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Published Date: November 2, 2023

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“Let us not spend our time in trifling”: Susanna Wesley, a Mother to her Sons

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In late Spring of 1725, Susanna Wesley (1669–1742) wrote a letter to her second oldest son John, whom she called Jacky. After noting some particular frustrations experienced by his brother Charles on a recent journey, frustrations that involved his sister Hester, Susanna turns to more theological musings. John, it seems, included some quotes from Thomas à Kempis in a previous letter, and Susanna shared her opinion that à Kempis was “extremely wrong” to suggest that God “by an irreversible decree hath determined any man to be miserable in this world.”1 She goes on to write, “Our blessed Lord, who came from heaven to save us from our sins . . . did not intend by commanding us to ‘take up the cross’ that we should bid adieu to all joy and satisfaction [indefinitely], but he opens and extends our views beyond time to eternity. He directs us to place our joy that it may be durable as our being; not in gratifying but in retrenching our sensual appetites; not in obeying but correcting our irregular passions, bringing every appetite of the body and power of the soul under subjection to his laws, [if we would follow him to heaven].”2 We are to take up our cross, she writes to John, as a contrast to “our corrupt animality” in order to fight under “his banner against the flesh.” This fight is not an empty one, because “when by the divine grace we are so far conquerors as that we never willingly offend, but still press after greater degrees of Christian perfection . . . we shall then experience the truth of Solomon’s assertion, ‘The ways of virtue are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.’”3

After her brief theological insights, Susanna returns to the topic of à Kempis noting that she takes “Kempis to have been an honest, weak man, that had more zeal than knowledge, by his condemning all mirth or pleasure as sinful.” Misery is seen as misery to Susanna, who acknowledges how it can be used by God, but is not itself the place God leads us. “We may and ought to rejoice that God has assured us he will never leave or forsake us; but if we continue faithful to him, he will take care to conduct us safely through all the changes and chances of this mortal life to those blessed regions of joy and immortality where sorrow and sin can never enter!” John received this letter when he was nearing his twenty-first birthday, a student at Oxford, and not too long before he was ordained as a deacon in the Church of England.

I open with these extended quotes because it is all too easy to gloss over the sometimes radical influence a parent has on a child, especially when this child grows up to be a great historical figure. We read the writings of such a figure, see their significant contributions, and in the case of religious leaders, we analyze their writings so as to formulate a systematic picture of their overall theology. Yet doing this often results in an ahistorical study that pulls the figure out of their context and robs their contributions of vitally important tools of interpretation. For people live and respond to specific contexts, not a generalized reality, and it is only in seeing a figure, a movement, or a mission within specific contexts that we can hope to develop a more accurate, and thus more helpful, understanding of the person and their contributions. It is with this in mind that I now consider John Wesley, seeing him not as a figure who suddenly erupted into this world great and wholly unique. Rather, he was a man whose extremely significant influence was partly a testimony of his own great passion and work ethic, but also very much in keeping with the tradition in which he was born, and in which he was raised.

In what follows, I consider his mother, who has been often used to explain Wesley’s later development, yet has generally been misused and misunderstood, leading to sometimes wrong conceptions of John Wesley as a man and as a Methodist. I will first give a basic introduction to her life, followed by a brief overview of some of the psychological interpretations that have developed from earlier studies. I will then suggest that these earlier studies were inadequate because they had not included the scope of Susanna’s interactions with her sons in their research. The bulk of this essay, then, will be to help remedy future interpretations by providing examples from her letters to her three sons: Samuel, Charles, and John. In doing this I hope to show that, far from being a restrictive or domineering mother, Susanna has felt the brunt of much misogynistic interpretations from the past, leading her own intelligence and learning to be denigrated. It is indeed true that John and Charles Wesley were vitally shaped by their mother. This was, however, a predominantly positive influence that helped give them both a creative genius and intrepid spirit that led to the founding and thriving of the Methodist movement.

The Life and Influence of Susanna Wesley

There’s nothing plainer than that a free-thinker as a free-thinker, an atheist as an atheist, is worse in that respect than a believer as a believer. But if that believer’s practice does not correspond with his faith . . . he is worse than an infidel.4

Although it cannot be said that Susanna Wesley has been forgotten to history—either in its popular or its more formal forms—there is a curious emphasis which seems to dominate any mentions of John Wesley’s mother. This emphasis, no doubt, in large part derives less from an interest in Susanna for her own self as it does for a way to better understand the social, spiritual, and psychological quandary which John Wesley has caused for those attempting to understand his motives and issues. This is especially the case if one dismisses outright the religious truth of John Wesley’s claims, leaving him a shell to be filled up with all manner of psychoanalytical theories. Indeed, for this purpose, Susanna Wesley appears to offer a very fruitful source—both in how Wesley related to himself and how he related to other women.

