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number, he set me to transcribe some of his manuscripts. He shewed himself much dissatisfied with my writing and orthography, both of which certainly stood in need of correction. He desired me to take a lodging near the chapel, where he could conveniently send for me; gave me a little money to defray my expences, and by degrees bronght me into a capacity to be useful to him. I was very enervated indeed, my scene was new, I was filled with fear, and shocked by the cautious beha, vior of Mr. Whitefield, for which I can plead an excuse. He had frequently been imposed upon by people who had very ungenerously .served themselves of him, without being of any service to him. In the latter part of his life he was particularly cautious how he disposed of his favors; but notwithstanding, he was liable to considerable imposition. Soon after, he proposed my going to Mr. Green's for a few hours in the day, to be initiated into the Latin grammar; but he interrupted the design by - requiring a close attention to his own business, and the large demand he made of my pulpit services, for it pleased God to give my ministry a very kind acceptance, and I have met with some instances of its having been useful.
A single quarter of a year closed my school exercise, in which I am ashamed but constrained to say I hardly gained kuowledge enough to decline Musa. It was plain Mr. Whitefield did not intend to promote my literary improvement. Indeed he said, Latin was of little or no use, and that they who wish to enter upon it late in life, had better endeavor to acquire a good knowledge of their mother tongue, in which many preachers, while they aim at Latin, are very deficient. Having just at this time attended Mr. Wesley's conference, and having heard him speak to the same effect, he was confirmed in this sentiment, and discouraged any perseverance. Notwithstanding Mr. Whitefield's opinion thus freely expressed, and his deportment to me corresponding with it, my mind hankered greatly after some smatterings of Latin and Greek, partly that the: want of it might be no obstacle in the
ordination, and partly to cut off objections against my ministry from them, who are apt to think it a sine qua non for a preacher. But I had much temptation to relax my exertion, my memory being very bad, my nerves weak, and my genius small. Yet sensible of the value of a good education, I have never neglected an effort after a portion of it. Considering the weakness of my capacity, and that for many
I had no settled place of abode, nor any person to assist me, that I have been constantly employed in preaching the word almost every night in the week to different congregations, and twice or thrice every sabbath through the year, I have cause to be thankful for the little I have acquired. What a story I have got into: it swells and I fear will become tedious. If you had not pressed me to give it you, I would not have imposed it upon you. One circumstance is an introduction to another, in the review of which I am affected with humili. ation and thankfulness. How far you may be gratified I cannot say. It is a story that in the sequel connects with the Lord's dealings with you. That he may deal bountifully with you to the end of your days as he has in the beginning of them is the prayer of
My very dear friend,
MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,
Did it ever strike you that I am of a timid turn of mind? I had a great deal more of it in my youth than I had at the time you first knew me, or than I now hare. As though the late Mr. Winter were the principal person in the world I had occasion to fear, I was in perpetual dread of him. Ile was a great enemy to the gospel, very keen to observe what was amiss in its professors, and very high in his religious principles. Some circumstances in my early connexion with Mr. Whitefield, had he been permitted to have known them, would have been remarked with just severity. When it was reported to him that I preached at the tabernacle, he disbelieved it, saying, “ Whitefield would not let such a fool stand up in his place;" but finding it trne, he said “he would suffer a chimney-sweeper to preach to save himself.” Of all reflections ever cast upon
Mr. Whitefield, this should have been the last, for self-sparing was no part of his character. He attempted to gratify his curiosity several times by hearing me, but was disappointed. In coming.one time he heard Mr. Middleton, who was the most methodical preacher in the tabernacle at that time. He was treating upon the Lord's supper. He gained Mr. Winter's attention, who then for the first time, thought any thing offered at the tabernacle worthy of regard. He came afterwards with intention to hear Mr. Whitefield
seriously, whom he had often heard in ridicule, and it pleased God to make the word efficacious. The effect was blessed indeed. His family had the comfort of it, and it was visible to all who knew him.
Instantly upon the removal of his prejndices he sent for me to come to bis house, took opportunity to lament that his deportment had been very unsuitable to me, assured me he had nothing against me, and wished me to overlook all that was wrong. He became a communicant at the tabernacle, and though he afterwards dropped into some of his former life, and was staggered by the bad conduct of some professors, from the report I had of his dying moments by a good man not liable to be imposed upon, I hope all ended well. Though I had frequent intercourse with him, and a close correspondence, and he went some of my journies with me, yet I never could be truly open and familiar with him.
I am afraid to say every thing which might be brought upon the tapis for three years.Perhaps it would be putting the picture of so .valuable a man as Mr. Whitefield was, into too deep a shade, to say that he was not a fit person for a young man in humble circumstances to .be connected with. He was not satisfied with