Picture of Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley

places mentioned

Nov. 29 - Dec. 6,1753: London and Bristol

Next Selection Previous Selection

November 29 - December 6,1753

Nov., 29th, 1753. Between nine and ten Lady Huntingdon surprised us by bringing Mrs. Galatin to see us. She had met her at Bath, and conducted her to our house with the mournful news of my brother's danger. I concluded, from several letters last received, and mentioning his recovery and design of officiating at the chapel, that he was out of all danger; but Mrs. Galatin assured us, she thought he would have expired at the altar last Sunday.

Mr. Sims, a Clergyman, followed Lady Huntingdon; full of his first love. We joined in the Lord's supper, and found much power to pray, particularly for my brother.

At two, as Mr. Hutchinson and I were setting out, we were met by a letter from Mr. Briggs, informing me, that I must make haste if I would see my brother alive. This made us all renew our entreaties to Mr. Hutchinson not to accompany me, lest he should retard me in my journey; but he would not be dissuaded, resolving, if I left him behind, to follow me in a post-chaise. I was therefore forced to take him, but sorely against my will, in a chaise, to Bath. We got to Mrs. Naylor's with the night. He could not sleep for cold.

Fri., November 30th. We prayed with great earnestness for my brother. My heart was melted into warm desires of his recovery. Between seven and eight we set forward in a post-chaise, and came safe to Newbury before night.

Sat., December 1st. My companion was strengthened to set out again before seven. Soon after four we were brought safe to M. Boult's. She had no expectation of us, and was therefore quite unprepared. I had no other place to lodge my poor friend than the noisy Foundery. He had not more sleep than I expected.

Sun., December 2d. The first news I heard last night, in Moorfields, was, that my brother was something better. I rode at nine to Lewisham; found him with my sister and Mrs. Blackwell and Mrs. Dewal. I fell on his neck, and wept. All present were alike affected. Last Wednesday he changed for the better, while the people were praying for him at the Foundery. He has rested well ever since: his cough is abated, and his strength increased. Yet it is most probable he will not recover, being far gone in a galloping consumption, just as my elder brother was at his age.

I followed him to his chamber, with my sister, and prayed with strong desire, and a good hope of his recovery. All last Tuesday they expected his death every hour. He expected the same, and wrote his own epitaph :—


He desired this inscription, if any, should be put upon his tomb-stone.

He made it his request to his wife and me, to forget all that is past; which I very readily agreed to, and once more offered her my service, in great sincerity. Neither will I suspect hers, but hope she will do as she says.

I have been generally blamed for my absence in this time of danger. Several asked, "Does Mr. Charles know of his brother's illness?" and were answered, "Yes, yes; many have informed him." All my correspondents agreed in their accounts that my brother was much better; of which his mlnistering last Sunday at the chapel left me no doubt. Then they might have apprized me of his danger; but none thought of me till Tuesday, when they looked for his death every hour. He had ordered letters to be wrote by Charles Pertenet to the Preachers, to meet on the 21st instant; but not a word of notice was sent to me. Now I hear, several letters were wrote to me on Tuesday night; but I have left them unreceived at Bristol.

I attended my brother while he rode out for the air, and was surprised to see him hold out for three quarters of an hour, and even gallop back the whole way.

In the afternoon I met the Leaders, and spoke them comfort; then called on my patient, John Hutchinson, whose journey has done him more good than harm.

My text at the Foundery, was 1 John v. 14, 15: "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, he heareth us: aud if we know that he hear us whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."

Whether the congregation received benefit, I know not, being myself confused and overwhelmed with trouble and sorrow.

God made me to the Society, I trust, a son of consolation. I showed them the cause of my brother's danger, even our unprofitableness, and the nation's rejecting his testimony. I strongly exhorted them to repent, and do their first works, and on no other condition to hope for my brother's recovery. I told them, I was persuaded his time was come, and he would have died now, had not the prayer of faith interposed, and God commanded the shadow to go backward; that still his life was altogether precarious, and they must wrestle on, before the decree brought forth, for a full reverse of the sentence. In prayer God gave us strong cries and tears, and consolation of hope.

The whole Society appear alive, so stilted up, so zealous, so prayerful as I never knew. Many backsliders are returning to us. Many secret friends now show themselves. The strangers stop us in the streets with their inquiries, and the people in general seem to find out the value of a blessing they are going to lose.

I carried Mr. Hutchinson to a quieter lodging, which the friendly Mr. L——- offered us at his house. John Jones, come post from Bristol, spent the useful evening with us, and then slept with me at the Foundery.

