- Thomas Carlill (d.1801) entered the itinerancy in 1760. He exercised an active circuit ministry for thirty-eight years in England, Wales and Ireland before superannuation in 1797. He died at Horncastle in Lincolnshire. Source: C. H. Crookshank, History of Methodism in Ireland (1885), Volume 1, p.350 and Kenneth B. Garlick, An Alphabetical Arrangement of Wesleyan Methodist Preachers and Missionaries, and the Stations to which they were appointed 1739- 1818.
- Mrs Hans Cumberland (d.1787) kept a bakery with her husband in Lisburn, Ireland. She was converted by Methodist preaching in 1756 and made her house available for worship and hospitality for itinerant preachers including John Wesley until her death thirty years later. Source: C. H. Crookshank, History of Methodism in Ireland (1885), Volume 1, pp.114-115, 189, 264, 293 and 434.
From [Thomas] Carlill at Bishops Court, Ireland, to Charles Wesley in Chesterfield Street, London. Carlill arrived safely in Ireland after a fine passage to Dublin, where he stayed a week before setting off for Lisburn. He soon began to feel the effects of damp sheets, caught a cold and finally came down with a 'tertian fever'. Through the mercy of God, he is now recovered.
He is 'determined to reform them [the Irish] in many things, and I hope by wisdom & patience to accomplish my design. But the worst is, here's a sad decay in religion among the People [the Methodists]! - Many have given shameful cause to ye enemies of God, to blaspheme'.
They have many hearers however, so there is hopes for a revival. Most congregations are made up of Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, 'Seceders' and a few Anglicans. This makes the prospects for revival more doubtful as Carlill's preaching appeals more to Anglican listeners 'so that I am quite out of my latitude in preaching to ye dissenters'. However he does the best he can.
Carlill wrote to [John Wesley] asking to be recalled to England, which evoked some surprise. Carlill is battling against Arianism which 'stalks along at noonday'. Is it possible for an Arian to be saved? He has very hard thoughts about them.
Methodism when understood properly is a 'sure thing'. It is his hope that this pure religion 'might spread & leaven the whole lump'. When he fails to see this where he is, then he is tempted to abandon the itinerancy, not because of the difficulties but because he sees so few results from his labours. He has a real desire to do God's work, but the Lord has not seen fit to bless his labours with success. It is hard for him to accept being fed and clothed by the people and yet do so little good by them. Perhaps God intends that he should lay the work aside. He would like guidance on this point. There is never any revival where he is, although no-one could want it more.
'There are many vile wretches in Ireland' who hate the King. He believes that they would like to tear the King's heart from his body, and yet Carlill still prays for the King and state and preaches loyalty to the established order. What does Charles think will be the result of the fine move by General Cornwallis [in the American War of Independence]? Reference is made to [Sir Henry] Clinton and [George] Washington.
He hopes that the work of God prospers in London and that they shall have the happiness of seeing [John Wesley] in Ireland next year.
Charles should direct any letters to Mrs Cumberland's in Lisburn.