88. [p.46] Att an association at Bristol, January 27 1747 (fn. 32)
|Present: Brother Harris
Gibbs candidates to be examined
We read a letter from Brother Jenkins, Brother Stephens and Brother
We spoke to each other about our saviour's godhead and how 'tis the
eternal word became flesh, and by vertue of the one in the godhead the father
and spirit by being one with the word is in that man revealed to sinners, and
to be preached as [p.47] misterious and misterious [sic] one which can't be
explained by anything in nature, but to be received by faith as it is revealed
in the scripture, and when we insist on the threeness not to darken the
oneness, and when on the oneness not to darken the doctrine of the threeness.
We discoursed on having a true catholick spirit indeed towards all
denominations and every branch of the reformation.
Brother Harris gave an exhortation about becoming nothing before
the lord, giving up all our wills, wisdom, etc. to him, and about acknowledging the lord indeed God over all our looks, words, behaviour, temper,
so as to be patterns of diligence in improving time and seriousness and all
We also spoke of the 3 various lights—the light of nature improved
by means, the supernatural light of the spirit or prophetic light as Ballaam's
was, and the saving, transforming views of faith.
89. We then spoke to Brother Wilkins about his call to labour and what
sphere of action he seems to be called to and fitted for, and it was in the mind
of the brethren that he should follow his occupation and discourse only to a
few souls in [p.48] private, being not satisfyed of his call to be a publick
We spoke Brother Gibbs about his call to the knowledge of our saviour
and about his call to the ministry and his reasons for joining with us, not
with any other particular branch of our saviour's work, and he gave an
account and the brethren were satisfyed and received him to connexion after
we heard him preach to our satisfaction at the hall.
We opened our hearts one to the other about our unfaithfullness to
each other and our deviation from the law of perfect love to each other, and
profess to strive in our saviour's strength to aim at loving each other like
ourselves, and to shew this in all our behaviour towards each other.
90. Agreed that Brother Adams go next week to London and stay there till
Brother James Relly comes up to release him against March 20, and then
through Portsmouth to Exeter against April 1, and return to Bristol against
May 1 and come thence to association.
That Brother James Relly go now to Wales [p.49] and come to London
against March 20, and stay there till the association.
That Brother Harris go to Wales till association.
That Brother Beaumont go now home and visit about there, and then
go to Bath about his health, etc., and then go through Gloucestershire,
Wiltshire and the north till association.
That Brother Smith go now to the west and stay till March 1, thence to
Portsmouth and stay there a week, thence by London to Essex against
March 10 and stay there 9 days and visit Chatham, and thence to Oulney by
March 25 to stay there 9 days, and go thence by Birmingham, Brood, Salop,
Ludlow, Leominster, Herefordshire and Tewksbury against association.
That Brother Jenkins stay at Bristol till February 22 and then go
through Gloucestershire by Hampton, Gloucester, Tewksbury, Hereford,
Leominster, Ludlow, Shrewsbury, Brood, Birmingham, etc. against April 1,
and then to Oulney for a fortnight, and thence to Chinner, Oxford and so to
Wiltshire and stay there till the association.
That Brother Stephens go against February 6 to Essex for nine days,
thence to Chatham against 17, thence to Oulney against the 20 and stay
there a fortnight, and so to Chinner against March 6 and stay there and at
Oxford till 14, thence to Bristol [p.52] (fn. 33) through Gloucestershire against
25th and stay there till April 15, and thence to Herefordshire and Shropshire
till the association.
That Brother Humphries go now with Brother Gibbs to Wiltshire, and
return to Gloucestershire and visit Gloucester, Tewksbury and all the places
in Gloucestershire, and Bath too, against February 21, then to Bristol for a
fortnight against March 6 after Brother Relly and stay till 25, and then visit
Gloucestershire and Wiltshire till the association.
