf 1797 
John Grant 



Lancelot Harrison 
Thomas Holi- 
day t 1 786 
Ijjohn Harmer \ 1 772 
Joseph Harper 

















William Hun- 
ter * 

William Har- 

ry:t 1770 

Robert Howard 

§ James Hud- 
son f 1777 

Jonathan Hern*; 1791 

William Horner 

James Hind- 
marsh f 1783 

Richard Hunt f 1774. 

James Hall % lycjS 

John Harrison^ 1777 

Thos. Hoskins* 1778 

§ 5'^hn Harap- 

son, Jun. f 17S5 

John Howe f 1789 

Robert Hopkins 

Samuel Hodg- 
son * 1 795 

Philip Hardcastle 

George Holder 

Wm. Hoskinsf 1789 

William Holmes 

Thomas Kelher- 
ington f 1791 

§ Melville 

Home f 1787 

Wm. Kammettf 179^ 

William Hunter, Jun, 

Geo.'-ge Highfield 

John Harper + 1799 

William Heath 

John Holmes f 1789 

George Hender- 
sorrf 1788 

Robert Harrison 

Thomas Hewit* iSor 

Andrew Hamilton 

John Hicklin 

William Hamilton 

Andrew Hamil- 
ton, Jun. 









1788 John Kenhaw 
1788 Thomas Kelk 

A Chronological History 

Thomas Kuttoii 
John Hurley * 1801 
James Hurley t 179- 
Robert Harri- 
son, Jun. 
Thomas Harrison 
William Hains worth 


Thomas Janes t 1771 

Edward Jackson 

Daniel Jackson 

Andrew lnglis| 1793 

James Jordan 

John Ingham * 17 86 

Joseph Jerom. \ i 79S 

Matthias Joyce 

Robert Johnson 

§Thoma< Jones t 1790 

Andrew Jeffriesti79o 

William Joug- 

Ilnf 1788 

William John- 
son f 7794 

WiHiam Jessop 

William Jenkins 

James Irwin 


1774 Arthur Ker- 
shaw f 1775 
1780 Joshua Keigley^ 1788 
:78a John Kerr 
1783 John King 

1783 Lawrence Kane 

1784 Charles Kyte 

1785 Alexander Kil- 

hamt ^79^* 

1786 Stephen Kel- 

shalit 1787 

1786 Duncan Kay 

1 78 7 Thomas Kerr 


John Leach 
(I William Lei- 
cester * 1777 
1774 Robert Lind^ayt 1788 
1776 William Lum- 

ley* 1777 

1778 John Liver- 
more* 1783 
1780 Thomas Longley 
17H3 Matthew Lum 

1786 Theophilus l.essey 

1787 Benjamin Leggatt 
178^5 George Lowe 

1788 James Lyons f 1792 

1788 Nebuchadnez- 

zerLeef 1791 

1789 Robert Lomas 

1790 James Law ton f 1797 
1 7 90 J ames Lyans, 

Jun. t 1796 

1790 Isaac Lilly 






Alex. M 'Nab t 
John Magor f 
John M'Neesef 
Thomas Mott * 
George Mowat 
§John M'Aroyf 
Micliael M'Da^ 

niel * 
John M'Bur- 

ney * 
William Mar- 
tin * 
Joseph Moore f 
Michael Moore- 

housc t 

















,] Of the People called 

John Moon* iHoi 

William Mooref 1785 

Peter Mill 

Duncan M'Allum 

John xMayley * 1788 

Hugh Moore f 

William Myles 

William M'Cor 
nock * 

Henry Moore 

Samuel Mit- 
chell t 

John Millar * 

James M 'Donald 

James M'Cad- 

dinf 1786 

John M'Ker 






Abraham Mosely 

John Mann 

John M'Gearyf 1793 

Samuel Moorhead 

James Mann 

John Mrilcomson 

Miciiael Mar- 



William M'Cornock 
Alexander Moore 
James M'Mullin 
Michael Murphy 
Robert Miller 
James M'Quigg 
Robert M*Cay | 1790 
Miles Martihdale 
Archibald Murdock 
John M'Vean f 1797 


Stephen Ni- 

cholls \ 
John Norris * 





















Robert Naylor* 
John NcUon 
Booth Newton 


John Ogylvle 
Thomas Owen- 


Pawson ^ (a) 1798 

John Peacock 

Stephen Proc- 
tor f 

William Pitt f 

James Perfect % 

John Pritchard 

Nehemiah Pricef 1 790 

W'm. P}ovves*(6) 1 797 

John Price 

Thos, Payne * 1783 

William Percival 

John Prlckard * 17S4. 

Joseph Fe>.cod 

Christopher Pea- 
cock ^ 

Jonathan Parkin 

3enj. Pearce "* 

William Palmer 

John Phillips t 

Hugh Kugh * 

Gtorge Philipsf 

Richard Philipsj- 

1 homas Patterscn 

John Pipe 


Benjamin Rhodes 
Thomas Ryan f 1791 




(«) A Local Preacher near Leeds {b) A Local Preacher near Leeds, 

Ch icnological His to ry 


n 769 Richard Rodda 

1772 j olm Robe rts f 1788 

1772 Thomas Ruthedbrd 
2772 James Rogers 

J 7 73 George Ro- 
bert 1774 

1773 Samuel Randalf 1784 
17741 J^''P* Robinson* 179B 

1774 Henry Robins f 1784 

1775 § William Rootsti776 
1780 fhomas Read- 

shawf 1 7 S3 

1783 James Renwick 
1785 John RamshawJ 1795 

1785 James Ridel 

1786 John Reynolds 

1786 Thomas Roberts 

1787 Richard Reece 

1788 JohnRyle 

1788 Tliomas Rogerson 
3789 Thomas Ridgevvay 
1790 Thomas Robin- 
sen * 1793 


John Standring* 1771 
John Smith* 1773 
George Shadford 
Hugh Sanderson;*: 1 777 
Richard Seedf 1796 
George Snowden 
Sam.uel Smithf 1782 
Edward Slaterf 1776 
Hobert Swan 
William Severnti778 
George Shorter* 1779 
Edward Sweenyf 1775 
Francis Smithf 1775 
Joseph Sanderson 
James Skinner f 1782 
IjEdward Smydif 1784 
Isaac Shearing* 1778 
William Sanders 
Alexander Suter 











William Simpson 
Thomas Shawf 179^ 
Robert Scottf 
Vince Sellorf 
John Smith 
Joseph Sutclifie 
Thomas L-mithf 
Thomas Seward*! 787 
William Stephens 
John Stamp 
John San doe 
John Sanders 
John Stephens* 1789 
John Stevenson 
Matthew Stewart 
Robert Smith 
Robert Smith* 1801 
William Sanderson 
William Stephen- 

William Shelmerdlne 
William Sanders 
John Sanderson* 1802 
Robert Smith Jun. 






7«9 W^illiam Smith 

George Skeritt 
George. Sykes 
John Simpson 
Samuel Steel 
Thomas Simeonite 




Tho3. Tennant* i 793 
Thomas Tattonf 1 778 
Wm . Tunney f 1781 
William Thomf 1797 
Joseph Taylor 
Thomas Tattershall 
James Thorn 
U^'illiam Thorsby 
John Townsend 
fohn TregoLhaf 1 790 
i^d. Thorsebyt 1787 









] Of the People called Methodists, 30J 

Francis Truscott 

Charles Tuimycliff 
Henry Taylor f 1 798 

son* 1790 

Samuel Taylor 
Thomas Trethewey 


John Underhillf 1777 


John Valton* 1794 
Thomas Vasey 
Thomas Vernorf 1 79 1 


(a) Thos.Webb* l 796 
John Wittam 
Christoplier Watkins 
Francis Wolfe t 1782 
Thomas Wride 
Francis Wriglcy 
Richard Whatcoat 
Samuel Well s-^- 1780 
Wm. Wantaker* 1 794 
George Wads- 
worth* 1797 
James Watson 
Richard Wrightf 1777 
Joha Watson f 1785 








John Watson, Jun. 
James Wood 
John Wiltshaw 
John Whitelyt 1779 
Richard Watkin- 

son* 1793 

Nati:anieIWard-t-i78 5 
Thomas Warrick 
George Waane* 1781 
John Walkerf 1782 
William Warrener 
William Wc^t 
James Wray^ 1793 
James Walkerf 1784 
James Wilsonf 1787 
George Whitfield 
Peter Walkerf 1788 
James Wiiliamsf 1787 
John W^oodrow 
John Westf i 790 

Thomas Wood 
Jasper Wins- 
combe f 1 792 
Mark Willes* 
Thos. Wymentf 
William Wilson 
Samuel Wood 
Thos. Werrill* 
Thos. White- 
head f 





7q Zechariah Yewdall 

These names added together make 470 ; some of 
them acted but a very short time in a public cha- 
racter among the Methodists. But compared with the 
former period of twenty live years, the increase of 
Preachers and consequendy of people \\ as very great ; 
especially when it is coiisidered, that I have not noticed 
those who were raised up iu the United Slates of America. 


(a) An ofEcer in the ai-mr, and a very useful Local Prfachcr, ge- 
neraliy known amoag the NUtho^isCs by vl.e n<ime of Captain Webb. 

D d - 

3o6 A Chronological History [.^79^* 

Where Methodism had been established since the jear i y6(). 
Oi" these Preachers it maybe remarked: {. Thv°y loved 
study ; tijey improved themselves in various branches ot 
learning ; hence their knowledge was more extensive tlian 
their predecessors. 2. As the people increased, the cir- 
cuits were contracted, the Preachers studied cecoiiomy, 
and were more at home with their families. 3. As they 
did not travel so much, nor remove, in general, oftener 
than once in two years from one Circuit to another, they 
became mOre known to the people at large, and less per- 


1 79.1 Henry AndeiFon 
.1791 "William Armstrong ! 
1792 Samuel Alcorn ■ 

1794 James Alexander 
1794. John A shall 

1794 Joseph Anderson 
V794 Richard Andrews 

1795 J Adam Averill 
1,796 Thomas Aikenhead 

1797 William Atherton 

1798 W^i!liam Ayre 

1799 Solomon AshtonfiSos 
1799 Wm. Aprichard'^iSoi 
j8oo John Anderson 

1 802 Thomas Asliton 


1791 Thoma? Black 
1791 James Buckley 

1791 James Bell 
iTi.;! James L^oyde 

1792 Abram. Bi.hop* 179^ 


Francis Ballian * 1801 

^92 Jofeph Bowes 
T 792 James Bridgnell 

1792 John Brice f 1800 
I 792 Robert Banks 

1 7 92 William P rownf 1795 

1793 Jonathan Barker 

1794 John Brownell 

1795 Glenham Beechti796 
179; Joseph Brookhouse 

1795 Thomas Blanchard 

1796 James Burley 

1796 John Birdsail 
7796 Tlioraas Booth 

1797 William Bulpitt 

1 799 Jabez Bunting 

1800 John Bagnell 
iSoo John Birkenhead 
i8co [oseph Bocock'* 1801 

1800 Robert Bailey 
iSco Willir.m Bennett 

1 80 1 John Bryan 
1801 Isaac Bradnock 
1801 William Ban 

i8d2.] Of the People calUd Methodists. 307 







John Brown 


Alexander Cum- 
mins f 1797 
John Cooper 
John Clarkef 1799 
Patrick Calev 
Robert Crozier 
James Crabb f ^797 
John Cook * 1795 
John CI egg 
Joseph Cook * 1 795 
Joseph Collier 
John Clandinnen 
Archib.)!d Campbell 
Francis Collins 
James Carter 
John Cheadle 
Daniel Campbell 
Ma.- shall C lax ton 
David Coe 
John Cooper 
Isaac Claytoa 




George Deverail 
(xeorge Dermott 
Matthias Dice f 1794 
Robert Dougher- 
ty f 1796 
George Douglas 
1794 Joseph Drake 
1794 Mark Daniel 
1794 Thomas Dumbleton 
1799 John Dutlon * 1800 

1796 William Douglas 

1797 David Deakins 

1798 Job Davi'; 

1799 Henry Deary 
iSco Peter De Pontavlce 

1 80 1 Philip Debill 
1S02 John Davis 

1 802 Francis D^tiy 



1 791 



Jolm Draper 


IVTichael Emmitt 
William Ear ley 
Sceph.EversfielJf 1797 
Jam:3S FJIis 
Richard Emmitt 
Thomas Edrnan 
Tiiomas Edwards 


Benjamin Fizler 
John Fury f 1 792 

John Foster 
William Fen wick 
Daniel Fidler 
John Furnace 
John Farrer 
Robert Finney 
John Foster^ Jan. 
Joshua Fielding 
John Foster 
Richard Fisher 
William France 
John Foster 







