Special Collections Display, Faculty Retreat 2019,
illustrating a few of the “spiritual practices,” including some discussed at Faculty Retreat,
with a (non-exclusive) preference for what I could think to illustrate via
those Wesleyan publications present in Special Collections.
—Steve Perisho, Theology and Philosophy Librarian, Seattle Pacific University
1. ATTENTION(, INFORMATION AND): Chambers, E[phraim], ed. Cyclopædia: or, an universal dictionary of arts and sciences. . . . 4th ed. London: 1741 . S.v. “Attention,” an entry that, however, doesn’t really even begin to reflect all that is meant by the meta spiritual discipline of “attention” in INFO 2000, as taught by Michael Paulus and Steve Perisho. The 4th edition of a work of reference that was a major source of the famous French Encyclopédie edited by Diderot. For more information on Chambers’ Cyclopædia, see the online article by SPU alumnus Colin Lewis. Gift of Robert and Beulah Whitlow.
2. CHRISTIAN PERFECTION/ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION/HOLINESS: Wesley, John. The Lord our righteousness. A sermon on Jeremiah xxiii. 6. Bristol: William Pine, 1766. Sermon 20 (Bicentennial Works 1 (1984), 449-465), first preached on 24 November 1765, was placed between Sermon 19, on what editor Albert C. Outler calls “the negative powers of faith (‘not to sin’)”, and the sermons on the Sermon on the Mount, or faith’s “duties”, in the Works of 1771. According to Outler, this was because “the conflict with the Calvinists had worsened, and there was an obvious need at this particular juncture for a clearer statement of [Wesley’s] counterposition on [the] ‘imputation’ and ‘impartation’ [of righteousness] in [the doctrine of] justification by faith”, i.e. “the need for an unmistakable rejection of all one-sided emphases on [the mere] ‘imputation’” of righteousness, and an understanding of “Christ’s atoning death . . . as [in effect] the ‘meritorious’ cause of a sinner’s justification.” Now, the doctrine of justification isn’t yet the doctrine of sanctification (much less perfection) in particular, of course. Nonetheless, this sermon is said to signal “the end of Wesley’s efforts to avoid an open rift with the Calvinists; . . . [and] the beginning of that stage in his career that we have labelled ‘the later Wesley’” (Outler, Bicentennial Works 1 (1984), 446-446). To put a duller point on it, it—located and purchased just last month for this display in particular—is virtually the only 18th-century original I have on hand that could plausibly be used to gesture in the direction of Sermon 40 on “Christian perfection” (1741) and the book A plain account of Christian perfection (1766), famous treatises to be covered (in the light of spiritual practices) by Daniel Castelo, Matt Sigler, and the panel on Holy living. That said, I’ve included what is, so far as I know, our earliest copy of the sermon on “Christian perfection” (1741) in an 1823 London edition of the Sermons on several occasions, a gift of Stanley D. Walters, at MEANS OF GRACE IN GENERAL (the sermon).
3. ICONS/ART, THE CONTEMPLATION OF: Jackson, Donald. Gospels and Acts. The Saint John’s Bible 5. Collegeville, MN. 2005; Monroe cards, n.d. There are, to my knowledge, no icons (there isn’t even that much in the way of colorful art) in Special Collections. So to spice things up a bit, I’ve included the Gospels and Acts volume of the very inexpensive version of The Saint John’s Bible. For something far closer to the original, not to mention far, far more expensive, you need travel only as far as Epiphany [Episcopal] Parish in Seattle, the CHI Franciscan Rehabilitation Hospital in Tacoma, St. Martin’s University in Lacey, the University of Portland in Portland, OR, or George Fox University in Newberg, OR, all of which are said to own complete copies of the truly magnificent Heritage Edition. The two or three programmatic references to icons and art, however, I take also as a (mere) excuse to feature the illustrated cards-in-black-and-white recently donated by Heidi Monroe. Discovered in her grandmother’s Swiss attic, they surely date from somewhere within a few decades of the death of John Wesley, whose Methodists were among those (especially Pietists) known to use such things. Having spent many hours attempting to learn what I can about them, and having even written a German specialist, I still can’t say very much more than the obvious: that they’re a box of one-sided cards bearing two Old or two New Testament illustrations each, 1-64 Old (missing nos. 39-48 for sure, if not 65 ff.), and 1-61 New (missing no. 5, if not 62 ff.). I can say also that the lithographer may have been a certain Peter Wagner of Karlsruhe, who flourished c. 1795.