91. That Brother Gibbs go to Wiltshire and Gloucestershire and thence to
the west to release Brother Smith against March 1, and then visit all the
places in the west till April 1, and then follow his trade and preach occasionally till the association.
That Brother John Relly go to London and thence to Oulney against
February 7, thence to Chinner against 16th and so through Oxford and
Gloucestershire to Bristol against February 21 and stay there two weeks, and
then go to the west against March 6 and stay till April 1, and then to Bristol
till 15 and stay till May 1, then to Gloucestershire and Wiltshire till association.
[p.53] That Brother Ingram go to the north till February 25 and then
to London and Essex against March 1 and Chatham for 3 weeks after Brother
Stephens, and so to Oulney against 25th and thence to Chinner against
April 12, and thence to London and Portsmouth till the association.
That Brother Godwin go now to Oxfordshire, thence to Oulney by
February 3 and stay there till the 10, and thence to Portsmouth against 13
and stay there a week, and be at Essex by 22 and stay there 9 days and be at
Chatham by March 4, and return through Oxfordshire and Wiltshire and so
to Portsmouth by April 3, and then about London till the association.
That our next association be at Morton hill farm on Wednesday, May
92. [p.54] At an association held at Hill Farm, Gloucestershire, May 18
1748 (fn. 34)
|Present: Mr Howel Harris
|Absent: Brother James Relly
Agreed after reading a letter from Brother Cennick about Kingswood
school that Mrs Charles, who [p.55] gave £50 towards the building of it,
should be spoke unto wither she gave it to the Methodists or to Mr Cennick
in particular. The stewards and people at Kingswood should be spoken to,
wither able to retrieve it by paying Brother Cennick. Otherwise if Mr
Cennick, etc. have it, as most part of the people adhere to us, that he should
be writt unto that we preach there upon condition that we pay him the
interest of his money till Mr Whitefield comes, and if he does not agree to
this that we should agree to his proposal.
That as the brethren are not free Brother James Tomkins, who proposed now to join us, should [not] be received into connexion with us, at
least not till next association, but go on as before to work at his business
and preach occasionally.
That Brother Henery Hall, after we examined him about his grace and
call to preach, should go on to exercise his gifts as before in a private capacity
till the association on tryal.
That none of the brethren shall print anything without bringing it
before the association from henceforward.
That as Brother Gibbs thinks it his duty to join the baptists, he may
not preach in our societies, as it may be a means of bringing some confusions
among the people, and [p.56] that Brother Harris or Adams write a letter to
him, and to Brother Kinsman to the society at Plymouth of our mind how
to act. (fn. 35)
93. Whereas Brother Jenkins has in heart and light been alienated from the
brethren and has weakned their hands for some years several ways, and the
brethren have found an alienating, strange spirit come on the people where
he has been, and as he has severall years to think about the matter, either of
leaving us or joining us wholly, and has now for some time been determined
to leave us, and whereas he himself wrote his mind to Brother Whitefield and
he again sent an answer to him and to Brother Harris, in both which he
neither desired him to stay nor the brethren to let him stay (since his light was
changed) till he came, but on the contrary desired him to come over to him
to America, telling him travelling would do him good before he setled and
make him more capable of serving Christ's church, and if he should setle in
England on the independent plan, his sphere would be much confined, and
too wide a breach (fn. 36) made between him and some of his old friends, and also
whereas we are of the established church and have and do declare ourselves
to be so, and he has wholly left it; we [p.57] agreed, after speaking over and
over again to him the first evening, to endeavour to perswade him that it
might be a temptation from the enemy to draw him from a work where he
had been blessed, and to show our hearty love to him and willingness to
receive him we deffered setling the matter till the next morning—in
the mean time giving up ourselves wholly to prayer. And the next morning