Richard Gower 
Cnades Gloyne 
Robert Green ^ 1 800 
^ViIliam Grandine 
Charles Greenly j 
James Gill 
George Gillead 

George Gilliard 

John ciislHirn 

Thomas Gee 

Philip Garrett 

William Gilpin 

Benjamin Gregory 

James Gastrell 
i8oD William Gamble* 1 80 1 
1802 Thomas Graham 







J Chronoloyical History 



Joseph Hinnen t 1792 
Robert Harper % 1793 
Richard Hardacre 
John Hudson 
Wili. Harrisonf 1802 
Arthur Hutchinson 
John Haniikon 
Samuel Harris '^ 1796 
Thomas Hem- 

mings f I 796 

Theodore Harding 
WilHam Hicks 
William Hovvarth 
Josiah Hill 
John Hughes 
John Hagan 
Peter Haslem 
Thomas Ha'.Iett 
Francis Halliet 
John Hodgson 
John Hodson 
William Henshaw 
Edward Hare 
John Hawkshavv 
Richard Harrison 
John Hejwood 
Joseph Hallam 
John Hearnshaw 
Edward Higgins 
Joseph Harrison 
Moses Hooks 
George Hansbrow 
John Howe 
William Harrison 


1 79 1 James Jay 

1 793 Thomas Ingham 

1794 John Jones 
1794 Thomas Isham- 

1 794 William Jessop 

1795 John Jennings * 
2797 Francis Jeune* 



I 8 JO 

I 302 





J 797 


Thomas Johnson 
William Jenkin 
Diggory Joll 
Robert Jame/; 
William Johnson 
William Jackson 
Daniel Isa-sc 
Jonas Jagger 
Josiah Jackon 
Edward Jones 


John Kingston 
Clealand Kirkpatrick 
Joseph Kyte 
Lawrence Keane 
John KiiOwles 
Joseph Kitcher 
Samuel Kettle 
Thomas Keys 
William Kidd 
Lawrence Kershaw 

1 792 Thomas Linnay 

1793 Isaac Lunsford 
1793 Leonard Led- 

brook t 1 796 

f 794 Matthew Langlree 

1795 John Leppington 

1 796 Thomas Lay cock 
1796 William Little 
1799 James Lowrey 

1799 William Leech 

1800 William Lockwood 

1801 Thomas Lougheed 


1791 Henry Mahy 
1791 John Mac Farland 

1791 WilHam Mahy 
1702 George Morley 

1792 John Mac Arthur 
1 7 §2 Isaae Muff 

! 8o2."] Of the People called Methodists 










ThoiTds Mac 

Clcllaii t 
Wm. Martin* i 
Duncan Mac Coll 
George Marscleii 
James Mort f 1 796 
James Mac Kee 
Archibald Moiit- 

gcmery * 1800 
Edward Milhvard 
Andrew Majorfi8G2 
Daniel Mac Mullen 
James Mac Keown 
William Moukon 
Charles Mayno 
Bartholomew Mac 

Donald* 1790 

Chas, Martin* r'99 
John Moses* 180 1 
Richard Merrittf 1 799 
William Mac Allum 
John Moore t 1802 
Nicholas Mauger 
William Midgeley 
Edward Miller 
George Mahon 
John Mercer 
Joshua Marsden 
Joseph Morrison 
Page Mitchell 
George Mac Elvvain' 
John xMac Adam 
Joseph Meek 
John Maurice 
James Mac Cutchan 
Charles Mac Cord 

lames Needham 
Robert Newton 
John Nesbitt 
William Nayior 

Gideon Ousley 
Thomas Olivant 


1802 James Oiren 

1 79 1 Richard Pattison 
1793 James Penman 

1793 John Philips 

1794 Thomas Parson 
1794 William Pearson 
1794 William Pearson, Jan. 

1794 Wm. Patten f 1798 

1 795 Daniel Pedlovv 

1796 Humphry Parson 
1798 George Pindar f l8ao 

1798 Ttiomas Preston 
I 798 Thomas Palti-on 

1799 Tiioraas Pinder 

1 800 William Pearson 
t8o2 Thomas Poulter 

I79f John "Regan 

1792 Joseph Robins 

1794 Francis Russell 

1795 Thomas Rough 

1 798 James Richard- 

son * 1 799 

I 799 James Ratclifle 

1799 John Reynolds, Jun. 
1 799 Thomas Rogers 
1799 T*^^**^ Rossell 

1799 Marmaduke Revill 

1800 Hugh Ranson 

1800 Wiiiiam Robertson 

1 80 1 WiUiam RadcUffe 

1802 George Russell 
I So 2 James Rutlidge 

I So 2 John Remington 
George Smith 
James Stewart 
James Smyth 
John Stephens 
Robert Smith 
Antiiony Seckerson 
Edmund Shaw 
George Stephenson 




1 794 
J 794 
J 796 







J 795 

A Chronological History 

James Schofield 

Caleb Simmonds 

Thomas Stanton 

John S:uart 

Alexander Sturgeon 

Thomas Stanley 

Hans Shrouder 

John Sydserff 

Tiiomas Shaw, 

Jun. * 1801 

William Sturgeon 

Henry Stead f 1798 

Jacob Stanley 

Thomas Siinger 

John Slack 

Joseph Shakes- 
peare* 1 800 

Robert Shipley 

William Stewart 

James Stirling 

James Scholefield 

John Story 

Robert Strong 

Francis Thorse- 

by I 1797 

Matthew Tobias 

R ichard Trefry 

Joseph Telford 

Edward Tovvler 

Edward Turner 

Richard Thomp- 
son f 1802 

William Timpcrly 

William Turton 

Andrew Taylor 

James Tovvniey 

Joh.n Tozer f 1801 

Edward Turner 

Isaac Turton 

John Taylor 

WilHam Towlex 


801 William Trampleasure 

801 Zecharias Taf't 

802 Henry Taft 

802 Edward Thompson 

795 Martin Vaughan 
797 John Vipond * 1799 
797 William Vipond 
801 Thomas Vasey, Jun. 


791 John Ward 
791 Stephen Wilson 
793 Benjamin Wilson 
793 Francis West 
793 John Williams 
793 Richard Waddy 

795 John V/ood 

796 Cuthbert Whitcsides 
796 Richard Wat- 
son f i8or 

796 Wiiiiam Williams 

796 Zechariah Wcrrel 

797 George White ^ 1801 
797 John Warmley 

797 John White t i8oi 

797 John Waters f 1798 
707 Samuel Wooilmer 

798 Thomas Wilton 

798 W^Jlliam Wellburne 

799 John Watson, Jun. 

799 Richard W^intle 

800 David Waugh 

Sco Henry Webb f 1801 

801 John Williams 
801 Maximilian W'ilson 
801 Robert W^heeler 

801 Valentine W^ard 

802 Samuel W^arren 
802 John W'^ilson, Jun, 
802 Henry Webb 

1793 Thomas Yates 

I / 39- J Qf ^^^ People, called Methodists. 3 1 1 


An Account of Kmgswood School, near Bristol^ 
with the Names of all the Masters, 

IN the year 1739, Mr. Wesley instituted a School 
.2.1 Kiiigswood tor the Colliers children. This is 
still continued, and it is supported by the subscrip- 
tions of that Society. 

In the year 1741, Mr. Wesley appointed Mr, 
John Cennick to superintend both tiie School and 
the Society. He in a little more than twelve months 
joined the Moravian Church, and died in the* year 
17<55' >having left a good report behind him. After 
he left, until the year 1748, it does not appear that 
any person of note was appointed to the care of that 

The larger School was opened in the year 1748. 
It was designed for the children of the Methodists, 
and for the sons of the Itinerant Preachers. In the 
year 1794 it was wholly set apart for the education 
of the Preachers children. 

In the year 1768, Mr. Wesley published an ac- 
count oi the different branches of learning which 
were then taught at the School, with the rules 
which both Masters and Scliolars then attended to. 
They are as follows : 

1. Our Design is, with God's assistance, to 
tram up children, in every branch of useful Learn- 

2. The School contains eight Classes : 

In the first Class the Children read Instructions 
for Children, and Lessons for Children ; and begin 
learning to write. 

In the second Class they read the Manners of the 
ancient Christians, go on in writing, learn the short 

312 A Chronological History [1768. 

English Grammar, the short Latin Grammar, read 
Praelectiones Pueriles, translate them into English, 
and the instructions-for children into Latin, part of 
which the^' transcribe and repeat. 

In the third Chuss they read Dr. Cave's Primiti%'e 
Christianity; go on in writing; perfect themselves 
in the En^^lish and Latin Grammar; read Corderii 
Coloquia Selecta and Historiae Selectae; translate 
Historise Sfdectae into English, and lessons for chil- 
dren into Latin, part ot wliich they transcribe and 

In t]-ie fourth Class they read the Pilgrim's Pro- 
gress ; perfect themselves in v^riting ; learn DiK 
v^orth's ArJthmetick ; read Castellio's Kempis and 
Cornelius Nepos ; translate Castellio into English, 
and Manners of the ancient Christians into Latin; 
transcribe and repeat select portions of moral and 
sacred poems. 

In the liith Class they read the life of Mr. Hali- 
bnrton; perfect themselves in Arithmetick ; read 
Select Dialogues oi Erasmus, Phajdrus and Sallust ; 
translate Erasmus into English, and Primitive Chris- 
tianity into Latin ; transcribe and repeat select por- 
tions of moral and sacred poems. 

In the sixth Class they read the life of Mr. De 
Renty, and Kennett's Roman Antiquities ; they 
learn Randal's Geography; read Caesar, felect parts 
of Terence and Velleius Paterculus; trans- 
late Erasmus into English, and the Life of Mr. Ka. 
liburton into Latin ; transcribe and repeat felect 
portions of sacred hymns and poems. 

In the seventh Class they read Mr. Law's Chris- 
tian Perfection, and Abp. Potter's Greek Atiqui- 
ties ; they icavn Bengelii Introductio ad Chrono- 
logiam, with Marshal's Chronological Tables; read 
Tally's OfBces and Virgil's Eneid; translate Benge- 
lius into English, and Mr. Law into Latin ; learn 
{those Vvh.o have a turn tor it) to make verses, and 
the short Greek Grammar; read the Epistles of St. 

I76S.] Of the People called Methodists^ 313 

Jolin ; transcribe and repeat select portions of Mil- 

In the eighth Class they read Mr. Law's Serious 
Call, and Lewis's Hebrew Antiquities; they learn 
to make Thernes and to declaim ; learn Vossius's 
Rhetorick ; read Tully's Tusculan Questions, and 
Selecta ex Ovidio, Virgilio, Horatio, Juvenale, 
Persio, Martiale ; perfect themselves in the Greek 
Grammar; read the Gospels and six books ot Ho- 
mer's Iliad; translate Tally into English, and Mr. 
Law into Latin ; learn the short Hebrew Grammar, 
and read Genesis ; transcribe and repeat Selecta ex 
Virgilio, Horatio, Juvenale* 

3. It is our particular desire, that all who arc 
educated here, may be brought up in the fear of 
God : and at the utmost distance as from vice in 
general, so in particular from idleness and effemina- 
cy. The children therefore of tender parents, 
have no business here ; for the rules will not be 
broken, in favour of any person whatsoever. Nor 
is any child received unless his parents agree, i. 
That he shall observe all the Rules of the House, 
and 2. That they will not take him from School, 
no, not a day, till they take him for good and all.^ 

4. The gisneral Rules of the Houie are these : 
First, the children rise ^t four, winter and sum- 
mer, and spend the time till fiva in private: partly 
in reading, partly in singing, partly in self exami- 
nation or meditation, (if capable of it) and partly 
in prayer. They at first use a short form (which 
is varied continually) and then pray in their own 

. Secondly, at fiv'e tliey all meet together. From 
six they work till breakfast. For as we have no 
play-days (the school being taught every day in the 
year but Sunday) so neither do we allow any time 
for play on any day. He that plays when he is a 
child, will play when he is a man. 

, On fair days they work, according to their 
strength in the garden ; on rainy days ia thehausc 

314 j^ Chronological History [1768. 

Some of them also learn music ; and some ot the 
larger will be employed in philosophical experi- 
ments. But particular care is taken that they never 
work alone, but always in the presence of a master. 
We have three Masters ; one for teaching read- 
ing, and two for the languages. 

