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Pursuing Social HolinessThe Band Meeting in Wesley's Thought and Popular Methodist Practice$

Kevin M. Watson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199336364

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199336364.001.0001

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(p.201) Appendix G The Method of Mr. Westlay Band Meetings, Samuel Roberts Excerpt from Manuscript Volume

(p.201) Appendix G The Method of Mr. Westlay Band Meetings, Samuel Roberts Excerpt from Manuscript Volume

Source:
Pursuing Social Holiness
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

A band is a Company of People joynd to gather in Church falowship (Should be) & when thay Meet togather thay Reveal All thare Consarns, Speritual & tempral one to another, thare Desined End is in this to help & Strengthen one another to over come ye World ye flesh & ye Devil. & walk as Xt. walked. til thay Arive to be holy in thought word & Deed. & to have ye Sperit of God to abide with ym. for Ever. In thare inmost Souls ye Same as ye Apostels had: but to be Plainer Stil (The Minester Auder in Uniting & Making of bands) When any Man or woman Say & Spreds it a Broad that thay have found ye Pardon of all thare Past Sins & yt thay Now Can beleve yt thare justifyed by Xt ye Preacher. Puts them into a band. being thought then yt Now thare More Capable of Reseving More Privalegs. in ye Use of ye Means. so thare Put into band & have a Different ticket Given to ym. ye Way of Makeing up bands. is Putting young Men by them Selves & ould Men by them Selves. & young wiming by ym Selves. & ould wiming by them Selves. ye Proper Number of a band. 3 or 4 People. but thare often 5 or 6 becaus of ye Scarceness of leaders becaus ye leader is thought ye Man yt is Got fordest in Grace & now ye Devils Devices More then ye Rest of ye Compeny. So this Compeny of People Meets once Every week. to tel How thare Souls Prospers. & how often thay have Conqurd or been Concerd. by ye World flesh or ye Devil. To tel of worly Consarns. & all joy or Grevance yt Passes in thare mind from one week to another as follows - - - - -

Note yt ye following Descorce is a true & a Clear account of ye Nature of a band Meting. Thearfore lit us Supose yt we Are Now in ye hearing of 6 People Met togather in band, & yt This is ye first time. of thare Meting to gather. since thay was joind to gather in band. Note I Shall Give Every one of ym. thare Name. (as ye Real truth of ye Gospil teach me:) thearfore The Name of ye leader is B hate ye truth. & ye five yt is Under his Care & Dyrections are those Br. knowlittle. Br. Misarable. Br fretful. & Br Slipperry Br. lofty. The Leader Speak furst. My Dear beloved Brethren. I am Glad yt it hath Pleased ye Lord yt we Should be thus joynd to gather in Band of Union. I Confidently hope you will be Sincear in ye ways of ye Lord. & also Sincear & faithful in Declaring ye State of your Souls. & ye Devises & Strattagems of ye Ennemy. togather with all your Worly Consarn. yt all our Greifs & Sorows May be lade open one to another. & yt no longer we may Not be Councel keepers for ye Divel, but yt we may all faithfully & in Much love Confess ye hole of what is lodge in our brests. & yt we non of us. May Never to ye Day of our Death Devulg. To Any other Possers. What sover. any thing yt have been Spoken in this our band Meting. Let us Pray. O Lord Most hosly’ mot Mity, & infinite God. we thy Unworthy. Children have agrede togather for to Ask in X Name yt thou would of thine Infinite Goodness & marcy Vouchsafe to give us thy blessing at all times when we Meet togather, & yt thou would Unite us More & more by thy Good Sperit. yt we May Declare faithfully ye true State of our Souls one to an other. & whatso ever is a Miss in Any one of Us Good lorde Do thou Remove it from Us. Yt we May Grow from Grace to (p.202) Grace. from Strength to Strength from Conkering to [illeg. Word, page folded]. til as last thou hast Made us holy throughout Body Soule & Sperit. for Ever to Prase thy horly Name Amen Our father which arte in heaven - - -