the question (upon the mutuall agreement of all the brethren it should be so)
being put to him—Wither he was fully perswaded in his mind it was his
duty to leave us when Mr Whitefield comes? If so we thought the sooner the
better and his staying amongst us longer in that light would but breed more
division and confusion among the people when he was not one of us nor
faithful to us as a fellow labourer, and we also proposed—if he was in
doubt and desired to stay till Brother Whitefield came, to see if he could
satisfy his doubts, we were free to bear with him and to let him go on as
before. And on his answering, he was determined to go away and was
unshaken in his mind, we agreed all to part amicably and lovingly, hoping
(though we were afraid it was a temptation) the Lord might call him to
another plan as he called Peter to the circumcision and Paul to the uncircumcision. Withall declaring that we loved him the very same as a brother
and a labourer in another branch of the vynyard, and would behave accordingly [p.58] to him; and whilst he had the Lord with him and preached Christ
crucifyed and would not breed division among the people whenever he came
occasionally, that we were free he should preach among them when he and
the people desired it; and this minute was read before him and he agreed to
it, only saying we should add that the brethren did also weaken his hands. (fn. 37)
94. That as Brother Ward had prejudice to some of the brethren and had
dropt some words in some places that were like to cause divisions, and on his
being reproved he was humbled and own[ed] his fault and that he would
endeavour to observe his place and walk humbly and in love with all the
brethren, we were satisfyed. And as the society in Wednesbury did not
receive the sacrament any where and did meet in time of divine service,
which is contrary to our conduct, we agreed to propose to them if they will
be under our care, that they would not meet in time of divine service and
that they should also receive the sacrament either in church or meeting, as it
may otherwise much hurt the cause.
That as Brother Ingram laid before the brethren the affair of his
marriage with Sister N. Thomas [p.59] from Wales, the brethren had no
objection to it as her mother consents, only desired them to wait some time.
A letter was wrote to Brother Edwards and brethren in the name of the
association in answer to theirs.
95. Agreed that Brother Ingram go directly to Salop, Ludlow, Radnorshire,
Herefordshire, etc. and be at Bath against June 2, and come thence to
London directly and be there setled by Brother Harris till the association.
That Brother Harris go to London against Whitsunday and stay there
and the places about there till association.
That Brother Beaumont go to Bristol against next Sunday and then to
Bath, and return to Bristol against Whitsunday, and thence to Bath, to
Wales and so to London to association.
That Brother Adams go against Whitsunday to Portsmouth and stay a
fortnight, and return through Wiltshire to Gloucestershire against June 23,
and thence through Herefordshire and north against association.
That Brother Humphries go against Monday night to Bristol and
against Wednesday to near Bridgewater and stay there till over the following
Sunday, and then to the west and so through Somersetshire till the association.
That Brother James Relly go to Wales now and return to Bristol
against July 9th, and come thence to association.
[p.60] That Brother Vines go next Whitsunday to Wiltshire and the
Tuesday evening to Bristol and stay there till June 14, and then come back to
Gloucestershire and Wiltshire till association.
That Brother Smith go against Whitsunday to Tewksbury and
Gloucester and thence to Wiltshire and Gloucestershire for a fortnight, and
then to Bristol to release Brother Vines against June 15 and stay, and at Bath
to the 29, and then through Herefordshire, etc. to London to association.
That Brother Godwin go as soon as he has printed his book to the
north, and through Herefordshire and Radnorshire to Gloucestershire and
Wiltshire to the association.
That Brother James Relly be spoken to about his round by Brother
Harris if he is free to go to the west and Bristol, etc.
That Brother Hogg go to Bristol against July 2, and stay there over
That Brother Stephens be settled in the places about London by
That our next association be kept at London July 20.