Thirdly, the School begins at seven, in which 
languages are taught till nine, and thcrv writing, 
&c. till eleven. At eleven the children walk or 
work. At twelve they dine, and then work or 
sing until one. They diet nearly thus ; 

Breaktdst, miik-porriflge and water-gruel, by 
turns : Supper, bread and butter, or cheese, and milk 
by turns. — Dinner, Sunday, cold roast beef. — 
Monday, hash'd meat and apple dumplins. — Tues- 
day, boiled mutton. — Wednesday, vegetables and 
dumplins. — Thursday, boiled mutton or beef. — 
Friday, vegetables and dumplins ; and so in Lent. 
Saturday, bacon and greens, applc-dumplins. 

They drink water at meals, nothmg between 
meals. On Friday, if they chuse it, they fast 'till 
three in the afternoon. Experience shews, this is 
so far from impairing health, that it greatly con- 
duces to it. 

Fourthly, from one to four languages are taught, 
and then writing, &c, until five. At five begins 
the hour of private prayer. From six they walk 
or work until supper. A little before seven the 
public service begins. At eight they go to bed, the 
youngest first. 

Fifthly, they lodge all in one room, (now in 
two) in which a lamp burns all night. Every 
child lies by himself. A master lies at each end 
of the room. All their beds have matirasses on 
them, not feather-beds. 

Sixthly, on Sunday, at six they dress and 
breakfast ; at seven, learn hymns and poems ; at 
fiine attend the public service; at twelve dine and 
sing ; at two attend the public service, and at four 
are privately instiucted. 

1768.] Of the People called Methodists, 315 

5. Tlie method observed In the School is this : 

The First Class. — Morning at 7. read — 10. write 
until eleven. — Ait. at 1. read. — 4. write until five. 

The Second Class. — M. 7. read the Manners ut" 
the ancient Christians. — 8. Learn the English Giam- 
mar : when that is ended, the Latin Grammar. — 10. 
Learn to vvrite — A. 1. Learn to construe and parse 
Pra^Iectiones Pueriles. — 4. Translate into English 
and Latin alternately. 

The Third Class M.7. Read Primitive Christia- 
nity. — 8. Repeat English and Latin GramrRar alter- 
nately. — 9. Learn Corderius, and when that is 
ended, Historiae Selectie- — 10. Write. ---A. 1. Learn 
Corderius and Historiae Selectae. — 4. Translate. 

The Fourth Class.— M. 7. Read the Pjjgrim's 
Progress, — 8. Repeat the Grammar. — 9. Learn 
Casiellio's Kempis, and when that is ended, Corne- 
lius Nepos. — 10. Write and learn Arithmetick. — 
A. 1. Learn Kempis and Cornelius Nepos. — 4. 

The Fifth Class.— -M. 7. Read Mr. Haliburton's 
Lite. — 8. Repeat the Grammars. — 9. Learn Eras- 
mus, afterwards Phaedrus, then Sal lust. — jo. Learn 
Arithmetick. — A. i. Learn Erasmus, Phiedrus, 
Sallust. — 4. Translate. 

The Sixth Class. — M. 7. Read Mr. De Renty's 
Life. — 8. Repeat the Grammars. — 9. Leain Caesar, 
afterwards Terence then Velleius Patercuius. — 
10. Learn Geography. — A. 1. Learn CiEsar, Te- 
rence, Paterculus. — 3. Read Roman Antiquities. 
4. Translate. 

Tlie Seventh Class. — ^L 7. Read Mr. Law's 
Christian Perfection. — 8. M. W. F. Learn the 
Greek Grammar, and read tlie Greek Testament. 
Tu. Th. Sat. Learn Tully, alterwards Virgil. — 10. 
Learn Chronology — A. 1. Learn Latin and Greek 
alternately, as in the morning. — 3. Read Grecian 
Antiquities. — 4. Translate and make verses alter- 

E e 2 

3i6 J Chronological History [1768. 

The Eighth Class — M. 7. Read Mr. Law's Seri- 
ous Call.— 8. M. Th. Latin.—Tu. Frid. Greek.— 
"Wed. Sat. Hebrew ; and so at one in the after- 
noons. — 10. Learn Rlietorick. — A. 3. Read He- 
brew Antiquities.— 4. Mond. Thurs. translate.-— 
Tues. Frid. make verses. — Wed. make a theme. — 
Sat. write a declamation. 

All the other classes spend Saturday afternoon in 
Arithmetick, and in transcribing what they learn on 
Sunday, and repeat on Monday morning. 

The following method miay be observed, by thos^ 
who design to go through a course of academical 

First Year. — Read Lowth's English Grammar, 
Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and French Grammars, 
Cornelius Nepos, Sallust, Caesar, Tully's Offices, 
Terence, Phaedrus, ^neid, Dilworth, Randal, 
Bengel, Vossius, Aldrich and Wallis's Logick, 
Langbain's Ethics, Hutchinson on the Pasfi(;ns, 
Spanheim's Introduction on the Ecclesiastical His- 
tory, PufFendorff's Introduction to the History of 
Europe, Moral and Sacred Poems, Hebrew Penta- 
teuch, with the notes, Greek Testament, Matt. — 
Acts, with the notes, Xenophon's Cyrus, 1\q. 
mer's Iliad, Bjshop Pearson on the Creed, Ten 
Volumes of the Christian Library, Telemaque. 

Second Year. — Look over the Grammars, read 
Veil. Paterculus, Tusculan Questions, Excerpta, 
Vida3 Opera, Lusus Westmonasteriensis, Chrono- 
logical Tables, Euclid's Elements, Well's Tracts, 
Newton's Prlncipia, Moshem's Introduction to 
Church History, Usher's Annals, Burnet's Histo- 
ry of the Reformation, Spencer's Fairy Queen, 
Historical Books of the Hebrew Bible, Greek 
Testament ad finem ILv^h Avacao is-,. Homer's Odys- 
sey, Twelve Volumes of the Christian Library, 
Ramsay's Cyrus, Racine. 

Third Year. — Look over the Grammars, Livy, 
Suetonius, Tully de Finibus, Musas Anglicanje, 
Dr. Burton's Poemata, Lord Forbes's Tracts, 

1768.] OJ the People called Methodists. 317 

Abridgment of Hutchinson's Works, Survey of. 
the Wisdom of God in the Creation, Rollin's An- 
cient History, Hume's History of England, Neai's 
History of the Puritans, Milton's Poetical Works, 
Hebrew Bible, Job — Canticles, Gieek Testament, 
Plato's Dialogues, Greek Epigrams, Twelve Vo- 
lumes of the Christian Library, Pascal, Corneille. 

Fourth Year. — Look over the Giammars, Taci- 
tus, Grotii Historia Belgica. Tally de Natura 
Deorum, Pricdium Rusticum, Carmina Ouadrage- 
simalia, Philosophical Transactions abridged, Watts's 
Astronomy, Sec. Compendium MetaphysiccC, Watts's 
Ontology, Lock's Essay, Malebranche, Claren^ 
don's History, Neai's History of New England, 
Antonio Solis' History of Mexico, S'lakespear, 
Rest of the Hebrew Bible, Greek Testament, 
Ep-ictetus, Marcus Antoninus, Poetas Minores, 
end the Christian Library, La Faussite dc les Ver- 
tues Humaines, Ouesnell sur les Evangilcs. 

Whoever carefully goes through this course, will 
be a better scholar than nine in ten of tlie graduates 
at Oxford or Cambridge. 

This Seminary is the only one which is supported 
by the whole Methodist connection. An annual 
collection is made in every chapel throughout the 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland- 
This has been not only sufficient for its support,, 
but also to allow a small sum annually to assist in. 
the education of the Preachers daughtens. The 
following is Mr. Wesley's address to the Methodist 
congregations in order to excite them to support the 
school. It was drawn up in the year 1756. 

g. '• What can be done to make the Metho- 
dists sensible of the excellency of Kingswood- 
School ? A. Let every Assistant read the follow- 
ing account of it yearly in every congregation. 

1. The wisdom and love of God have now- 
thrust out a large number of labourers Into his har* 
vest : Men who desire nothing on earth but to pro- 
mote the glory of God,, by saving their own soul &• 

E e 3 

3i8 A Chronological History [1768. 

and those that hear them. And those to whom they 
minister spiritual things, are willing to minister to 
them of their carnal things : so that they have food 
to eat, and raiment to put on, and are content 

2. A competent provision is likewise made for 
the wives of married Preachers. These also lack 
nothing; having a weekly allowance over and above 
for their lutle children: So that neither they nor 
their husbands need to be careful about niriiiy things, 
but may wait upon the Lord without distraction. 

3. Yet one considerable difficulty lies on those 
that have boys, when they grow too big to be under 
their mother's direction. Having no father to go- 
vern and instruct them, they are exposed to a thou- 
sand temptations. To remedy this, we have a 
school on purpose for tliem, wherein they have all 
the instruction they are capable of, together with 
all things necessary for the body. 

4. In whatever view we look upon this, it is one 
of the noblest charities that can be conceived. 
How reasonable is the Institution? Is it hi that the 
children of those who leave wife, and ali that is 
dear, to save souls from death, should want what is 
needful either for soul or body ? Ought not we to 
supply what the parent cannot, because of his la- 
bours in the Gospel ? How excellent are the effects 
of this Institution ? The Preacher, eased of this 
weight, . can the more rhearfuliy ro on in his labour. 
And perhaps many of these children may hereafter 
fill up the place of those that shall rest from their 

^. But the expence of vsuch an undertaking is 
very large, so that we are ill able to defray j't. 
Ti e best means we could think of at our Confe- 
rence to supply the deficiency is, once a year to 
desire the assistance of all those in every place, 
who wish well to the work of God; who long te- 
ste sinners converted to God, and the kingdom of 
Christ set up in ail the earth. 

1770.] Of the PtopU called Mithodisls. 319 

6. All of you, who are thus minded, have an 
opportunity now of shewing your love to the Gos- 
pel. Now promote, as far as in you lies, one of 
the noblest charities in the \vorld. Now forward, 
as you are able, one of the most excellent designs 
that ever was set on foot in this kingdom. Do 
what you can to comfort the parents, ^\^ho give up 
their all for you, and to give their children cause to 
bless you. You will be no poorer for what you 
do on such an occasion. God is a good pay-mas- 
ter. And you know, in doing this, you lend unto 
the Lord : In due time He shall pay you again." 

It may not be unacceptable to insert here the 
names ct the Masters which have at different times 
presided over this Seminary, especially as some of 
tiiem, and of those educated there, were afterwards 
conspicuous for learning, piety and usefulness. 
The masters were appointed by Mr. Wesley during 
his life, and since his death by the Conference. 

Those marked thus * obtained ordination in the 
established Cliurch. 


From the year 1748, 
to the year 1760 

*'a) Walter Sellon, 

*{//) John Jones, 

* James Roquet, 

John Parkinson, 

*Thomas Greaves, . - - from 1^60 to 1768 

Peter Price, ^7^5 to 1768 

Joseph Benson, . - - - 1766 to 1771 

*IsaacTwicross, - - - - ^TJ^ *^o 1772 

(a) This gentleman wrote several pieces in favour of rhc Mef-ho- 
dist Doctrine. His Answer to Eliihu Colny on God'* Sovereignty, 
his Arguments in tavour of General Ketlcmption, rogether with 
his Answer to Mr. Hervey's Eleven Letters, and the Church of 
EngUnd vindicated from the charge of holding the doctrine of abso- 
lute Predestination, prove him to have iteen an able Minister of the 
Kew Testament 

(h) He wrote the Latin Grammar which is taught at Kingswcod 

.3?o A Chr etiological History [i8oo. 

John Wootton, - - - - from 1771 101773 

Thomas Simpson, A. M. - 1771 to 1783 

Thomas M'Geary, A. M. 1783 to 1794 

William Farrant, . - - - 1789 to 1791 

John Clarke, A. M. - - ■ 1794 to 1795 

William Moore Johnson, - 1794 to 1796 

Andrew Mayer, - - - - 17 93 to 1801 

Mr. Joseph Bradiorri acted as-\ 

Governor, with honom" to ( to 1 802 

himself, and advantage to i ' ^"^ 

the school, -^ 

Mr. John Pritchard, Governor, 1802 

William Horner, Classical Master, 1802 
Thomas Fletcher, ditto, ditto 1 802 


John Maddern -\ 

John Southcote, / j^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^g 

* Richard Moss, V ^^ ^1^^ j. ^^^^ 

* William Barnes, j ^ ^ 
William Spenser, J 

William Shanks, - - - from 1760 to 1765 

James Hmdmarsli, ^ - - 1765^01773 

Barnabas Albert, - - - - 1771^01773 

* Cornelius Bayley, - - - 1773 t<> ^7^ 


Vincent De Boudiy - - - 17S0 to 1787 

Robert De Joncourt, - - 17^7 '« ^7^ 


* Thomas Jones, - - - — 17^3 ^o 1.786 

Richard Dodd, - - - - 17'^6 to 179Q 

William Winsbeare, - - 1786 to 1787 

Samuel Green, - - - - i7«7 ^o 1788 

William Carr, - - - - 17^9 to 1790 

Willinm Collins, . - - - 179° ^o 179,5^ 

V/illiam Nind, - - - - ^793 ^o 1794. 