then thay all Sit Down. &: hate ye truth, Speaks First, Of a truth it is a Great wonder, that I am out of Hell. for ye Days of My Youth, have been vary Evil, after I was 14 years of Age. I was Sorely Given to lust after wiming. how to Steal. & Get Money for to go to Get Drunk. alongue with hores was my Constant Studdy As for horse I had Sevarl: yea Mens wives I ust to lye with a Most Every Day. & as for young wiming I had 10 or a Duzen of them. & of a Jentell Sort. but In ye 27 year of My Age. which was 3d years after I was Maried. being led by Severl Accuaintance to hear ye Methodist Preach, it Pleased ye Lord to Pluck me as a brand from ye burnings So I was Struck Under ye word With a Devine Conviction so yt for Severl weeks. I did Nothing but Crye & Rore. & Could Scarce Eate or Drink or Sleep in My bed. being So Destrest in My Mind but at last it Pleased ye Lorde as I was a Coming home one Morning from ye Preaching. all of a Suddon I heard a Voice Speak Inwardly to me. & bad me be of Good Chear my Sins was for Given me: Emedately. by bordding Remoovd my fears vankquisht, away & I was Set at liberty. then Could I bless & Prace God. with a joy Unexpressable & ful of Glory then Could I Say my beloved is Mine & I am his but in a boute a Year after. I Met with one of my Former Misses whom’ I Most lov’d. & I was temted by ye Devil to lay her Down. which She frely a Greed to, So yt I was over Come. & Commit yt horrid fact yt I had been so Formily Proon to, then Othen None can tell ye Destress my Soul was in So yt for 3 quarters of, A year ye Lord his his face from me. so yt I began to think ye Day of Grace was Past, but one afternoon as I was a Musing at my work. but all of a Suddon ye Lorde Darted his love into my Soul. Which Came Like litening so yt I found ye Same faith & ye Same confidence. & had ye Same felings yt I had before. O ye Love yt was betwen god & my Soul then. I have had Many fears & Doubts. & I find ye Sperit oft Come in & Goe Oute. but I live in hopes it will one Day take its Everlasting abode in My hart I am In Abled to Stick Cloce to Prayer. & to ye Use of all ye Means: by. I am keep in ye favour of God. I find of late yt I have More Power of My Sins then what I Ust to have so yt my Love to god Daly Increases Whe Saton Coms to tempt my Soul at any time I find ye Sperit Give me a token of it before he Coms so before ye temtation Gets much hould of me. I Goe to Sume Private Place to Prayer. & then I take up a Good book & Reds til ye temter I Can See as it ware Sneek a way. like one yt a Shamd of himself thear is one thing Oftentimes trubels me & yt is I Ough Money hear & theare more then at Preson I Can Pay. So I am forsed to goe in a Poor habit & My Wife. She bears me Many Children. so yt I Am Run Much behinthand in ye World. yt Some times I am temped by Saton, to Run a way. but then A Gain I think what a Sad thing it will be if I Should bring a Reproach upon ye Gospil. but I hope God will keep me & bring me throw all trials & Difficultys. (Br. knowlittle How Doe you Doe: I thank you brother. I hardly know at Present. Hate ye truth, Doe you know wather your a Child of God or no: knowlittle) Sometims I think I am. & then again a little time after I think I am Not. Hate ye truth brother, What Causeth you to Doubt, knowlittle. becaus I find Suchan Evil hart. & yt I So oft fall into Sin, hate ye truth, What do you Never feal ye love of God in your hart. knowlittle yes Sometimes when I am Oft Under ye Word. & yt I have more Power over my Sins & Reed & Pray A Great Deal: then I find my Self vary happy. hate ye truth & Can you beleve in Xt then knowlittle O yes to be shure. I Can feel ye Sperit in me then hate ye truth how longue is it agoe Since you felt ye Sperit of God in you. knowlittle it is now amost a Half a year Since hate ye truth you mite well be in Doubts. I am Ratherly In fear you have greevd ye Sperit or Els’ it would Not Stay so longue from you. Do you Not know what it was yt you Greved ye Sperit with. Knowlittle, yess I think is was with over Much agreing with my wife. In ye Marridg bed Hate ye truth, what is you Wife, a vary listful Woman, Now little; O yes She is in Deed. & by yt She oftens Brings me into Great Souls truble hate ye truth Indeed I Can Simpathise with you heare. for my wife when She is with Child Se is never Sattisfyed. but when She is not with Child; then She is quite otherwise well if this is ye Cause yt brings Gilt upon your