Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VIII

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Author: John Wesley

XIV.

1. Another thing which had given me frequent concern was, the case of abundance of children. Some their parents could not afford to put to school: So they remained like "a wild ass’s colt." Others were sent to school, and learned, at least, to read and write; but they learned all kind of vice at the same time: So that it had been better for them to have been without their knowledge, than to have bought it at so dear a price.

2. At length I determined to have them taught in my own house, that they might have an opportunity of learning to read, write, and cast accounts, (if no more,) without being under almost a necessity of learning Heathenism at the same time: And after several unsuccessful trials, I found two such Schoolmasters as I wanted; men of honesty and of sufficient knowledge, who had talents for, and their hearts in, the work.

3. They have now under their care near sixty children: The parents of some pay for their schooling; but the greater part, being very poor, do not; so that the expense is chiefly defrayed by voluntary contributions. We have of late clothed them too, as many as wanted. The rules of the school are these that follow: — 30

First.No child is admitted under six years of age.

Secondly.All the children are to be present at the morning sermon.

Thirdly.They are at school from six to twelve, and from one to five. Fourthly. They have no play-days.

Fifthly.No child is to speak in school, but to the masters.

Sixthly.The child who misses two days in one week, without leave, is excluded the school.

4. We appointed two Stewards for the school also. The business of these is, to receive the school subscriptions, and expend what is needful; to talk with each of the masters weekly; to pray with and exhort the children twice a week; to inquire diligently, whether they grow in grace and in learning, and whether the rules are punctually observed; every Tuesday morning, in conjunction with the masters, to exclude those children that do not observe the rules; every Wednesday morning, to meet with and exhort their parents, to train them up at horne in the ways of God.

5. A happy change was soon observed in the children, both with regard to their tempers and behavior. They learned reading, writing; and arithmetic swiftly; and at the same time they were diligently instructed in the sound principles of religion, and earnestly exhorted to fear God, and work out their own salvation.

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Chicago: John Wesley, "XIV.," Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VIII, ed. Thomas Jackson in Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VIII (London: Wesleyan Methodist Book Room, 1872), Original Sources, accessed August 8, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4AV3TSABL67MR3H.

MLA: Wesley, John. "XIV." Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VIII, edited by Thomas Jackson, in Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VIII, London, Wesleyan Methodist Book Room, 1872, Original Sources. 8 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4AV3TSABL67MR3H.

Harvard: Wesley, J, 'XIV.' in Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VIII, ed. . cited in 1872, Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VIII, Wesleyan Methodist Book Room, London. Original Sources, retrieved 8 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4AV3TSABL67MR3H.