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REV. JOHN WESLEY, A. M.
FELLOW OF LINCOLN COLLEGE, OXFORD ;
IN WHICH ARE INCLUDED,
THE LIFE OF HIS BROTHER,
THE REV. CHARLES WESLEY, A. M.
STUDENT OF CHRIST CHURCH ;
AND MEMOIRS OF THEIR FAMILY:
COMPREHENDING AN ACCOUNT OF
The Great Revival of Religion,
IN WHICH THEY WERE THE FIRST AND CHIEF INSTRUMENTS:
According to this time it shall be said, “WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT!"
NUMBERS xxiii, 23.
ZECHARIAH IV, 6.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
PUBLISHED BY N. BANGS AND J. EMORY, FOR THE METHODIST
EPISCOPAL CHURCH, AT THE CONFERENCE OFFICE,
MR. Wesley is universally allowed to have been an extraordinary man. His long life, spent in great and uninterrupted labours, and his eminent success as a minister of the Gospel, in this and other countries, mark him out as a highly distinguished character.
However, like all eminent men, he paid to the public the usual tax of censure. Many were his enemies, and many the aspersions thrown out against him. But he rose above them all; and the general voice at length confessed, that he was free from vice, and a man of real virtue and piety. His death put an end even to that favourite accusation, “that he was amassing riches by his influence over his societies :" For he died worth nothing except his books, and left even these burdened with a heavy debt. It is therefore reasonable to suppose, that a History of the Life and Labours of this great and good man will be acceptable to the public, and especially to the truly religious of every denomination.
Some, who have been acquainted with Mr. Wesley, and have read his printed Journals, may perhaps think, that no other account of him is needful; and that his own writings are abundantly sufficient to enable the public to form a just estimate both of the man, and of the great work in which he was engaged. This was the decided and avowed opinion of the compiler of these volumes, immediately after the death of their venerable subject. Mr. Wesley had so regularly detailed the occurrences and labours of his whole life, and his doctrines and motives so largely appear in his own writings, that it was feared the subject, if undertaken by any other, would, as Cicero said concerning Cæsar's Commentaries, but mar the beauty and weaken the effect of the whole. This opinion, however, was soon relinquished. It was quickly announced, that a Life of Mr. Wesley, by Mr. John Hampson, junior, afterward Rector of Sunderland, was then in the press. He had intended to publish it during the life of the Founder of Methodism; on whose unexpected decease, all publicity was given to the intended work. Mr. Hampson's motives could not be mistaken. He had been in connexion with Mr. Wesley for some years as a preacher of the Gospel, having been introduced by his father, an old Itinerant, and received with that charity, but not with that caution, which Mr. Wesley usually displayed. Indeed, this young man was the first instance of a preacher's irregular admittance into the Vol. I.