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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


876 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. several months he seems to have led a very unsettled life-moving from place to place, and occasionally preaching. At length, for the purpose of receiving instruction on some points of theology, regarding which his mind was ill at ease, he visited Herrnhut, the residence of the Moravians in Germany. After a short time he again returned to England ; and, having been joined by his former college companion, Whitfield, he commenced preaching in private houses, and ultimately in the fields and streets. This ancient, and sometimes useful mode of instructing the people, he from this time forward employed to the end of his life ; visiting on preaching excursions almost every part of the United Kingdom. On several occasions, both he and his brother were severely handled by the tumultuous and ignorant mob. Nothing can more strikingly evince the extraordinary character of the man than the undaunted sincerity and unchanging resolution with which he maintained the course he had chosen, in spite of all the hardships, sufferings, and persecutions to which it exposed him. In 1751, Mr. Wesley entered into the marriage relation with a Mrs. Vizelle, a widow of independent fortune. This union proved singularly unhappy. That . Mrs. Wesley had some good properties appears indubitable; but these were absorbed in a spirit of fierce and harrowing jealousy of her husband. To such an extent was this allowed to work upon her mind, that it must have bordered on insanity, as nothing short of madness can explain her conduct. “It is said that she frequently travelled a hundred miles for the purpose of watching from a window who was in the carriage with him when he entered a town. She searched his pockets, opened his letters, put his letters and papers into the hands of his enemies, in hopes that they might be made use of to blast his character, and sometimes laid violent hands upon him, and tore his hair.” After being the torment of his life for twenty years, she at length left him, carrying off part of his journals and papers. Of his feelings on this occasion, some idea may be formed from the brief but pithy comment upon it in his journal, where, after noticing the fact, he adds in Latin-Non earn relipui, non dimisi, non wvocabo. “ I did not leave her-I did not dismiss her-I will not recall her.” His last sermon was preached at Leatherhead, on Wednesday the 24th of February 1791. At that time he was suffering severely from an attack of cold, accompanied with fever, so that he preached with great difficulty. He continued growing weaker and more lethargic till the 2d of March, when, after uttering the exclamation- “ Farewell ! ’’ he, without a lingering groan, entered into his rest. He died in the eighty-eighth year of his age, and sixty-fifth of his ministry-full of years, and full of honours. Wesley visited Scotland several times ; but the success which had attended his labours in England did not follow him across the borders. In one of his journals he complains bitterly of the insensibility of the Scotch, “0 ! what a difference between the living stones and the dead unfeeling multitudes of Scotland,’! is one of his lamentations. The experience of his friend Whitfield, Nor were such attempts at that time unaccompanied with danger. Mr. Wesley continued his laborious exertions to the very last.
Volume 8 Page 387
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Volume 8 Page 388
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