From [John] Downes in London to Charles Wesley at the New Room in Bristol. Mr Norris informs him that he has fifty sets of Charles's works. Downes cannot give any account of what books are wanted as the demands are so various. Neither can the good woman who sells them on Charles's behalf. He does not know if they have a run of any particular books.
Music books are selling at £1.14.0, ie three at ?9s and one at 7s.
Downes must not have any time set for [John] Jones's watch. He will be as quick as he can, but if [Jones] cannot allow him to do the work in his own time, then Downes wants nothing to do with it. He supposes that it will come to about £6.10 and he will be able to give a certain account when it is done.
Mr Southcote will soon pay Charles £7 or £8.
Reference is made to sending Charles things by the wagon.
Charles is extremely welcome to Downes's service if he can tolerate his forgetfulness, delays and omissions.
Yesterday morning his old friend [John Wesley] spent fifteen minutes 'with me & upon him' to try to persuade him to try his strength in 'the good work'. He half consented which will be reason enough for his name to be put down to [preach at] Bonners [Hall] a week on Sunday.
With regard to the present work, they [Downes and John Wesley] agreed much better than he had expected. In general there is certainly a work of God by whatever name you like to call it. There is however need of 'great wisdom' to make sure that the greatest benefit can be obtained. [John Wesley] discussed freely the lack of 'prudence' apparent in the words and conduct of [the perfectionist George Bell and his followers] to Downes's satisfaction.
[John Wesley] appears to agree with Downes's view of what has been going on '& while they are WEAKLY imagining that they are ABOVE every stumbling. He [John Wesley] ENDEAVOURS to remove it out of their way, & by degrees to bring THOSE to a more sober way of thinking who are mistaken. By this means he hopes to let them down to a just conception of what they really HAVE recd. & what they have NOT. & in the meantime they receive no HARM under the operation. This I gather from his exhortations & preaching.'
[John Wesley] seems to have a very high opinion of several of them and has told Downes that he can find no fault in them, presumably he means of a moral kind. Downes is reserving judgement to a degree but does accord them reverence for the grace that has been given them. [Bonner's Hall was a house at one time owned by the Bishops of London. It is mentioned by John Wesley in the Journal several times eg 7 October 1754, and he mentions services there on ten occasions between 1754 and 1758. It occupied part of the site of the Bethnal Green Hospital and was demolished in 1844 Source: Edward H. Sugden, John Wesley's London - Scenes of Methodist and world wide interest with their historical associations (1932).]