Picture of Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley

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Jan. 3 - Aug. 31, 1737: Devon, and around London

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January 3 - April 30, 1737

Mon., January 3d, 1737. In the evening Mr. Zouberbuhler brought Captain Comey to see me; from whom I received the following narration:- "I was walking with an officer last night, when, in the Strand, I met Mr. Appee; the gentleman I had been two days in quest of. I let him pass, to try if he would take any notice of me; but finding he would not, I called after him. He turned, ran to me, and embraced me with,-

"APPEE.-' Dear Captain Corney, I am overjoyed to see you. It is my great misfortune that I could not do it sooner; but I have been so extremely ill, and have such a multitude of business upon my hands, and of such consequence, as made it impossible.'

"CAPTAIN.-'I did hope indeed to have seen you in these three weeks.'

"A.-' But, dear Sir, you cannot conceive the load I have had upon me! What endless business of this Georgia! and all at this end of the town.'

"C.-' Well, since I have had the good fortune to meet you at last, we must take a glass of wine together.'

"A.-' That would be to me the greatest pleasure in life; but I am going home in all haste to dress, being forced abroad by business of the last importance.'

"C.-' Nay, but you shall bestow one half-hour upon me and my friend, since we have had the happiness of meeting you.'" With much ado he got him into the next tavern, and after some indifferent questions mentioned his promise to freight the ship, "which is now clear," said he, "and ready for the Georgia passengers."

"A.-' That is the very thing I wanted to talk with you about. I look for Mr. Oglethorpe every hour; and as soon as ever he arrives, the business shall be done. You may depend upon it; for I can do anything with him.'

"C.-' Sir, I am infinitely obliged to you; but in the mean while I must pay off my men, and re-fit my ship, which you know has suffered much in the passage. This will stand me in a good deal of money; and therefore I should be glad to settle that small account betwixt us.'

"A.—' It was the very thing I was just going to mention,—though it grieves me too,—surely I am the most unfortunate man breathing! Such disappointments and losses on all hands since my arrival! -my father's failing! my mother's death! my dear friend Mr. Oglethorpe's delay! -that really I am afraid it will be some days before I pay you.'"

The Captain tried some time if he could not recover his money; but finding nothing was to be got by fair means, at last told the officer, that was the man; and bade him do his duty. Appee started up and cried, "I hope, Captain, you are not in earnest! He is not really an officer!" "Hands spake for Casca;" and the catchpole told him he was his prisoner; offering to read him his writ. Appee declined it, telling him he understood those things; and immediately fell to his entreaties; told the Captain what an esteem he had for him; how he had everywhere extolled his honour, his good nature, and generosity; conjured him by their past friendship to release him directly," otherwise" says he, "Mr. Wesley will hear of it, and bring his action for his money, which, with your debt, is all I owe in the world."

The Captain replied, he had no intention to hurt him, but only to get his own money; (a mere trifle for Mr. Oglethorpe's Secretary to pay!) or, to be sure, his father would lay it down for him, the moment he heard of his confinement.

"A.-' I assure you, Captain, if one shilling would set me free, I have not a relation in the world that would advance it for me.'

"C.—' Why, then, I find you have behaved yourself as scurvily toward them as you have toward me. In the ship you was an agent, a secretary, a statesman; but on shore I perceive you are a bite, and a scoundrel; and as such I will use you.'

"A.—' For God's sake, dear Captain, have pity upon me. I will give you all I have; five pounds in money, my clothes, watch, buckles, sword, snuff-box, and hat.

"C.-' Sir, I scorn to take a gentleman's clothes; for such you passed upon me: and had you sent me a single line, with, Here are three or four guineas for you, Corney and I will pay the rest when I am able, I would never have given you or myself any farther trouble about it. But your design, from the beginning, was to cheat me; and I shall therefore make an example of you. In Boston, when I would have had you lay in less wine, you told me, What signified forty pounds New-England money? . Truly not much to you, who intended me to pay it. But how could you be so base, when I had laid in your provisions, and lent you money, to rob me of the three pounds for the letters? 'His answer to the last indictment was plainly,

"A.-' Necessity has no law.'

