Love is in the air!
By the late 1740’s both John and Charles Wesley’s thoughts turned to marriage.
James Hutton, a Methodist leader, wrote at length on the subject to Count Zinzendorf:
‘JW and CW, both of them, are dangerous snares to many young women; several are in love with them.
I wish they were married to some good sisters, but I would not give them one of my sisters if I had many…’ (Quoted in John Pollock, Wesley, Hodder, p.190)
Charles was married in 1748 and had, as it happens, a long and happy marriage.
Things would work out slightly differently for John.
Grace is in the air!
John Wesley had appointed Grace Murray, a Geordie, a new convert, a competent leader and a widow, to oversee the Methodist Orphanage in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
He was clearly taken with her ability. She was firm, efficient, and, upon his arriving in Newcastle sick on one occasion, wonderfully caring.
Surely she was the kind of woman who could be his wife!
As he recovered, he began to have stronger feelings towards her and, perhaps unwisely, suddenly said to her, ‘If ever I marry, I think you will be the person!’ (ibid. p.192)
She, understandably, was surprised and impacted by the statement, and, a little stunned, said to John, ‘This is too great a blessing for me! I can’t tell how to believe it! This is all I could have wished for under heaven, if I had dared to wish for it!’
Wesley soon recovered from his illness and made plans to travel down to Yorkshire. Grace, being unwilling to so quickly separate from him after their new found love, convinced him to allow her to ride with him part of the journey.
Wesley, apparently undistracted by the presence of his new found love, quietly read Hodge’s ‘Account of the Plague in London’ as they travelled silently on.
The calamities continue. To read the next installment of Wesley’s attempted courtship click here
© 2010 Lex Loizides