On Sunday, September 19th, 1725, John Wesley, being twenty-two years old, was ordained deacon by Dr. John Potter, Bishop of Oxford, in Christ Church Cathedral.
Of the letters received from home by him during the struggle to raise money for his Ordination fees, the above are but extracts. Let us go back to the month of May, and to Kelstein.
“Patty dear,” asked Hetty one morning, “have you heard lately of John Romley?”
She was sitting up in bed with a letter in her hand. It had come yesterday; and Patty, brushing her hair before the glass, guessed from whom. She did not answer.
“He is at Lincoln; he has gone to try for the precentorship of the cathedral,” Hetty announced.
“You know perfectly well that we do not correspond. I have too much principle.”
“I know, dear,” sighed Hetty, with her eyes fixed meditatively upon her sister’s somewhat angular back. “I hope he is none the worse for it: for I have my reasons for wishing to think of him as a good man.” Patty paused with brush in air, her eyes on Hetty’s image in the glass; but Hetty went on inconsequently: “But surely you get word of him, now and then, in those letters from home which you hide from me? Patty, I am a stronger woman than you: and you may think yourself lucky I haven’t put you through the door before this, laid violent hands on the whole budget, and read them through at my leisure. You invite it, too, by locking them up; which against a determined person would avail nothing and is therefore merely an insult, my dear.”
“You know perfectly well why I do not show you my letters. They are all crying out for news of you—mother, and Emmy and Molly: even poor honest Nan breaks off writing about John Lambert and when the wedding is to be and what she is to wear, and begs to hear if there be anything wrong. And all I can answer is, that you are well, with a line or two about the children. They must think me a fool, and it has kept me miserable ever since I came. But more I will not say. At least—” She seemed about to correct herself, but came to an abrupt halt and began brushing vigorously. Hetty could not see the flush on her sallow face.
“Dear old Molly!” Hetty murmured the name of her favourite sister. “But I could not write without telling her and loading her poor conscience.”
“Much you think of conscience, with a letter from him in your hand at this minute!”
“But I do think of conscience. And the best proof of it is, I am going home.”
“Going home!” Patty faced about now, and with a scared face.
“Yes.” Hetty put her feet out of bed and sat for a moment on the edge of it. “Mrs. Grantham paid me my wages yesterday, and now I have three pounds in my pocket. I am going home—to tell them.”
“You mean to tell them!”