96. [p.61] At an association held at London, 20 July 1748
|Present: the Revd Mr Whitfield, moderator
the Revd Mr Bateman
Mr Howell Harris
|Absent: Edward Godwin
Probationers Callingford Ward
After prayer and singing, Mr Whitefield, after opening his mind of
general views in coming over now, declared as he can't as yet know how to
act for several reasons which he gave, till he shall look about him and hear
from all quarters—and as he had seen so much confusion by young mens
going rashly out beyond their line, he was determined not to labour with any
that would not shew [p.62] a teachable mind and willingness to submitt to
use all means for improving all their talents and abilities, though he hated to
affect to be head, etc. Yet he must see everyone acquainted with their own
places and to look on themselves as candidates or probationers. And each of
the brethren answered and declared their willingness to submitt to use all
means for improvement, etc.—having been before convinced of the absolute necessity of it, and look on themselves as helps and on him as a father.
97. Agreed that Brother Harris go to Wales till association.
That Brother Adams stay here in London till Mr Whitefield returns
here from Wales (fn. 38) to release him. Then for him to go by Portsmouth to the
west till the association.
That Brother Relly go now to the west till he is called up by Mr Whitefield to London and stay there till the association.
That Brother Smith go to Chatham against this following Sunday and
stay there over the following Sunday, and then return by London and go to
Essex against Sunday August 7th, stay there over [p.63] two Sundays to
August 15th and then return to London, and go to Oulney against August
the 21st—and go to all the places there abouts for a fortnight till September 1st. And then go thence to Chinner for some days and go thence to
Portsmouth against September 10th and stay there till September 20th, and
go thence by Bristol to the association.
That Brother Ingram go now to Essex against this Sunday and stay
there till August 3, and go thence by London to Oulney against Sunday
August 7 and stay there over the following Sunday till August the 16th, and
go thence by Chinner to Wiltshire and Gloucestershire to Birmingham,
Ludlow, etc.—through Herefordshire to the association.
That Brother Beaumont visit Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and
Radnorshire and Salop. (fn. 39)
That Brother Stephens assist Brother Adams in London and visit
Chinner now for near a month and then go to Bristol against August 21 and
stay there a month till September 19th, and then be farther ordered by Mr
Whitefield till the association.
That Brother Humphreys be spoken to by Brother Relly to come to
Bristol against August 7th and stay a fortnight, except Mr Whitefield orders
otherwise, and come thence to Wiltshire and Gloucestershire for a fortnight,
then go to the west again against Brother Relly comes away, and stay there
till Brother Adams comes there, and then to come to Bristol, etc. till the
[p.64] That Brother Godwin be spoken to go to Herefordshire and
Staffordshire and come through Gloucestershire to Wiltshire, and be farther
directed by Mr Whitefield.
That Brother Baldwin follow his business and exhort in private as
That Brother Meredith go to Chatham against August 7 and stay there
for 2 Sundays, and go thence to Essex and continue [deleted].
98. That the private society be kept at the Tabernacle on Tuesday evening
and no preaching on Wednesday evening nor Friday evening. (fn. 40)
That our next association be kept at Abergavenny October 9th 1748.
That Brother Edwards, if able, let him visit Portsmouth and Wiltshire
or Chatham or Essex or Oulney.
That Brother Meredith go now to Wiltshire and Gloucestershire
against August 12 and stay there 20 August, and go to Chatham against
August 28th and stay there over two Sundays, and go thence to Essex against
September 11 and stay there 9 days, and come through London to go to
Oulney against September 25th and stay there till October 4th, and go
thence to Chinner against October 8th, (fn. 41) and if he is not to come to the
association to go thence to Chatham and Essex. (fn. 42)
That all the brethren bring in the money to the next association toward
the weekly hystory. (fn. 43)
99. Mr Whitefield not being able to come to Abergavenny the time mentioned above, we brethren did not meet till January 26 at Gloucester
1748/9. [pp. 65-6 blank]
100. [p.67] London, April 27th 1749
|Present: the Revd Mr Whitefield
Mr Howell Harris
Mr Thomas Adams
Mr James Relley
Mr James Ingram
|Absent: Brother Stephens
Agreed that Mr Whitefield, Harris, Adams and Relley continue in
That Mr Harris will take the oversight of the Tabernacle and other
English societies and preachers.