Contiance. you Can Doe Nothing but Pray to god to alter ye Case. & you Must Strive to Denigh Hor. & Els’ Lye Separate. I find brother knowlittle you have Great Need to be upon your Watch; Br. Misarable How do you Doe Alass I Don’t know I have just as much Christianaty as Maks me Mesarable. hate ye truth Alas yt is often ye Cace. we are wavring Creatures. Sumtimes up & Sometimes Down. but Br. what is ye Caus of your Mesary. I think I Shall Never hould out to ye End (Why so Br:) (p.203) I have Such a Wiced hart. & I Meet with so Many Croses that. I am Every Day in fear of Sinning Against god hate ye truth; Br. Don’t you know yt Xt Says yt my Grace is Sofisant for ye; Why Doe you Doubt he have Promist yt with ye temtation he will make a Way for your Iscape. Br. misarable a but I find My hart is like tander it Catces ye Divels Bates as fast as he Can Set them. so yt Many a time I Am forsed to Cry O Reced Man yt I am who’ Shall Deliver me from ye body of this Death, hate Grace. Br. I hope you Don’t Sin Wilfully, B Misarable. Sometimes I think I Doe & Sometimes I think I Doe not, Br. when Did did ye Lord face Shine Upon you, it is now Nigh a Munth a Goe yt I felt his love. O brother be much on your Gard wach & Pray. & keep Cloce to ye Means; How are you in your Worly Surcumstance. Many times Hardly food to Eate & when I have. it is Such as coms from ye foggars. for My wife is a Vary Aling woman & I have 6 Small Children. & I am often almost Driven out of my wits with ym. hate ye truth. In Deed brother it is vary hard I Can very well Simphathise with you in those Cases Some People thinks because we Cannot a Pear jentile & Deasant in ye world We are I Dole laysey fellows but if ye lord was to lay upon ym what is Lade Upon us. we Should Se ym Like our Selvs. well My Dear brother hould fast your Confidence a little wile longer. & we Shall see an End of all those Sorows. whear we Shall land Safe whear Sorrows will be no More! Br Fretful How Doe you Doe. O br. I Doe Sadly in Deed: why what is ye Matter I think Shuarly yt thare is but few like me for Sometimes I Cannot help Singing Vain Songues. & Some times Cannot help Swearring. & Some times I am temted to Corse. god & to kil my Child & to Make an End of My Self., O Strange & what is ye Cause of your Destress of Mind Br. Why Some times when I let Goe my hould. ye Devil torments me with what I’ve Done. & temps me to Hang my Self. & tels me I had better Dye now, then live to Commit More Sin, & so I am fit to Despare Doe you Never feel ye Presence of god Br. O ye Sum times when I’m Much Under ye Word & Much in Private Prayer. & by those Means is In Abled Quite to over Come ye Divil & to live without Sin. O br. Then for ye Lord Sake & for you Soul Sake. kep Cloce to ye Means. fretful, Yea’ I Strive as well as I Can. but Some times I Am of on My Watch & then ye Divel & my own hart betrays me. then when I am brought Into Sin. then I am a Shamd to Pray knowing what ye Salmest Say If I Ncline to wickedness with my Hart ye Lord will not hear me: So I think it Do not Signify me Praying Now I have Sind with my hart. & thearfore ye Lord will not hear me: hate ye truth, Well my Br. I Can Say Nothing but yt you must Watch & Pray & keep Cloce to ye Means. & you Must Get ye Brethren to Pray for you & look Up to Jesus. for we are None of us no longer Safe but whyle our Eye is unto Xt. Well Br. Sliperry How Doe you Doe. Sometimes Up & Sometimes Down Never at a Sarton Stay. One Day all joy & Gladness & another Day all Doubts & fears. hate ye truth Alas this is ye Case With Most of us: Sinning & Repenting, Sinning & Repenting Sumtimes hope & Sumtimes Despart We are Never at one Stay. but we are Cal’d to Strive. or Elst. Saton Soon will Make his Pray of Us. Br. Slippery How Doe you find your Self in your Marrig Bed. Indifferant. My Wife has Shortly lade in So I have not lade with hor for a Mongth. it’s true I Cist hor last Nite. But Confiddening Considdering yt it is a Munth Since I lay with hor. I think. I am Prety Modrate, hate ye truth how are you In your Worly Surcumstances. Br Slippery Bless god I Can Make Shift to live; & yt all. hate ye truth, Br I hope you will Strive. to hould fast to what you have Attaind to. When Did you feel ye witnessing Sperit of God Last Lords Day. at ye Saryment. hate ye truth & how Did you find you Self thear Why as I was a Drinking the wine I thought I See Xt Stand with Open Arms. & I thought I See his blood Runing