Tames Windsor, - - - - 1795101798 

James M'Burney, - - - 179« t^ i^o^' 

William Horner, = - - 1800 to i8o^ 

William Stevens,. - - - ' 1802 

2 8o2.] Of the People calkd Methodists. ;>?. i 

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A Chronological History 






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Of the People called Methodists, 323 


A List of the Preaching Houses in the Methodist 

Connection in the United Kingdom of Great Bri^ 

tain and Ireland^ taken in the year 1802. 

J\T the Conference in the year 1775, it was for 
the first time proposed, that no Preaching-houses 
should be built, unless two thirds of the money- 
were subscribed, and it agreed to by the Confe- 
rence. This was done in order to put a check, to 
building, as some houses had been erected impru- 

It was therefore mentioned in the yearly minutes, 
the houses that were to be built and the places 
where they stood, until the year 1790 ; when Mr. 
Wesley referred all matters relative to building to a 
Committee appointed for that purpose. But, as 
there were many Preaching-houses built before that 
period, and many since; and some built during that 
period, which were never published in the minutes, 
it would be impossible to form a correct list from 
the yearly minutes. 

I have therefore in forming this list of the 
Preaching-houses, (the first which was ever taken, 
and now published a second time with great addi- 
tions) inserted the counties alphabetically, and have 
put down in each county, or shire, the Preaching- 
houses which are therem, with the year in which 
they were built, so far as I could learn it from the 
minutes, and other sources of information. By 
this means, a probable idea may be formed of the 
counties where Methodism has flourished most. I 
have put down no houses but those wliich are 
wholly appropriated to the worship of God ; many 
of them are but small, but others are large and very 

324 A Chronologi~ 

1 Bedford skire. 

Bedford, 1763 
Bceson-cross, 1780 
Biggies worth, 179^5 
Duiisiable, 1789 
Eaton Bray, 1795 
Luton, 1778 
Market Street, 1799 
Tcmsiord, 1784 

2 Berkshire, 

Bedwin, 1790 
Chilton, 1791 
Newbury, 1772 

3 BuckinghamJJiire. 

Buckingham, 1789 
High Wycombe, 1766 
Siuckiey, 1800 
Chesham, 1768 

4 Cambridgeshire, 

Long Sutton, 1780 
Wisbcach, 1781 

^ Chf shire. 

Akringham, 1786 
Bui lock Smithy, 1785 
Cliester, 1756 
Congleton, 1765 
Lrodsham, 1792 
Knutstord, 1794 
Kettleshulmc, 1796 
Lima, 1781 
Mottram, 1792 
Macclesfield, 1764 
Northwitch, 1775 
-Norley, 178 1 

'cat History 

Nantwitch, 1786 
Neston, 1790 
Stockport, 1766 
Wimslow, 1798 

6 Cornzvall. 

Alternon, 1795 
Bollcngey, 178 1 
Bodmin, 1778 
Boscastic, iBoi 
Breage, 1789 
Blissland, 1790 
Burrien, 1789 
Bassole, 1794 
Betlishcba, 1790 
Cuthbeit, 1786 
Copperhoufe, 1780 
Crowan, 1788 
Charlestown, 1798 
Camel ford, 178^ 
Cubert, 1791 
Carnkie, 1797 
Cannegy, 1794 
Deverall, 1793 
Flushing, 1797 
Falmouth, 1778 
Fowey, 1800 
Gerrens, 1800 
Gwennap, 1770 
Goldfitheny, 1778 
Germore, 1 798 
Gurthian, 1792 
Hale, 1784 
Helstone, 1794 
Indian Oueen, I789 
Keneggy-downs, 1792 
Key or Trethowell, 1794 
Kfhelland, 1793 
Kearley, 1770 
Leskeard, 1776 

Of the People called Methodists 



Looe, 1790 
Lclant, [766 
Leiant Cuuniry, 1792 
Laddock, 1788 
Losiwithell, lyc^o 
Little Collen, 1791 
Launceston, 1764 
Ludgeven, 1799 
Mouse-hole, 1775 
Mevagissey, 1770 
Mill-Brook, 1789 
Maraziorj, 1780 
Maddron, 179^ 
Mullion, 1791 
Mylor, 1792 
Mawnan, 1796 
Mount Hawke, 179^ 
Newlin, 1791 
North Country, 1792 
Penzance, 1778 
Penryn, 1788 
Perranwelj, 1781 
Probus, 1786 
Pendponds, 1779 
Polperro, 1790 
Padstow, 1792 
Port-Ifaac, 1770 
Port-Killos, 1780 
Port-Livin, 1788 
Perran, 1790 
Redruth, 1760 
Sticker, 1784 
StJthians, 1786 
Saint Rocii, 1790 
St. Juft, 1743 
St. Ives, 17. j3 
St. Agnefs, 1780 
St, Michaels Mount, 1790 
St. Leven, 1789 
St. Greet, 1794 


Ausile, 1786 
Stephens, 1780 
Hilary, 1766 
Columbe, 1798 
Constantine, 1794 
Keveran, 1793 
Earth, 1796 
Just, 1784 

Sanders Lane, 1794, 

Truro, 1768 

Tregear, 1789 

Tregoney, 1790 

Tuckingnnli, 1780 

Tresillion, 1792 

Tor-point, 1794 

Trewellard, 1789 

Trewednock, 1794 

Troone, 1796 

Trevane, 1794 

Trissilion Bridge, 1794 

Tregomena, lyi^^ 

Thughanway, 1794 

Very an, 1791 

Wall, 1789 

Wheal rose, 1780 

Zunnor, 1794 

100 in Cornwall. 

7 Cumberland, 

Alstone, 1766 
Carlisle, 1777 
Cockermouth, 1780 
Gainblesby, 1778 
Ninth-head, I788 
White-haven, 1759 

8 Derbyshire* 

Ashbourne, 1771 
Buxton, 1791 
Bilpar, 1782 


A Chronologic-al History 

Brad well, 1768 
Breeden, 1790 
Chesterfield, 1795 
Chapel-le-frirb, 1780 
Creitch, 1765 
Derby, 1765 
Duffield, 1777 
Draycott, 1790 
Elm, 1781 

Grindletord Bridge, 1776 
Hayfield, T786 
Horseley, 1790 
Ilkington, 1790 
Mashani, 1796 
Melbourn, 1789 
Normanton, 1790 
New-mill, 1770 
Spoondon, 1797 
Sewley, 1800 
Tidswell, 1793 
Ticknall, 1791 
Tichall, 1796 
Hatharfage, 1791 
Woodbouse, 1797 

9 Devonshire, 

Axminster, 1787 
Bacldast Leigh, 1801 
Buckingham, 1795 
Barnstable, 1796 
Collumpton, 1772 
Exeter, 1779 
Halburton, 1780 
Kingsands, 179-0 
Kinosion, 179O 
Milbrook, 1792 
Plymouth, 1779 
Plymouth Dock, 1784 
Sidmouth, 1772 

St. Mary Church,, 1800 
Tavistock, 1775 
Tiverton, 1767 

10 Dorsetshire, 

Blanford, 1790 
Fontmill, 1797 
Gillingham, 1794 
Lyme, 1791 
Mel com be, 1778 
Pool, 1780 

Portland- Island, 1786 
Shaftsbury, 1756 
Weymouth, 1797 

11 Durham 

Barnard Castle. I766 
Bishop Auckland, 1792 
Bolden, 1793 
Burnop-field, 1701 
Cotherstone, 1796 
Chester-le-streer, 1787 
Chartershaiigh, 1784 
Colliery Dykes, 1792 
Duiliam, 1770 
Darlington, 1771 
Gateshead-Fell, 1754 
Greenside, 1786 
Hartle-pool, 1787 
Hilton- ferry, 1776 
Lumley, 1784 
Monk wear-mouth, J 766 
Mount, 1777 
Norton, 1781 
Penshaw, 1778 
Stockton, 17.69 
Sunderland, 1759 
South-Sheiids, 1770 
Stanhope, 1784 

Of the People call 

Teesdale, 1782 
Weardale, 1763 
Wolslngham, 17S6 
Winlatoii, 1794 
Whickham, 1792 

12 Essex, 

Barking, 1788 
Bradfield, 1788 
Colchester, 1759 
Grays, 1789 
Harwich, 1788 
Lay ton, 1790 
Manning tree, 1791 
Stratford, 1790 
Taitingston, 1792 

13 Gloccstershire 

In Bristol, 3Chapel%viz. 

1 King Street, 1795 

2 Guinea Street, 1779 

3 Portland Street, 1792 
Baptist Mills, [a] 1800 
Beazley, 1784 
Bath-Easton, 179I 
Cirencester, 1790 
Dursiey, 1799 
Glocester, 17S6 
Kingswood, 1746 
Liitieworth, 1790 
Okeridge, 1788 
Stroud, 1763 
Tewksbury, 1768 
Thornbury, 17 P9 
Winchcombe, 1789 
Wickwar, 1788 
Winterbourne, 1780 
Warmley, 1800 

* It was near this Chapel that 
cpen air. 

'ed Methodists. 327 

14 Hampshire. 

Baugliurst, 179,5 
Portsmouth, 1760 
Portsea, 1780 
Southhampton, 1798 
Timsbury, 1774 
Winchester, 178^5 
vVhite-churcb, 1759 

15 Hereford shire. 

Kington, 1802 
Weston, near Penyard, 


i'6 Hertfordskire, 

Barnett, 1774 
Brickhiil, 1780 
Baldock, 1792 
Hinksworth, 1784 
Stevenage, 1794 
Hertford, 1768 

17 Huntingdonshire, ' 

Huntingdon, 1777 
St. lyes, 1784 
St. Neot's, 1790 

18 Kent, 

Bromley, 179O 
Brumpton, 1788 
Canterbury, 1764 
Chatham, 1770 
Dover, 1776 
Deptford, 1802 
Dartford, 1790 
Greenwich, 1796 
Knock-holt, 1801 
Otford, 1800 

F f 2 
Mr, Wesley first preached in the 

328 j1 Chronolog 

Maidstone, 1788 
Margate, 1785 
St. Peter, 17S8 
Sittingbourne, 1790 
South-Borough, 1798 
Sandwich, 1794 
Seven Oaks, 1774 
Sheernefs, 1781 
l^inb ridge, 1780 
Woolwich, 1796 
Tlie Wild oF seven Oaks 
Tenterdenn, 1796 

19 Laricaskirc^ 

Bakup, 1760 
Bury, 1771. 
Bolton-la-moors, 1750 
BLirnley, 1787 
Blackburn, 1786 
Barton, 1796 
Bolton-Hall, 1794 
Clitthero, 1795 
Coin, 1776 
Chorley, 1792 
Davy-hulme, 1778 
Darwen, 1794 
Fails worth, 1789 
Haslengdon, 1798 
Lancaster, 1790 
Lan^erhead-green, 1790 
Leigh, 1790 
Leaven shul me, 1796 
Liverpool, 3 chapels 

1 Pitt Street, 1766 

2 Mount Pleasant, 


3 Leeds Street, 1800 

teal History 


1 Oldham Street, 1770 

2 Salford, 17S7 

3 Deans -gate, 1800 
Mill-end, 1761 
Middieton, '178^^ 
Oldham, 1775 
Preston, 1787 
Prescott, 1791 
Todmerden, 1784 
Rochdale, 1770 
Paddiham, 1778 
Warrington, 1778 
Wigan, 1775 

20 Leicestershire* - 

Ansty, 1795 
Barrow, 1791 
Barwell, 1796 

Castle. donnington, 177^ 
Diseworth, 1795 
Desborough, 1800 
Griffy^dam, 1776 
Hinckly, 1780 
Heather, 1792 
Hathorn, 1791 
Kegworth, 1794 
Leicester, 1775 
Loughborough, 1775 
Long-claxton, 1793 
Long-Whatton, 1797 
Medbourne, 1802 
Markfield, 1770 
Mount- sorrel, 1780 
Meecham, 1794 

Of the People called Methodists, 

22 Middle sex X 


MeUon-Mowbray 1796 
Sheepshcad, 1790 
Swanington, 1795 
Sileby, 1797 
Syston, 1796 
Wimeswould, 1798 
WoodhoLise, 1793 
Thurlston, 1794 
Sutton, 1796 

21 Lincolnshire, 

Bin brook, 1796 
Conningsby, 1779 
Crovvland, i8oi 
Kp worth, 1758 
Ferry, 1790 
Grimsby, 1768 
Gainsborough, 1785 
Gunnerby, 1790 
Grantham, 1791 
Barrow, 1780 
Boston, 1792 
Ilorncastle, 1769 
Lincoln, 1793 
Lowth, 1759 
Langham-row, 1780 
Mislerton, 1789 
Markett-rasin, 1800 
Middle-rasin, i8oo 
Newton, 1790 
Nainby, 1799 
Owston, 1790 
Kirktovvn, 1798 
Route, 1794 
Scotter, 17^/9 
17 3 1 

Spald .^ 



Bow, 1770 
Brentford, 1774 
Chelsea, 1800 
Kentish-Town, 1790 
London chapels, 9, viz. 

