Letter

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 DDWes/7/103
  • Former Reference
      GB 135 DDWes/7/103
      GB 135 Charles Wesley Leather Volume 3, page 104.
  • Dates of Creation
      18 Jul [1814]

Scope and Content

From [Sally] Wesley in Buckingham Street, near Fitzroy Square, London, to [Joseph] Benson, the editor of the Methodist Magazine, at the Chapel House in City Road. She has no doubt of Benson's willingness 'to extend your influence where my honoured father was concerned', for Charles Wesley always spoke very highly of Benson as a close friend, and taught his children 'to regard you with peculiar esteem.'

It must be said however that if Sally were not convinced that the sermons in question promoted piety and honoured the memory of a most cherished father, she would suppress rather than publish them.

Benson was a witness to the essential virtue of Charles Wesley's character his 'modesty, diffidence of his own merits, and an aversion to publicity'. Sally's father often remarked that had he not felt it was his solemn duty to go out into the world, he would have been more inclined to 'bury himself in his college, or confine himself to an obscure parish'.

Rather than give up helping his brother John, Sally's father once refused a Living worth £500 per annum, which was left him as a student of Oxford Christ Church. When the Living was subsequently augmented to £1000, Charles 'particularly rejoiced in the sacrifice…nor did my mother regret it, which I think reflects the highest honour on her principles'.

For these sermons to appear in print would be a source of particular satisfaction to Sarah Wesley, and while she is unhappy at the thought of their appearance in a magazine, she would rather they be published under the auspices of the Methodists than anyone else, although she has cause to be thankful to the Calvinists since the death of her husband 'Mr Wilberforce and Thornton allow her a little pension'.

Sally's mother has in recent years been rather neglected by the preachers, and she has complained of it. The reports of these complaints have been rather exaggerated by people who do not realise that Sarah is motivated purely by a desire for their company.

When Sally, Charles junior, and their brother Samuel, were children living in Bristol, the preachers were frequent visitors, and Sally heard her mother say that 'she never knew persons, who without the ceremonies of breeding had more of the reality'.

She hopes that in time to come, the preachers will realise the extent of Sarah's good will towards them.