Down from both his hands & feet. with yt I Cryde lord thou Bleeds for me. hate ye truth, In Deed Brother yt was a Gloryous Site. I beleve Xt. is Pleasd to Show himself to us Sometimes in yt Manner. For oure Incorridgment & Soporte. Well Brother I hope you’l Press forwards Well Br. lofty. how Doe you Doe. O Bless ye Lord I am Vary joyful. I have had Swete Comfort, Since we met to Gather. Prase ye lord, hate ye truth. how longue Br. have you known ye Lord, lofty 3 hole years. & I find his ways to be ways of Pleasant Ness, & all his Pasths to be Paths of Peace. hate ye truth. what Doe you Never find No temtations Br. yes but it is vary Seldom yt thay over Come me. & when thay do I Doe Not Yeald to them wilfully. hate ye truth But when your overtaken are you not Sorrow ful then. Yes I am Grevd. but then before I Sleep I Confess my Solt to god. beleving with ye Salmest yt his Marcys is new Every Morning, & yt Xt is ye Propesiation for my Sins. so ye Next Morning I look on My Self to be in ye favour of God as tho I had Not Sind, so I Goe on with fresh viggar Watching & Praying keeping Cloce to ye Means. & so I Find yt by so Doing I am Inabled. to goe on my Way Rejoysing. hate ye truth have you Never no Cloudy Days. when ye (p.204) Sperit hides his face. from you. & you find you Soul Could Ded lifeless & barron. O Yes, but Never longe togather. for by. keeping Cloce to ye Means. Praying & watching. & Meditating on ye Promisis of God: Setting ye Crown before. my vue. I goe on Rejoysing. Reckning Every Day yt Goes over my hed, yt I am a Day Nier Everlasting hapyness. hate ye truth. My Br your in a hapy State in Deed: but are you Never Cast Down In Worly afares: No, for When I have Nothing but Bred & water. I Can Say with joy. I have all this & Xt besides. & as for Consarnments a boute ye world I let things Goe as thay Come. knowing yt I am but a Pilgrim & a Stranger on ye Earth. & yt hear I have no Continnuing Sitty. but am Seeking a Sitty out of Site Eternal in ye heavens. (hate ye truth.) but Br. are You Satisfyed in ye State your in, Dont you Want to be More Holy. in Inward holyness. Good by inward Goodness. Jentel by in ward jentelness. (that is) Dont You want to be holy throughout body Soul & Sperit O yes. & I beleve I Shall be one Day. before I Depart this life. but this work is ye Lords. & I’ll leave it for him to Doe. according to his own Will. hate ye truth But Br. are not you Never in No fear yt you will Never Arive to this Parfict State in Xt. but that one Day you will fall away. & Parish. Yes Somtimes When folishly. I have been looking at a Great length of time yt is yet to Come. then fear have Seesd my brest but this I account to be ye Ennemy. My bisness is to Mind to Day. & Stand my Gard & ye Morrow leve to ye Lord; hate ye truth. & houd Doe you find your Self in your Marridg bed. lofty. formily. ye Ennimy Made a Great Snare of it but by ye blessing of God I have Overcumd him at Last. for I Never lay with my wife after She is with Child. but when She is not. then i Lay with hor. & Use my liberty. but after it appears yt She is with Child, then I lay with my tow boys. & ye Girls lay with thare Mother, & So I Now keep my Contiance in yt Respect. & Br Doe you find Now harty Desier to flye from ye face of all Sin. & to hold fast to all yt which is Good: by Releving ye Destressed & Doing Good of Every Cind. Yes but in those Cases I find my Desiers Increace & Decreace. Acording to ye Measure of love I feel within me. it is my Dayly Prayer More & more to be Establisht in his love. yt I may be more Stedfast in all ye Ways of holyness.!. Well Br. lofty you Have Greate Reason Indeed to Praise ye Lord, he hath Done Great things for you. & also to Pray. for all yt are In faloship with you Aspashally for Br fretful. & Br Sorrowful & Br. Slipperry. & Brother Knowlittle. you se How thare Overpowerd by ye Ennemy of Souls. & go on in leanness. & heaviness. lofty. This one thing I can Experience yt all yt thay Complain of is not ye lords falt. thear is Strength & Comfort Peace & Sattisfaction in Xt. for all yt will Denigh them Selves & take Up thare Cross & follow Xt. but if we Give but way to ye Ennemy. then we Grow faint harted & Misarable hate ye truth. yes Br. what you Say is Rite. but you know we are all frale by Nature, & thearfore ye Strongue ought to bear with ye Informitys of ye weak & Dayly to Pray for them. lofty yes all yt I alow: let us Sing a few verses of an Himn

