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LONDON:
WESLEYAN CONFERENCE OFFICE, 2, CASTLE-STREET,

CITY-ROAD;

SOLD AT 66, PATERNOSTER-ROW.

1865.

210. f. 356.

LONDON :

PRINTED BY WILLIAM NICHOLS,

46, HOXTON-SQUARE.

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INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

“THERE are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.” (Prov. xix. 21.) This maxim of inspired wisdom receives a striking illustration in the personal history of the Rev. John and Charles Wesley. These emi. nent men were trained in the belief and practice of the strictest churchmanship; so that they would have thought it a sin to deviate from the rubric, to conduct public worship in an unconsecrated place, or to countenance the ministrations of a man on whose head the hands of a prelate had never been laid. Yet these very men were so controlled by the provi. dence and grace of God, as to be a means of introducing, and that upon an extensive scale, a freedom of religious action, such as had scarcely been witnessed in any country since the apostolic age.

In them an exact adherence to ecclesiastical order was connected with defective and even views of Christian godliness, as it is described in the New Testament. They placed before themselves a high standard of personal sanctity, including purity of heart, the uninterrupted exercise of self-denial, the utmost rectitude of speech and action, combined with zealous efforts to do good both to the bodies and

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