MEANS OF GRACE IN GENERAL:
4. Wesley, John, Charles Wesley, and others. Minutes of some late conversations between the Revd. M. Wesleys, and others. Dublin: S. Powell, 1749. In the “disciplinary” or “Large Minutes” of 1763, the questions to be asked of “our Helpers” in those of 1753 were expanded in a “more particular” direction. The latter had included (among others) the following: “[READING:] Do you read the books we advise, and no other? [FASTING:] Do you fast as often as your health will permit? [CHRISTIAN CONFERENCING:] Do you converse seriously, usefully, and closely? Do you pray before, and have you a determinate end in every conversation?” But in 1763 this was put in terms of “means of grace” either “Instituted or Prudential”, and then fleshed out considerably, into a much more involved list of such, visible at Bicentennial Works 10 (2011), 855 ff., on display. But these same concerns were already pervasive in the first “disciplinary” (but not yet “Large”) Minutes of 1749 on display here (indeed, located by Steve Perisho and purchased by University Librarian Michael Paulus for this display). See, for example, pp.
5. Wesley, John.Sermon 16 on the “Means of grace” (1746, published 1747), as represented here in our earliest copy of the Sermons on several occasions:Wesley, John. Sermons on several occasions. 8th ed., complete in one volume. London: J. Bumpus, 1823, gift of Stanley D. Walters.Matt Sigler will refer to this sermon on the “outward signs, words, or actions, ordained of God, and appointed for this end[:]to be the ordinary channels whereby he might convey to men, preventing, justifying, or sanctifying grace” (166) in his plenary address.Gift of Stanley D. Walters. This same volume services also CHRISTIAN PERFECTION/ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION/HOLINESS, above.
NATURE, THE STUDY AND CONTEMPLATION OF (KEPLER):
6. Wesley, John.Journal, 10 February 1757 =Works of the Rev. John Wesley, M.A., late fellow of Lincoln-College, Oxford 30 (Bristol:William Pine, 1774), 124-125. With Sermon 69 (1784), The Arminian magazine 7 (June-July 1784): 236 =Sermons on several occasions 6 (London: New Chapel, 1788), ___. The reference in this Journal entry dated 10 February 1757 (as first published in the Works in 1774, a set not owned by SPU) to “doubt[s] of all systems of astronomy” was—according to Albert C. Outler, the editor of vol. 2 of the Bicentennial edition of the Sermons, and thus Sermon 69—occasioned by a reading of p. 75 of the Dissertation on the knowledge of the ancients in astronomy (1755) by John Rogers, who, according to Wesley, “demonstrates” that “the precise distance of the sun from the earth” “is just two millions, nine hundred thousand miles!”, whereas “Many astronomers” had put it at as much as “a hundred millions of miles”, and Johannes Kepler, the subject of the session on spiritual practices led by Rod Stiling, at nearly thirteen (12,907,876). Thus, a little over a month later, Wesley returned to Rogers to comment “that [the ancients] . . . knew all that is valuable in the modern astronomy” (Journal, 12 May 1757, italics mine). A short piece (Sermon 79) “On dissipation,” though, predates these entries in claiming that “A man may be as much dissipated from God by the study of the mathematics or astronomy as by fondness for cards and hounds”, dissipation being, as Wesley was to say much later in 1788, “the art of forgetting God”, “a total studied inattention to the whole invisible and eternal world” (Bicentennial Works 3, 120, 116, italics mine). Statements such as these should, however, be carefully balanced against the reading Wesley did in the natural science of his day (cf. A survey of the wisdom of God in the creation (1763), below, in which there are at least four references to Kepler), as evidenced by, for example, the positive explicit reference to another famous astronomer in a Journal entry dated 17 May 1759: “The next day, in my return to London, I read Mr. [Christian] Huygen’s Conjectures on the Planetary World. He surprised me. I think he clearly proves that the moon is not habitable, that there are neither ‘River nor mountains on her spotty globe;’ that there is no sea, no water on her surface, nor any atmosphere. And hence he very rationally infers that ‘neither are any of the secondary planets inhabited.’ And who can prove that there are? I know the earth is. Of the rest I know nothing” (Bicentennial Works 21, 229-230). For more of interest on (early) 18th-century science, see Chambers’ Cyclopædia, s.v. “Astronomy,” Sun,” etc., under ATTENTION, above. As I say also under OBEDIENCE, below, vol. 7 of The Arminian magazine, which contains the first printing of Sermon 69, and thus this indirect reference to Kepler, happens to be, fortunately, the sole volume of that famous periodical that SPU owns at present. This is because it was donated two or three decades ago by the man who, as an Old Testament professor at Greenville College, inspired our own Frank Anthony Spina to pursue a doctorate: Dr. Stanley D. Walters.