  • Hymn 56 In Doubts,
  • My God I Humbly Call ye mine. & will not Quit my Clame
  • Til all I have be lost in thine, & all Renew’d I am;
  • I hould ye with a trembling hand, But will not let ye Go,
  • Til Stedfastly by faith I Stand, & all thy Goodness know;
  • When Shall I See ye welcom Hour, yt Plants my God in me,
  • Sperit of health & life & Pow’r, & Parfect liberty,
  • O yt in me ye Sacred fier, might now begin to Glow;
  • Burn up ye Dross of bace Desier, & make ye Mountains flow
  • O yt it Now from heaven mite fall, & all my Sins Consume
  • Come holy Gost for ye I Call; Sperit of Borning Come:
  • Refining fier Go throw my hart. Illuminate my Soule,
  • Scatter thy Life through Every Part & Sanctify ye hole;
  • Soroh & Sin Shall then Expier, wile Enter’d into Rest,
  • I only live my God to admier, my God for Ever blest,
  • No longer then my Hart Shall Mourn, wile Purified by Grace
  • I only for his Glory burn, & all ways See his Face;
  • My Stedfast Soul from falling free, can now no longer move
  • Wile Xt is all ye world to me. & all my hart is love;

(p.205) Lofty Gos’e to Pray first

Most wonderful, Most Amasing, Most Glolyous & a Dorable Lord my God. thou art my Everlasting joy & Porshon & Crown of Reward, thearfore to ye thou king of kings, will I Dyrect my Prayer & thanksgiving, at all times & in all Places will I make my Bost of ye O thou Darling & Delite of My Soul, thearfore o my beloved Savour Now will it Please ye to hear ye Prays & thanksgiving of they blood bought Childdren, offerd up to ye at this time. Now o my Savor ye Darling of all my joy. & Rejoysing will it Please ye to Power upon me thy Unworthy Creature. thy Santifying Sperit, & Cause it to Roote up Every Plant which thy Rite hand hath not Planted. O my Best frend & most Wonderfully beloved. Destroy all yt is Sin in me. yt I may worship ye At all times & in all Places without a Wandring thought. & yt vain & Evil Desiers & thoughts May for Ever Seace from My brest. yt thearby I may Never More be obstructed from always giving thee My hart o thou my Souls Delite. O My beloved will it Please ye Now. to be hould ye Needs & Destresses that My Poor Brethren is in which thay have Declard at this time. O yt Now Even Now thou would bow ye heavens & Come Down Amonguest us, & let them See thy Smiling face. O thou Briter then ye Son. Show them thy butyful Countanance Which are So lovly. O let ym fell ye Kisses of thy mouth yt thay may be inamard with thy love. take ym Up in thine arms & Do thou Norse ym. lay thare heads on thy Brests. wile with ye kisses of thy love. thay may faint a Way, with joy. O my Soul Ravishing Saver. See thy tender lambs. are now Sick with love. O my Soul Sink with a Stonishment & wonder. to Se thy loveing bleeding tenderharted & Compasanate Saver. weping over a few of his Blood bought lams O me thinks I hear ye Say you are ye Purchace of my blood—you are as ye Apel of Mine Eyes, behould I have Ingraven you on ye Palms of my hands. behould I Cover you with my wings. behould I Put Underneath you My Everlasting arms, then fear Not little flock it is your father good Pleasure to give you ye kingdom. thearfore be it According to thy word. thou Neverfailling God but Do thou now Grant. yt from this time forth we May walk Parfectly before ye in thought word & Deed yt we all may Make Our Songs of Prase & addoration to ye for Ever & Ever a Men

Come Holy Gost my hart inspier, Attest yt I am born again Come & bablise us Now with fier, or all thy former Gifts is vain; Whear is ye Sence of Sins forgiven, whear is ye Earnist of my heaven When Shall we hear ye Inward Voice, which only faithful Souls can hear;

Pardon & Peace & heavenly joys attend ye Promist Comforter;

He coms & Riteousness Devine, & Xt & all with Xt is Mine;

Br. hate ye truth. Prayer

Wee Prace thy Name olord for this. & all other opertunitys we have in wating upon ye. we Bless ye yt thou of a truth hast been with us at this time. we beseech ye to answer ye Prayers of our Dear brother. which have been offerd up unto ye o bless thou us according to thy Great Marcys & according to our needs & Nacessatys. yt we thearby may be able to live to ye Prace of thy Great Name. & yt we may Gloryfy ye on ye Earth before ye face of all People. that when ye Messenger Deth Coms to Unlock ye Prisen Dore of this Mortal life we May with thy blest Angels tower away. to thy Blest Relms of Everlasting Joy & Philisaty whear ye Wiced Seace from trubling & whear our weary Souls will be for Ever at Rest. be with o lord in our Unsepperate Plases of a bode, Do thou bless all our familyes. acquaintance & Relations by turning them from all thare Inniquitys. hear us in those Portishons We humbly beg for Jesus Xt his Sake to whome with thy Self & blessed Sperit be ascribd as Ever Due all oner Power Might Magasty & Dominyon both now & for ever More A Men, May ye Grace of our Lord Jesus X be with us all amen - - - - - -

to ye we now togather Came in Singelness of hart. we met o Jesus in thy name & in thy name we’ll Part; we part in body not in mind our minds Continnue one & Each to Each in Jesus joynd we hand in hand go on - -

