Letter

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 DDWes/2/61
  • Former Reference
      GB 135 DDWes/2/61
      GB 135 Wesley Brown Folio 2, page 79.
  • Dates of Creation
      5 Mar 1763

Scope and Content

From [William] Briggs in London, to Charles Wesley in Bristol, thanking him for his congratulations with regard to Briggs's mother. [Rev. John] Fletcher has sent the printed papers. John Wesley's preaching last Sunday was inspired. Speaking against the misguided belief of [George] Bell and his followers that the world was about to end 'it was as if an Angel … was speaking to the assembly'. Wesley preached from Ezekiel 13:1-8. He also prayed with great effect and many of the congregation were moved. He asked especially that there be no violent storms, and indeed the day that followed was especially fine. Wesley had intended to keep a fast and watch-night 'to supplicate for those deluded souls', but after consulting with the leaders he decided against it 'for it might offend the weak or profane'. On Sunday John Wesley also spoke with [Thomas] Maxfield, and Briggs fears that Maxfield may now leave the society In a postscript he mentions meeting Rev. Martin Madan in the street. Madan blames Wesley for Bell's delusions, because so many believe that they have reached a state of perfection. Madan also told him that Bell is being prosecuted for blasphemy, holding unlicensed meetings, and for causing unnecessary fears among the King's subjects. . Annotated by Charles Wesley - W Briggs commending B. George Bell was converted in 1758, and quickly gained a reputation at the Foundery for holiness and extempore prayers. His widely believed prophecy that the world would come to an end in February 1763, led to his expulsion from the movement.