1 New Chapel, 1777 

2 Great Queen Street, 


3 Spitalfields, 1750 

4 Snowsfields, 1743 

5 Lambeth- Marsh, 


6 Wapping, 1764 

7 Chandler-Street, 


8 Saffron Hill, 1792 

9 Hoxton, 1794 
Poplar, 1792 
Tottenham, 1799 
Twickenham, 1800 

23 Monmouth, 

Chepstow, 1802 

24 Norfolk, 
Briston, 1790 
Diss, 1779 
Fakenham, 1781 
Heddenham, 1799 
Lynn, 1775 
Loddon, 1772 
Norwich, 1770 
North-Walsham, 1790 
Southrepps, 1798 
Thetiord, 1794 
Thurlton, 1799 
Walsingham, 1782 




Wells, X7S1 
Yarmouth, 1792 
Snetiisham, 1801 

25 Northamptonshire. 

Brackley, 1790 
Brainstone, 1786 
Desboroiigh, 178^ 
Daventiy. 1 801 
Higham Ferrars, 1783 
Irchester, 1792 
Kettering, 1798 
Northampton,' 1775 
Ranee, 1796 
Raunds, 1789 
"Whittlebury, 1 763 
WiUingborpugh, 1794 
Towce^ier, 1.776 

26 Northumherland. 

Alnwick, 1786 
Allendale, 1778 
Byker, 1790 ^ 
Hartley, 1779 
Hexham, 1790 
Kinley, 1752 
Newcastle upon Tyne, 
North Shields, 1759 
St. Anthon's, 1789 
Prudho, 1770 
Piacey, 1771 

27 Nottinghamshire. 

BluUvorth, 1789 
Bullwel!, 1788 
Bmgiiam, 1792 
Britlgtord, 1794 

A Chronological History 

Carlton, 1787 
Calverton, 1790 
Crop well, 1789 
East-Leake, 1794 
Epperton, 179^ 
Farnsfield, 1796 
Goatham, 1790 
Great-Leek, 1789 
Ilkinson, 1794 
Kirby, 1790 
Long Eaton, 1796 
Lenton, 1798 
Mansfield, 1790 
Nottingham, 1798 
Masterton, ly^y 
Mattersey, 1798 
Newark, 1780 
Normanton, 1782 
Oxton, 1790 
Plungor, 1798 
Ruddington, 1798 
Radchff, J796 
Retford, 1799 
Stableford, 1798 
Sutton Ashfield, 1796 
Sutton Bunnington, 

Topping, 1796 
Walkeringharn, 1799 
Wheatley, 1794 

28 Oxfordshire, 

Banbury, J 784 
Chipping-Norton, 1797 
Deddington, 1790 
Islip, 1788 
Maison, 1789 
Northleigh, 1792 
O.xtord, 1770 

Of the People called Methodists, 

Watlington, 1790 
Witney, 1770 

29 Rutlandshire. 

30 Shropshire. 

Broseley, 1795 
Coalbrook-Dale, 1792 
Coa]pit-Bank, 179,5 


Cleobry, 1790 
Cllee-hill, 1794 
Forest» 1795 
Ludlow, 1798 
Madeiey, 1780 
MadeJey-wood, 1779 
Mitcham, 1792 
Shrewsbury, 1779 
Wellington, 1794 
Vv^hite Church, 1793 

31 Somersetshire. 

Axbridge, 1784 
Buckland, 1776 
Bath, 1777 
Banwell, 1793 
Glutton, 1782 
Coleiord, 1790 
Corsley, 1786 
Castle-Cary, 1790 
Cheddar, 1800 
Ditcheat, 1790 
Frome, 1779 
Presht'ord, 1782 
Glastonberry, 1797 
Keynsham, 1775 
Kilmersdon, 1786 
Lympshim, 1780 
Midsummer Norton, 

Nailsea, 1793 
Henton, 1790 
Oak-hill, 1786 
Pensford, 1765 
Paulton, 1765 
Radstoek, 1790 


Nunney, 1786 


Shepton Mallet, 
Sutton, 1782 
Taunton, 1776 
Pilton, 1794 
Mark, 1796 
Sanford, 1794 
Wrington, 1782 
Wrixham, 1790 
West-Pannard, 1789 
Wellington, 1785 
Wedmore, 1800 
Wells, 1792 

32 Staffordshire. 

A Ire was, 1802 
Burslem, 1768 
Burton -upon Trent 1766 
Bloxwich, 1780 
Bilstone, J784 
Biddle-moor, 1786 
Chesterton, 1790 
Darlaston, 1790 
Flash, 1788 
Hanley-green, 1783 
Hollinsclough, 1799 
Lane-end, 1781 
Leek, 1785 
Longnor, 1780 

Oldbury, 1800 



Stoke, 1790 
Rolleston, 1802 
Stafford, 178^ 
Paper-mill, 1798 
Tipton-green, 1750 
Tunstead, 1788 
Tarn worth, 1794 
Wolverhampton, 1766 
Wednesbury, 1760 
Walsal, 1801 
West-Biomwich, 1794 

33 Sujfolk. 

Bury St. Edmonds, 1766 
Bungay, 1802 
Lowestoft, 1767 
North Cove, 1786 
Southwold, 1798 
Lakenheath, ij^y 

Dorking, 1772 
Godalmin, 1790 
Mitcham, 1789 
PeclLham, 1785 
Rotherh.the, 177 1 
Wandsworth, 1792 

35 Sussex, 

Rye, 1770 
Peas. marsh, r 
Winchelsea, 1789 

36 Warwickshire. 

Birmingham 3 chapels, 


1 Cherry Street, 1764 

% Coleshill Street 1792 

3 Derete.nd Street 1796 

ji Chronological History 

Coventry, 1790 
Harbury, 1790 
Tysoe, 1796 

Q7 Westmorelatid, 

Appleby, ^772 
Kendall, 1784 
Kirkbythuer, 1790 

38 Wiltshire, 

Anborn, 1785 
Bedwin, 1787 
Bradford, 1767 
Broomham, 1790 
Melksbam, 1784 
Salisbtu-y, 17^9 
SheJborne, 179Q 
Sccnd, 1791 
Tmhcad, 1792 
Trowbridge, 1786 
Road, 1788 
Wilton, 1780 

39 Worcestershire^ 

Bewdley, 1785 
Benworth, 1794 
Dudley, 1764 
Kidderminster, 1791 
Sto'-irport, 1787 
Worcester, 1772 

40 Yorkshire^ 

Acomb, 1790 
Armley, 1770 
Appleton Roe Buck, 


Askhain Bryan, 1802 

Of the People called Methodists, 333 

Ac k worth, 1787 
Acklem, 1780 
Birstall, 1747 
Bramley, 1785 
Bramley, 1802 
Barnsley, 1780 
Beverley, 1781 
Bradford, 1756 
Bradford West, 1794 
Bridlington Quay, 1795 
Bridlington, 1770 
Bradshaw, 1774 
Bingley, 1770 
Bell-busk, 1790 
Bub-bith, 1794 
Brumpton, 1794 
Arkingath-dale, 1790 
Addington, 1791 
Chapel Town, 1791 
Cudworth, 1798 
Copmanthorpe, 1796 
Clifford, 1796 
Cawood, 1790 
Cockpit houses, 1802 
Crake, 1787 
Dronfield, 1790 
Dewsbury, I789 
Delph, 1780 
Driffield, 1787 
Doncaster, 1770 
Denholme, 1798 
Denbeigh-dyke side 

Eccleshall, 1770 
Easingwood, 1785 
Esgarth, 1779 
Farnley, 1798 
Flamborough, I796 
Ferrybridge, 1800 
Frodingham, 1794 

Great-land, 1779 
Grcat-Horton, 1791 
Hunslct, 1779 
Holbeck, 1785 
Horbury, 1766 
Horseforth, 1798 
Halifax, 1754 
Hull, 1764 
Hutton-Rudby, 1759 
Hovvden, 1780 
Hallem, 1790 
Huddersfield, 1 798 
Heptonstall, J766 
Harrowgate, 1798 
Haworth, 1770 
Haxby, 1782 
Holme, 1794 
Haram, 1795 

Hemswoith, 1794 
Hornsey, 1792 
Hornby, 1791 
Keswick, 1796 
Kippax, 1791^ 
Keighley, 1766 
Kirkby-raoorside, 1794 
Killinghall, 1794 
Knaton, 1790 
Kilham, 179^ 

In Leeds 2 chapels 

1 St. Peters Street, 

2 Albion Street, 1802 
Long-Preston, 1784 
Loft -house, 1790 
Long-Scales, 1796 
Maiton, 1774 
Middlehaai, ly'&x 
Mirfield, 1779 




A Chronological History 

Market Wiaghton, 1785 
Morley, 1769 
i^ialham, 1790 
Knottingley, 1797 
Nafferton, 1794 
North-Allerton, 1789 
Otley, 1770 
Ossect, 1778 
Osmotherly, 1760 
Pontefract, 1787 
Pudsey, 1774 
Pickering, 1784 
Patelcy-Bridge, 1787 
Pockiington, 1771 
Rothweil, 1766 
Rotlierham, 1761 
Robinhood's-bay, 1779 
Rippon, 1774 
Pannell, 3778 
Seacroft, 1750 
Skipton-in-Craven, 1791 
Sherriff-Hutton, 1794 
Scarborough, 1766 
Settle, 1794 
Snaith, 1772 
Sourby, 1786 
Stainland, 1758 
Staincrofs, 1799 
Selby, 178^ 
Stokesley, 1766 
Shipley, 1799 
Swainton, 1802 
In Swaledaie 3 chapels 
■ 1 Gunnerside, 1780 

2 Lowravv, 1781 

3 Reeth, 1782 

In Sheffield 2 chapels. 

1 Norfolk Sireet 1745 

2 Garden Street, 1786 
Thorner, I766 

Tingley, 1780 
Thirsk, 1^66 
Tadcaster, 1774 
I'ockwith, 1790 
Toullerton, 1795 
Tanfield, 1799 
Thuristoil, 1798 
Thorne, 1772 
Ulleskell, 1780 
Knaseborough^ ^79^ 
Wistowe, 1790 
West-gate-hill, 1791 
White! ey -wood, 1788 
Woodhouse, 1787 
Wortley, 1798 
Weeton, 1795 
Wakefield, 1774 
Whitby, 1764 
Wetherby, 1709 
Witchfieid, 1794 
Yeadon, 1770 
Yarm, 1768 
York, 1757 

140 in Yorkshire. 


I Angle sea, 

2 Brecknockshire, 

Hay, 1790 
Brecon, 1771 

3 Ca r 771 ar then shire* 

Carmarthen, 1776 
Thornilly, 1796 

4 Carnarvonshire^ 
5 Cardiganshire. 

VJ the PeopU called Methodius. 