7. Wesley, John. A survey of the wisdom of God in the creation: or, A compendium of natural philosophy: in five volumes. 3rd ed., enlarged. London: J. Fry and Co., 1777, a gift of Glen V. Wiberg.On display is vol. 5, which I’ve opened to chap. 17 “Of comets,” which further demonstrates Wesley’s interest in the study and contemplation of nature (in this case astronomical matters), and contains one of the work’s at least four references to Rod Stiling’s Kepler.
8. OBEDIENCE: Wesley, Susanna. Letter to son John Wesley on “the principal rules I have observed in educating my family,” 24 July 1732. In  Wesley, John, Journal, 1 August 1742 (the bulk of it), Works of 1774, vol. 28, pp. 89-99 =Bicentennial Works 19 (1990), 286-291, but also  Sermon 96 “On obedience to parents,” The Arminian Magazine 7 (1784): 462-464 (which SPU owns, and which contains a much shorter excerpt from the letter inclusive of a paragraph omitted in the Journal), then Sermons on several occasions 8 (1788), 29-48 =Bicentennial Works 3 (1986), 361-372 (cf. also Bicentennial Works 25 (1980), 330-331, where another “brief excerpt” inclusive of the paragraph present in The Arminian magazine is reproduced in its proper place in the chronological order among the Letters of John). As the bibliographical information above implies, we seem to have the text of this letter—to which Matt Sigler will be referring in his plenary address, and which I have taken the liberty of appropriating here as an example of the (inculcation of the) very ancient spiritual practice (or discipline) of obedience—only because John Wesley quoted it at length  in his Journal and  in a much more abbreviated form inclusive of a single paragraph missing in the Journal in his sermon on Col 3:20, “Children, obey your parents in all things.” Its first appearance in the Journal I have supplied via a scan of the first printing of that in The Hathi Trust Digital Library, but vol. 7 of The Arminian magazine—which contains, in addition to the first printing of Sermon 69 (under NATURE, THE STUDY OF (KEPLER), above), the first printing of Sermon 96—happens to be, fortunately for this display, the sole volume of that famous periodical that SPU owns at present. Gift of Dr. Stanley D. Walters.
9. SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES: Wesley, John. Explanatory notes upon the New Testament. London: William Bowyer, 1755. In the “Large Minutes” of 1563 (above, under MEANS OF GRACE IN GENERAL), “means of grace” no. I.2.(1), one of the “Instituted” ones, is said to be “Searching the Scripture, by . . . Reading” the New Testament and other approved books. There the well-known Explanatory notes of 1755 (consulted by those of our students of “Christian Scripture” who have been required to locate “pre-critical” commentary in the history of especially Christian interpretation) are twice urged upon the early Methodists engaged in this spiritual practice (“See that the Notes are in every Society. Explain them to the Congregation”). I have opened this first edition of the Explanatory notes to the second of the two passages in which, in the Authorized Version of Wesley’s day, there is a reference to “Searching the Scripture,” namely Acts 17:11 (the Jews of Berea “were more ingenuous than those of Thessalonica, receiving the word with all readiness of mind, and daily searching the Scriptures, whether those things were so?”), though, as usual, Wesley doesn’t really have all that much to say on the verse in question. Located by Steve Perisho and purchased for this display by University Librarian Michael Paulus.
10. Wesley, Charles. “O for a heart to praise my God.”In Wesley, John and Charles Wesley. Hymns and sacred poems. Bristol and London: 1742.And then in A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780; 1782), of which the earliest version owned by SPU may be the following American one of 1838:Wesley, John. A collection of hymns, for the use of the Methodist Episcopal Church, principally from the collection of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M. Rev. & corr., with a supplement. New York: T. Mason and G. Lane, 1838. To this I have added an even more miniaturized 1844 version of that same title donated by Richard B. Steele: A collection of hymns, for the use of the Methodist Episcopal Church, principally from the collection of the Rev. John Wesley, M.A. Revised and corrected, with the titles of appropriate tunes, and the corresponding page of the harmonist, prefixed to each hymn. With a supplement. Cincinnati: L. Swormstedt & J. T. Mitchell, For the Methodist Episcopal Church. . . . R. P. Thompson, Printer, 1844. Matt Sigler will be using this hymn heavily in his plenary session on “Key Wesleyan understanding [of the] practices of Christian spirituality.”