"C.-' None but an experienced rogue could have made such an answer. You thought me a soft, silly fellow, and was therefore resolved to skin me: but now you shall answer for all.'

"A.-' Have patience with me till Mr. Oglethorpe comes; you shall then have your freight of passengers, and money both. You may be sure of it; for I can have of him what money I please.'

"C.-' I do not believe a word of it. Did Mr. Oglethorpe see you in a gaol, he would leave you there to condign punishment.'

"A.-' O, how can you think so, when I have so often told you how intimate we are, and on what important affairs he sent me to England ~ It is not my liberty I value; for that he will restore me to, the moment he hears of my confinement; but I fear I shall lose his good opinion.'

"C.-' I do not believe you ever had it; or that he sent you hither for any other reason, but to get rid of a vagrant, that would else corrupt his colony. If you can pay me my money, do; or I must leave you to justice.'

A.-' Take my clothes in part of payment. I will give you my note for the remainder of the debt'

"C.-' Would you give me your note for the whole twenty-two pounds, I would sell it the first man that would give me sixpence for it.'"

The Captain continuing inexorable, Appee cried like a child: upon which he asked him how he could behave so abjectly, who had scorned on board to own himself in any danger, (as soon as it was past,)" when I myself," said he, "had little hopes of our escaping?"

"A.-' O, Sir, imprisonment, or death itself, is nothing to me; but the loss of so dear a friend as Mr. Oglethorpe this is what sits so heavy at my heart. But I hope you will not be so cruel as to rob me of him.'

"C.-' I shall be so just to myself, and the world, as to expose a common cheat, who lives upon the public, and lays all honest men, that do not know him, under contribution.'"

Saturday following the Captain was prevailed upon by a friend of Appee, (now in Newgate,) to go hear if he had anything farther to propose. He began very oratorically; could not blame the Captain for what he had done, but forgave him from his heart, and had still the utmost esteem and affection for him: always said, "Captain Corney was a good-natured man, and a gentleman ;" was sure, therefore, he would not ruin a poor young fellow, who was rising in the world, and on the very point of making his fortune. He then began casting up the worth of his snuff-box, &c. His sword he valued at seven pounds, his bureau at four.

"C.-' That bureau, Mr. Wesley told me, was a lady's in London.'

"A.-' Why, that is very true. I had really forgot it. However, a guinea I may ask her for the freight.'

"C.-' Sir, you talk like what you are. I expected when you sent for me, your father had supplied you with money to pay me.'

"A.-' I assure you, once more, was I now going to be hanged, my father would not give a single shilling to save me from the gallows.'

"C.-' You give a fine account of yourself, and perfectly consistent with that you gave at Boston. Is it fit that such an one as you should be suffered any longer to impose upon honest people. It is well you are at the end of your rogueries.'

"A.-' I had a suspicion that you had laid a trap for me at Zouberbuhler's; but I was too wise to be caught there.'

"C.-' It is full as well that I have caught you here. You have been so ungrateful a scoundrel to me, that I was resolved to spend a little more money upon you.'

"A.-' I deserve it for a blockhead as I am, for not putting myself, as I intended, under the court of the green cloth.'

"C.-' Why, what a precious rogue you describe yourself! Can you, after this, expect any favour from me?. '

"A.-' I hope you will not take it ill, if I take the benefit of the Act, through which I can come out next term.'

"C.~' O, not at all, Sir. Take the benefit of the Act, by all means. I would do so myself, was I in your place. But when you are ready to come out, I will give you your keeping there for one half-year longer.'"

Here Appee's friend, Mr. Joy, told him," You have used the Captain so villanously, that I am ashamed to have had any dealings with you. I cannot say one word against his resolution; and desire you would never send or write to me again, or to any of your friends; for we wash our hands of you, and from this hour shall think of you no more."

