John Wesley (1703-1791)
One entry in John Wesley's journal reads:
To ease the horses (pulling my coach), we walked from Nairn,
ordering Richard (our driver) to follow us, as soon as (the horses)
were fed. He did so, but there were two roads. So, as we took one,
and he the other, we walked about twelve miles...through heavy
rain...But blessed be God, I was no more tired than when I set out
A few months later another reads:
At this season we usually distribute coals and bread among the poor
of the society. But...they (needed) clothes, as well as food. So on
this, and the four following days I walked through the town, and
begged two hundred pounds, in order to clothe them that needed
it most. But it was hard work as most of the streets were filled with
melting snow, which often lay ankle deep; so that my feet were
steeped in snow water nearly from morning till evening...
Both entries were made when John was 81!
John's determination to push ahead and his disregard for his own health were legendary. He had been fearless since his infilling of the Holy spirit in 1738. As a relative youth in 1747, after sailors refused to sail, he impatiently penned in his journal:
There are, unless my memory fail,
Five causes why we should not sail;
The fog is thick, the wind is high;
It rains, or may do by and by;
Or - any other reason why!
Samuel Johnson, center of England's most esteemed literary circle, knew Wesley. "You talk well on any subject, sir," enthused Johnson to Wesley in one of his renowned meetings. "Cross your legs and stay a while longer."
"Pardon me, sir, but I am obliged to meet with a widow and her family in an hour," explained John. "I must go."
"You are always in hurry, sir," complained Johnson.
John replied with the answer he gave to this complaint on many occasions. "No, sir. I am always in haste, but never in a hurry. I never undertake more than I can do with perfect calmness of spirit."
[sources: The Journal of the Reverend John Wesley, 8 Vols., edited by Nehemiah Curnock, 1938, and The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell, 1791]
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