THE LEADERS OF ENGLISH AND WELSH METHODISM March, 1741-May, 1750 By the Editor IV George Whitefield remained in America for four years (1 744-48) In accordance with the decision taken at the Watford Association, 6-7 April, 1 743 Howell Harris deputised for him as Moderator of Calvinistic Methodism in England and Wales." Harris had already made it clear on more than one occasion (when Whitefield was in Scotland), and was to make it clear again, that he would be no party to any discussions aimed at re-uniting Calvinistic and Arminian Methodism during his absence. No steps were taken therefore during these years towards re-union, though tentative references were made to it from time to time. On 1 July, 1746 for example, James Erskine, a Scottish M.P., a great friend of the Methodists and one who longed to see them re-united, told Howell Harris that he had just received a letter from Charles Wesley, who was then in CornwaU.3 Some Calvin- ists, who were very prejudiced against him, had heard him preach at Plymouth, and, as a result, fifteen of them had "left their brethren and set up a separate meeting," whereupon Charles had persuaded them to return to their own society. A few weeks later, on 24 August, Erskine drew a moral from this. He had just been reading a portion of Charles Wesley's Journal4 and of his success in Cornwall-of. the way he had rescued some from the heresy of Antinomianism and had saved others from falling into it, and of the manner in which Methodists of different doctrinal opinions had been "united in heart" there, none of them "meddling" with the views of his fellows. "What if the Lord", he asked Harris, "has chosen to prepare the way for more union between you and the Wesley's people, by sending Charles to be successful among yours in Cornwall against Antinomianism, which thing you and Mr. xHe landed at Deal on 30 June, 1748. IJ.H.S.P.C. W., xlviii, 42. *Selected Trevecka Letters (1742-47), 189. (henceforth S.T.L.). A year earlier Charles had received a letter from Erskine "Is it not time for the Lord's people to lay aside the peculiarities in opinion ? Will nothing but a scourge drive them to unite ?" Charles' comment to Harris is interesting "Would to God they all loved one another only as well as you and I do." J.H.S.P.C. W., xlv, 6. 4In manuscript obviously, for Charles Wesley never published his Journal and even if he had, the interval would have been too short for this portion to have appeared.