With this speech he left him, and, walking with the Captain, observed, what a poor unhappy young fellow he was. "That shipwreck of his, in particular, was as unfortunate an accident as one shall hear of." "What shipwreck?" says the Captain. "Why, in his passage from Carolina. Have not you heard of it?" "No," replied he, "nor anybody else." "He told me," says Joy, "that the ship ran upon the rocks, and all the men were lost, but the Boatswain, a boy, and himself; that as he clung upon the rock, a sea came, and washed him off, dashing him upon another rook, with such violence, that it broke his skull, a tooth, and three of his ribs; so that it cost him no less than ten guineas to the surgeon."

This account I made the Captain repeat two or three times, and took it down from him in shorthand. I asked what gave him the first suspicion of Appee's knavery. He answered, that when the searchers had opened his bureau, he saw several letters Appee had broke open, and a memorandum of nine hundred pounds currency he had taken up at Charlestown, upon (as he suspected) a forged bill of exchange.

Fri., January 7th. The news was brought of Mr. Oglethorpe's arrival. The next day I waited on him, and received a relation of his wonderful deliverance in the Bristol Channel. The people of Carolina, he told me, were quite mad, had hired men to murder the Indians,—the Spaniards, —had burned Augusta, &o. He then inquired about Appee. I gave him some little account of his misbehaviour, together with an extract of my Journal. He seemed sorry he had ever employed him; talked admirably of resignation; and the impossibility of dying when it is not best.

Sun., January 9th. I saw him again with Mr. Towers. He told me he had read my Journal, which was writ with a great deal of spirit. I replied, all I could answer for was, that it was writ with a great deal of truth.

Thur., January 13th. I met Mr. Getshorn at Mr. Oglethorpe's. He told me of Appee's cheating D______, a poor drunken P______, of his gold watch. Mr. Oglethorpe acquainted me, that he had been sent to again by Appee, in Newgate. Upon my expressing pity for him, he added, "I can do nothing. He has tied my hands. If I released him, it would confirm all his lies. We are such dear friends, that I must even leave him where he is."

Wed., January 19th. Count Zinzendorf, just arrived from Germany, sent for me. When I came, he saluted me with all possible affection, and made me promise to call every day. From him I went to the Bishop of Oxford, where I met with an equally kind reception. He desired me to come as often as I could, without farther ceremony or invitation.

We had much talk of the state of religion, and of Count Zinzendorf's intended visit. Their Bishops he acknowledged to have the true succession.

Thur., January 20th. I wrote and delivered my own state in a letter to the Count. He sent me to Mr. Oglethorpe, who talked much of the mischief of private journals, all which ought to be published, or never sent. A letter from my brother he read; and argued, I could not but think the writer much too free, too bold, too credulous.

Sat., January 22d. I called upon Mrs. Pendarvis, while she was reading a letter of my being dead. Happy for me, had the news been true! What a world of misery would it save me! In the afternoon I was overjoyed to meet at M. Essen's my old friend M. G.

Sun., January 23d. I met Bishop Nitschman at the Count's, and was introduced to the Countess: a woman of great seriousness and sweetness. I was present at their public service, and thought myself in a quire of angels.

Tues., January 25th. I paid a visit to Dr. Hales, in the country.

Wed., January 26th. We took a walk to see Mr. Pope's house and gardens; justly called a burlesque upon human greatness. I was sensibly affected with the plain Latin sentence upon the obelisk, in memory of his mother: Ah, Editha! matrum optima, mulierum amantissima, vale! How far superior to the most laboured elegy that he, or Prior himself, could have composed!

Sun., January 30th. At St. Martin's I heard an excellent sermon by Dr. Trapp, on, "In your patience possess ye (or be ye master of ) your souls;" proving the miserable slavery of the passions.

Tues., February 1st. I was again with the Bishop of Oxford, and told him the Bishop of London had declined having anything to do with Georgia; and said it belonged to the Archbishop only to unite the Moravians with us. He replied, it was the Bishop of London's proper office; but bade me assure the Count, we should acknowledge the Moravians as our brethren, and one Church with our own.

Wed., February 2d. Mr. Oglethorpe told me, Appee, released from prison, desired to meet me at his house. The next morning I waited there some hours, to confront him; but no Appee appeared.

