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THE REV. CHARLES WESLEY, M.A.

SOMETIME STUDENT OF CHRIST-CHURCH, OXFORD :

COMPRISING

A REVIEW OF HIS POETRY;

SKETCHES OF THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF METHODISM ;

WITH

NOTICES OF CONTEMPORARY EVENTS

AND CHARACTERS.

BY THOMAS JACKSON

THESE abilities are the inspired gift of God, rarely bestowed; and are of power to allay the

perturbations of the mind, and set the affections in right tune ; to celebrate in glorious
and lofty hymns the throne and equipage of God's Almightiness, and what He works,
and what He suffers to be wrought, with high providence, in His church.-Milton.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

LONDON:

PUBLISHED BY JOHN MASON,
AT THE WESLEYAN CONFERENCE OFFICE, 14, CITY-ROAD;

AND SOLD AT 66, PATERNOSTER-ROW.

LONDON: PRINTED BY JAMES NICHOLS,

HOXTON-SQUARE.

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MORE than fifty years have passed away since the eminent man whose personal history is traced in these volumes finished his ministry and life ; and it will perhaps, to some persons, be a matter of surprise that no previous attempt has been made to give a complete view of his character and eventful career, distinguished as he was by his fidelity and zeal, and still more by his poetic talents. Various causes have led to this delay. The principal one is, that his surviving children, who possessed his papers, carefully concealed them from the eye of those who were the most likely to do justice to his memory. The Methodists were the only people that could be supposed to take a lively interest in his biography; and as he differed from his brother, and from a large body of the Preachers and societies, on questions to which they attached a deep importance, it was probably thought that if a writer could be found who would duly appreciate the opinions and motives of this extraordinary man, the Wesleyan body generally would not give him that place in their esteem to which he is entitled. As an unbending Churchman, it was doubtless supposed that many of the Methodists would cherish towards him an unfriendly feeling, at least till the controversies with which he stood connected should have generally subsided. This was, in all probability, the reason why the family papers were so long kept in entire secrecy.

Miss Wesley died in the year 1828 ; and the most valuable of those papers then became the property of the Wesleyan Conference, by purchase from her brother Charles, to whom they belonged, as his father's heir. They were exceedingly numerous, and of very superior importance ; comprehending several volumes of original poetry, in the handwriting of the venerable Charles Wesley, with a large mass of other documents, which not only illustrate the history of the Wesley family, but also of the religious Connexion to which the family name is applied. Of these documents the writer of this narrative has availed himself; and hence its copiousness, as compared with the limited accounts of Mr. Charles Wesley that have been previously published.

From several esteemed friends the author has also received valuable assistance in preparing this work for the press. To Miss Tooth, of Stamford-hill, his acknowledgments are especially due. From early life this lady was one of the most intimate friends of Miss Wesley, and her brother Charles. Her father, the late Mr. Samuel Tooth, was for many years the Steward of the City-road society, and the personal friend of the Rev. John and Charles Wesley, who were accustomed through him to receive their quarterly salaries. Miss Tooth was possessed of many papers relating to the family of Mr. Charles Wesley, which she kindly placed in the hands of the author ; and these, with her verbal communications, have served greatly to enrich his pages.

His cordial thanks are also due to Thomas Marriott, Esq., of London, who for many years has taken a lively concern in everything relating to the Welseys, and whose collection of books and papers connected with their history is very extensive. To his liberality

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