From 12 Bow Street, Bloomsbury, London to George Marsden at the Methodist chapel in Liverpool.
Marsden's letter of the 28th came to hand and found them engaged in giving [class] tickets,holding watchnight services, renewing the covenant and keeping quarter days etc. Barber has alsobeen visiting Kent and spent a week in Canterbury.
In many parts of Kent, the Methodists are achieving a higher profile than has previously been thecase. This is partly because several impressive chapels have lately been erected, particularly atRochester, Canterbury, Sheerness, Margate and Ramsgate etc. The chief cause however, is the factthat in recent years men have been stationed there who have preached the gospel in its purity andwho have lived and acted accordingly.
Both Barber and his wife have been unwell. He has had a bad cold and she has had a livercomplaint, but they are both much recovered.
Their situation here is very comfortable. The people in this [London West] circuit are extremelyfriendly, and overall, he thinks that there is more religion here than in the [London] East circuit.They are short of several chapels, but the trustees are so much in debt at present that nothing canbe done. The congregations in general are large, especially those at Hinde Street, Queen Street andLambeth. There has been some increase in membership and number of conversions.
[Henry] Moore has had some very uncomfortable times at City Road [chapel] where 'severalpreachers took care to inform the trustees of that chapel that Mr [Moore] had promised theConference that if they did not approve of him having the dwelling house [John Wesley's houseadjoining the chapel] he would give it up'.
The trustees accordingly asked that he vacate the building or he would be ejected. He respondedthat no such promise had been made, and that all he said was that if the trustees objected to himhaving the house, then he would not contest the matter. [Joseph] Benson, [William] Myles, [John]Stephens and [Robert] Smith strongly support the trustees, Benson in particular. The business is torest there until the next Conference. This matter is strictly private at present - he does not thinkthat Moore has all the details and it is best if that were to remain the case.
The Committee of Privileges have met just once since Conference and it was such, a disagreeableevent that Barber does not know when they will meet again. [Thomas] Blanshard and Moore were at thebottom of the mischief and their conduct was such that none of their colleagues could support them.[Joseph] Butterworth and [Thomas] Allan 'being prevented' were absolutely incensed. Barber hasneither the time nor inclination to go into detail.
Barber is convined that it is time for a change at the Book Room as Blanshard is not managingaffairs at all well. He does not know however where they will find a more suitable person. WouldMarsden undertake that reponsibility? Barber thinks that his appointment would be generally welcomedbut people are afraid to make the proposal.
Butterworth has some information from Ireland regarding the views and conduct of the RomanCatholics. They are apparently more opposed to Protestantism now than has been the case for threehundred years and if they had the power, they would not leave one Protestant alive in the kingdom.At the same time, it is believed that if the government does not comply with their demands, therewill be another rebellion. 'We believe this will be the less evil of the two'.
`We are all of the opinion that the Methodists as a body should not come forward, but do all wecan to promote petitions in the Church and sign with them. This should be done in every part of thekingdom. But if we were to come forward in a public manner, it is highly probable that most or allour friends in Ireland would soon be murdered.'
Barber is astonished at the account that Marsden gives of the new chapel in Liverpool. Bybuilding such an expensive school house to go with the chapel, great hurt is surely done to thecause of God.
He was pleased to hear that Marsden's wife is feeling better. [William] Williams is very ill.