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but methinks it is great ill-husbandry to spend a considerable part of the small pittance now allowed us, in what makes us neither a quick nor a sure return.

“ Two days ago I was reading a dispute between those celebrated masters of controversy, Bishop Atterbury and Bishop Hoadly; but must own I was so injudicious as to break off in the middle. I could not conceive, that the dignity of the end was at all proportioned to the difficulty of attaining it. And I thought the labour of twenty or thirty hours, if I was sure of succeeding, which I was not, would be but ill rewarded by that important piece of knowledge, whether Bishop Hoadly had misunderstood Bishop Atterbury or not?”

The following paragraph, in the same letter, will show the reader how diligent he had long been in improving the occasions which occurred, of impressing a sense of religion on the minds of his companions, and of his soft and obliging manner of doing it.

“ About a year and a half ago,” says he, “ I stole out of company at eight in the evening, with a young gentleman with whom I was intimate. As we took a turn in an aisle of St. Mary's Church, in expectation of a young lady's funeral, with whom we were both acquainted, I asked him, if he really thought himself my friend ? and if he did, why he would not do me all the good he could ? He began to protest, in which I cut him short, by desiring him to oblige me in an instance, which he could not deny to be in his own power: to let me have the pleasure of making him a whole Christian, to which I knew he was at least half persuaded already. That he could not do me a greater kindness, as both of us would be fully convinced when we came to follow that

young

woman. “He turned exceedingly serious, and kept something of that disposition ever since. Yesterday was a fortnight, he died of a consumption. I saw him three days before he died; and, on the Sunday following, did him the last good office I could here, by preaching his funeral sermon; which was his desire when living."

Mr. Wesley proceeded Master of Arts on the 14tht of February, I and acquired considerable reputation in his disputation for his Degree; on which account his mother congratulates him in a letter of the fourteenth of March.—On the 19th he writes thus to her : “ One advantage, at least, my Degree has given me; I am now at liberty, and shall be in a great measure for some time, to choose my own employment. And as I believe I know my own deficiencies best, and which of them are most necessary to be supplied ; I hope my time will turn to somewhat better account, than when it was not so much in my own disposal.”He had already fixed the plan of his studies ; but how to obtain a more practical knowledge of God, and a more entire conformity to his will, in the temper of his mind and in all his actions, was a point not so easily determined. He thought, however, that the company to which he was necessarily exposed at Oxford, was a hinderance to his progress in religion, and that a greater seclusion from the world would be advantageous

*

* It was, however, reserved for Peter Boebler to make him “a whole Christian," by preaching to him what St. Paul calls the foolishness of God.

Private Diary.

He informed me that he delivered three Lectures on that occasion-one on Natural Philosophy, De Anima Brutorum, -another on Moral Philosophy, De Júlio Cæsare, and a third on Religion, De Amore Dei. What a pity these should be lost! At least they are

lost to me

to him in this respect. He expresses the thoughts he then had of this matter, in the same letter of the 19th of March.

« The conversation of one or two persons, whom you may have heard me speak of, (I hope never without gratitude,) first took off my relish for most other pleasures, so far that I despised them in comparison of that.

I have since proceeded a step farther ; to slight them absolutely. And I am so little at present in love with even company, the most elegant entertainment next to books; that, unless the persons have a religious turn of thought, I am much better pleased without them. I think it is the settled temper of my soul, that I should prefer, at loast for some time, such a retirement, as would seclude me from all the world, to the station I am now in. Not that this is by any means unpleasant to me; but I imagine it would be more improving, to be in a place where I might confirm or implant in

my mind what habits I would, without interruption, before the flexibility of youth be over.

“ A school in Yorkshire was proposed to me lately, on which I shall think more, when it appears whether I may have it or not.

A good salary is annexed to it. But what has made me wish for it most, is the frightful description, as they call it, which some gentlemen who know the place, gave me of it yesterday..

• It lies in a little vale, so pent up between two hills, that it is scarcely accessible on any side; so that you can expect little company from without, and within there is none at all.' I should therefore be entirely at liberty to converse with company of my own choosing, whom for that reason I would bring with me; and company equally agreeable, wherever I fixed, could not put me to less expense.