Having Given my Reder a true Account of ye Method & Nature of a band Meting. I would have him Obsarve, yt Some are Not Quite So Strict, in Aczamining into Every Porticalar Matter yt I have treated Upon. (& why so) because Some Do not like to be under So Cloce a tye. as this is thay love to hug thare Durlings Evils, & not Devulg Every thing yt thay Doe amiss. but those are Such yt walk Contrary. to what is Mr Wesltay. Skeam in Matters of this kind. as for my own Parte. ye Preacher one Mr Manners Asked me how I found my Self in my Marridg bed. with All (p.206) other Cloce Questons yt he Could bethink him Self of & Inded ye band yt I was in, & ye band yt I was leader of Was as Strict as Could be. & in this vary Method, Now ye Leader of ye Bands. of a Sarton Night goes to ye Preachar & Makes him a Quainted of ye State & Condishon. of ye People. yt thay have under thare Care, & this Is Done inauder yt ye Preacher may Now how to Agzort ye People of ye bands, when thay meet all to gather; ye method is as follow. John Westlay. well Br hate ye truth How Doth ye People Doe yt is under you Care. or yt is in your Band I thank you Sor. ye Most of them is in A Poor fretful Misarable way unless one Br. lofty. he Goses on his way Rejoysing, as for ye Other thay are Sorely temted with Divers temtations & seems to me to be in a weak tottering Condishon Westlay how are thay temted Br. Why Sor one is temted to Sing Felle Songs & to Swear, & to kil his Child & to Make an End of him Self. an other is temted with lust. & hard Set to live ye Rest hard Set as it ware to keep thare heds above water. but is a frade yt Saton will overcome ym at Last. & yt thay Shall Parish after all: Westlay & who is yt Br yt is in Destress & want. one Br. Misarable Sor. Br. think me on him ye Next Colection yt is Made for ye Pore. Weslay well Br. Self wise how Dose ye young men Doe. yt is in your band Sor I thank you Some of them Doe Indifferantly well & some of them Vary Porely. westlay What is ye Matter with ym. Bro. one of them is Sorely Burnt up with Lust. & he is in Love with a young woman. & he is Going to be Marrid with hor. & She Do not belongue to us. & thear is an other Sorely temted & is Some times over Come. with lite trifling vain Compeny. which is of a bad Corracter he is led by them a way in taking of Pleasure. & in Going to ye Alehouse. Anothr is over Come with Pride & in wearing Gaudy aparril. Westlay & how Doth you People Doe Br. falshope. yt is in your band, Sor I beleve that ye Most of ym is Striving all that thay Can to Please God. & to obtain to a Parfect State in Xt Jesus vary well Br I am Glad to hear it: & how Doth ye Sisters Go on Sr. Strugel yt you have in your band O lac a Day Sor. Wary Porely. Why so Sr. too trifeling Sor. & Some of ym. is vary wanton. & Provde & vary Cloce & all thay mind is thare Swete harts. & thay keep Compeny with Such Rakes As know not yt Ways of ye Lord. but live in Open Porfainaty. Alas I Am Sory to hear yt Sr we must take some other Corse Amonguest ye Young wiming. You must let me Now Each of thare Names & I Must Speak to them & See what I Can Make of them. Sor I Shall be glad you would for thare a Great truble to me. Sr. bad Grace how Doth ye Sr. do yt is in your band. O Sor Some Do well, & Some vary ill how ill Sr; why Some have Sad Druken husbands. yt follow bad wiming. & live Sad wiced lives. so yt thare bet & a Bused & often keep from hearing ye Word. so yt ye Pore Creatures is oft in Destress & want for food for them Selves & thare Children & other Some is Sorely temted & buffeted by ye foe. & Can Searce keep thare hed a bove water. Some of them is given to Pashon. & Some. are temted to leave thare Husbands & Children. & other Some temted to swear Weladay I am Sory to hear it Sr. & who is She yt is in Such Destress & want one Sr. love no good. O Poor thing think me on; yt She be Relev’d when ye Next Colection is Made for ye Poor - - - This is ye Nature of ye Disscorse between ye Preachers & Band leaders. tho I would obsarve to My Reder. yt I never new this to be Done Every weak. but only Some times when ye Preacher has New Com’d (as thare often Changing) Or When Mr westlay Comes. then ye Clasleaders. & band leaders. is Descorst to in this Meathod. sometimes when thare met alltogather. & Sometimes. Separate. but by this Inquiry ye Preacher knowns. how to Auder his Descorse to ye People ather in ye Private Sociatys. or in ye Meeting of Bands. - - - - -

Mr Westlay’s way & Manner of Meting ye BANDS.. .