11. The hymn book of the Free Methodist Church. Chicago: Free Methodist Publishing House, 1896. This copy of the Hymn book of the Free Methodist Church appears to be the working copy Bishop W. T. Hogue (1852-1920) marked up in preparation for the Free Methodist hymnal commissioned by the 1907 General Conference and published in 1910. Bishop Hogue was, after B. T. Roberts, “the outstanding character of Free Methodism” (Encyclopedia of world Methodism) and the founder and first president of Greenville College. It was “in the tower of Hogue Hall” at Greenville that this editorial copy was found, as Dr. Stanley D. Walters told the story in Free Methodist Historical Society newsletter 12, no. 2 (Winter 2012): 4:
When I was teaching [church history] at Greenville, some of the students knew there were old papers in the tower of Hogue Hall, and soon showed up with them in class.
One of the items was a copy of the 1883 FM hymnbook. It had W. T. Hogue’s name in it. There were notes throughout the hymnal. Some of them named tunes for this or that hymn. Beside some hymns I found the word, ‘Out.’ Eventually I concluded that it was Hogue’s own copy in which he had written notes to guide the revision.
[Since the Greenville College library did not want the volume,] I kept it [as] part of my collection of Free Methodistica and holiness literature. I [eventually] gave that collection to Seattle Pacific University, along with my father’s collection of Methodistica. There is a fascinating study waiting to be made on the basis of that copy!
Though there are hymns in the Hymnal of 1910 that have been assigned the tunes indicated in this copy of the Hymn book of 1883 (e.g. nos. 14 and 5 respectively, both of them assigned John Hatton's DUKE STREET; or nos. 496 and 475, both of them assigned Aaron Chapin's GOLDEN HILL), this is not true in every case. For example, the Charles Wesley hymn “Come, O my god, the promise seal” gets an 188.8.131.52. CHELMSFORD (there are many CHELMSFORDs, including at least seven 184.108.40.206.s) in the former (where it is no. 473), but Joseph P. Holbrook's REMSEN (also an 220.127.116.11) in the latter (where it is no. 349), though the Wesley hymn “God of eternal truth and grace” (no. 474 on that same page in the Hymn book of 1883) is indeed missing from the Hymnal of 1910. No. 22 in the former is annotated "add 4th sta[nza] | Gladly the toys of earth" (this would have been the 3rd stanza on p. 188 in the original edition published in 1739, so the fact that a "+" sign has been penciled in across from the second rather than the third stanza in the left margin makes some sense), though the text (still no. 22) remained unchanged in the Free Methodist hymnal of 1910. And "Le[s]t We Forget" (on p. 504) was not "Insert[ed]" in 1910. (No. 580, by contrast, is clearly an example of a change suggested in pencil that was actually made in 1910: "Though waves and storms go o'er my head" does indeed "Follow 394" ("Now have I found the ground wherein") as no. 270 (following no. 269) in the Hymnal of 1910.)
My own (Steve Perisho’s) tentative proposal is therefore that Walters is right about corrections and the negative
(“Out” (next to no. 384—no. 452 in the Hymn book of 1910—Hogue wrote both “
Out” and “ d[elete]”, but finally “In”); " That our Redeemer’s given" "By our Redeemer given", "For him who ’s done did so much for me", and "I ought should his cross with pleasure bear" in no. 68, all corrected in no. 84 of the Free Methodist hymnal of 1910; the addition of "Joseph A." to "Alexander" in no. 171 (no. 608 in the Hymnal of 1910); "Out" and "d[elete]" next to no. 227 ("Come, thou everlasting Spirit"), despite the addition of "Charles Wesley" in red ink; "omit" next to stanzas 3 and 6 of no. 653 (marked "Restored", this became no. 630 in the Hymnal of 1910)),
but not always right about the positive (additions and the specification of tunes); and that (since Hogue clearly changed his mind as he went along), this was (as I've said) no more than a working copy. Hogue may even have taken a copy of the Hymn book of 1883 that he had long since marked up for use in worship (by the indication of tunes and in other ways), and simply marked “Out” the texts that were to be excluded from the Hymnal of 1910. A confirmation of the latter theory may be the numbers that get both a tune and an “Out” or a “d[elete]”, as, for example, the Charles Wesley hymn “Jesus, thou sovereign Lord of all” (no. 494), H. J. Gauntlett's "Captain of our salvation, take" (no. 275: "use in Baptismal list, if at all"), and no. 418 ("substitute 'Blessed Assurance'"). That Hogue sometimes changed his mind (or had it changed for him by the Committee) is clear from the fact that several of the "Hymns to be added" that Hogue listed after the Index beginning on p. 582 were not added, for example "√ The Comforter is come", "For all the saints", "√ I need thee ev'ry hour", "
More about Jesus", " I can hear my Savior calling", and "√ God of our fathers". That a priority was, nevertheless, the assignation of tunes and the provision of musical notation (entirely absent from the Hymn book of 1883) is clear from the fact that even one of "Wesley's [two] last hymns" (p. 533), no. 827 ("In age and feebleness extreme"), though marked "Inserted without music", was in fact assigned a tune—possibly one composed for the occasion, given that CHESBRO is attributed to Thoro Harris (no. 597, p. 378), "doctor of music" and "musical editor" (p. v)—and the notation to go with it. Cf. no. 721 ("Have music composed for this").
