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Wesley Explains Methodism

Sunday, March 1, was a solemn day indeed. The pew chapel was sufficiently crowded both morning and afternoon; and few that expected a parting blessing were disappointed of their hope. At seven in the evening I took the mailcoach; and having three of our brethren, we spent a comfortable night, partly in sound sleep and partly in singing praise to God. It will now quickly be seen whether they who prophesied some time since that I should not outlive this month be sent of God or not. One way or the other, it is my care to be always ready.

April 12 (Dublin).--(Being Easter day.) We had a solemn assembly indeed; many hundred communicants in the morning, and in the afternoon far more hearers than our room would contain, though it is now considerably enlarged. Afterward I met the society and explained to them at large the original design of the Methodists, namely, not to be a distinct party but to stir up all parties, Christians or heathens, to worship God in spirit and in truth; but the Church of England in particular, to which they belonged from the beginning. With this view I have uniformly gone on for fifty years, never varying from the doctrine of the Church at all; nor from her discipline, of choice, but of necessity; so, in a course of years, necessity was laid upon me (as I have proved elsewhere) 1) to preach in the open air; 2) to pray extempore; 3) to form societies; 4) to accept of the assistance of lay preachers; and, in a few other instances, to use such means as occurred, to prevent or remove evils that we either felt or feared.

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