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To be satisfied, I procured an alarum, which waked me the next morning at seven (near an hour earlier than I rose the day before) yet I lay awake again at night. The second morning I rose at six; but notwithstanding this, 1 lay awaké the second night. The third morning I rose at five; but nevertheless 1 lay awake the third night. The fourth morning I rose at four,* as, by the grace of God, I have done ever since: and I lay awake no more.
And I do not now lie awake, taking the year round, a quarter of an hour together in a month. By the same experiment,, rising earlier and earlier every morning, may any one find how much sleep he wants."
It must, however, be observed, that for many years before his death, Mr. Wesley slept more or less every day. And his great readiness to fall asleep at any time when fatigued, was a considerable means of keeping up his strength, and enabling him to go through so much labour. I have known him, near thirty years ago, come to a place where he had to preach at noon after a long wearisome ride in a hot day, and without any refreshment lie down and immediately fall fast asleep. After sleeping ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, he would get up refreshed and fit for his work—He never could endure to sleep on a soft bed.' I have seen bim at night, when he thought the bed too soft to sleep upon, lay himself across it, and roll two or three times backward and forward, till it was sufficiently flattened, and then get into it. Even in the latter part of life, when the infirmities of age pressed upon him, his whole conduct was at the greatest distance from softness or effeminacy.
A writer of Mr. Wesley's lite, from whom some observations respecting his general character, have already been taken, has further observed, Perhaps the most charitable man in England, was Mr. Wesley." His liberality to the poor, knew no bounds but an empty pocket. He gave away, not merely a certain part of his income, but all that he had : his own wants provided for, he devoted all the rest to the necessities of others. He entered upon this good work at a very early period. We are told, that, “ When he had thirty pounds a year, he lived on twenty-eight, and gave away torty shillings. The next year, receiving sixty pounds, he still lived on twenty-eight, and gave away two and thirty. The third year he received ninety pounds, and gave away sixtytwo. The fourth year he received one hundred and twenty pounds. Still he lived on twenty-eight, and gave to the pror ninety-two" In this ratio he proceeled during the rest of his lite: and in the course ot' fitty years, it has been su posed, he gave away between twenty and thirty thousand pounds; a great part of which, most other men would have put out at interest, upon good security.
* Mr. Wesley may be said to have lived in the course of sixty year«, five years more than those who spend 8 hours out of 24 in sleep, and su veo years and a half more than those who sleep 9 hours in the 24.
Mr. Wesley's charitable donations, were often misrepresented. Envy will never want a pretext, to put the worst construction on ihe best and most generous actions. Some years ago Erasmus, bishop of Crete, visited London. It has been said, that his Episcopal character was authenticated by a liter from the Patriarch of Smyrna; who added, that ihe Turks had driven him from his See, for baptizing a Mussulmun into the faith of Christ. That the known liberality of Mr. Il’esley, should induce hiin to be kind to such a stranger in distress, is not to be wondered at ; but the report circulated in some periodical publications of that time, that Mr. Charles Ilesley had offered him forty guineas to cousecrate his brother a Bishop, is totally without foundation, and has not even the shadow of probability to give it credit.
In the distribution of his money, Mr. Wesley was as disinterested, as he was charitable. He had no regard to family connexions, nor even to the wants of the Preachers who Jaboured with him, in preference to strangers. He knew that these had some friends; and he thought the poor destitute stranger might have none, and therefore had the first claim on his liberality. When a triling legacy has been paid bim, he lias been known to dispose of it in some charitable way before he slept, that it might not remain his own property for one night.“ Every one knows the apostrophes in which be addressed the public, more than once, one this subject, declaring, that his own hands sbould be his executors." And though he gained all he could by his publications, and saved all he could, not wasting so much as a sheet of paper ; yet by giving all he could, he was preserved from laying up treasures upon earth. He had declared in print, That, if he died worth more than ten pounds, independent of his books, and the arrears of his fellowship, which he then held, he would give the world leave to call him, “ A thief and a robber." This declaration, made in the integrity of his heart, and beight of his zeal, laid him under some inconvenience's afterwards, from circumstances which he could not at that time foresee. Yet in this, as all bis friends expected, he literally kept his word, as far as human foresight could reach. Ilis chaise and horses, his clothes, and a few trifles of that kind, were all, bis books excepted, that he left at his death. Whatever might be the value of his books, is of no conse quence, as they were placed in the hands of Trustees, and
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the profits arising from the sale of them to be applied to the use and benefit of the Conference; reserving only a few legacies which Mr. Wesley left, and a rent-charge of eightyfive pounds a year to be paid to his brother's widow; which was not a legacy but a debt, as a consideration right of his brother's hymns.
Amoog the other excellencies of Mr. Wesley, his moderation in controversy deserves to be noticed. Writers of controversy too often forget, that their own character is intimately connected with the manner in which they treat others : and if they have no regard for their opponents, they should have some for themselves. When a writer becomes personal and abusive, it affords a fair presumption against his arguments, and ought to put us on our guard against deception. Most of Mr. Wesley's opponents were of this description; their railing was much more violent, than their reasons were cogent. Mr. Wesley kept his temper, and wrote like a Christian, a gentleman, and a scholar. fle might have taken the words of the excellent Hooker, as a motto to his polemical tracts, “ To your railing I say nothing, to your reasons I say what follows." He admired the temper in which Mr. Law wrote controversy: only in some instances Mr. Law shews a contempt for his opponent, which Mr. Wesley thought was highly improper.
