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Wesley’s Correspondents

1740. Thursday, January 3.—I left London and the next evening came to Oxford, where I spent the two following days in looking over the letters which I had received for the sixteen or eighteen years last past. How few traces of inward religion are here! I found but one among all my correspondents who declared (what I well remember, at that time I knew not how to understand), that God had “shed abroad his love in his heart” and had given him the “peace that passeth all understanding.” But who believed his report? Should I conceal a sad truth or declare it for the profit of others? He was expelled out of his society as a madman; and, being disowned by his friends and despised and forsaken of all men, lived obscure and unknown for a few months, and then went to Him whom his soul loved.

Monday, 21.—I preached at Hannam, four miles from Bristol. In the evening I made a collection in our congregation for the relief of the poor, without Lawford’s gate; who, having no work (because of the severe frost) and no assistance from the parish wherein they lived, were reduced to the last extremity. I made another collection on Thursday and a third on Sunday, by which we were enabled to feed a hundred, sometimes a hundred and fifty, a day, of those whom we found to need it most.

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