Through all of this Hogue was clearly keeping an eye on the hymnals of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Walters is right. “There is [indeed] a fascinating study waiting to be made”!
In keeping with the theme of Faculty Retreat 2019, I have opened this to the Charles Wesley hymn “Means of grace,” first published in the 1740 London edition of Hymns and sacred poems (1739), and included a scan of it as it appears in the 4th 1743 Bristol edition as well. Note the heading it gets here (“The vanity of Mere Formality”), and that Bishop Hogue marked it for excision (“Out”). It is indeed missing from the Free Methodist hymnal of 1910.
12. SPIRITUAL READING: Wesley, John, ed. A Christian library: consisting of extracts from and abridgements of the choicest pieces of practical divinity which have been published in the English tongue by John Wesley. [Ed. Thomas Jackson.] 30 vols. London: T. Cordeux for T. Blanshard, 1819-1827. Richard P. Heitzenrater once claimed that John Wesley’s A Christian library (envisioned from 1548 or even 1546 and published in 50 volumes between 1749 and 1755) “is not the unique production that it is often considered, but rather . . . just one phase or segment of a lifelong publishing project” that began in 1733 and continued right on through the collection of his Works in 1746 and the 1770s, as well as The Arminian magazine he founded in and edited from 1778, “shortly after [the later] Works were published”—“just one phase or segment of a lifelong publishing project”, that is, in that Wesley was always both
1) selecting for republication and editing (abridging, improving upon the style of, and correcting, [sometimes even theologically, as with Watts, who, unlike Wesley, refused to ground the suffering of animals in the sin of Adam (Bicentennial Works 12 (2012), ___n45)!]) the works of those he considered his worthy predecessors or contemporaries in the faith, with the spiritual benefit of his preachers and followers (the “Methodists”) in mind; and in some cases, as for example in both editions of the Works,
2) neglecting to give (what we would today call) credit where credit was due. (Both of the prehumous Works, for example, passed a substantial amount of the work of others off as Wesley’s own.)
Indeed, Heitzenrater goes so far as to suggest that there may well be a sense in which all of his editors since (“includ[ing] Joseph Benson, Thomas Jackson, Frank Baker, and myself”) have misrepresented the man in this respect. For “it strike[s] me that the approach of the editors of his collected Works (after Wesley himself) has probably done him a disservice by trying so hard to reduce the corpus of Wesley’s ‘Works’ to include only those writings that are verifiably original Wesley material” (Richard P. Heitzenrater, “John Wesley’s A Christian library, then and now,” ATLA summary of proceedings 55 (2001): 133-146, passim). Whether Heitzenrater is right about all of this or not, nothing better illustrates the importance to Wesley of the practice of spiritual reading than his Christian library, mentioned, along with Scripture itself in those “Large minutes” (under SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES, above), and represented at SPU in the 2nd (the first posthumous) 1819-1827 edition in 30 volumes edited by Thomas Jackson, which I have opened to the table of contents to Wesley’s extracts from The rule and exercises of holy living, by Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667), who names and discusses a great many spiritual practices. Gift of Stanley D. Walters.
13. WORKS OF MERCY: Wesley, John. Thoughts upon slavery. 4th ed. Dublin: W. Whitestone, 1775 (1st ed. London: Hawes, 1774). According to Wesley specialist Frank Baker of Duke, “when Wesley set to work upon his own Thoughts upon Slavery in 1773, it was [the American Quaker Anthony] Benezet’s [1767 Some historical account of] Guinea which formed the basis of about thirty per cent of his own publication, though a Guinea abridged, paraphrased, re-ordered, and augmented from four other sources, as well as from Wesley’s own experience and meditation—indeed the latter supplied the bulk of his Thoughts” (“The origins, character, and influence of John Wesley’s Thoughts upon slavery,” Methodist history 22, no. 2 (January 1984): 79 (75-86)). This copy of the 4th 1775 edition was located and purchased for Special Collections by University Librarian Michael Paulus in 2013.