1785 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Samuel Wesley the Younger

John Wesley, "Letter from Mr. J. Wesley" Gentleman's Magazine 55 (November 1785) 932.



City Road, Dec. 24.
MR. URBAN,
If you will insert the following in your Magazine, you will oblige your humble servant,
JOHN WESLEY.

This morning a friend sent me the Gentleman's Magazine for last May, wherein I find another letter concerning my Eldest Brother. I am obliged to Mr. Badcock for the candid manner wherein he writes, and wish to follow his pattern, in considering the reasons which he urges in defence of what he wrote before — 1. Mr. B. says, "His Brother cannot be ignorant, that he always bore the character of a Jacobite; a title to which I really believe he had no dislike."

Most of those who gave him this title, did not distinguish between a Jacobite and a Tory; whereby I mean, "One that believes GOD, not the People, to be the origin of all Civil Power." In this sense he was a Tory; so was my Father; so am I. But I am no more a Jacobite than I am a Turk; neither was my Brother. I have heard him over and over disclaim that character.

2. "But his own daughter affirmed it." Very likely she might; and doubtless she thought him such. Nor is this any wonder, considering how young she was when her father died, especially, if she did not know the difference between a Tory and a Jacobite; which may likewise have been the case with Mr. Badcock's friends, if not with Mr. Badcock himself.

3. Mr. W. says, "He never published any thing political." This is strictly true: "He never wrote, much less published, one line against the King." He never published one. But I believe he did write those verses, intitled The Regency; and therein, "by obliquely exposing the Regents, exposed the King himself."

In this my Brother and I differed in our judgments: I thought, exposing the King's ministers was one way of exposing the King himself; my Brother thought otherwise: and therefore, without scruple, exposed Sir Robert Walpole and all other evil ministers. Of his writing to Sir Robert I never heard before, and cannot easily believe it now.

4. From the moment that my mother heard my brother and me answer for ourselves, she was ashamed of having paid any regard to the vile misrepresentations which had been made to her after our return from Georgia. She then fully approved both our principles and practice, and soon after removed to my house, and gladly attended all our ministrations, till her spirit returned to GOD.

JOHN WESLEY.