35. [p.33] 1746
After this time a spirit of contention arose and antinomianism grew to
a strong head and preachers, the brethren and conference were divided by
means of Mr Cudworth's and others introducing antinomianism that drunk
into his spirit, and Brother Cennick's drinking into the Moravian spirit. (fn. 20)
So there was no regular conference kept. till at length in December 1746
Brothers Cennick, Hammond, Pugh (not utterly then, but afterward wholly),
Salmon, Cudworth, Heathley, Thorn, went off, and all the brethren in
conference and sisters, except Sisters Wood, Jeffreys, Dilby, Pugh and
Lastier, went off—some to the Moravians and some joyned Brother
Cudworth in the Independent way, and there was afterward no conferences
kept for some time till the whole society was settled in classes again, and then
in March 1745/6 another conference of all the visitors of the bands and
classes met every Monday night after preaching.
36. [p.34] The names of all the present conference brethren, visitors of classes
and bands, March 1745/6.
Mansbrick being soldiers both went to the army
Middleton preaches at Deptford
and resident ministers too to be allways present—but no matter to be
settled here but of a general nature only, opening their hearts to each other,
singing, praying and stirring up each other to love, etc. The conference met
every Monday night regularly and went on happily singing, praying and
opening their hearts.
This conference was gathered in March 1745/6 by laying before the
society and proposing if any had it on their hearts to assist in looking after
the society, and these had it on their hearts, and the whole society was then
settled in classes and continued to meet every week, and all were kept happy,
but no particular minutes were kept but what follows in 1746 and 1747 and
1748. (fn. 21)
37. [p.35] June 29 1747
Agreed that none of the poor sick go to the apothecary for physick
without consulting their visitor and the minister.
That every visitor should make a collection in their bands and classes
once a month from each according to their abality and freedom to give—
partly to the pewopener in St. Bartholomew's church and partly to defray
the minister's expences or help the poor or the minister, as the conference
shall see proper from time to time, and to begin from July 1st.
That Brother James Edwards be taken (fn. 22) in as a servant to the house (fn. 23)
to take care of the book and to send it in [illegible] and to sell them and
return all his accounts and the money received to Brother Boddington. (fn. 24)
He is also to keep the house book of what is expended daily, and also to do
all the servile work, taking care of the horses, going on errands, copying all
the letters in the book, etc. [deleted].
That family worship (reading, [illegible], singing and prayers) be kept
in the house daily after preaching in the Tabernacle night and morn before
or about 9.
[p.36] Mr Holier and Mr Hodgson and Brother Edwards being the 3
remaining trustees (the rest having resigned their trust and Brother Cennick
has given his place to Brother Harris) they 4 are to consult together, if there
be occasion, about what relates to the trust in outward things. The ticket
money from the galleries and society and bands be delivered to Mr Holier
and the rent money from the lodgers in the house, and he to pay the rent and
taxes of the house and give out money to defray the expence of the family
and the horses and Mr Wharton, etc. and to keep the books of account and
to shew it to the minister whenever desired.
Mr Harcourt, Mr Mason, Mr Monday, who were settled with the
above mentioned by Mr Whitefield as trustees, went away with Brother
38. [p.37] 1747 An account of Mr Whitefield's agent instead of Mr Sims to
transact all his again—viz. Mr Boddington. (fn. 25)
As Mr Sims, who was Mr Whitefield's agent in keeping his books and
accounts, etc., has given up his place to Brother Harris and delivered up
what books of Mr Whitefield he had, Brother Boddington has taken his
place and has taken account of the books delivered up by Brother Sims and
is to receive the money for what books will be sold of Mr Whitefield's and
pay them to Mr Whitefield's order—and to shew his account when the
minister, etc. desires—and to call every Saturday night to receive what
money was received for books sold that week and what parcels were sold
off, etc. (fn. 26)
He is also to take in the Orphan House money (fn. 27) and to correct and
revise the Monthly History.
39. [p.38] July 6th 1747 in conference
That the month's date for the Weekly Hystory begin July 1st and to be
continued monthly from that date. That Brother Blake see that the Monthly
Hystory be sent about according as they are subscribed for, vizt. 150 to the
west, Exeter; 60 to Plymouth and 80 to Gloucester, and 40 to Portsmouth,
Oulney, etc., 50 to Essex, Chatham, Chinner, and 50 to Staffordshire, (fn. 28)
Salop, Ludlow; and that Brother Blake revise the house account every week
[so] that an exact account be kept of all expences, etc.
That he also take the account in a book of all the finances collected
towards the poor, steward, the house, and the money be [deposited] properly—and how they are laid out weekly.
