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The first conference, held in London, commenced June 25; consisted of six clergymen and four lay preachers, and lasted five days . . .
1744 Mr. W. preached the sermon on “Scriptural Christianity”.
before the University of Oxford, August 24: his last discourse before that learned body . . . . .
1744 The Band Rules published, December 25 .
1744 Ten preachers this year began to travel: three were clergymen . . . . . . .
1744 Mr. Grimshaw, vicar of Haworth, unites with the Methodists 1745 Second conference, held in Bristol, commenced August 1,
and consisted of ten preachers. Subjects considered were church government, justification, sanctification
1745 Thirteen preachers this year join: one a clergyman . .
1745 Third conference, in Bristol, May 13: present, eight preachers 1746 Circuits first mentioned this year. The following were the
first: London, Bristol, Cornwall, Evesham, York, Newcastle, and Wales. Each was some hundreds of miles in circumference . .
. 1746 Probably circuit stewards were now appointed . . .
1746 Eight preachers join: one a clergyman .
1746 Fourth conference in London, June 16: present, 17 preachers 1747 Now 22 assistants, and 39 local preachers.
1747 Ireland first visited by Mr. Wesley, August 4 .
1747 Twelve preachers join, one a clergyman .
1747 Kingswood school opened for the education (chiefly at first,
altogether afterward) of preachers' children, June 24. A yearly collection in the congregations to aid the school commenced, and continued to this day .
1748 Mr. W. began the compilation of the Christian Library.” published in 50 volumes.
1749 Union again established between Mr. Wesley field . . . . .
. . . . 1750 Persecution of the Methodists in Cork
1750 Mr. Wesley married a Mrs. Vizelle : after 20 years' disturbing, she left him, and died 1781 .
1750 Mr. Thomas Walsh commences traveling
1750 Scotland first visited by Mr. Wesley .
1751 James Wheatly expelled the connection: the first expulsion of a preacher. June 25. .
1751 Disputes respecting union with the Church of England now commenced . . . .
1751 Mr. John Bennet and others separated from Mr. Wesley .. 1751 First conference in Ireland : seven preachers traveled there this year . . . .
1752 Five preachers left the connection, and became ministers of
Independent congregations. They were eminent men, but
there was no provision for their wives and children . . 1754 At the twelfth conference it was decided not expedient to separate from the church . .
1751 The Form of Renewing the Covenant first used in the London society, August . . .
1755 The yearly collection for contingencies commenced in the classes . . . . . .
. . . 1756
The chapel debt now amounted to nearly 4,0001. . . The 13th conference closed by Messrs. J. and C. Wesley solemnly declaring that their intention was never to separate from the church .
1756 Mr. Fletcher first assisted Mr. Wesley, March 13
. 1757 Mr. Alex. Mather, the first married preacher taken into the
connection, and his wife the first provided for by a fixed sum of money. Her allowance was 4s. per week, but four guineas a year were afterward added. Before this the families of preachers had a precarious supply: sometimes the stewards attended to, and at other times heeded not, their wants .
1757 Mr. Charles Wesley ceased his itinerancy, and settled in Bristol . . . . . . .
1757 Mr. Wesley published his Twelve Reasons against separat
ing from the Church of England . . . . . 1758 At the 16th conference the subject of Christian perfection
again largely considered, and soon after Mr. W. published
« Thoughts on Christian Perfection" . ... . 1759 George III., succeeding his grandfather, declared, in his first
speech from the throne, his determination to “maintain the toleration in violable?? . . . . . . 1760 The work of entire sanctification, languishing for 20 years, greatly revived among the Methodists in England and Ireland, and grew for some years
. 1760 Thomas Maxfield and others separated from Mr. Wesley,
who would not countenance their religious extravagances 1763 A Greek bishop ordained one of the preachers .... . 1763 The Twelve Rules of a Helper now first published . . 1763 The probation of a preacher determined to be one year . 1763 The Deed of Trust published and recommended to the socie
ties . . . . . . . . . . . 1763 “The Preachers' Fund” instituted for relieving old and sickly
preachers, or the widows and children of preachers . 1763 This year there were 20 circuits in England, 2 in Scotland, . 2 in Wales, 7 in Ireland—total 31 circuits .
1763 Mr. Wesley wrote his Catholic Letter to the Converted Cler-,
gy, entreating them to unite with him in reforming the nation; but they declined . . . . .
