letter

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 DDPr 1/103
  • Former Reference
      GB 135 DDPr 1/103
      GB 133 Leather Vol.VI - Letters Chiefly Addressed to the Rev. C Wesley, p.103
  • Dates of Creation
      [Dec 1740]
  • Physical Description
      1 item

Scope and Content

Notes

  • Nathaniel Wells was the Rector of St Andrew's in Cardiff. Very little is known about him except that he invited Charles Wesley to Wales in 1740 and entertained him at his home. He showed considerable fervour for the Evangelical cause. His son Christopher was associated with the Holy Club during his time at Oxford. Source: David Young, Origin and History of Methodism in Wales (1893), p.66ff.
  • Captain Phillips of Cardiff was instrumental in the founding of the first Methodist Society in the city. In 1740 he issued a joint invitation with Revd. Nathaniel Wells to Charles Wesley to visit South Wales. No further information about him is known. Source: David Young, Origin and History of Methodism in Wales (1893), p.66ff.
  • John Hodges was the Evangelical Rector of Wenvoe, Glamorganshire. He met Charles Wesley in 1740, and John Wesley preached in his church on several occasions. Hodges was invited to attend the first three Conferences, but seems to have lost interest in Methodism in his later years. Source: John Wesley in Wales, p.12, 1971, edited by A. H. Williams.

From Nathaniel Wells at Cardiff. He has received Charles Wesley's very kind letter and wholeheartedly joins in the hope that it may be the foundation of an eternal friendship between them. Reference is made to the hospitality which Charles Wesley received during his visit to [Wells] at Cardiff. Spiritual matters are discussed.

Reference is made to the assistance given by Wells when Charles Wesley was threatened with physical attack by a 'proud pharisee...provoked at his being stripped of the filthy rags of his own righteousness...'

Ever since Wells intervened to defend Charles Wesley, the ungodly have conspired against him with bitter words. They wrote a letter of complaint to the Bishop of Llandaff [Matthias Mawson], and another which sought to deprive him of part of his schoolmaster's salary. This second letter failed and he is so unconcerned about the other, that he is in fact quite keen that the Bishop be informed of it, as it will probably give Wells the chance to defend Charles Wesley as well as justify his own conduct. If the Bishop writes to Wells concerning this matter, he will ensure that Charles Wesley is given sight of it and his reply.

Wells has trust in God to save him from the attacks of his opponents. A poem is enclosed, the first line of which is "What the Proud Pharisees contest".

What concerns him the most is the conduct of the Vicar, the same gentleman who told Charles Wesley that if an angel came from heaven to preach, he would not be able to please everybody. He then thanked Charles Wesley for his assistance and wished him a good voyage [across the Bristol Channel]. This same man on the first Sunday after he had recovered from his illness, preached a violent sermon against C W, and did his best to turn the congregation against the Society. The more astute and impartial of his listeners however, realise that this attack was mounted in order to thank the enraged doctor [the 'Proud Pharisee'], who had declined payment for his services during the Vicar's illness - rather an odd way to thank God for imbuing the medicine with its healing power.

It would appear that he is to deliver another attack in tomorrow's sermon. Wells has therefore asked their 'worthy brother' [John] Hodges to take his place at St Andrew's Church, so that he may hear the sermon in person and if needful take issue with him in defence of Charles Wesley and the Society. Charles Wesley will learn from Captain Phillips more particulars of how they are getting on, as Wells himself has no time to go into detail.

Wells's wife was grateful to receive Charles Wesley's hymns. She is so angry with the old Vicar that if Charles Wesley was here, he would probably have to take issue with her for dealing with the old gentleman a little too harshly.

His wife joins him in sending regards to [Samuel] Farly and [Thomas] Maxfield.

[Annotated by Charles Wesley - 'Mr Wells, hearty in God's cause'.]

[For details of Nathaniel Wells see the footnote to DDPr 100.]

Note

Notes

  • Nathaniel Wells was the Rector of St Andrew's in Cardiff. Very little is known about him except that he invited Charles Wesley to Wales in 1740 and entertained him at his home. He showed considerable fervour for the Evangelical cause. His son Christopher was associated with the Holy Club during his time at Oxford. Source: David Young, Origin and History of Methodism in Wales (1893), p.66ff.
  • Captain Phillips of Cardiff was instrumental in the founding of the first Methodist Society in the city. In 1740 he issued a joint invitation with Revd. Nathaniel Wells to Charles Wesley to visit South Wales. No further information about him is known. Source: David Young, Origin and History of Methodism in Wales (1893), p.66ff.
  • John Hodges was the Evangelical Rector of Wenvoe, Glamorganshire. He met Charles Wesley in 1740, and John Wesley preached in his church on several occasions. Hodges was invited to attend the first three Conferences, but seems to have lost interest in Methodism in his later years. Source: John Wesley in Wales, p.12, 1971, edited by A. H. Williams.