In ye first Place thay Sing an hymn. & then goes to Prayer, & then Agzorts ye People. In this Method following: My Dear Beloved br. & Srs I look upon you, to be ye Crown & Cause of our Rejoysing. When Assembled before ye Magasty of Heaven. becase you are ye frute of our labours & all yt we Can Show for all our toil yt we have Under ye Sun, What Do you think Brn, Causes me to Refuse Good livings (which I mite have had) & live a toylsum Percuted life. Riding Up & Down all over ye Nations. yea in 7 Nations have I Planted ye Gospil with Good Success. & What have I for all my Pains Do I Get Gould or Gain no Varaly I Do not. what then Do I Get. A Crown of Everlasting Reward this is ye Reward yt I Shall one Day Reseve at My Savours hands when I Deliver up my StuardShip: thearfore my Dear brethren as thear is a Promise of Reward for all those yt Gather in Xt vinyard. be all of you of yt happy Number, Strive to Gather Souls to hear ye Gospil. Pray with ym. Show ym thare Dainger Tel ym of ye Inward Joys of a true Xtan, Set ym (p.207) a Good Accample by you life & Conduct, & thou O Man yt Can but Gather thy wife, thou wilt in no wise loose thy Reward. & if thou o woman Can gather thy husband. thou will in no wise loose thy Reward. Compel ym. to Come in yt ye house of God may be fild, & by So Doing. you Will have Cause to rejoice

  • Hymn
  • Move & Actuate & Guide, Divers Gifts to Each Devide
  • Plas’t according to thy will, Let us all our works fulfil
  • Never from our Office Move, Nedeful to ye Others Prove,
  • Use ye Grace on Each bestou’d Temper’d by ye art of god,
  • Swetly now we all agree, Touch’d with Softest Sympathy
  • Kindly for Each other care; Ev’ry member feals its Share.
  • Wounded by ye Grefs[?]‌ of one, all ye Suffring members groan,
  • Honnerd if one member is all Portake ye Common Bless
  • Many are we now & one, we who Jesus have Put on
  • Thear is nather bond nor free, Male nor female lord in thee
  • Love like Death hath all Destroy’d, Renderd all Destintions voide
  • Names & Seks & Partys fall thou O Xt art all in all; - - - - - - - - -