1764 Minutes of Conference now first published.
. 1765 This year 96 preachers occupied 39 circuits, and 24 preachers began to itinerate
. . . 1765 [Here ends the first race of Methodist preachers : it began 1739, ended 1765, and included 26 years. This race comprised 220 preachers, a few of whom were only local preachers, but men zealous for the cause. 1. Of this race 15 were clergymen before they became Methodist preachers; and 16 were made clergymen after. 2. There died in the work 83 traveling preachers. 3. There departed from it, from lack of health, or zeal, or support for families, or from change of doctrines, or other causes, 111. 4. Expelled from the office, eight. 5. This race was more noted for ardent piety than extensive learning. Yet some were men of deep erudition; and the most were men of good natural understanding, of sound religious experience, of great knowledge of the Scriptures, and of
Vol. IX.-Juty, 1838..
noble spirit. 6. Their ministerial labors were vast, as they usually traveled 20 or 30 miles a day, besides preaching twice or three times. Their zeal astonished the nation, and roused the regular clergy.] Mr. Whitefield attended the 24th conference in London . 1767 This year there were 40 circuits, 104 preachers, and 25,911
members Quarterly fasting first appointed to the societies . . . 1767 Mr. Asbury admitted on trial
1767 Remarkable work of God among the children in Kingswood
School . . . . . . . . . . At the 25th conference a great want of preachers felt . . 1768 The celebrated expulsion of six students from the Oxford University for holding Methodistic tenets. Mr. M'Gowan's
sermon of “ The Shaver" quickly followed . . . 1768 First resolved that preachers should not work at trades . 1768 North America calling, two preachers went . . .
1769 Methodism introduced into Newfoundland . .
1769 Resolved by the conference that a preacher should receive
121. a year for his wife, and 41. for each of his children . 1770 Propositions discussed by the conference, and published in
the Minutes, gave birth to the Rev. Walter Shirley's circular; and this gave rise to the long controversy between the Calvinists and Arminians in which Mr. Fletcher was
so conspicuous . . . . . . . . 1770 Mr. Whitefield died at Newburyport, New-England, Sept.
30; his funeral sermon preached by Mr. Wesley, Nov. 16 Mr. Wesley published his “ Thoughts on Public Affairs” . 1771. Mr. Shirley and his friends came to the 28th conference to protest against the propositions
1771 Mr. Joseph Benson admitted on trial.
1771 Messrs. Asbury and Wright sent to America
177) Preachers signed “Articles of Union” at this conferenc the two next . . . .
. . . . 1773 Mr. Samuel Bradburn admitted on trial :
1774 Mr. Wesley published his “ Thoughts on Slavery"
1774 Mr. John Crook, a zealous local preacher, visited the Isle of
Wight: his preaching followed by uncommon success .. 1775 The conference declared, “We all deny that there is or can be any merit, properly speaking, in man"
1775 In Great Britain and Ireland 155 traveling preachers . 1776 Dr. Coke unites with Mr. Wesley, August 13 . . . . 1776 American colonies revolting, Mr. Wesley published "An Ad
dress to the Colonies,” and “ Observations on Liberty) . 1776 The opinion of the conference was, “That the Methodists are not a fallen people”.
1777 Notices of the deaths of preachers now first published in the Minutes . .. ...
.. First volume of the Arminian Magazine published
1777 i i
1778 The New Chapel in London opened, November 1
. 1778 The first general decrease of members and collections . 1779 The Foundry Chapel now forsaken . . Mr. Henry Moore admitted on trial. .
. 1779 The large Hymnbook published. Dated Oct.
o 1780 Mr. Wesley wrote and published an address to the members
Oct. 20, 1779
and friends of the Methodist societies, requesting aid for the
Preachers' Fund; and the people cheerfully contributed . 1781 Agreed, That no more married preachers be called to itine
rate, as we have neither money nor houses for any more
1781 Mr. Wesley preached to a congregation of 23,000 persons in Gwenap pit, Cornwall, September 1 .
1781 Dr, Coke delegated to hold a conference in Dublin. In Ire
land there were 25 circuits, 34 preachers, and 6,472 members . . .
1783 Trustees of Bristol Chapel desired to choose their preachers 1783 Mr. Adam Clarke admitted on trial
1783 Dr. Coke requested to travel through England, to procure
the settlement of the preaching houses on the Methodist
plan . Mr. Wesley visited Holland .
