should prefer, at least for some time, such 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 is over."

How to dispose of himself in accordance with these predilections was not easy to determine. He first thought of a school in Yorkshire, which fell into the hands of another who stepped in before him. His father, having two livings, and not finding it convenient to obtain an assistant to his mind, now invited him to become his curate, which he did. In July, 1728, he was inducted into the office of priest, and soon after left his curacy at the call of the rector of his college, and returned to Oxford. Here he found his brother Charles standing vigorously up against the tide of infidelity which was setting in upon the students on all sides, and united with him in the pursuit of learning, and in doing good. Besides attending to the duties of his office, he became tutor to various pupils placed under his care, and labored assiduously for their welfare. His address to the tutors of the university indicates the objects and spirit of his endeavors. 66 Ye venerable men,” said he, “ who are more especially called to form the tender minds of youth, to dispel thence the shades of ignorance and error, and train them up to be wise unto salvation; are you filled with the Holy Ghost ? With all those fruits of the Spirit which your important office so indispensably requires ? Is your heart whole with God? Full of love and zeal to set up his king. dom on earth ? Do you continually remind those under your care that the one rational end of all our studies is to know, love, and serve the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent? Do you inculcate upon them, day by day, that love alone never faileth ? Whereas, whether there be tongues, they shall fail,' or philosophical knowledge, ‘it shall vanish away;' and that without love all learning is splendid ignorance, pompous folly, vexation of spirit ? Has all you teach an actual tendency to the love of God, and all mankind for his sake? Have you an eye to this end in whatsoever you prescribe touching the kind, the manner, and the measure of their studies; desiring and laboring that wherever the lot of these young soldiers of Christ is cast they may be so many burning and shining lights, adorning the gospel of Christ in all things ? And permit me to ask, do you put forth all your strength in the vast work you have undertaken ? Do you labor herein with all your might? Exerting every faculty of the soul ?. Using every talent which God hath lent you, and that to the uttermost of your


The process by which his mind had reached this intensity of religious devotion is best stated in his own words, which are as follows: “In the year 1725, being in the twentythird year of my age, I met with Bishop Taylor's Rules and Exercises of Holy Living and Dying.' In reading several parts of this book, I was exceedingly affected with that part in particular which relates to purity of intention. Instantly I resolved to dedicate all my life to God: all my thoughts, and words, and actions : being thoroughly convinced there was no medium, but that every part of my life must either be a sacrifice to God, or to myself, that is, in effect, to the devil.

“In the year 1726 I met with · Kempis's Christian Pattern. The nature and extent of inward religion, tho religion of the heart, now appeared to me in a stronger light than ever it had done before. I saw that giving even all my life to God, would profit me nothing, unless I gave my heart, yea, all my heart, to him. I saw that simplicity of intention, and purity of affection, one design in all we speak or do, and one desire, ruling all our tempers, are indeed the wings of the soul, without which we can never ascend to the mount of God. 66 A

year or two after, Mr. Law's Christian Perfection' and' Serious Call’ were put into my hands. These convinced me more than ever of the absolute impossibility of being half a Christian. And I determined through his grace to be all devoted to God, to give him all my soul, my body, and my substance. In 1729 I began not only to read, but to study the Bible, as the one, the only, standard of truth, and the only model of pure religion. Hence I saw, in a clearer light, the indispensable necessity of having the mind which was in Christ, and of walking as Christ also walked ; even of having, not some part only, but all the mind which was in him, and of walking as he walked, not only in many, or in most respects, but in all things. And this was the light wherein at this time I generally considered religion, as a uniform following of Christ, an entire inward and outward conformity to our Master.”

Under these convictions he entered more fully into the work of God. Conversing with his brother Charles, afterwards with Mr. Morgan, Mr. Hervey, (one of his pupils, and author of the Meditations,) Mr. Whitefield, and others, they agreed to meet and read divinity on Sunday evenings. The next summer they began to visit the prisoners in the Castle, and the sick and poor in the town. By degrees their meetings assumed a more religious character, and em braced in their exercises the careful examination of the Greek Testament, and close personal conversation on the deep things of God. To these moans of spiritual improve


ment they added the observance of the Wednesday and Friday fasts, and the weekly sacrament. They were fifteen in number, and, as Mr. Wesley observed, “ all of one heart and mind.

Such a spectacle could but attract attention, especially as religion was in a low state ; there being little of it in the community, except the form, and scarcely enough of that to meet the claims of the municipal law, or the rules of the University. Every one spake of the young men according to his particular fancy; some well, some ill. A rude youth, of Christ's Church, observing the exact regularity of their lives and studies, characterized them as “a new set of Methodists,” in allusion to a class of ancient physicians distinguished by that name. The same spirit of reproach which suggested the title gave it popularity, and immortalized the young men it designed to crush. Taking no offence at any thing, and, withal, perceiving that their new cogno men expressed in a word exactly what they would be in life and godliness, they responded to it in all cheerfulness, as their successors have done, hoping never to dishonor it by the least departure from the ways of well-doing.

The history of this little company is full of interest, and may be found detailed in “ Moore's Life of Wesley.” It is a checkered page, exposing the enmity of the carnal mind, and illustrating the truth of the declaration, “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution ; but not more fully than it confirms the encouraging announcement of the Holy Spirit, “ Jie that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, sball doubtless come again wich rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” The conflict was severe, but they succeeded. Many were benefited by their endeavors, and they received a hundred fold in discipline for the more difficult achievements of coming days,

Mr. Wesley was the master spirit of the band. His absence from Oxford, only for a few weeks, was attended with serious consequences in several instances, which compelled him to see the importance of his presence to its growing interests. Hence, when urged to accept his declining father's place at Epworth, a sense of duty required him to resist, and still cleave to his pupils and the little society with which he was surrounded.

But he had only escaped the importunities of his friends, by the assignment of the Epworth living to another, when he was designated as the most suitable person to come over to the Georgia Colony, as a missionary, both to the colonists and the Indians. Whether he ought to accept this call was too grave a question to settle hastily. Therefore he took time to consider, and immediately wrote to his mother and other friends, as he was wont to do on all questions of magnitude. His mother replied in these memorable words : “ Had I twenty sons, I should rejoice that they were all so employed, though I should never see them more.His brother Samuel acquiesced in the measure, as did his eldest sister, and some others; but still he hesitated. At length, however, after reasonable deliberation, he determined to leave Oxford and go to America. His brother Charles sig. nifying his willingness to accompany him, arrangements were made for that purpose, and they commenced their voyage about the middle of October, 1735. “Not to avoid want," says Mr. John Wesley, “ God having given us plenty of temporal blessings; nor to gain the dung and dross of riches and honor; but singly this, to save cur souls, and two live wholly to the glory of God.”

Their labors in Georgia were not as successful as they anticipated, particularly among the Indians, and their con flicts and sufferings were considerable. But they made the


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