And that Mr Whitefield will do all he can to strength his and their
hands, consistent with his going about preaching the gospel either at home
or abroad. (fn. 44)
Agreed that all the absent brethren in connection should meet on
Wednesday May 31 at Abergavenny to settle matters.
101. That Brother Adams should come to London by May 9th and stay 5
weeks till June 15th, and then go through Wiltshire and Gloucestershire to
the west till association.
[p.68] That Brother Relley go next week through Wiltshire and Bristol
to the west and stay there till July 10—then come to London and stay
there till the association.
That all the other absent brethren go on in their rounds as has been
verbally agreed till the association at Abergavenny, and there be further
Agreed that Brother Adams, Relly and Stephens help Brother Harris
at the Tabernacle, and that the other brethren for the present should assist
in other places after examination and approbation at Abergavenny; the next
association to be settled then and there.
102. [p.69] Att a meeting of some of the brethren at Abergavenny, June 21
Present: the Revd Mr Whitefield, Brother Howell Harris, Brother Thomas
Price, Brother Thomas Williams, Brother Thomas James, Brother Thomas
Meredith, Brother Joseph Smith, Brother James Ingram, Brother William
Humphreys, Brother William Jones, chatechist.
After putting some home questions to Brother Meredith, Smith and
Humphreys about their hearts, etc., whether they are determined in their
minds to go on in this work through all difficulties and tryals, having no
future views of preferment, etc. And if they are willing to come under
discipline and to be directed how to spend their time in using all means of
improvement by reading, writing, etc.—and they answered satisfactorily.
It was agreed that for the present it appears best to continue about a
fortnight at Chinner and Oxfordshire and a fortnight at Chatham, Maidstone, etc., about 3 weeks at Oulney, Kettering, etc., 3 weeks at Braintree,
Cogs Hall, Tiptery Heath, etc.
103. Agreed that Brother Humphreys go now to Bristol and stay there 2
weeks till Brother Adams comes there, and then go to the west, then return
to Wiltshire and Gloucestershire till the association.
[p.70] That Brother Meredith go now to Oxfordshire for a fortnight
and then to Oulney and Kettering for 3 weeks, and then through London to
Essex for 3 weeks and thence to Chatham for a fortnight, etc. till further
That Brother Smith go directly to Essex and stay there 3 weeks, and go
thence to Chatham for a fortnight, and thence to Chinner fortnight [sic], and
thence to Oulney for 3 weeks.
That Brother Ingram go now through Herefordshire, Lemster and
Ludlow to Wednesbury, etc. 3 weeks, and thence back to Radnorshire
and Herefordshire for a fortnight, thence to Glamorganshire for 3 weeks,
and thence through Gloucestershire and Wiltshire to Wednesbury and
Ludlow for a month.
That Brother Adams come from Portsmouth through Wiltshire and
Gloucestershire to Bristol to release Brother Humphreys against next
Sunday fortnight, and Brother Smith send him word of it, and stay there a
fortnight till Brother Relly come from the west to release him, and then come
to London till Brother Harris comes there in two months time.
That Brother Relly be in the west till Brother Humphreys release him,
then come to Bristol and stay there for a month till Brother Stephens comes
to release him, then go till the association to Wednesbury, Gloucestershire,
[p.71] That Brother Stephens stay in London a month till Brother
Adams comes up, then go to Portsmouth and Wiltshire till the association.
That Brother Harris come to London in about 2 months time to release
Brother Adams, then meet Mr Whitefield and with him settle the exact time
of the next association in about 3 months time.
104. Att an association held at London September 1,2,4, 6 and 7th 1749 (fn. 45)
Present: the Reverend Mr Whitefield, Brother H. Harris, Brother Thomas
Adams, Brother James Relly, Brother James Beaumont, Brother John
Stevens, Brother Thomas Meredith, Brother James Ingram, Brother James
Mr Whitefield having declared his conviction to go about preaching
the gospel over the nation at home and abroad as he is called and not to take
the immediate care of any place, but having committed the care of his labours
in England to Brother Harris, and the other brethren to assist each according
to his abillity, he owns himself in connexion with the brethren in this branch
and to do all he can to help carying on the work here suitable with his general
plan and his care of the Orphan House, (fn. 46) etc.
