Lot 229

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John Wesley 1782 ALS "Deal very gently with them. And lovingly labour to convince..."

John Wesley autograph letter signed regarding missionary work. 1p, measuring 6.25" x 8", "near Manchester", dated April 3, 1782. Signed "J Wesley" and written to “Tommy” [possibly Thomas Longley], one of Wesley’s Methodist preachers. Wesley directs him how to best appeal to the citizens of Kings Lynn, with a particular emphasis on gentle ministry. With flattened folds, light chipping and uniform toning. The letter appears to have been previously affixed to card stock on verso, with some remnants still present. Boldly signed. Very good condition.

In full:

“Be of good courage! You have had a token for good at [King’s] Lynn, where it was supposed the case was desperate. And I do not doubt, but you will see good days in & about Fakenham, tho the people as yet do not know much of Discipline. And no wonder, if they have never yet had ye Rules of our Societies. First, explain them at large, and afterwards inforce them very mildly & very steddily [sic]. Molly Franklin and Sister Proudfoot are good Women. Deal very gently with them. And lovingly labour to convince those whom it concerns, of the evil of buying or selling on the Lord’s Day. I am, Dear Tommy, Your affectionate Friend & Brother…”

John Wesley (1703-1791) was an English cleric, theologian, and evangelist who lead a revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism. He studied at Oxford and there met evangelist George Whitefield when he joined the university's "Holy Club". The two worked closely for a time until they had a falling out in 1741 over a split in the Methodist movement; Wesley with the "Arminians" and Whitefield with the Calvinists. Whitefield and Wesley continued to have a strained relationship throughout their careers but appear to have reconciled later in life. Although Wesley was barred from preaching in many parish churches during the early part of his ministry, he later became widely respected, and by the end of his life, was described as "the best-loved man in England."

Thomas Longley was an itinerant preacher accepted into the Wesleyan church in 1780 and appointed as the "assistant" of the Derby Methodist circuit by 1784.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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February 21, 2024 10:30 AM EST
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Bid Increments
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$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000