Letter

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 DDWes/2/12
  • Former Reference
      GB 135 DDWes/2/12
      GB 135 Wesley Brown Folio 2, page 14
  • Dates of Creation
      28 Nov 1740

Scope and Content

From [John] Gambold [of Stanton Harcourt in Oxfordshire], to Charles Wesley at the school-house near St James's Church in Bristol, suggesting that Charles may benefit from resting in Oxford for a few days.

He esteems Charles very highly, but feels that he himself has been abandoned by God. He does not believe that the Gospel is for 'common use … at the same time that it is highly right and excellent in itself.

Gambold does not feel that he can rely on the doctrine of justification by faith. In general he looks upon Christ as 'the great friend of mankind, who eased their burden … by the glorious salvation which he hath raised, and doth raise a few to'.

He would be pleased to have Charles stay with him at Stanton Harcourt.

In a postscript he states that he would confide in Charles completely concerning his opinions on the present state of preaching, but as he cannot be sure that this letter 'would not fall into other hands' he will wait until their next meeting.

He goes on to describe two of his 'scruples', namely his doubt that 'ye privileges of the Gospel' can be obtained in the present day, and whether seekers after truth can face hatred from the rest of the nation with resulting loss of business. He feels that the early Christians must have kept up their business dealings, and therefore looks upon the preaching of the Wesleys 'only as a providential alarm, not as a thing designed to continue'.

In an annotation dated 28 October 1775, Charles Wesley expresses his complete agreement with Gambold's views on preaching as expressed in the above postscript.

[John Gambold was a member of the Holy Club at Oxford before ordination as an Anglican minister. In 1742 he joined the Moravian, and was subsequently appointed their first English Bishop.]