The sun that walks his airy way
To cheer the world, and bring the day;
The moon that shines with borrow'd light,
The stars that gild the gloomy night;
All of these, and all I see,
Should be sung, and sung by me:
These praise their Maker as they can,

But want, and ask the tongue of man. “ I am full of business ; but have found a way to write, without taking any time from that. It is but rising an hour sooner in the morning, and going into company an hour later in the evening; both which may be done without any inconvenience.". The school however was disposed of in some other way; at which his mother was well pleased.

says she, “ that you have missed the school ; that way of life would not agree with your constitution; and, I hope, God has better work for you to do.”

Mr. Wesley saw, that a desultory method of study was not the way to accurate knowledge; and therefore he had, some time before he took his Master's Degree, laid down a plan which he now closely pursued; and he never suffered himself to deviate from the rule he had prescribed. Thus, his hours of study, on Mondays and Tuesdays, were devoted to the Greek and Roman classics, historians, and poets. Wednesdays, to Logic and Ethics.-

Thursdays, to Hebrew and Arabic. -Fridays, to Metaphysics and Natural Philosophy.-Saturdays, to Oratory and Poetry, chiefly composing.--Sundays, to Divinity.-- In the intermediate hours, between these more fixed studies, he perfected bimself in the French language, which he had begun to learn two or

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not sorry,

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three years before ; he also read a great variety of modern authors in almost every department of science. His method was this : he first read an author regularly through ; then in the second reading, transcribed into his collections such passages as he thought important, either for the information they contained, or the beauty of expression. This method considerably increased his stock of knowledge, and him a familiar acquaintance with the authors he had read.

It has been doubted by some persons, whether the Mathematics entered into Mr. Wesley's plan of studies at the University. But among the authors mentioned in his diary, are found Euclid, Keil, S'Gravesande, Sir Isaac Newton, &c; and he seems to have studied them with great attention.--He sometimes amused himself with experiments in Optics. He has, however, told all the world, that he found, by experience, he could not pursue these studies to any perfection, (though others might,) without injury to his soul : and he told me, that the chief good to be derived from mathematical studies, was their tendency to induce a habit of close thinking.

It has been before observed, that his father had two livings. He now became less able to attend to the duties of his station, than formerly ; especially as it was difficult, and sometimes dangerous in the winter, to pass between Epworth and Wroote : And it was not

easy to procure an assistant to his mind, in that remote corner of the kingdom. He was therefore desirous, that his son, Mr. John Wesley, should come into the country, and reside chiefly at Wroote, as his curate. Mr. Wesley complied with his father's request, who thus expresses himself in a letter of June :-" I do not think, that I have thanked you enough for

your

kind and dutiful letter of the 14th instant.-When you come hither, your head-quarters will, I believe, for the most part be at Wroote, and mine at Epworth; though sometimes making a change." -Accordingly, he left Oxford on the 4th of August; and coming to London, spent some days with his brother Samuel, and then proceeded on his journey to take upon him his appointed charge.--In this part of Lincolnshire, the ague is endemic, and in October he was seized with it; at the same time he was called to Oxford, probably to oblige Dr. Morley, the Rector of Lincoln College, on some election business. This gentleman had 'rendered such services to Mr. Wesley, in his election to Lincoln, that he used to say, " I can refuse Dr. Morley nothing." In the present instance, his gratitude overcame all objections against travelling on horseback, through wet and cold, with an ague upon him. He reached Oxford on the 16th, and left it again on the 25th ; travelling in the same manner back to Wroote, though often very ill on the road. He now continued in the country for some time, still pursuing the same plan of study, as far as the nature of his situation would permit.

The following letter, written by one of the Fellows of his own College, who, it seems, had been a good deal absent, and knew little of him, except what he had learned from the report of those who had been acquainted with him, will show us his general character at Oxford.

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“ Coll. Linc., December 28th, 1727. « Sir,-Yesterday I had the satisfaction of receiving your kind and obliging letter, whereby you have given me a singular instance of that

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goodness and civility which is essential to your character; and strongly confirmed to me the many encomiums which are given you in this respect, by all who have the happiness to know you. This makes me infinitely desirous of your acquaintance. And when I consider those shining qualities which I hear daily mentioned in your praise, I cannot but lament the great misfortune we all suffer, in the absence of so agreeable a person from the College. But I please myself with the thoughts of seeing you here on Chapter-day, and of the happiness we shall have in your company in the summer. In the meantime, I return you my most sincere thanks for this favour; and assure you, that, if it should ever lie in my power to serve you, no one will be more ready to do it, than,

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6 Sir,

66 Your most obliged and most humble servant,

6 LEW. FENTON."

Mr. Wesley continued in the country till July 1728, when he returned by way of London, to Oxford, where he arrived on the 27th of this month, with a view to obtain Priest's Orders. No reason is assigned, why he was not ordained Priest sooner : it is evident, however, that he had never applied for it, probably on account of his age.--On Sunday, the 22d of September, he was ordained Priest, by Dr. Potter, Bishop of Oxford, who had ordained him Deacon in 1725.