That this minute book be kept and read every conference, or att least
once a month and when any minister comes in.
That no tickets be given out but by the hands of the visitors, and that
the visitors be carefull to go and look for the persons whose names have been
read twice, (fn. 29) to enquire for their characters, and if no objection be made in a
fortnight or a month to receive them to the next class and give them their
40. [p.39] 1747 November 27
Agreed again with John Lewis as more calls come in for the Weekly
Hystory that we take 400 from him att bookseller's price, vizt. at 4s. 0d., and
he to take care to send them punctually att the month's end (after being
revised by Brother Boddington and corrected) by the proper waggons as
follows—150 to Mr Kennedy at Exeter and the brother that goes first
there to bring up the money, 60 to Plymouth to Mr Kinsman near the
Tabernacle there, 80 to Alderman Harris att Gloucester sent to Mr Awstin
near Newgatestreet, 50 to Mr Pearsal by the Welch Cross, Birmingham, 40
to Portsmouth and the rest to the Tabernacle house to be sent—18 to
Essex, 5 to Chatham, and [blank], and to be payd by Brother Shergold.
July 1748 the Weekly Hystory have continued to be printed and sent
about to all places according to the calls—the account of which is paid out
to John Lewis and his receipts are kept by Brother Shergold.
41. [p.40] 1747 November 2
In conference agreed that as the Orphan House is indebted to Mr
Whitefield and £200 is now wanting, that each should propose in his class
and band, etc., etc. willing collection be made toward the Orphan House,
and a publick collection be made before Brother Harris go out of town on
20th of December.
Letter days, (fn. 30) lovefeasts, collection to the poor and candles, etc. are
regularly observed and all the orders punctually kept till this time, December
The house and poor accounts punctually kept too by Brother Blake,
and all go on harmoniously, and in the conference there continues with much
love and union and happiness.
Agreed that the visitors of the bands and classes allways acquaint the
minister that comes when another goes away of the state of things, if any are
under censure or turned out or shew a bad spirit, etc.—least on the
exchange of ministers any guile be used by any before the ministers know
All the tickets are delivered in the bands and classes by their proper
visitors and the money returned by them to Mr [Wheeler].
42. [p.41] The Ministers' Memorandum (fn. 31)
1. That the tickets be changed in all the classes by their visitors in a fortnight
of each quarter day, or the persons give a good reason of their neglect. The
band tickets the same by their visitors.
2. That all proposed to band or class be read over by name three several
times to the society, and their lives be enquired into before they are entred.
And that no persons be alowed to go out of class into band till the visitor of
each and minister be acquainted with it—least any imposition should
happen by some trifling persons.
[3.] That the ministers go through all the bands and classes. That our letters
from our correspondents be read once a month.
4. (fn. 32) That a love feast be kept once in six weeks or oftener if the ministers
and conference see it proper.
5. That a collection—1. for the expences of the house; 2. to the poor;
3. to candles, alternately—be made every month at morning and evening
sermon, but so that the collection be a fortnight after [illegible] day if kept
6. That none be admited to the exhortation on Sabathday nights but such
as have notes for the day from the minister, to come to the minister or others
appointed to that end to the work room for them about or after sermon.
[p.42] 7. That none be in any wise admited on a Wednesday night but such
as shew their tickets.
8. That none have a single ticket from the minister without the visitor be
acquainted by the minister of it.
43. Weekly Exercise of the Ministry
1. Preaching every morning and night at six a clock, Saturday morning
2. Preaching at Rattclif [a] quarter after six Friday night, and in the
Burrough Tuesday night half past 6.
3. At Deptford every Sunday twice at the usual hours, and Tuesdays at
noon, at 1 or at six in the evening.
4. Preaching at Lambeth Sunday 2 a clock, and tickets to be given gratis to
2 bands of Welch brothers and sisters there and the money to be reseved at
Deptford to defray the expence of the place there.
5. Meet the widows Sunday morning after preaching.
[p.43] 7. (fn. 33) The ministers meet the visitors of the classes after sermon
Sabathday morning. (fn. 34)
8. Ministers to meet the conference on Monday night and give an exhortation if he has it on his heart.
9. Wednesday morning to meet the women visitors of the bands, who are to
give account of their sick and poor and of the state of their souls, and then
to take the money for them as the minister shall direct.
10. To meet all the marryed brethren Tuesday night after sermon once a
month or oftner, the other nights if agreed for singing.
11. To meet the whole society on Wednesday at seven to exhort, instead of
12. To meet all the married sisters on Thursday night after sermon once a
month or oftner, the other nights if agreed for singing.