As there had been want of a true close heart fellowship among the
brethren, we continued to meet every day to pray and to confer about the
work and to open our hearts to each other, and at length on Thursday 7th
we came to a determination to stand by one another and to go on in connexion, preaching the Lord Jesus Christ [p.72] in a catholick spirit to all the
churches, but as we are called in an especial manner in the established church
to continue in its communion. And whereas Brother Stevens has been rebaptized, we agreed as his heart is in this work and is determined to go on in
connexion, only desiring the liberty of his own private judgment, that he
should go on with us on condition he should not propagate judgment about
baptism least confusion arise, and if any speak to him about it to give his
opinion gently and to acquaint Brother Harris and the other brethren of any
person being in doubt about their opinion, that they may hear both sides,
nor joyn himself to any church but on condition of his having his free liberty
to go on with this work with us like the other brethren, and be at his liberty
to receive the sacrament as he occasionally does in the established or any
other church when occasion offered.
105. It was mutually agreed that as we are fully satisfyed of one another as
to our doctrine and catholick spirit to all, and all our jealousies are removed,
that we should defend each others carracters, and if any thing should seem
blamable in any in spirit, conduct or expression, that the brother should be
spoken to or wrote to to clear himself and explain what might appear
dubious, agreeing in all gospel truths and our catholick spirit to all.
[p.73] We agreed also to go on with the Tabernacle plan as before
setled by Mr Whitefield at the beginning, vizt:
to have letters of the progress of the gospell read when any news
worth communicating offered,
to have love feasts kept up as we find them used by the apostles,
and have been used and peculiarly blessed among us,
to preach punctual at the stated hours,
that none come in on Tuesday evenings to private society but
the members, and each to shew their tickett without any respect of persons.
The brethren that assist at the Tabernacle agreed to visit one each in
his residence the different choirs, vizt. the marryed men and marryed women,
the single men and single women and widows, and visit the classes if they are
able and have freedom and don't find it too much, or if so leave it till Brother
Harris comes. And meet the conference Sunday morning and Tuesday night
for a little while, and the door keepers once a month.
106. Being made sensible of our utter inabillity to perform the duties of love
to each other, trusting wholly to the Lord for strength to carry us through,
that we may feel each others burthen each as his own and rejoyce in each
others gifts and graces, and have but heart, mind and soul; we setled our
rounds, being we trust eternally united to one another to go with our lives in
our hand, having last up the [illegible], having no temporall view while here
but to poor [p.74] and despised, and having nothing in our view but to
preach Christ crucifyed to poor sinners apprehended by a living faith of the
opperation of God, productive of all the fruitts of the spirit and all gospel
obedience to all the divine commands according to the tenet of the doctrine
of the Church of England assemblies, chatechism and of all the reformed
That the new house near Hampton, Gloucestershire be setled to the
society for the payment of the debt on it till the money be raised by collecion,
vizt. £35 to the brethren there and £20 to Brother Williams here in London,
as is minuted on the society book. (fn. 47)
That Mr Whitefield setle the affairs of the Tabernacle and the new
house with Mr Brown.
That Deptford at 8, Lambeth at 2 and Bird Street at 6 be supplyed on
Sundays every other Sunday by the brethren that supply the adjacent places
That our next association be kept at Bristol on Wednesday, December
the 20th 1749.
107. In (fn. 48) November (fn. 49) following, Brother Harris came to London with
[illegible] and declared his freedom only to discourse among us [illegible]
ask him (vizt. Moravians, Wesleys, etc.) he parted and discoursed his last
discourse [illegible] in December and ditto all we [illegible].