JOURNAL OF THE REV. JOHN WES LEY, The. "It was in pursuance of an advice given by Bishop Taylor . . . that I began to take a more exact account . . . of the manner wherein I spent my time, writing down how I had employed every hour." From the 'diary' kept as a result of this advice John Wesley `transcribed from time to time the more ma terial parts') in order that he might "openly de clare to all mankind, what it is that the Metho dists (so-called) have done and are doing now; or rather what it is that God bath done and is still doing in our land') That is the origin and scheme of 'The Journal) as set forth by the Rev. John Wesley himself. It begins with the entry of Tuesday, 14 Oct. 1735, the day he and his brother, Charles, took boat for Grave send, in order to embark for Georgia," and ends with Sunday, 24 Oct. 1790, about four months before the author's death, covering a period of almost exactly 55 years. 'The Jour nal' is "a curious, monotonous, wonderful nar rative') of the goings and comings, the manner of life, the mental attitude toward the world, rubric, religious doctrine and practice; the tem perament, the ideas, the whole purpose of this most itinerant of all itinerant preachers. With the exception of the first part which deals with his visit to America, and a few pages covering his trip to Germany, taken in the hope that a stay among the Moravian Brethren would bring order out of the chaos of religious emotions and notions which filled his soul, thisjournal of nearly 2,000 closely printed pages is devoted to Wesley's unceasing and unparalleled activ ities throughout the whole of Great Britain and Ireland. Perhaps no journal of so public a man ever reflected so little of the general life, or contained less information concerning the men and events of the time. For example, there is not a word referring to the epoch making struggles of the American Revolution. It is the journal of a man who could see only the religious scheme which filled his whole being. It is a carefully prepared record of when he preached and Where, what he preached about, the size and the character and conduct of the audiences and the influence of his preaching upon them, together with remarks upon the difficulties and personal damages encountered.
The brief and frequent mention of the opposi tion of the clergy of the "Church as by law established in of which he considered himself to be a true and loyal member, and the controversies with all other sectaries make 'The Journal' of value for the study of reli gious persons and institutions other than John Wesley. Although one must needs go to other sources to get a well-balanced and true measure of Wesley and his religious movement. 'The Journal' must needs be carefully and sympathet ically read by anyone who would know the author and Methodism from the inside. Sin gularly enough, no one would ever suspect, from the reading of this journal, that Wesley had any social or home life; perhaps he didn't. His religion was all in all to him. The people he talked and associated with are presented either as believers or unbelievers. All the events through which he and others passed and even natural phenomena are set forth in such a way as to make them appear as the workings of providence or the activities of demons, and all this is done with a modesty and reverence that is both attractive and sur prising. Had it not been for what Wesley be lieved was wilful misunderstanding and mali cious misrepresentation it is hardly likely this Journal would have been prepared and pub lished, in which case the world would have lost an intimate and revealing history of one of the most conspicuous figures and important reli gious movements of the world. Unquestionably The Journal) is just John Wesley. What of his life is not here he counted as being of no value and so not worth being recorded. The last section, covering the period from 29 June 1786 to the end was prepared for publication by some one after the death of the great Wes ley and so is of different value from the other portion.