From [Bristol] to Sarah Ryan at the house of Mr [Robert?] Morris in London. She could not let this opportunity go without letting Ryan know how gracious the Lord has been to them here. Mr [John] Jones has ‘ben much assisted to speak to us. He incourages & shows us how we may come forward…I see great need of farther purifucations or greater displays of his presence. A sense of this I constantly have but there is a want of more of his glory. I never felt Satan more vigilant or powerfull but I adore ye Lord who is greater…’ Spiritual matters are discussed in detail. Johnson thinks that she is one of the most spiritually backward of the little company here. Sisters Norman and [Mary] Doyle grow much and the meetings are blessed. They are in hopes of seeing [Thomas] Maxfield and she thinks that it would prove a great blessing.
[This letter must predate 1763 when Maxfield severed his connection with the Wesleys]
- Robert Morris (1726-1803) was a hatter of Fenchurch Street, London. He was a member of the Foundery Society and worshipped at City Road Chapel for many years. Morris was a close friend of the Wesley brothers and assisted with the conveyance of the land for the City Road Chapel, on the deed of which his name appears as the first signatory. His family remained prominent in London Methodism well into the nineteenth century. Source: George John Stevenson, City Road Chapel, London, and its Associations, Historical, Biographical, and Memorial (1872), pp. 517,538
- John Jones (1721-85) was born in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. He was educated at Oxford University and qualified as a doctor of medicine in 1745. Initially under the influence of Howell Harris and the Countess of Huntingdon, he began to preach at the Foundery in 1746 and almost immediately occupied an important place in John Wesley's plans. From 1748 to 1758 he was the first headmaster of the newly established Kingswood School and later took charge of Methodist Societies in Bristol and Cornwall before moving to London as Wesley's chief assistant in the capital. It is likely that Jones was regarded for a time by Wesley as his successor, after Charles Wesley. Jones was ordained into the Anglican ministry in 1767 after an earlier ordination by a Greek Orthodox bishop and ended his days as Vicar of Harwich. Source: Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995) and John Jones - First after the Wesleys? by Barrett Sackett (1972), WHS publication 7