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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 2i5 He had also, through the assistance of his elder brother Samuel, who was at this time an usher at Westminster, acquired some knowledge of Hebrew. At college he continued his labours with great diligence, and attracted notice by his proficiency in the studies usually prosecuted at Oxford, especially by his skill in logic. After some hesitation on his own part, and some opposition on that of his father, who, to use his own words, did not like " a callow clergyman," he was ordained by Bishop Potter, in the autumn of 1725. In the ensuing spring he was elected Fellow of Lincoln College-an event which gave great joy to his aged parent, who, in writing to him upon the occasion, says-" What will be my own fate before the summer be over, God knows : sed passi gravwrawherever I am, my Jack is Fellow of Lincoln." Eight months after his election to a fellowship he was appointed Greek lecturer and moderator of the classesan office which he afterwards regarded as having been of singular benefit to him, by increasing his expertness in arguing and detecting fallacies. Shortly after this he went to assist his father, and officiated as his curate at Wroote-the living of which the elder Wesley held along with that of Epworth. Here he continued two years, when he was again recalled to Oxford ; and once more took up his abode at Lincoln College, became a tutor there, and presided as moderator at the disputations which were held six times a-week, During his absence, however, his brother Charles had associated himself with two or three of the undergraduates in the formation of a religious society, the object of which was the attainment of spiritual improvement, and the promotion of a more strict attention to divine ordinances, and to certain ascetic observances that had gained favour in their eyes. Of this society, which had in the meantime received the title of nlethodkt, in allusion to the ancient school of physicians of that name, John was, on his return, Constituted the head and director; and, under his management, it became gradually more regular in its meetings, and more numerous in its adherents. In thus acting, t,he two brothers had the sanction of their father, who said that be would rather be called grandfather of the holy club of which John was the father, " than have the title of His Holiness." A very different view, however, of their conduct was taken by the heads of the University ; but as no steps of an active kind were resorted to against them, they continued to hold their meetings, and to carry on their schemes, in spite of all the ridicule with which they were assailed. This continued till the year 1735, when the two Wesleys, after the death of their father, left England for America, for the purpose of acting as chaplains to the new colony of Georgia, and as missionaries to the surrounding tribes of Indians. In the vessel which carried them out were a party of twenty-six Moravians, with whom, on their arrival in America, John took up his abode at Savannah, and from whose society and example he derived not only much good to his own mind, but also the great outlines of that ecclesiastical system which he afterwards lived to organise and establish, An excess of zeal, combined with a want of proper prudence, led to his being brought into angry conflict with the settlers; and in consequence of this he returned to Bngland in J737. For His residence in America was brief.
Volume 8 Page 386
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