Mon., December 3d. I was at a loss for a subject at five, when I opened the Revelation, and, with fear and trembling, began to expound it. Our Lord was with us of a truth, and comforted our hearts with the blessed hope of his coming to reign before his ancients gloriously. Martin Luther, in a time of trouble, used to say, "Come, let us sing the forty-sixth Psalm." I would rather say, "Let us read the Revelation of Jesus Christ." What is any private or public loss, or calamity; what are all the advantages Satan ever gained or shall gain, over particular men or churches; when all things, good and evil, Christ's power and Antichrist's, conspire to hasten the grand event, to fulfil the mystery of God, and make all the kingdoms of the earth become the kingdoms of Christ

I asked each of the select band whether they could pray in faith for my brother's life. God has kept them all in darkness and suspense. Those who have most power with Him have received no certain answer, being constrained to give him up first, if haply they may then receive him again as from the dead. Some have told me, it was parting with a right eye, with one much dearer to them than their natural father. Many have found strong, increasing hope of his recovery; and a few, whose experience I less depend on, are confident of it.

I called on loving, faithful D. P., and then visited my patient at Mr. L.'s. With him I stayed till near one, the time I had appointed for prayer at the Foundery. Many faithful souls then joined me in behalf of my brother, or rather, of the Church and nation. Neither was our Lord absent. Great comfort and confidence we received, that all shall work together for good, even the glory of God and furtherance of the Gospel.

From intercession I waited on my sister to Dr. Fothergill; who is much pleased with his patient's present case, and greatly approves of his hastening to the Hotwells at Bristol. To-morrow afternoon he promises to visit him at Lewisham. The rest of the day I passed with John Hutchinson.

Tues., December 4th. I proceeded in the Revelation, and found the blessing promised to those who read or hear the words of that book. From six to seven I was employed with the Preachers in prayer, for my brother and the Church.

I told the Society on Sunday night, that I neither could nor would stand in my brother's place; (if God took him to himself ;) for I had neither a body, nor a mind, nor talents, nor grace for it.

This morning I got the long-wished-for opportunity of talking fully to him of all which has passed since his marriage; and the result of our conference was perfect harmony.

Mrs. Dewal and Blackwell observed, what a fair opportunity my wife might have had for inoculating with her sister. I answered, that I left every one to his own conscience; but, for my part, I looked upon it as taking the matter out of God's hands; and I should choose, if it depended on me, to trust her entirely to Him.

Before five I returned to the Foundery, and found two letters from Lady Huntingdon; the first informing me, they apprehended my wife was taken ill of the small-pox, as soon as I left her; the second, that it was come out, and the confluent kind.

She had been frightened (after my departure) with one's abruptly telling her, my brother was dead, and sickened immediately.

I immediately consulted Mr. L., who advised me to fly where my heart directed. "But what can I do with Mr. Hutchinson?" "Take him with you by all means." I went, and made him the offer.

I preached on, "Let not your hearts be troubled; in my Father's house are many mansions," &c. I met good old Mr. P——-, and informed him of my journey.

Wed., December 5th. At five I found John Hutchinson, after a restless night, as the troubled sea.

Thur., December 6th. I came to Bristol by four. I found my dearest friend on a restless bed of pain, loaded with the worst kind of the worst disease. Mrs. Vigor and Jones were ministering to her day and night. S. Burges, a most tender, skiltiff Christian woman, was her nurse. Dr. Middleton has been a father to her. Good Lady Huntingdon attends her constantly twice a day, having deferred her journey to her son on this account.

She had expressed a longing desire to see me, just before I came, and rejoiced for the consolation. I saw her alive; but, O, how changed l The whole head faint, and the whole heart sick! From the crown of the head to the soles of her feet there is no soundness. Yet, under her sorest burden, she blessed God that she had not been inoculated; receiving the disease as immediately sent from Him.

I found the door of prayer wide open, and entirely acquiesced in the divine will. I would not have it otherwise. God choose for me and mine, in time and eternity!

Charles Wesley, The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1849)

Text scanning by Ryan Danker. Proofreading by Aaron Bynum. MS Word conversion, and other modifications by Ryan Danker.

Copyright 1999 by the Wesley Center for Applied Theology. Text may be freely used for personal or scholarly purposes or mirrored on other web sites, provided this notice is left intact. Any use of this material for commercial purposes of any kind is strictly forbidden without the express permission of the Wesley Center at Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, ID 83686, USA. Contact webmaster for permission or to report errors.

Placename mark-up by Humphrey Southall, Copyright 2006 GBHGIS.

Next Selection Previous Selection