During the time that Mr. Wesley strictly and properly speaking, governed the societies, his power was absolute. There were no rights, or privileges; no offices of power or. influence; but what were created or sanctioned by him : nor could any persons hold them, but during his pleasure. The whole system of Methodism, like a great and complicated machine, was formed under his direction, and his will gave motion to all its parts, and turned it this way or that, as he thought proper.
His influence, like a mighty torrent, gathered strength in its progress, at every intermediate step between him and the great body of the people. Let us suppose, for instance, tbat on some important matter which concerned all the societies, or the nation at large, Mr. Wesley gave his orders to the Assistants, dispersed through the three kingdoms : these would impress them on the other itinerants, in number together, let us suppose three hundred. With the influence of this body, these orders would pass on, to about twelve hundred local Preachers in a vasi variety of situations; wbo, in conjunction with the itinerants, would impress them on about four thousand Stewards and Class Leaders ; and these, by personal application, might, in a short time entorce them on about seventy thousaud individuals, members of the societies. In addition to this, we may suppose, the itinerant and local Preachers in the course of ten Jays or a ii?
fortnight, publicly address between three and four hundred thousand people, when the same matter might be furtber urged upon then. Now, what could stand against such iofluence as this? so combined, ditfusive, and rapid in its progress, when once put in motion? If directed against any individuals in the societies, whatever might be their character or influence, their opposition could only be like pebbles before a torrent rolling down the side of a mountain; it would be swept away without being perceived.
I do not say, that Mr. Wesley ever exercised his authority on so extensive a scale as here represented: all I mean to shew the reader is, that, had any occasion of sutilcient importance required it, he had the power of doing so.
It is natural to suppose, that some persons would be offended with Mr. Wesley's power over the whole connexion ; as thinking they had some right to share it with him. He has, accordmgly, been charged with the love of power, even so far as to be a blemish in his character. But he always denied the charge. This however is certain, that he always considered his power, as inseparably connected with the unity and prosperity of the societies over which he presided : and, whether mistaken or not, it is probable, that on this account only he was so tenacious of it. This may certainly be said to his praise, that no man ever used his power with more moderation than Mr. Wesley. He never sought his own ease or advantage ja the use of it: the societies laboured under no inconvenience from it, but prospered under bis government. They derived this benefit from his supreme power, if any were injured or oppressed by the ignorance or rashness of a Preacher, they obtained immediate redress by applying to him. Having known him for twenty-five years, and having examined his private papers, I have to hesitation in declaring, that I am fully convinced he used all his intluence and power to the best of bis judgment, on every occasion, to promote the interests of Christianity, the the prosperity of the people he governed, and the peace and welfare of his country, disregarding any private concern or attachment whatever, when it stood in the
of his general purpose of doing good.
I shall finish this reriew of Mr. Wesley's character, with two or three sketches of it drawn up by different persons, and printed soon after his death ; being persuaded they will be highly acceptable to the candid reader.
* Now that Mr. John Wesley has finished his course upen earth, I may be allowed to estimate his character, and the loss
world has sustained by his death. Upon a fair account, it appears to be such, as not only annihilates all the reproaches that have been cast upon him; but such as does honour to mankind, at the same time that it reproaches them. His natural and acquired abilities, were both of the highest rank. Jlis apprehensioa was lively and distinct ; his learning extensive. His judgment, though not infallible, was in most cases excellent. Ilis mind was sted fast and resolved. His elocution was ready and clear, graceful and easy, accurate and unattected. As a writer, his style, though unstudied and flowing with natural ease, yet for accuracy and perspicuity, was such as may vie with the best writers in the English language. Though his temper was naturally warm, his manners were gentle, simple, and uniform. Never were such happy: talents better seconded by an unrelenting perseverance in those courses, which his singular endowments, and bis zealous love to the interests of mankind, marked out for him. Ilis constitution was excellent: and never was a constitution less abused, less spared, or more excellently applied, in an exact subservience to the faculties of his mind. His la bours and studies were wonderful. The latter were not confined to theology only, but extended to every subject that tended, either to the improvement, or the rational entertainment of the mind. If we consider the reading he discovers by itself, bis writings and his other labours by themselves, any one of them will appear sufficient to have kept a person of ordinary application, busy during his whole life. In short, the transactions of his life could never have been performed, without the utmost exertion of two qualities, which de. pended, not upon his capacity, but on the uniform stedfastness of his resolution. These were inflexible temperance, and unexampled economy of time.
In these he was a pattern to the age he lived in; and an example, to what a surprising extent a man may render himself useful in his generation, by temperance and punctuality. His friends and followers have no reason to be asbamed of the name of Methodist, he has entailed upon thenı: as, for an uninterrupted course of years, he has given the world an instance of the possibility of living without wasting a single hour; and of the advantage of a regular distribution of time, in discharging the important duties and purposes of life. Few ages have more needed such a public testimony to the value of time; and perhaps pone have had a more conspicuous example of the perfection, to which the improvement of it may be carried.
“ As a minister, his labours were unparalleled, and, such as nothing could have supported him under, but the warmest zeal for the doctrine he taught, and for the eternal interests