6 Denbighshire, 

Denbeigh, 1801 
Ruthin, i8o2 
Wrexham, 1795 

7 Flintshire. 

Fiint, 1802 
Northorp, 1802 
Hoiking, 1802 

8 Glamorganshire, 

Bridgend, 1780 
Cardiff, 1743 
Cowbridge, 17 80 
Merthyr-Tydville, 1790 
Llanathy, 1790 
Neath, 1787 
Swansea, 1771 

9 Montgomeryshire. 
Berview, 17^4 
Llaneodloes, 1802 
Llanver, 1802 
Welch-poo), 1788 

10 Merionethshire. 

11 Pembrokeshire. 

Haverfordwest, 1770 
Marless, 1790 
Spittle, 1797 
Pembroke, 1770 
Roche, 1784 

12 Radnorshire, 

Berzuick-upon-Tzveed . 
Berwick, 1774 


1 Aberdeenshire, 
Aberdeen, 1764 

Inverriry, 1787 
Old Meldrnm, 179O 

2 Angusshire, 
Montrose 1790 

3 Ayrshire, 
Ayr, 1792 

4 Banffshire, 

Banff, 1792 
Keith, 1796 

5 Dumjrieshire, 

Dumfries, 1778 

6 Edinburghshire, 

Dalkeith, 1784 
Edinburgh, 1763 
Leith, 1772 

7 Elginshire. 

Elgin, 1786 

8 Forfarshire, 

Arbroath, 1770 
Brechin, ij'6:^ 
Dundee, 1769 

9 Haddingtonshire, 
Dunbar, 1788 

10 Invernes shire, 
Inverness, 1770 

11 Lanarkshire, 
Glasgow, 1770 

12 Roxburghshire, 
Melrose, 1790 
Kelso, 1769 

/// th: Isle of Man. 
Balla-ba.iu, 1/76 
Balla-i^asoii, i777 


A Chronological History 

Balla-Kaneen, 1778 
Balla-Moor, 1790 
Ballaugh, 1779 
Bear-Garrow, 1780 
Castle-Town, ijj'/ 
Douglas, 1782 
Daw by, 1783 
Greeby, 1784 
Howe, 1785 
Jurby, 1786 
Kirk-Lonnan, 1788 
Kirk-Concan, 1789 
Kirk-Braddin, 1789 
Xiik-Miclia!, 1790 
Peeltown, 1784 
Ramsey, 1779 
Salby, 1785 

In the Norman Isles. 

In Jersey i 

Su Hilier's, 1788 

In Guernsey, 

St. Peter's port, 1789 

In Alderney, 
Aldeiney, 1789 

In the Isle of Wight, 
Godshill, 1790 
Newport, 1780 
Vv^ootenbridge, 1791 

In the Isles of Scilly, 
St. Mary's, 1794 


1 Antriin County, 

Belfast, 1787 
Ballymena, 1781 
Ballycastle, 1790 

Biackwatertown, 1792 
Keady. 1796 
Lisburne, 1774 
Portaferry, 17^0 
Portaclown, 1794 

2 Armagh County, 
Armagh, 1790 
Bluestone, 1792 
Charleraount, 1772 
Clanmaine, 1790 
Derryanville, 1784 
Lujgan, 1779 
Mullyhead, 1792 
Scotch Street, 1794 
Tanderagee, 1774 

3 Cavan County, 
Ballyhays, 1780 
Bally-Connell, 1783 
Belturbett, J782 
Cavan, J 790 
Coothill, 1788 

4 Clare Coutity, 
KiUaloe, 1790 

5 Cork County, 
Bandon, 1758 

In Cork city, 3 chapels 

1 Hammonds Marsh, 


2 Black-Pool, 1790 

3 FrenchChnrch, 1794 
Dunmanaway, 1790 
Innishannon, 1792 
Kinsale. 1789 
Mallow, 1789 
Newmill, 1791 
Tallow, 1790 
YoLighall, 1794 

OJ the People ca 

6 Carlow County. 
Carlovv, 1780 
Hacketstown, 1802 
Colliery, 1791 

7 Donegal County. 

Bally-Shannon, 1787 
Rath-Melton, 1798 
Ballintra, 1790 

8 Down County. 
Down Patrick. 1778 
Newry, 1785 
Warrens-point, 1780 

9 Dublin County. 

Dublin City 5 chapels. 

1 White- Friar Street, 

2 Gravel-Walk, 1770 

3 Mountjoy-Square, 


4 German Church, 

5 Ranelagh, iBoi 
10 Fermanagh County, 

Brookborough, 1786 
Ballinamalard, 1787 
Ennifkillen, 1780 
Liibeliaw, 1781 
Newton Butler, I790 
Pettigo, 1795 
Violet-hill, 1796 

11 Galzuay County. 
Aughrim, 17S0 
Ballinafloe, 1790 
Tuam, 1794 

12 Kerry County, 
Miltown, 1702 

Ikd Metkodisis. 337 

13 Kildare County. 
Monaflerevan, 1797 

14 Kilkenny County, 
Calile-comer, 1790 
Durrow, 1791 
Kilkenny, 1772 
PiiUtown, 1788 

15 King's County\ 
Birr, 1768 
Edenderry, 17^1 
Phillip's Town, 1781 
Shinrone, I790 
Tullamore, 1760 

16 Letri?n County. 
Manor-Hamilton, 1776 

17 Limerick County* 
Adare, 1 801 
Ballygarane, 1797 
Court- Matrifc, 1758 
Killyheen, 1798 
Limerick, 1763 
Pallas, 1760 

18 Londonderry County, 
Ballinderry, 1781 
Colerain, 1780 
Londonderry, 1768 
Newton-Lemivady, 1773 

19 Longford County. 
Kenagh, 1779 
KilleOice, 1788 
Granard, 1790 
Longford, 1774 
Newton Forb"s, 179^ 

20 Louth County* 
Drogheda, 1780 
Dundalk, I790 
Rochdale, 1798 

g^S A Chronolog 

21 Mayo County, 

Caftlebar, 1760 
Weft-port, 1791 

22 Meath County. 
23 Motiaghan County, 

Clones, 1775 
Drumbulton, 17 80 
Mona/;han, 1777 
]New Bllfs, 1790 
Rock curry, 1794 
24 Q^ueens County. 

Abbeyleix 1790 
Ballyappahan, 1790 
Colebully, 1793 
Mountmellick, 1764 
Mountrath, 1768 
Maryborough, 1798 
PorLarlington, 1760 

2 5 Rofcom m n Co u n ty , 

Boyle, 1790 
Strokes Town, 1794 

26 Sligo County. 

Sligo, 1796 
Riverstown, 1790 

tj Tipperary County, 
Carrick-on-sure, 1780 
Bavvnlea, 1790 

ical History 

Clonmell, 1788 
Cashcll, 1790 
Roscrea, 1794 
Tipperary, 1784 

28 Tyrone County, 

Calidon, 1782 
Cole Ifland, 1792 
Dungannon, 1786 
Moy, 1786 

Newtown Stewart, 1788 
Strabane, 1789 

29 Water ford County, 
Tallow, 1791 
Water lord, 1758 

30 JVest??icatk County, 
Athlone, 1762 
Kill-beggin, 1790 
Mulliiigar, 1792 
Moat, 1787 
Terry] \s Pass, 1762 

3 1 V/exfo rd Co u n ty, 

Enniscorthy, 1763 
New Ross, 17^^ 
W ex lord, 1788 

32 Wicklow County. 

Carnew, 1794 
Wicklow, 1800 


In Ireland - - 130 
In Scotland - 2.0 

In the Norman Isles 3 

In England - - 73^ 

In Wales - - 26 

In the Isle of Man 19 ^ 

In the Isle of Wight 3 I In the Isles oi Seilly 1 

In Berwick upon Tweed i I 

Total ill the United Kingdom - - - - 940 

Of the People calUd Methodists. 359 

The Methodists have no one general rule lor 
building their Chapels. The following are ii:e 
tlirectiuns which Mr. Wesley gave on tins head. — 
1. Build all Preaching-houses, where the ground 
wrll permit, in the octagon lorm. It is best for the 
voice, and on many accoup.ts more commodious 
than any other. 2. Let every octagon house be 
built after the model ot Yar?u ; every square 
house after the model of Bath or Scarborough, 
3. Let the roof rise only one third of its breadth : 
this is the true proportion. 4. Have doors and 
windows enough: and let all the windows be 
sashes opening downward. 5. Let there be no 
Chinese paling, and no tub-pulpit, but a square 
projection with a long seat behind. 6. Let there be 
no pews and no backs to the seats, which should 
have aisles on each side, and be parted in tlie mid- 
dle by a rail running all along to divide the men 
from the women, just as at Baih. 7. Let all 
Preaching-houses be built plain and decent ; but 
not more expensive than is absolutely necessary. 8. 
Wherever a Preaching house is built, see that 
lodgings for the preachers be built also. 

Since Mr. Wesley's death the form oi building 
the chapels is generally as follovx-s. The proportion 
of the !ei)g:h 10 the breadth is as 21 to 18. The 
pulpit faces the front, with the communion table 
just belore it, or else belund it. They are galle- 
ryed all round except on the side v/here the pulpit 
stands, a:.d the galleries are constructed in an oval 
torm. They are pewed and let to families ; the 
places in each chapel which are free, are divided, 
one part lor the men and another pr'.rt for the wo- 
men, who always sit separate m those places. 




At the Conference in 1786, it was asked, g. Is 
there any further direction to be given to secuje the 
G g 2 

3p A Chronological History 

proper settlemem of our Preaching-houses ? A. Let 
no assistant make, or suffer to be made, in his res- 
pective Circuit, a collection for any Preaching- 
bouse, till every step be previously taken to secure 
it on. the Conference-plan, by a trust-deed, a bond, 
or sufficient articles of agreement. 

And, in 1788, it was added, Let no house be 
built on any consideration, till the ground be first 
settled on the Conterence-plan. 

In the large Minutes published in the year 1789. 
(g. 70. May any new Preaching-houses be built ? 
A' Not unless 1. They are proposed at the Confe- 
rence: No nor, 2. Unless two thirds of the ex- 
pence be subscribed. And if any collection be made 
for them, it must be made between the Conference 
and the beginning of February. 

At the Conference in r792, it was asked, " What 
directions are to be given concerning the raising of 
money in the Circuits for erecting and paying the 
debts of houses? A. 1. No collection shall be 
made in any Circuit for the above-mentioned pur- 
pose, without the consent of the Conference. 2. 
No collection shall be made by any other person 
than a travelling Preacher, 

And in 1795, it was added, No steps shall be 
taken towards the building of Preaching-houses 
without the consent of the Conference first obtain- 


The Conclusion. 

J. HE following is a Statement of the comparative 
increase of the Members of the Societies, and of the 
Itinerant Preachers and their families in Great Bri- 
tain and Ireland, from the year 1770 to the year 1800. 

Of the People called Methodists, 34 1 

Years. Members. Preachers. Families. 

















In the year 1770, a Preacher was supported by 
two hundred and torty-five Members, and a family 
by six hundred and eighty-three. One-third oi the 
Preachers were married. 

In the year 1780, a Preacher was supported by 
two hundred and tortysix members, and a family 
by eight hundred i!nd forty-three, nearly OHe-third 
of the Preachers were married. 

In the year 1790, a Preacher was supported by 
two hundred and forty-five members, and a family 
by seven hundred and thirty. One third of the 
Preachers were married. 

In the year i8co, a Preacher was supported by 
two hundred and sixty-three members, and a fami- 
ly by live hundred and nine. Above one half of 
the Preachers were married. 

From this statement it appears, that the Preachers 
have not increased in a greater proportion than the 
people, as some who departed from the work have 
invidiously asserted. But the families certainly 
h;ive increased since the year 1790 in a greater 
proportion than formerly ; nor is it possible to pre- 
vent this without making unscriptural rules, ^j'he 
families are certainly at j)re.sent a great burden, and 
the people do not feel it as they oiighi to (^.o» 
Being zealous tor their several societies, and tor 
the conversion of their ungodly neighbours, they 
build Chapels, and solicit the Conference to grant 
them additional Preachers, without making provi- 
sion for the support of their families, which are 
thus thrown upon the Conference. If this be con- 
tinued it will be impossible to bear tfic expcnce. 
But we may hope it will not. Some Circuiis have 
made considerable exertions to bear their own bur- 

312 ^ Chronological History 

den, and more will follow that good example, so 
that the fund, viz. The yearly subscnption, and 
the profits of the books, may be used according to 
their original design, to supply the wants of the 
poor Circuits, and the contingencies of the body at 

In this great work, which I have now traced irom 
its rise to the present time, the blessing and protec- 
tion of the Lord has been abundantly manifested. 
At the beginning the Preachers were often treated 
in the most brutal manner by lawless mobs; but a 
tolerant and upright government have always af- 
forded relief in these persecutions. Two instan- 
ces, (and two only) of legal persecution, one in 
the Island of St. Vincents in the West Indies, 
in the year 1793, the other in the island of Jer- 
sey in the year 1798, were soon suppressed. The 
Xing refused his assent to laws purposely made to 
deprive the societies of the blessing of religious li- 
berty. The throne of our King is thus establisned 
in righteousness, and it is more than ever the duty 
of the Methodists to pray, that no weapon formed 
against him may prosper. 

In the year i8ci, the Missionaries in the islands 
of Saint Christopher and Nevis, presented an ad- 
dress to Lord Lavington, on his re-appointment to 
the office of Captain General and Governor in 
chief in and over the Leeward Charibbee Islands, 
expressive of their satisfaction ai his appointment, 
and esteem for his person, together v/ith protes- 
sions of tlieir loyalty and' attachment to the King 
and Constituiion. 

