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132 ; views of, 290-298-in Amer- Stewards, how instructed, 71; what,
, W. M., seceded, 165.
Wesley's objection to the title,
under O'Kelley, 139; under Brett, plan to assist the, 106; what, 318–
Watson, Richard, 95.
Wesleyan Methodist Church, organ-
Wesley, Charles, opposed his broth-
views concerning, 497; at camp in the streets, 36; inclination to
the Moravians, 44, 45.
of, revived, 175--continued, 176, 13, 14; awakened, 14, 22, 25;
ordained, 15, 16; regard for his
148; Missionary and Bible, 150; to God, 17, 18; found congenial
60; reasoned with the clergy, 63;
preachers, 69; complained of, 73;
speaking, defended, 493-496. of declaration, 80; letter to tho
conference, 84; death of, 86; care | Whitefield, united with Wesley, 18;
preached in the fields, 33; the re.
sults, 34; turned Calvinist, 37;
affection for Wesley, 39, 40; Meth.
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF METHODISM FROM ITS
RISE TO THE PRESENT TIME.
THE ORIGIN OF METHODIST SOCIETIES.
THE REV. JOHN WESLEY, the distinguished founder of Methodism, was born at Epworth, in England, in the year of our Lord 1703, 0. S. If others have been more fortunate in respect to the secular wealth and honor of their pedigree, few have had equal facilities for a thorough education. His father, Rev. Samuel Wesley, was a man of great practical wisdom and piety, and spared no pains to train his children for the highest attainments in knowledge and virtue. His mother, Susannah Wesley, was a woman of extraordinary worth. She was the daughter of Dr. Samuel Annesley, and inherited much of his genius. Her education, and deep concern for the welfare of her children, endowed her with superior qualifications to fit them for distinction in the ranks of usefulness and honor.
United in piety and solicitude for the proper training of their offspring, these parents early impressed them with sentiments of reverence for the Author of their being. At the age of eleven John was placed under that eminent scholar, Dr. Walker, Principal of the Charter-house School. Here
he had some rather severe experience, though a favorite with his tutors; but such was his application, at the age of sixteen, he was elected to Christ's Church, Oxford. Here he was placed under Dr. Wigan, a gentleman of great classical knowledge, and pursued his studies with much energy. Ilis natural temper, it is said, was gay and sprightly, with a turn for wit and humor. Mr. Babcock observes of him, that " when he was about twenty-one years of age he appeared the very sensible and acute theologian, - a young fellow of the finest classical taste, of the most liberal and manly sentiments. His perfect knowledge of the classics gave a smooth polish to his wit, and an air of superior elegance to all his compositions."
Being about to enter into deacon's orders, his attention was called to the nature and importance of the work, and the motives and qualifications necessary to its successful prosecution. Reflection led to some just perception of the magnitude of the undertaking, and that to farther investigation. He now began to study divinity with a new zest, and became more anxious than ever to enter into orders. Some of the books that occupied his attention were among the most spiritual and heart-searching of the age, such as “ The Imitation of Christ,” by Kempis, and Bishop Taylor's “ Rules of Holy Living and Dying.” These made a deep impression, and aroused his whole soul to the subject. If Kempis and Taylor were right, he was wrong. In his extremity, like a true son, not spoilt by a college course, he wrote to his parents, stating his difficulties, and received very able and interesting responses from each of them. This correspondence drew out the best thoughts if both pupil and teachers; but while it indicates deep interest in the subject of religion generally, it betrays a want of knowl edge and experience in salvation by faith.
Having fully prepared himself for the holy office, according to the standard of the age, he was ordained deacon on the 19th of September, 1725, by Dr. Potter, then Bishop of Oxford. This only increased his interest in the study of divinity and the classics, and such became his standing for character and learning that, on the 17th of March, 1726, he was elected Fellow of Lincoln College, an appointment of no inconsiderable honor or profit, and one that was not without its influence on the work for which Providence was preparing the way.
The following summer he spent at Epworth and Wroote, reading prayers, preaching twice on the Sabbath, and otherwise assisting his father in the various duties of his parish. This situation was highly favorable to his interests, not only as it gave him an opportunity to cultivate the pastoral office under the paternal tuition of an experienced master, but to mature his knowledge of experimental and practical theology by frequent conversations with his esteemed parents, which he did not fail to improve. On the 21st of September he returned to Oxford, and was soon chosen Greek Lecturer and Moderator of the classes, though but little more than twenty-three years of age, and not yet advanced to the Master's degree.
His advancement in religious tendencies was not less marked. Writing to his mother about this time, he says: 66 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 å 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