13 July 2016
WESLEY, John (1703-1791). Autograph letter signed (‘J Wesley’) to Thomas [Longley] (‘Dear Tommy’), Manchester, 11 April 1784.
One page, 4to (220 x 160mm), bifolium, address docket (reinforced at folds and seal tear). Framed.
‘You have reason to be thankfull that the Society does not decrease in number. And the members of it will not decrease in grace, if you strongly and explicitly exhort them, to “go on to perfection”: Especially if you encourage them, both by Precept & example, To rise early in the morning. The Morning Preaching is the Glory of the Methodists. Whenever that ceases, the Glory is departed from them’.
JOHN WESLEY ON THE IMPORTANCE OF RISING EARLY. Writing to Thomas Longley - an itinerant preacher accepted into the Wesleyan church in 1780, appointed as the ‘assistant’ of the Derby Methodist circuit by 1784 - Wesley expounds one of the central tenets of the Methodist preaching ethos. Early morning services were a necessity, given the focus of the early church on bringing the word of God to the labourers and working classes largely excluded by organised religion, for gathering a congregation of working people. [With:] late 19th-century provenance note in the hand of one John Johnson, mounted between glass.
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