Wonderful letter of John Wesley taking care of business; in this case a young demanding minister and his wife wanting to be a part of the prominent Burslem Circuit and assistance finding a suitable house.
By 1785, the Methodist church at Burslem was one of the most prominent in the Methodist movement, not to mention one of the earliest. Because of the constant influx of people the burgeoning city, it remained in an almost constant state of revival. The knock on seems to have been that young Methodist preachers wished to be attached to it and this led to ongoing problems, including the one addressed here.
The present letter appears to be previously unpublished.
"1781, March 8th - I returned to Burslem. How is the whole face of this country changes in about twenty years! Since which, inhabitants have continually flowed in from every side. Hence the wilderness is literally become a fruitful field. Houses, villages, towns, have sprung up: and the country is not more improved than the people....." [From Wesley's Journal]
By 1783, the church had grown so large that Burslem was made head of the circuit.
"1784, March 31st - I reached Burslem, where we had the first society in the county, and it is still the largest, and the most earnest." [From Wesley's Journal]
Burslem was also the home of Wesley's most famous sculptor, Enoch Wood, upon whose work nearly all sculpture and bust representations have been based.
The letter reads:
Sept 10, 1785
My Dear Sister
I know not what to do, or what to say; this untoward man so perplexes me! It is not my business to find houses for Preacher's Wives: I do not take it upon me. I did not order him to come to Burslem: I only permitted what I could not help. I must have our Brethren to compromise these matters among themselves; they are too hard for me. A preacher is wanting in Gloucester Circuit. One of them may go thither. I am with Love to Mr. Warrick
My Dear Sister
Your affectionate Brother
At the Preaching house
Newcastle under Lyme
Very fine state.