At nine I was with the Count, who seemed resolved to carry his people from Georgia, if they might not be permitted to preach to the Indians. He much pressed me to go with him to Germany; which I am very willing to do, if I can get clear of the Trustees.

Sun., February 6th. I had much conversation with the Count. Some of his words were, "The Christian cannot yield to sin; cannot long fight against it; but must conquer it, if he will." Speaking of his own case, he said, he and a lady were in love with each other; till, finding something of nature, he resolved to renounce her; which he did, and persuaded her to accept of his friend. "From that moment," said he, "I was freed from all self-seeking, so that for ten years past I have not done my own will in anything, great or small. My own will is hell to me. I can just now renounce my dearest friend, without the least reluctance, if God require it." He kissed and blessed me at parting.

Mon., February 7th. Before I set out for Oxford I called upon the Count, and desired his prayers. He commended himself to our friends there; and promised, if any of them would write to him, or the Brethren, they would answer them.

Tues., February 8th. I came to Oxford, and took up my lodgings with Mr. Sarney. In the evening I met and encouraged our friends by the Count's and the Moravians' example. Mr. Kinchin I found changed into a courageous soldier of Christ. I read them my brother's Journal.

Wed., February 9th. I met and accompanied my friend Horne to the Convocation, where we carried the election (I came down about) for Mr. Bromley, our old member, three hundred and thirty-nine, against one hundred and twenty-six.

I visited my old friends at the castle, and found honest Thomas Waite still a prisoner there. Mrs. Topping was gone where the prisoners rest together, and hear not the voice of the oppressor. Returning, I called at the Blue Posts, and found my old pupil, Robert Kirkham. We spent the evening, as before, in mutual exhortation.

Thur., February 10th. I talked with some of my old proselytes in College: paid my respects to the Dean, and met with a sharp expostulation for voting against him (as he called it). In an hour we came to a right understanding, and parted friends.

I dined with Mr. Woods, of Abingdon: the same kind friendly man he was. In the evening I saw Mr. Carter and Banny Kirkham, and laboured to awaken one, and confirm the other. At Mr. Sarney's I found good Mr. Gainbold, and Kinchin.

Fri., February 11th. I exhorted poor languid Smith, and then Carter, to resume all their rules of holy living. In the afternoon I was with the Rector of Lincoln, who received me very affectionately.

Sat., February 12th. By nine at night I got back to the Count in London; and consulted him about my journey to Germany.

Tues., February 16th. I told Mr. Oglethorpe of my desire of returning with him to Georgia, if I could be of any use there as a Clergyman; but as to my Secretary's place, I begged him to tell me where, when, and how, I should resign it. He bade me think what I did; and when ! had well considered the matter, he would talk with me farther

Fri., February 18th. In walking to St. Martin's, I met my dearest friend Appee, who accosted me with inimitable assurance, and asked where he might meet me. I appointed Mr. Oglethorpe's, the next morning.

Sat., February 19th. I waited on Mr. Oglethorpe, with no great expectation of Appee. He was too wary to keep his appointment.

Sun., February 20th. Being to set out the next day for Tiverton, I went to take my leave of the Count, who invited me again to Germany, bade me not despair, and dismissed me with his blessing. My last words were, Sit pax vobiscum: to which he replied, Et cum spiritu tuo.

Mon., February 21st. I came in the coach to Reading; and the next evening to Marlborough, where I found horses my brother Hall had sent to bring me to Wootton. With him and my sisters, Patt and Kez, I stayed till

Mon., February 28th; and then took horse for Bath; the next day I got to Wellington; and,

Wed., March 2d, in the morning reached Tiverton. I ran up stairs to my sister, who received me with tears of joy. I saw Phill next, and last my brother, who seemed at least as well as when he left me at London, three years before. I went to comfort my mother, indisposed in her chamber.

Tues., March 8th. I took horse, and on Thursday afternoon got back again to Wootton.

Tues., March 1st. I set out for London, in the Marlborough coach, which had been robbed morning and evening, for four days before. This fifth morning we passed unmolested. Scarce was I got to town, when they fell to robbing again.

Thur., March 17th. At Mrs. Pendarvis's I found M. G., and her brother, who pressed me to bear him company to Mickleton.