October 1, he set out for Lincolnshire, and did not again visit Oxford till the 16th of June, 1729. About the middle of the August following, he returned to his charge at Wroote, where he continued till he received the following letter from Dr. Morley, the Rector of his College, dated the 21st of October: “ At a meeting of the Society, just before I left College, to consider of the proper method to preserve discipline and good government; among several things agreed on, it was, in the opinion of all that were present, judged necessary that the junior Fellows, who should be chosen Moderators, shall in person attend the duties of their office, if they do not prevail with some of the Fellows to officiate for them. We all thought it would be a great hardship on Mr. Fenton, to call him from a perpetual Curacy or Donative ; yet this we must have done, had not Mr. Hutchins been so kind to him and us, as to free us from the uneasiness of doing a hard thing, by engaging to supply his place in the hall for the present year.

Mr. Robinson would as willingly supply yours, but the serving of two Cures about fourteen miles distant from Oxford, and ten at least as bad as the worst of your

roads in the Isle, makes it, he says, impossible to discharge the duty constantly. We hope it may be as much for your advantage to reside at College as where you are, if you take pupils, or can get a Curacy in the neighbourhood of Oxon. Your father may certainly have another Curate, though not so much to his satisfaction : yet we are persuaded, that this will not move him to hinder your return to College, since the interest of College, and obligation to Statute require it.”-In consequence of this letter, he quitted his father's Curacy at Wroote, and, on the 22d of November. came to reside at Oxford.

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CHAPTER II.

AN ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE OF THE REV. CHARLES WESLEY, A. M., AND

OF HIS BROTHER JOHN, IN CONTINUATION, UNTIL THEIR MISSION TO GEORGIA.

LEAVING Mr. John Wesley, now a resident at Oxford, I proceed to give an account of his brother in the flesh, and in the Lord.

Mr. Charles Wesley was born December 18th, 1708, Old Style, several weeks before his time, at Epworth in Lincolnshire ; being about five years younger than his brother John, and about sixteen younger than Samuel.

He appeared dead, rather than alive, when he was born. He did not cry, nor open his eyes, and was kept wrapt up in soft wool until the time when he should have been born according to the usual course of nature ; and then he opened his eyes and cried.

He received the first rudiments of learning at home, under the pious care of his mother, as all the other children did. In 1716 he was sent to Westminster School, and placed under the care of his eldest brother Samuel Wesley, a High Churchman, who educated him in his own principles. He was exceedingly sprightly and active ; very apt to learn, but arch and unlucky, though not ill-natured.

When he had been some years at school, Mr. R. Wesley, a gentleman of large fortune in Ireland, wrote to his father, and asked if he had any son named Charles ; if so, he would make him his heir. Accordingly a gentleman in London brought money for his education several years. But one year another gentleman called, probably Mr. Wesley himself, talked largely with him, and asked if he was willing to go with him to Ireland. Mr. Charles desired to write to his father, who answered immediately, and referred it to his own choice. He chose to stay in England. Mr. W. then found and adopted another Charles Wesley, who was the late Earl of Mornington, ancestor of the present Marquis Wellesley and the Duke of Wellington. “A fair escape," says Mr. John Wesley, from whose short account of his brother I have taken this anecdote. Mr. John Wesley wrote this short account a few months before his death, intending to publish it. It remained among his MSS.

From this time, Mr. Charles Wesley depended chiefly upon his brother Samuel, till 1721, when he was admitted a scholar of St. Peter's College, Westminster.* He was now a King's scholar; and as he advanced in age and learning, he acted dramas, and at length became Captain of the School. In 1726 he was elected to Christ Church, Oxford, † at which time his brother was Fellow of Lincoln College. Mr. John Wesley gives the following account of him, after he came to Oxford : " He pursued his studies diligently, and led a regular harmless life ; but if I spoke to him about religion, he would warmly answer, What, would you have me to be a saint all at once?' and would hear

* Welch's List of Scholars of St. Peter's College, Westminster, as they were elected to Christ Church College, Oxford, and Trinity College, Cambridge, p. 105.

Ibid. 110.

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