• • . . . . 1783 Consultation about sending missionaries to the East Indies ; but it was deemed, at present, inexpedient .
• . 1784 Deed of Declaration executed, constituting 100 preachers
“ The conference of the people called Methodists,” February 28 . . . .
1784 Four preachers, offended by the Deed, left the connection. 1784 Trial of preachers lengthened to four years .
1784 Methodism introduced into Jersey by a gentleman named Brackenbury . . . . . . .
1784 Dr. Coke ordained by Mr. Wesley, and sent to superintend the societies in North America ..
1784 Rev. Mr. Perronet, vicar of Shoreham, died May 9 Sunday schools, begun 1784, recommended to the societies for their adoption, by Mr. Wesley . . .
1785 Rev. John Fletcher, vicar of Madeley, died August 14 . 1785 Mr. Wesley ordained three preachers for Scotland . . 1785 At the 43d conference Mr. Wesley advised the preachers never to preach a funeral sermon but for a person eminently holy* . . . . . . . . .
1786 W. Bramwell and Jon. Edmondson admitted on trial . . 1786 Two preachers left in the West Indies by Dr. Coke: now commenced the West Indian mission
1786 Mr. Wesley again visited Holland . .
1786 The Conventicle Act not being repealed, Mr. Wesley was
induced to have preachers and preaching houses licensed 1787 Mr. Wesley ordained three other preachers
1787 Mr. Charles Wesley departed this life, March 29 . 1788 A conference, first and last time, held in Scotland . . 1789 Trustees of Dewsbury Chapel, claiming the right of reject
ing preachers, and meeting with a denial, withheld their
chapel, and another chapel was built . Rules published by Mr. Wesley for “Strangers' Friend So
cieties :" a charity begun by the Methodists in London in 1784 .
• • . . . . . . 1790
* A resolution embracing the same sentiment passed the Conference in NewEngland in 1777. Why the general departure from this example and the above advice?
Mr. Wesley preached his last field-sermon at Winchelsea,
September . . . . . . . . . 1790 Attended the 47th conference, the last he visited
. 1790 Now the connection had greatly increased : there were in England . i . . 65 circuits, 195 preachers, 52,832 members. Ireland . . . . 29
14,106 Wales . . . . 3
566 Scotland . . . . 8
1,086 Isle of Man . . . 9
2,580 West Indies . . . 7
4,500 British America . 4-125 64299
800—76,470. Mr. Wesley preached his last sermon at Leatherhead, from
“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found,” &c., Feb. 23 1791 Sickened Feb. 25; died, March 2, in the 88th year of his age and 65th of his ministry; and buried March 9 .
1791 [Here ends the second race of Methodist preachers: it lasted 25 years, and embraced 476 men. 1. This body possessed more knowledge than the preceding. 2. Nine were clergymen before they became Methodist preachers; and nine were made such after. 3. The members increasing, the circuits were contracted, and the preachers more at home. 4. As the preachers were now better known, they were less persecuted. 5. During this period the circuits, members, and preachers trebled the number of the former period.) The 48th conference assembled at Manchester: more than
200 preachers present. Mr. W. Thompson, a preacher for
34 years, the first president; and Dr. Coke, the secretary 1791 Married men, becoming preachers, required to possess an
income to support their wives independently of the connection . .
1791 Connection agitated on the union with the Established
Church: the conference resolved to follow strictly Mr.
1791 Mr. Wilberforce sent a present of 102 volumes on the slave
trade, and a letter, to the conference, desiring them to as'sist in petitioning for the abolition of the trade in negroes; they cheerfully complied . . . .
1791 The circuits now formed into districts, each to have not less than three, nor more than eight circuits. ..
1791 The 49th conference assembled in London ; Mr. Alexander Mather, president .. : : : : : :
1792 Dispute with Dr. Whitehead concerning the “Life of Mr. 1. Wesley”.
1792 Seditious publications causing national uneasiness, the con
ference resolved, “None of us shall speak lightly or irre
verently of the government” . Decided by lot that the societies this year should not receive
the sacrament from the preachers . . . . . 179% Conference addressed the people for the first time . . 1792 Preachers' sons not admitted into Kingswood School to receive each 121. per annum for education . .
1792 The conference addressed Mr. Asbury and the American
preachers on the division caused by one of the West India missionaries in Charleston .
1792 His majesty annulled the act of the assembly of St. Vincent,