Tues., March 22d. I set out at three in the Oxford coach with Mr. Gr., and his sister, and Mr. Dews.

Wed., March 23d. I was much moved at hearing Mr. Gambold's history of my brother.

Thur., March 24th. Our company set out again for Mickleton; which we reached by night. We passed the time agreeably enough in walking, conversing, and reading.

Wed., March 30th. I rode over to Stanton, where they were all overjoyed to see me; especially my first of friends, Varanes.

Wed., April 6th. I had some conversation with M. G. about the fewness of those that are saved. How little is she advanced in the school of Christ, who is not convinced of this truth!

Sat., April 9th. In the evening I had the satisfaction of seeing Mr. Gr. much affected with a chapter he had been reading of Mr. Law. He desired his sister might hear it. I read it a second time, and took that opportunity of pressing upon him a daily retirement.

Thur., April 28th. I took horse with Mr. Gr. and Dews. The former left us at Compton, and we rode on towards Spilsbury.

Sat., April 30th. I got back to Mr. Sarney's, weary and faint, and in a fever, through want of sleep.

May 2 - August 31, 1737

Mon., May 2d. Between one and two in the morning, I betook myself to my usual bed, the floor. Charles Gr. breakfasted with me, and owned with tears, he had never felt any true joy but in religion. I earnestly recommended Law to him.

At noon I visited Mr. Gainbold, right glad to see me. I found him much cheerfuller than usual: his sister just the same. In the afternoon I talked with the prisoners; very attentive: with the Dean; very kind and friendly.

Tues., May 3d. At two Mr. Sarney rose to pray for me. I rose too, and set out for London, which I reached in a few hours.

Thur., May 5th. I met Virelst and Counsel at Mr. Oglethorpe's, about the hearing they are shortly to have before the Board of Trade. When they were gone, Mr. Oglethorpe said, if the Government had dropped Georgia, he would not let the poor people perish, but sell his estate, which he could do for £45,000, and support them upon the interest.

Fri., May 20th. At her desire, I waited upon Lady Betty Hastings. Her inquiries about Georgia were interrupted by the Bishop of Gloucester's coming.

Sat., May 21st. I rode out of town to meet my brother and sister from Tiverton, and attended them to Mr. Powel's.

Mon., May 30th. I carried my brother to the good Archbishop, who received us very kindly.

Wed., June lst. I accepted an invitation from Mrs. Benson, and rode down to Cheshunt Nunnery. Miss Kitty and Mrs. Johnson were there before me. I was much delighted both with the place and company. After dinner I missed my letter-book, and rode back to town, seeking it in vain. By seven next morning I was at the Nunnery again; and returned to London in the afternoon.

Fri., June 3d. Between six and seven this evening I took horse for Cheshunt, eighteen miles from London; got there by nine; and the next morning rode eighteen miles farther, to Hatfield, to see my sister Nancy. In the afternoon I returned to the Nunnery.

Trinity Sunday, June 5th. We all went in an hired coach to Warmley; where I preached "Few saved;" and was pleased to see the family stay the unexpected sacrament. In the evening I rode back to town.

Mon., June 6th. At ten we were again before the Board of Trade. Till twelve Carolina side was heard. Then our Counsel (confused enough) was heard for Georgia.

Wed., June 8th. I made affidavit in Chancery-Lane, as to what I knew relating to Georgia. At one I called upon my uncle, and found him exceeding ill.

Thur., June 9th. At the Board, part of our Charter and Acts were read, &c. I declared upon oath, that all the traders licensed were supposed to be within Georgia. After my affidavit was read, Murray made our defence; but so little to Mr. Oglethorpe's satisfaction, that he started up, and ran out. I dined with my brother at Lord Oxford's. Lady Oxford, Lord Duplin, and the famed Lady Mary, were of the company.

Sat., June 11th. I found my uncle dying. He pressed my hand, showed much natural affection, and bade me give his love to his sister. I spent the evening at Cheshunt, in reading Mr. Law to the family,-my usual employment there.

