letter

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 DDPr 2/20
  • Former Reference
      GB 135 DDPr 2/20
      GB 133 Leather Volume V - Letters of Methodist Preachers, p.19
  • Dates of Creation
      12 Jun 1739
  • Physical Description
      1 item

Scope and Content

From [William] Delamotte in Cambridge to Charles Wesley at the house of the Silk Dyer Mr Richardson in Upper Thames Street, near Dowgate Hill, London. He has recieved three lines from a person signed Charles Wesley. Was it Charles? He might well have been ashamed to write his name. Surely Charles could have enclosed some advice, bearing in mind Delamotte's weakness and situation.

Since Charles left Broad Oaks, Delamotte has been there and expounded to about three hundred people with such success that the people pressed him to come again. Delamotte therefore promised to return and expound next Sunday morning and evening. In the meantime Mrs Claget received a letter from her husband, advising her of his return the following Saturday, which put a stop to their intended work. However, Delamotte not knowing that Claget was coming, went over on Saturday. He had not been there long when Claget arrived in a rage against the Methodists, and especially Charles for having come back from Hatfield and preached in the fields in his absence.

Claget would not see Delamotte for a while, but after much persuasion sent for him at about ten. It pleased God to arm Delamotte 'with a great degree of love & meekness for the threatening fight'. As soon as Claget entered the room, Delamotte greeted him as kindly as possible, but was answered with an angry tirade to the effect that Charles Wesley was a rogue, a scoundrel and a villain etc, who deserved to be hanged for taking away Claget's reputation and dividing his family. He spoke without a break for fifteen minutes. Delamotte responded by saying that this was a rather heavy accusation and could Claget be more particular. He [Claget] then specified Wesley's mad preaching in the fields, and said that if Wesley ever came to his house again, he would burn it down and everybody in it. Delamotte 'with the utmost meekness' reminded Claget that he had at one time been sympathetic to Methodism - 'I then summoned him before the bar of God with you, & asked him if he could bear the same testimony agt you there...& asked him likewise if he was to set the house on fire whether he should not look on it as a type of that fire which he observed in Hell. He [Claget] now began to rage & almost foam with passion & glory be to God I felt my love & meekness increasing in proportion with his rage. I think I never loved any man as much in my life'. Claget told him that he respected him for his family, but if Delamotte intended to come to his house in the same way as Charles Wesley, then he never wanted to see his face again. Delamotte replied that he was in perfect agreement with Wesley, and that although Claget was not willing to see him in his house, Delamotte still felt compelled to come to this area and help the people seek Christ. Claget then flew into such a rage that he threatened to get his pistol and shoot Delamotte in the head '& bd be God I now loved him more than ever'. Claget ordered him from the house, so Delamotte retrieved his hat and whip and left not knowing to where he could go, as it was now eleven at night, and he was a stranger in those parts. In any case, there were no other houses near. Before Delamotte could get to the door, Mrs Clagett ran and shut it. Her daughters pleaded with her to let him go as he was protected by God. Mr Clagett then emerged from the parlour and seeing that Delamotte was perfectly willing to leave, refused to unlock the door and insisted that he stay. Delamotte then went with Mrs Clagett and her daughters and gave thanks to God.

Clagett made him stay at his home until Monday but still insists that if Delamotte returns, then he will place the matter before the Civil Magistrate. Delamotte has told him that he will not act against any law that is in accordance with the will of God, but beyond that he must act as his conscience dictates.

On Sunday Mr Carter preached against the Methodists for making divisions [within the Church].

Delamotte has greatly benefitted from these recent trials, as he has never previously had his faith tested so much.

He has also experienced another manifestation of God's love. One of the fellows of Magdalen College preached at St Mary's last week on "Whosoever offendeth me in one point etc". He asserted that God does not expect an unsinning obedience, but rather that he will 'accept us for our endeavours & that we are to supply all our defects by repentence'. This sermon greatly upset Delamotte and he felt compelled to speak to the fellow. He prayed for guidance and then consulted the bible, opening the pages at random. The same morning he went to the gentleman concerned and explained to him that he felt his sermon has been contrary to the gospel. He showed him the bible passages which God had led Delamotte to that morning and the man was confounded. Delamotte told him that God did expect an unsinning obedience, and because man could not fulfil that requirement, all he deserved was hell. 'God enabled me to speak with great boldness & to show him that he was by nature but half a beast & half a devil & that he deserved nothing but damnation'. Delamotte spoke with him for about an hour.

He trusts that Charles's ministry is still blessed, and hopes to hear soon that Charles preached on Kennington Common to thousands also.

Delamotte would like the advice of the Society regarding exhorting at Broad Oaks, and would be obliged if Charles could present the matter to them at the next Conference.

[ In his journal, Charles Wesley describes his dealings with the Clagett family in entries for 1738 and 1739 - see the index in volume 2 of Thomas Jackson's edition. They were apparently friends and possibly relations of the Delamotte family.]