From Liverpool to [John] Pawson at the Methodist Chapel in Wakefield. He was very obliged forPawson’s kind letter of October 28. Barber has often thought about writing but was preventedby pressure of work.
He has recently spent a little more than a fortnight in Manchester, ‘begging’[raising funds] for the chapel in Lancaster, while Mr [James] Wood took his place in Liverpool. Inthe two [Manchester] circuits, they raised more than £260. On the thanksgiving day, they were ableto raise more than £90 from the congregation at the Liverpool chapel for the ‘wounded seamen,and the widows & children of those who fell in the late engagement’ [the Battle ofTrafalgar, which took place in October 1805.]
Barber sees that poor Mr [John] Grant is still confined [by poor health] to his house inManchester and is apparently no better.
He is not very surprised at the conduct of D. Bannenlength[?]. From the time that Barber becameacquainted with him, he regarded him as a ‘vain, self-sufficient time-serving man’.However, as Pawson has observed whether his folly or wickedness is the greater, is not easy to say.Barber has no hesitation is saying that such a man should not remain a Methodist.
Barber is sure that if conference is not more careful to discover and punish vice than they havebeen of late then the preachers will be no better than the rest of the world. The preachers are nowso many in number and their influence is so great that if care is not taken to keep them pure, thenthey will in the future be as much a curse as they were a blessing in times past.
He was very sorry to hear of Pawson’s great and painful affliction, but hopes that Godwill direct him to a remedy. Barber knew a man some years ago who suffered the same thing and who‘made use of a small [unreadable word]’.
If Barber had the time and money, he would love to visit Pawson for a few days.
He expects that Pawson found that religion was in a low state in Wakefield, for in their besttimes they did not have as much religion as some societies, although it was perhaps one of the mostfriendly in the country. [John] Gaulter was perhaps the worst kind of preacher to send among suchpeople.
When Barber was in Manchester, he went to Stockport and discovered that [James] McDonald wasuniversally disliked. What his religion is, Barber has no idea but is persuaded that he will not beuseful among the Methodists.
There is peace throughout the Liverpool circuit at present. Several have been awakened andconverted and have been sanctified. Yet the membership increase is not great.
[Thomas] Taylor has been well-received and labours like an old veteran, but some parts of thecircuit are too hard for him. [John] Brown is one of the most excellent young men they have ever hadin ‘our house’, both as a preacher and Christian. [Charles] Atmore is of coursewell-known to Pawson.
Barber’s wife and children are at present well. [John] Allen seems to be declining fast,but is a man of God. Barber’s wife joins in sending regards to Pawson, his wife and Esther.
- James Wood (1751-1840) entered the itinerancy in 1773. He exercisedan active circuit ministry for fifty years and was twice President of the Wesleyan Conference (1800and 1808). He settled as a supernumary in Bristol and at the time of his death at Kingswood was theoldest Methodist preacher in the world. Source: MethodistMagazine 1840, pp.622-623
- John Grant (d.1811) was converted under Methodist influence andstarted to preach before the age of twenty-one. He joined the itinerancy in 1790 and laboured inEnglish circuits until poor health forced his superannuation in 1807. He spent his retirement inLynn and Sheffield where he died in October 1811. His particular gifts were stated by his conferenceobituary to be strength of intellect and reasoning powers. His memory and command of scriptures wereso great that he was termed ‘The Walking Bible’. Source:Minutes of Conference 1812
- John Gaulter (1765-1839) was born in Chester. He entered theitinerancy in 1785 and exercised an active circuit ministry until he was forced into superannuationby a stroke in 1835. He died in London. Source: Minutes ofConference 1839
- James McDonald (1761-1833) was born near Enniskillen in Ireland. Hewas converted in early life and began to preach at the age of nineteen. He entered the itinerancy in1784 and travelled for eleven years in Ireland before being transferred to England. His conferenceobituary states that he ‘laboured for many years with zeal and success...with a good characterand general acceptance...He was distinguished by his love of peace and his abhorrence of evilspeaking. His conversational powers were of a high order and as a companion, he was cheerful andinstructive.’ However, the eminent minister John Barber wrote in 1805 to John Pawson thatMcDonald was universally disliked and possessed no religion that Barber could detect. Hesuperannuated to Portsmouth in 1826 and died there after an attack of paralysis. Source: Minutes ofConference 1834 and PLP 4/69/4
- Thomas Taylor (1738-1816) was born in Rothwell, Yorkshire andentered the itinerancy in 1761. Among the earliest preachers to work in Wales, he later laboured asfar afield as Ireland, Scotland and several parts of Englandin an itinerant career which lastedlonger than John Wesley's. Taylor was ordained for the Wesleyan ministry in 1791 and was presidentof Conference in 1796 and 1809. He retired from the active ministry in 1816 and died later thatyear. Source:Arminian Magazine 1780, pp.367, 420,Methodist Magazine 1816 p.945 andDictionary of Evangelical Biography, 1739-1860, edited byDonald Lewis (1995)
- John Brown (1782-1811) entered the itinerancy in 1801 and travelledwith considerable success. He was afflicted by a chest infection at the Conference of 1811 and diedafter a short illness. Source: Minutes of Conference1812
- John Allen (1737-1810)was born at Chapel-en-le-Frith in Derbyshireof mixed Anglican and Presbyterian parentage. He joined the Methodist society at Chinley as a youngman and became a local preacher. Allen entered the itinerancy in 1766 and exercised an activecircuit ministry, mainly in the North of England, until poor health forced him into retirement in1799. He died in Liverpool. Source: Dictionary ofEvangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995)