Wach & Pray least ye Enter into temtation. those words Spoke our Lord to his Apostels knowing. if yt was Neglected, that thay would quicly fall into temtation Are Not those word Rit for our Instrucktion & Admonishon yes Varyly thay be. & I Doubt not but Everyone Now yt before god by woful Experiance, yt as Soon as we Seace watching & Praying. but we a Meadeately fall into Divers temtations. Yea My Brethren. & oft vary Grevous ons too. are not Some of you temted to Anger, some to lust, some to Covitteousness, Some to Swear, yea Some to lay voyalant hands on your Selves or Children. some temted to have hard thoughts of God. Why my Brethren are ye So temted Is this ye Cause of your being so temted. because your so Much fild with Love Joy & Peace, in ye holy Gost, No My Brethren no, What then is ye Cause of your Being so temted. Why. Realy it is for ye want of this Love & Joy & Peace. & why Cannot you Rejoyce in ye knowledg of ye love of god & have true Sollid Peace why, why because you have Broke of waching & Praying. & then you have Enterd into temtation. & vary Probably been over Come; & then all, your joy is turnd to Nothing but Misary. then ye Lord Suffers. ye Devil to buffit you. & to make you Greve & lament If you want to. Grow in ye Grace & knowledg of God You Must watch & Pray & that Continnually. & by so Doing you will keep ye Devil at a Distance. & be in abled to Rejoyce over your Ennemy. you’l then thrive in ye ways of God. Increase in Strength & in faith & love & then You be fild with Grace; Glorious & Spesial Grace. so yt all those around you will be Constraind to own yt you liv[?]‌ a Godly Riteous & a Soberlife. Watching is vary Nesary. for if ye Good Man of ye House, had but known, at what time his House, would have been Broken Up. He would Have watch’t & Not a Sufferd his house to have Been broken up. So you, if you had but known, yt you would have fallen into temtation & have been over come. & so konkerd by ye Devil & a gain become his Subject & Pray., I Say Rather then thus have forfe[illeg.]ed yor favour with God. you would have watced & not a Sufferd ye Ennemy to havd Enterd into ye Dore of your Hart & Rob you of ye favour of God. My Brethren it is for watching. yt all this Mesiry Coms thearfore watch & be Sober, for you Now not ye Day nor ye houer whe ye Lord. Commeth. & blessed Is yt Sarvant home when his lorde Commeth is found watching. you know Br.n yt 5 foolish vorgons was broke of: of thare watch for want of oyle. so yt thay must Needs goe & bye. but ye other 5: Was found watching. & because thay was Ready Watching thay went in to ye Marridg Supper. thearfore my Dear brethren & Sisters as you Prise you Souls Watch & Pray what I Say unto one I Say unto you all Watch & Pray. yt you fall not into temtations An he yt Indureth to ye End ye Same Shall be Saved: tharefore if you will be Xt Desiple you must take up your Cross. and follow Xt, Remembring it is annuff yt ye Sarvant be as his Lord. theafore take up your Cross & follow Xt treding in his footsteps. Did Xt Commit No Sin then No More must not you Did Xt Pray hole Nites; So Must you when in temtation Did Xt walk throw Good Report. & Evil Report then so Must you. Was Xt Poor & aflicted & Despised, so Must you. (p.208) & Rejoyce yt you are Counted worthy; thearfore my Dear brethren. work out you Salvation with fear & trembling. Remembring yt if you Sufer with him hear you Shall Rean with him hearafter, a few more Days or Munth or Years may See an End to all thy Sorah; thearfore let Patiance have it Parfect Work; yt you may be belt up from one degree of Grace to another. til you are Perfect & holy as Addam was before y efall; O My Brethren Methinks I hear you Say, truly ye Sperit is willing but ye flesh is weak. yet look unto Jesus. Set ye Crown before your vue, It will be a Sad thing if ye Sin of lust Should Caus any of you to Go to hell. it will be a Sad thing if Anger Should Cause any of you to burn In torments, O Denigh Your Selves. & think of ye Length of Eternity. be like Joseph when temted by his Mistress. how Shall I Commit this Great Evil & Sin against God; Remember you Can not Sarve tow Masters. Jesus will ather have all your harts or none thearfore Deseve not Your own Souls. but fly from Sin as you would from ye Devil. for one will hurt you as much as ye other. thearfore my Brethren be in Good Earnist keep ye Prise in vue Pray with out Seasing, & in Every thing Give thanks; then when Death Coms you will be on your Gard. then you will Rest from your labours & your Goodworks will follow you. then Shall you hear your lord Say thou hast been faithful over a few things I will Make ye Ruler over Many things Enter thou into ye Joy of thy Lord; A few more Strugels with ye world flesh & Devil More. A few trials & Conflicts more then all ye Storm will be over. & yt for Ever - - - -

Jesus United by thy Grace, & Each to Each Endeard, With Confidence we Seek thy face & know our Prays is heard Stil let us own Our Common lord, & bear thine Easey yoke A band of Love a threefould Cord Cannot be Easey Broke: there is one thing More I would Speak at this time. I Understand yt thear is Severl heare before god. that have A Mind to be Married. & I Could be Glad yt thay Ritely Understud ye Concyquence of it, St Paul Agzorteth Every one Not to Mary. Unless thay be Constrand by lust. & then it is better to marry then to Born. but If by any Means thay Can Deny ym Selves. it is fare better St Paul hear Considerd ye Croses & Calamatis. People Brought ym Selves into by Marridg: but if thay must be Marred to beware yt that be not Uneakwally Yoak’t yt is Belevers not to yoke with Unbelevers. for he was Shure if thay Did this thing, yt thay would Repent it all ye Days of thare lives; but I Understand yt this is a Going to be ye Cace. & if it be. Croses & tryals you will Never want all ye Days of your life. Dont you See Matters of this kind before your Eyes. Yea Even Now in this Place. Some Complaining of thare husbands. & other Some of thare wives. being Poor & aflicted hardly have bred for thare family. or Cloths to wear. O take warning before it be to late. & Doe not Run hedlong into your own Ruing & if you Must be Marred. be Marred to those yt are of ye househould of faith yt you may Live hapily all ye Days of your life. So thay Sing a few verses of a hymn & so Concludes - - - - - -

Notes:

This is my own transcription of Samuel Roberts’s account of Methodism. The manuscript is unpublished and privately owned by Dr. John Walsh of Jesus College, Oxford, UK. Used with permission.