13. To meet all the single sisters on Friday night after the sermon.
[p.44] 14. To meet all the bands Saturday night after sermon.
15. To meet the single brethren on Sunday att three in the afternoon.
16. Once a month the doorkeepers meet on Wednesday night after preaching, and the other 3 Wednesday nights in the month the vissitors of the
men's bands or singing.
17. That once a month all the society alone meet on Saturday night after
preaching instead of all the bands, and the bands not to meet that night.
18. That preaching be at Bird Street once a week on Thursday evening, and
after preaching meet the bands, stay all night and preach next morning at
5 o'clock; also Sunday morning and evening.
19. That the private society meet att Deptford once a week too in private,
and their society tickets be given from the Tabernacle, and their money kept
toward the defraying of the expences of their own place.
20. That every Friday att 2 be kept for humiliation, prayer and intercession.
44. [p.45] Some Spiritual Hints
First, that a close watch be kept that all rules be observed, or a good
reason shewn why.
That all vissitors and overseers be diligent to know sincierly the inward
state and outward condition and behaviour of all under their care every
That all be stirred up to press after a full conformity to Christ, to live
in the spirit's witness by a felt and living faith, and especially see that the
conscience be kept awake that no sin of heart, lip or life, of ommision or
commision against the law of love be allowed of or connived at, but found
out and confest and mourned over, and overcome by fresh application to the
blood of Christ.
That the spirits of all be watched that no root of bitterness or prejudice
for or against any party be found. No disputings or spiritual pride or
indolence be among us. Also a close watch be kept that none be suffered to
rest in feelings, frames, marks, graces, etc., but to press after to view the
mystery of Christ's body and blood with open face by a living faith, and that
true catholick love to all the churches without, and true simplicity within. (fn. 35)
45. [p.46] 1747 November
Brother Cox was privately disowned for marrying against the united
mind of all the conference.
Brother Miller (one that had been in conference) took offence and
went off to Mr Wesley's.
Brother Pain (that was in conference) was also openly turned off for
marrying immediately after burying his other wife and going against the
minds of the brethren.
46. [p.47] This account of preaching and societies, etc. drawn November
12th 1747 at the association at Gloucester. (fn. 36)
An account of the societies in connexion together under the care of
the Reverend Mr Whitefield.
|One kept at the Tabernacle London
at Bird Street
|att Oulney [deleted]
at Chinner [deleted]
|att Gloucester Gloucestershire
Exeter West Devon and Cornwall
Chinner and Oxford Oxfordshire
|[p.48] at Coombe Wiltshire
47. [p.49] Names of places for preaching where societies are not settled.
att Ratclife and Southwark London
|att Chatham Kent
The Mill (fn. 37) Bismoure, etc.
|Axminster Devon and Cornwall
Plymouth Dock (fn. 38)
|Caln and Preston Wiltshire
Stanton, Upper and Lower
|Togington and Hawst Gloucestershire
|Oxford [deleted] Oxfordshire [deleted]
48. [p.50] Names of the brethren that read and overlook as stewards.
Mr Gabriel Harris
Brothers Bassett and Comfort
Brother Bastard and Kent
Brothers Reynolds and Restall
Brothers Eustace and Hearne
|Gloucester and Apperly
To the Tabernacle, London—
Thomas Harris and Edwards with trustees and Mr Holier and Hodgson,
stewards of outward affairs. The whole conference, men and women to look
after the bands and classes, besides door-keepers, etc. Mr Boddington to
take care of all Mr Whitefield's books and personal affairs, to receive money
and pay them for him, etc.
49. [p.51] The names of all the publick preachers that go about continually.
Brother Howel Harris in England and Wales
Brother James Beaumont Brother Thomas Adam
Brother James Relly
Brother Herbert Jenkins —went off to the Independents, May
Brother James Ingram
Brother Joseph Smith
Brother John Stephens
Brother John Relley
Brother William Humphrys
Brother Edward Godwin
The names of others that are in places and only go about occasionally
and assist as far as is consistent with their calling and places.
Brother Thomas Satchell—now fully received
Baldwin on tryal
Wear—he went off
50. [p.52] Memorandum that Evan Williams on the 8th of May 1749 did
lend the sum of 20 li. to assist the Gloucestershire society towards paying the
expence of building their preaching place, and that the said money is lent in
pursuance of an agreement. Mr Whitefield and the other preachers to contribute their endeavours by collections, and as money shall arise to repay the
said sum of 20 li.
Witness: J. Blake, James Cox, Henry Sheargall.