Part of his Excellency's answer was as follows. 
•* 1 have it iu command from his Majesty, to allow 
throughout my government full liberty of con- 
science, and the free exercise of all such modes 
of religious worship as are not prohibited by law. 
My own private disposition is in perfect unison 
with the royal pleasure upon this subject ; and 1 am 
persuaded, that your quiet and peaceable enjoy- 
ment of this toleratiwi, and your prudent care that 

Of the People called Methodists, 343 

government have, at no time, cause to take offence 
at your indiscreet exercise of it, will prove you 
dsserving of the protection which you solicit, and 
which is extended to you." 

At the beginning of this great work, the Preach- 
ers and people had but few rules to walk by, but they 
were powerfully influenced by a spirit of holiness^ 
and an earnest desire to promote it in all people. 
It is now our duty to pray, that our many excel- 
lent rules may increase, and not lessen this great 
vital principle. 

Itixerancy, or the Preachers changing their 
Circuits^ has been a chiet cause ot the increase and 
prosperity of the Societies. Its advantages were sa 
many, that perhaps too much was ascribed to it. 
But like all other things under the sun, it has its 
defects ; and these are clearly seen wherever there 
is a want of the real life of God. In that case it 
is thought not to promote an increase of useful and 
edifying knowledge in the Preachers ; a small stock, 
it is thought, will do for a Preacher, who has but a 
year or two to stay upon a Circuit, and perhaps 
may never be stationed there again. It is to be 
feared also, that it does not tend to promote that 
cordial love which ought to subsist between 
Pjeachers and People. As they expect to part in 
so short a time, they are too often comparatively 
easy about each other : and if they differ, as is 
sometimes the case, they comfort themselves with 
the thought that " The Conference will come," 
instead of endeavouring to heal the breach. The 
removals also are attended with a considerable ex- 
pence. It would betray a want of faiih and humi- 
lity to say, God could not carry on his work 
without Itinerancy. Yet he has so greatly blessed 
it, and it is so agreeable to holy scripture, and the 
practice of the first preachers of the gospel, that it 
certainly is the bounden duty of both preachers and 
people to maintain it. The Lord who givelh the 
increase^ can remove these apparent hindrances : 

344 j^ Chronological History 

and certainly he will remove them in behalf of all 
those who walk humbly and closely with him. 

The ibllowing particular I would recommend to 
the consideration of the Conference, i. To direct 
the Superintendants to get an exact account of all 
the debts due upon each Chapel in the connection, 
and bring it to the Conference ; not merely for the 
sake of gratifying an innocent curiosity, but to 
shew the people at large the necessity of acting in 
a rational way respecting building Chapels in fu- 
ture : as it is, the Connection must support and pay 
the expence of all such buildings ; as also, to di- 
rect the Conlerence, in stationing wives and chil- 
dren upon the districts. For the want of knowing 
the real state of each district, some have more fa- 
milies to provide for than they can support, while 
others perliaps have not enough. 

It appears from the foregoing history that several 
of those who were closely united to the Methodists, 
some as Preachers, others as Teachers at Kings- 
wood school, have left them, and some have be- 
come honourable in this world. They have not 
only no communion with their old friends, but 
have even endeavoured to conceal the fact of 
their former union with them. Nay, they have 
done v/orse, they have shewed themselves quite 
averse to the Methodists. Now, such should know,, 
that the Methodists know their origin very well, and 
that they, under God, are indebted to these very peo- 
ple for all their greatness and emoluments. Besides 
it is no proof of the honour, gratitude or piety of 
those persons, but the reverse. This remark does 
not apply to all. There are those who have ceased 
to act in a public capacity among the Methodists, 
who retain all their love for their old friends, and 
constantly wish them good luck in the name of 
the Lord. 

As the connection is at present free from debt. (I 
do not mean the chapels, but the Conference,) while 
they act agreeably to their own rules they will keep 
so. The Treasurer of the mission fund keeps his 

OJ the People called Methodiits» 345 

collection wholly for the support of the missions. 
This year the Treasurer of Kingswood school has 
done the same, so has the Treasurer of the fund for 
the superannuated preachera and widows. All the 
Conference has now to support the work in the 
poor Circuits in Great Britain is, the yearly sub- 
scription, and the profits of the books : while they 
multiply preachers only as these funds increase, 
they will always keep clear of debt. But if they 
should be under the necessity of enlarging the 
work in places where God may pour out his Spirit, 
1 have no doubt but from the piety of the people 
and their love to the cause^ they would admit of 
another extraordinary collection ; but any one ac- 
quainted with human nature, know they should not 
be too frequent. 

It is impossible at present to form an ac- 
curate statement of the debts on the chapels. 
There are near a thousand in the united king- 
dom of Great Britain and Ireland. If upon an ave- 
rage we suppose each chapel to be in debt lool. 
the debts on the chapels must be one hundred 
thousand pounds ; but perhaps it is nearer the 
truth to suppose each chapel to be fifty pounds in 
debt, then the whole amoimt will be hfty thou- 
sand pounds. The reason for this statement is, 
there are many chapels quite free from debt, and 
it is a truth there are some chapels much more 
tlian one hundred pounds in debt. The interest 
of this money is generally paid by what arises 
from letting the seats. And it is very seldom the 
Methodists have been under the necessity of sel- 
ling a chapel for the want of a congregation to 
take the seats sufficient to pay the interest due on 
the chapel. 

There are one hundred and seventy-one Circuits 
in the United Kingdom ; one with another I sup- 
pose there are five local preachers on each Cir- 
cuit, who are generally 'employed every Sabbath 
in preaching the Gospel. The whole Humber of 
local preachers employed among the Methodists, 
according to this statement, must be eight hundred 

34^ A Chronological History , 

and fifty-five ; but from my knowledge of tlie 
connection, I rather think theie are two thousand 
local preachers who labour in our Lord's vine- 
yard without fee or reward. So greatly lias the 
Lord poured out among the Methodists the spirit oF 

Some of the clergy are jealous of the Metho- 
dists, and think if they are not checked by 
coersive methods, they will undermine the 
Church Establishment. But this appears to me a 
groundless jealousy for the following reasons, i. 
I have a tolerable acquaintance with the preachers 
and people, and I am sure their piety would pre* 
vent them from having any hand either directly or 
indirectly in any thing that would have the least 
tendency to disturb the quiet of the nation : Sa 
tar are they from any thmg of the kind, that their 
prayers are daily offered up for the happiness of 
King George, and the prosperity of his dominionsv 
2. The destruction of the Established Church 
would be no advantage whatever to the preachers. 
It would not increase their influence among the 
people, nor their emoluments, nor their honour. 
They have had proof for the first five years after 
Mr. Wesley's death, what they were to expect from 
their people. The opposition which some made to 
the preachers administering the Lord's supper arose 
partly from their apprehensions that the preachers 
wanted by this means to lord it over them, and 
they were determined they should not. For as 
soon as their fears were removed, they came into 
the measure, and the practice is almost general in 
Great Britain. 

The Methodists esteem their preachers on ac- 
count of their piety, zeal and usefulness, and they 
have as good an opportunity of displaying these 
now, if not a great deal better, than if there was 
no Church Establishment. 

If ever the Church is overthrown in this king- 
dom, (which I sincerely trust will never be the 
case,) it will not be owmg to the increase of Me- 

Oj the People called Methodists. 347 

ihodism, but to the increase of infidelity, and 
wickedness among the people ; and the serious 
and scnbible part oF the clergy should be so far 
from endeavouring to prejudice the people at 
large against the iMethodists, that they sliould 
rather encourage them, and consider them as 
their auxilaries, as it is evident their doctrine 
tends to lead the people, *' to honour all men, to 
icu'e the brotherhood, to fear God, and honour the 

Besides, all this is corroborated by matter of 
fact. What was it that destroyed the Established 
Churches in France, Holland and Geneva ? — 
It was not piety, but the want of it ; it was 
wickedness and infidelity. And as the same cause 
will again produce the same effect, my prayer is 
that God may preserve us from these evils, and 
give his blessing to every means calculated to pro- 
duce faith and love. 

I shall close this history with a short view of the 
Doctrines which the Methodists believe and teach. 

1. They set out with professing to be Bible Chris- 
tians. They receive the Holy Scriptures of the Old 
and New Testament as the rule of their faith and 

2. They believe and teach the Doctrine of the 
Trinity in Unity, declaring that the Father is God, 
the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God; and 
yet there are not three Gods, but one God. 

3. They believe and teach, that all men aje by 
nature, sinful, guilty and helpless, and without the 
grace of Christ can dp nothing that is good. And 
they labour in all their discourses to make men sen^ 
sible o[ their fallen and lost estate. 

4. They believe and teach, that the Son of God 
became a son of man, and died as an atonement for 
the sins of all mankind. The divinity of Christ, 
cind his atonement, they consider as essential truths 
of the gospel. 

5. That Christ by the grace of God tasted death 
for every man, and that he is abk to save from all 

348 A Chronological History 

sin in this life, those that come unto God througk 

6. That we must be inspired by the Spirit of 
God, in order that we may be enhgbtened, quick- 
ened, coratorted, purified, and made meet for 

7. Tliat it is through the exercise of repen- 
tance and faith a sinner comes to a saving experi- 
mental knowledge of God, and that Christ is 
exalted at the Father's right hand to give repen- 
tance and remission of sins^to att that call upon 

8. That a believer should grow in grace, glori- 
fying God in that station in life in which the 
providence of God has placed him, and looking to be 
filled with all the fullness of God. 

9. That a believer need never fall from grace, 
but that he assuredly will if he neglects to watch 
and pray. He will fall into sin, and thereby 
lose the favour and image of God. 

10. That a believer should constantly live in 
the exercise of faith and prayer, and that all the 
means of grace are intended to feed these heaven- 
ly graces in their hearts, as well as to be instru- 
mental in turning sinners from the error of their 

11. That the souls of the faithful are present 
with the Lord after they are delivered from the 
burden of the il«sh ; and that Christ will come 
to judge the world in righteousness; that there will 
be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and 

12. That the righteous shall inherit eternal life ; 
and the wicked be doomed to eternal misery, 

( 349) 




BSTRACTS of Acts of Parliament 175 

Admission, rules concerning ....:. 18,87 

Address to the King « . » • 264 

Advice respecting health . , , . 137 

— — to the Assistants . . , . 143 

— — for the Conference . . , 235 

• to the Preachers .... 289 

A present from Mr. Wilberforcxi . . . 206 

Annuity, society ..... 253 

Autliority, Mr. Wesley's . . . . 10 1 
America, rise of Methodism in . 120,122,161,170 

— late view of . . . 251,282 

-' close union with . . . , 220 

Arminian Magazine, first published . . 134 

Antinomianism, definition of ... 27 

remarks upon . . . . 38 

■ ' — propositions against . 127,291 

Appointment of Preachers, in whom vested 182 

Asbury, Francis, an account of . . . 125 

Assistants (Superintendants) their office . 78 


Bands, rules of ■ . , . , a 

— directions for. Select Band . . 32 

remarks concerning speaking in . , 92 

Barbers, rules concerning . . . 142 
Bankrupts, rules concerning . , . 126,139 

Bonnet, John, division made by . . , 67 

Books, first managed by tlie Preachers . . 89 

- rules for selling .... 8q 

- remarks concerning . . . . 24^ 
Boardman Richard, sent to America . . .120 
Bribery at Elections, rule concerning . . 1 1 r 
Building, directions for . . . , 5-q 


350 INJ^EX. 

Calvinism, remarks upon . . . , 38 

controversj respecting . . 128,129 

Ciiapel, the first built 11 

— the first opened .... 12 

■ — rules for building . . . 157,339 
— — new (in London) the first stone laid 133 

— contribution for . . . . 135 

law suit concerning, advantage of 135 

'— Birstal), dispute concerning . . 14,1 

Dewsberry, the same . . . 181 

■ — rules for collecting for . . . 340 
Circuits account of . . . 90,114,188,284 

— division of, rule concerning . . 242 

Classes, institution of .... . 16 

" visitation of . ... . 17 

• number to meet in them . . . 132 

Collection, yearly institution, of . . 90,284 

■ — regulation concerning . • 138,234 
Clergy, Mr. Wesley's circular letter to . . 93 

. proposals from them to Mr, Wesley . 94 

Conference, the first held . , . . 22 

' — the design of .... 22 

-' ■ ■ ' time and method observed . 185 

— ' ■' President of, rule concerning 216 

■' held in Ireland . . . 185,285 

. — held in America . . 122,283 

Conversation, advice concerning . . 86,97 

Coates, Alexander, a short account of . . 99 

Coke, Doctor, joins iVIr. Wesley . . .133 

Covenant of grace and works ... 43 

Covenant, entering into, first instituted . . 69 

Covvnley, Joseph, short account of . , 223 


Dancing, rule concerning . . . 169,205 

Darkness, must a believer fall into ... 26 

Death of the Preachers first published . • I34 

Delegates, question concerning . . . 245 

Defence of Lay Preachers . . . • 5^ 




Deed of Declciration . . . . . 145 

— lor settling Preaching-houses . . .15^ 

testamentary, of" Mr. Wesley . , 203 

Dickens, John, a short account ot . . .251 

Directions respecting singmg . , . 289 

Districts, formation of, rules for . . . 207 

Downs, John, a short account of . . « 131 

Drams, rule concerning .... ^8 

Dress, observations on . .... 92. 