Sunday evening. I heard that my uncle died, a little after I left him.

Mon., June 13th. I waited on my brother and sister a little way on their road to Tiverton. On Wednesday I breakfasted at the Nunnery. On Thursday night I attended my uncle to his grave.

Fri., June 17th. I heard the last of my friend Appee's adventures here, from one Mr. Laba, a cutler; from whom he had just stole a watch, and run away with it to Paris.

Sat., June 18th. I was before the Board of Trade for the last time, to hear Carolina's reply to Georgia. I spent the rest of the month between Cheshunt and Hatfield.

Sat., July 2d. I was at the Nunnery; and the next day preached at Hatfield. I slept at Cheshunt.

Mon., July 4th. In the evening I set out for Oxford. I came thither the next day, where James Hutton had got before me. In the evening young Gr. came to me at Sathey's, in an excellent temper. I encouraged him to go on in the narrow way; and strongly recommended stated hours of retirement.

Thur., July 7th. I pressed the same upon poor Smith, in our walk to Mr. Gainbold's, where 1 found my sister Kezzy. I got back to dinner with Lady Cox and her sisters. In the evening Gr. told me, that on this day he first felt the beginnings of the change; and was convinced of the reality of what he only believed before upon my brother's and my testimony. He appeared full of joy and love.

Sat., July 9th. I set out with James, for Wootton. Quite spent, I laid me down, and slept for a quarter of an hour upon the ground. By two we reached Marlborough, and by four, Wootton. My mother was lately come thither from Tiverton.

Mon., July 11th. Meeting Ch. at Bath, we could get no farther. He carried us to see the quarries; where I narrowly missed being dashed to pieces. On Wednesday, July 13th, we came safe to Tiverton.

Sat, July 23d, and Sun., 24th, at Wootton. Days never to be forgot!

Mon., July 25th. I heard at Oxford that Charles Graves had been carried away by his friends, as stark mad.

Thur., July 28th. I spied Robinson and Bateley in the long-walk, and crossed over to speak with them. They fell upon me unawares, desiring me to take some of the Cowley saints to Georgia; charged the Methodists with intrusion, schism, and bringing neglect upon the ministry. We differed toto coelo. I left them with, "Remember, you will be of my mind when you come to die."

Fri., July 29th. We set out for London, with Mr. Morgan and Mr. Kinchin; and on

Sat., July 30th, finished our travels at College-street, where I had the satisfaction of finding my old hearty friend, Benjamin Ingham.

Mon., August 1st. I read Mr. Oglethorpe my brother's letter to the Trustees, charging Horton with raising a scandalous report about me. He would not advise one way or the other: which I interpreted as a dissuaslve, and therefore took no farther notice of the matter.

Wed., August 17th. After spending some time at Hatfield, I set out with my brother Lambert, for London. At Epping he went back, full of good resolutions.

Thur., August 18th. Hearing that Mrs. Delamotte was now in town, I went to see her. We fell into discourse upon resignation; and she seemed resolved to acquiesce in the will of God, detaining her Isaac from her.

Sun., August 21st. I took horse again for Hatfield; read prayers, and preached at Wormley; called on Dr. Nichols, and rode on. My brother I left on the 24th, in excellent temper. I called and dined at Dr. Newton's.

Thur., August 25th. After giving the sacrament to a sick woman, I breakfasted with Mr. Chadwick. We had some close talk about the new birth, with which he was greatly moved. I took the opportunity of recommending regular retirement, and religious acquaintance. I preached at Ludgate, dined with M. Musgrave, and called in the afternoon at Mrs. Delamotte's. The Cambridge youth was there; but we had no very useful conversation.

Fri., August 26th. I waited upon His Majesty at Hampton Court, with the Oxford Address, by the advice of Mr. Potter. The Archbishop told me he was glad to see me there. We kissed their Majesties' hands, and were invited to dinner. I left that, and the company, and hasted back to town. The next day we waited upon His Royal Highness, and dined all together at St. James's.

Wed., August 31st. I talked at large upon my state with Mr. Law, at Putney. The sum of his advice was, "Renounce yourself; and be not impatient."

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

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