Dyiiig persons, advice concerning . . 13^ 

tast'Indies, mission to proposed, solicited 144,2^1 

Established Lhurch, de^nition of - - - 2,9 

— union of the Methodists with . . 31 

the same subject « . 66,70,100,136 

■ — the same subject , 171,177,179,201 
Erasmus, A Greek Bishop . , . , 75 
Executors of Mr. Wesley, transactions with 19S 
Expulsion of members, rule <:oncerning . . 85 

■ of Preachers , . , . 430 
' of six Students from Oxford . . 116 

Faith, the doctrine of . . . 2^,35,41,44 

■ the assurance of . . . . 35)47 

justifying, the nature o{ - . . 54 

Families of the Preachers, support of . 71,125,242 
Fasts, rules concerning . . . . . 115 

, advantages of ..... 75 

Field-preaching, observations on ... 83 

Fletcher, Rev. John, a short account of . I2g 

■ — his assisting Mr. Wesley . . 70 
France, mission to .... . 206 
Frier.dly Union Society .... 267 
Funeral sermons, rule concerning . . .172 
^und, the Preaci.ers, instituted . . 91,140,218 


353 INDEX. 


Galations, epistle to, design of . . . 27 

Gibraltar, Methodism in . . . . 231 

Government, respect to, a sacred duty . 138,216,225 
Grimshaw, Rev. William, a short account ol' 34 

Guilford, Joseph, a short account of . . 133 


Hampson, John, Senior, short account of . 158 

■ , Junior ... . 195 

Hervey, Rev. James, his eleven letters . . 93 

1 fendcrson, }ohn, a short account of . . 295 

Hopper, Ciiristopher, a short account of , . 62 

Horses, rule concerning . . . . 236 

Hymn Book, first published . . . . 13 

■■■-- — General . . . . .13 

. ij 

Jane, John, a short account of ... 64 

imputation of Adam's sin, and Christ's righteousness 

Increase, comparative, of Preachers and members 341 
Ireland first visited ..... 56 

Justification, doctrine of ... 24,34,38 

Isle of Man, account of Methodism in . 132 

Isles of Jersey and Guernsey, tlie same . . 1 59 

Itinerant Preachers^ the first . . . 15 

Itinerancy, remarks upon .... 343 

Information from the people desired . . 236 


Kllham, Alexander, a short account of . 234,237 

'Schism made by . . • 240,241 

King George the Second, a saying of his . 16 

Kingswood School, first erected . . . 12- 

— solemnly opened . . .61 

rules of ' . . . • 31* 

■ — address concerning • • 3^7 
_.— Masters names . . ■ • 3 ' 9 


Pa ire. 

Leaders, tiie duty of . . • . . 1 8 

,. rules of 86,243 

Library, Chr stian, published ... 62 

Lord's day, rules concerning . • • 169,233 

Love feast, the first 7 

rule coiu,erning . ... 96 

Local Preachers, rules of ... 222,243 

— — — Number of . • . 345 

Lists of Preachers . . . • . 293 

— — of Preaching-houses . . • .324 

Letters, who to defray the expence of . • 263 


Manners, John, a short account of . . . 94 

Nicholas, the same . . . 159 

^father, Alexinder, the same . . . 71 

Murlin, John, the same . . . . 2j;i 

IVIarriage, danger concvrning ... 84 

iMarried Preachers, rule concerning 140,247,290 

iVJarks of covetouiness . . . . 143 

Bleans of grace ... . .88 

IVleihod used in receiving Preachers . 287,2^0 

Meetings, rule concerning . . . 236 

IVIerit, proper, doctrine ot" renounced . . 133 

Methodism, rise and nature of . . . 3>6,8, 13 

Methodist, name first given . . > 2 

Society, first formed . . a 

Methodists, whether a fallen people . . 134 

Missions, West India • . . 1 72 

Rules of . . , 247 

Iri^h . . . , 25^' 

. Welsh ^ . • , • . • 365 

Moravians, Mr. Wesley's union with . . 8 

_„. . separation from . . . 14 


Names of those who departed from the work first 

published 144 

Nelson, John, a ^hort account of . . . 18 

Newfoundland, risii of Methodism in . . 17^3 

H h 3 

!54 INDEX. 


New rules, regulation concern'ng . . 244 

Number of circuits, preachers, members 



Oaths, little, warning against ... 97 

Office of a Christian Minister ... 8a 

Ordinances, dispute concerning . 211,216,225 

rule respecting . . . 229 

Ordination by Erasmus . . . 75 

— for America . . 161,164 

. for Scodand ' . . .168 

for England . . . 175 

■ rule concerning . . 217 

Pacification, plan of . . . 229 

Partiality, remarks upon . . . 82 

Perronet, Rev. Vincent, a sliort accouiit of 166 

Persecution at Corke ... . 63 

r — general by mobs . ' . 342 

Legal not encouraged . . 312 

Popularity, the danger of . , . 87 

Prayer, extempore first used by Mr. Wesley 8 

Preaching, extempore, first practised by him 6 

'- ' method of, and rules of, 91,185,290 

Treacher, Lay, the hrst ... 9 

first Itinerant . . . 14 

Preachers, how to judge of t'^.eir call . - 79 

design of their being called . 83 

• how to be receiveti . . , 80 

. . — rules and duties of . . . 80,86 

-their work . . . 137 

' ■ ■ ' — whether qualified for it . 132 

should they foHow trades . . 117 

■ not in connection, rule concerning i 74 

— — ■ on the list of reserve, rule concerning 233,288 

— . Friend Society . . . 2^9 

Predestination^ absolute, dispute concerning ^Sj^-qi 

Pfinung, rules concerning . . . 279 

INDEX. 355 


Respect of persons, the clanger of . . S2 

Rebellion in Ireland, address concerning 24Q 

Removal of Members, rule concerning 9^,97 

Resoluuons first entered into by the Preachers 68 

Revival of Religion . • . .72 

— — — disgraced by enthusiasm . . 73 

Revival at Kingsvvood school . . . 115 

rules to promote . . . . 119 

Richardson, Rev. John, a short account of . 219 

Rules of the Society . . ." iS 

of the Bands . . . .9,3s 

of the Select Society . . 32 

of the Strangers Friend Society . . 182 

— — of Preachers Friend Society . . 259 

of an Helper . . . 8r 

— ■ — of a Superintendant , . 78 

— --of Kingsvvood school 311,321 

General confirmed by the Preachers 240 

for attending the Coriterence . . 237 

for defraying the expences of ditto . . 262 

concerning the^Book-room . . . 261 

re-pectlng the Districts . . 207 

respecting the Chairman of Districts 208 

of itinerant Preachers Annuity . . . 253 

Sacrament, by whom to be administered . . 232 

Sanctifiration. doctrine of . . 28,39,50 

Scotland first vi.^iied . . . 6^ 

advice respecting . . 139 

Sel'on, Walter, a short account of . . . 319 

Shirley, Rev. Walter, his circular letter . . 128 

attends the Conference . . 130 

Sincerity, doctrine of ... . .42 

Singing, at Funerals,, the custom of . . 74 


Smith, John, a short account of . • . 130 

Smyth, Rev. Edward, the same . . . 137 

Smuggling, rule concerning . • . . 115 

Snuff, rule concerning . ... 98,233 

356 INDEX. 

Societle.5, rise of, rules for . . . 13,18 

first united as one body . . 77 

Stations ot' the Preachers, first publislied ... (^6 
— — — rules concerning . . . 114,205 

Stamps, advice concerning . . • . 157 

Specimen of reading the Bible ... 3 

Supernumerary Preachers, rule concerning 22a 

Stipend of the Preachers .... 67 

■ — ' of their wives and children , 7 1,2 1 7 

Stewards their office and rules . . 45,133 

Superannuated Preachers Fun<l, first instituted 91 

■ rules concerning . 218,253 

Sunday Schools, rise of, account of • . 167 

Tobacco, prohibition concerning . , ,233 

Toleration Act, advice respecting . . 174 
Trial of Preachers, rules concerning .... 79,269 

Trustees of Chapels, the first chosen . . i r 

— — — rules concerning , . - 223 

— — dispute with at Bristol . . . 225 

■■ — unfaithfulness of some . . . 246 

Trust-deed, first diav\n up .... 12 

— form of . . . ^55>^57 

U V 

Union, rules to promote . . . 87,123 

proposed in case of Mr. Wesley's death 123 

— — — - with America . . . . 220 

— — with Ireland . . . 286 

View of the spread of Methodism . . : 165 

View of the Methodists in i 766 . . . 104 

View of the doctrine of the Methodists . . 347 

Volunteers, rules respecting . . • 142 

Visitors of the sick, first instituted . . 21 

' rules concerning • 



Wakes, rules respecting . , , 15B 

Walsh, Thomas, a short account of . . 63 

INDEX. 357 

V\^atcli-night, first Introdtic(;d . . • Oi 
Wesley, Rev. Charles, a member of the first Society 3 

— — the first called a Methodist . 2,294 

• ceases to be an Itinerant ... 95 

■ ■ his death and last hymn . . . 178 

-— Rev. John, his birth and education . i 

• mission to America .... 6 

visits Germany .... 9 

■ commences an Itinerant . . • 1 1 

■ visits Wales ... . li 
'■ preaciies the last time at Oxford . 3 i 

first visits Ireland .... 56 

■ — first vifits Scotland . . • 65 
— — visits Holland , . . . 1 74 

his death, and will . . . 189,190 

' his last advice to the Conference 197 

his life by Dr. Cojce and Mr. Moore 213 

Wheatley, James, his expulsion . . . 65 

West-Indies, rise of Methodism in .... 173 
Whitefield Rev. George, his union writh Mr. Wesley 3 

»— — -^— his dissent from .... 16 

— his Funeral Sermon by Mr. Wesley 129 

Whitehead, Dr. a short account of . . 195 

■ appointed to compile a life of Mr. Wesley 


■ differs with the Printing Committee 

with the Conference 

— - unites again with the Society 

Widows, consequence of marrying them 
Whatcoat, Richard, a short account of 
Women, speaking in the Church, remarks upon 

forbid to do so by the Irish Conference 

Works, Mr. Wesley's, first published 

Messrs. Wesley's, Fletcher's and Sellou' 


Printed h^j Jaq'^es <Sf Co. Lombard Street, Fleet Street. 












4 line 14, after the wru'd quantityf rca<l of 
55 line 15, for I, read L. 
130 line 27, for <r, read r. 
148 line 0, fur Bristolf read Sirs fa/, 
1 7? line i, for 1787, read 1788. 
191 Inc 33, for CreikgtQTt, rod Crtighton, 
209 line I, ior thai y read jAo//, 
216 line 40, for /, read //. 
292 line 17, (or difcultii rczd dSfficultiet. 

329 line 10,11, let it be obscrv^cd, that Snowsficlds and Lnmbcth 
Chapels are in Siirry, 


The /oliorLnri,?- Sermons have been published by the 
Author of the Chronological History, 

I. Stillness, a Means of Knowing God. Psalm 
xlvi. 10, II. — Price id, 

II. Scriptural Marks of a Revival of the Work 
of God. Zech. viii. 2i. — Price id. 

III. The Danger of Pharisaism and Sadduceism- 
Matt. xvi. 6. 

IV. The Church, and the Danger of attempting 
to impose upon it. Acts v. ii. — Price id. 

The Author has published these for the sake of 
those who cannot afford to pay more tor a sermon ; 
also to enable those charitable persons who are in 
the habit of giving away religious Tracts, to do it 
with ease to themselves, and advantage to the poor. 
He has several other Sermons which he intends to 
prepare for the Press with the same view, and in the 
same manner. 

Also, a small Book for the Pocket, intitled, 
MAXIMS of WISDOM, Human and Divme, in 
the form ui the Book of Proverbs.