Many biographers have seen Susanna’s form of child-rearing as being the shaping force in John’s psychological development. Especially in considering Wesley’s later development and his own religious philosophy, it can be said that he was consumed with doubt and feelings of inadequacy. In his study of Wesley, Robert Moore writes that his “personal style as a ‘Methodist’, compulsive, over-organized, perfectionistic in his attempts to obey authorities which he believed to be legitimate, just, and consistent was determined at this early age.”5 If we understand shame as being a “vague, diffuse sense of falling short of some ideal,” then “our ‘fault’ (in biblical terms) is a sin of omission; we have left undone that which we ought to have done.”6 From the time of his earliest youth, Wesley sought internal spiritual order through increasing patterns of discipline and “methods” which would help him towards the perfection that he thought was the goal of the true Christian life. At the root of this interpretation is the statement of Susanna about her method of raising children and her “bylaws,” which formed the foundation of her approach with each of her children. “Whatever pains it cost, conquer their stubbornness,” she writes, “break the will if you would not damn the child.”7 It is understood that the shame induced by Susanna’s breaking of the will results in John’s later feeling that “he had fallen short of the mark, that he had not reached his spiritual ideal.”8

Thus, in this perspective, it was an underlying sense of doubt and shame which led to his later strivings for full acceptance both before his parents and before his God. Yet, this interpretation runs into numerous difficulties when pressed by more than a desire to explain away John Wesley’s apparent neuroses.9 Indeed, while a discussion of Susanna’s approach to child-rearing could itself take up a large amount of space, it would be more efficient in this present effort to instead try to understand Susanna not from her approaches to her children, but rather to see her as an educated, thoughtful, highly spiritual, strong-willed woman in her own right.10 In approaching Susanna from this direction, we find that John Wesley was not a stereotypical conglomeration of the more obvious Freudian psychoses, but rather the son of a very strong Christian woman who was taught from his earliest age the reality of an active relationship with God and the priority of pursuing this relationship in the midst of a complicated world.

Susanna exhibited early the independence of thought and action which characterized her throughout her life. Despite the not only dedicated but also sacrificial commitment to the Dissenting tradition shown by her father, Susanna, at the age of thirteen, made the decision to step away from her family’s identification and return, on her own, to communion with the Church of England. The specific reasons for this precocious step are not precisely known. In 1709, the year of the Epworth fire, Susanna wrote to her son Samuel and told him that she had written a substantial explanation of her reasoning for her return to the Church of England, but this, along with so many of her own and her father’s writings, were burned.11 She did not, it seems, pen another version of this testimony, so we are left to surmise some reasons for her change.

Many researchers make note of the highly influential apologetic preaching of such Anglicans as John Tillotson, Thomas Tenison, and William Beveridge, who were calling Dissenters back into the national church.12 Whatever the particular reason that Susanna left the family religious tradition, it does not seem that she in any way forsook her father or his spiritual wisdom. Indeed, she was, it seems, quite close to him throughout his life. This no doubt led to her continuing to read deeply of spiritual writings.

This reading and the spiritual emphasis that permeates her collected writings places the more well-known statements on education within a broader context—a context which shows Susanna to be, above all, interested in serving God in her life, a life in which she was given significant responsibility for raising a brood of likewise very intelligent children.13 We find in her letters, in her journals, and in her other writings that she was a serious, highly intellectual woman with strong, developed opinions which found a curious, profound role in an age in which women were not given anything near equal voice with men.14 She had, as Charles Wallace puts it, “a deeply formed sense of self; a Puritan self-understanding that ultimately values the individual and empowers her when in conflict with ‘the world,’ however that might be construed.”15 Her occasional conflicts with “the world” were not, however, public battles in which she sought to recreate society. Rather, she was her own self within the confines of her context, a conventional woman of the early eighteenth century. Even so, within these conventions, she revealed a great sense of independence of thought and very well-formed theological insights. “That sense of self allows her not only to love and support her family but also to advise, teach, argue with, and sometimes stubbornly resist even her husband, brother, and sons.”16 Given the strong identity of each of her sons, it is not surprising that different aspects of her personality are revealed in her various interactions with them.


Susanna’s relationship with her husband, Samuel, is well known. In a famous passage she wrote to John about his thoughts on considering ordination, she notes, “I was much pleased with it and liked the proposal well, but ’tis an unhappiness almost peculiar to our family that your father and I seldom think alike.”17 She continues, “Mr. Wesley differs from me, would engage you, I believe in critical learning.” She then adds, “I earnestly pray to God to aver that great evil from you of engaging in trifling studies to the neglect of such as are absolutely necessary.”18 What was absolutely necessary was not to listen to his father, but for young John to pursue that which leads to the fullest relationship with God. John did, of course, pursue ordination and upon doing so finally did have the support of his father, who apparently had changed his mind about career choices. Yet, in their disagreements about all manner of issues, Susanna remained loyal to Samuel in public and in private. This is most evident in a letter she wrote to her brother, Samuel Annesley, Jr., who had been successful in business in India, and who had had some unfortunate financial dealings with Samuel Wesley. She admits her husband was not a wise man of business, ample evidence was easily convincing, but she adds:

And did I not know that almighty Wisdom hath views and ends in fixing the bounds of our habitation which are out of our ken, I should think it a thousand pities that a man of his brightness and rare endowments of learning and useful knowledge in relation to the church of God should be confined to an obscure corner of the Country, where his talents are buried and he is determined to a way of life for which he is not so well qualified as I could wish.

She will admit to his lack of business acumen—which caused the family suffering—but continues to admire and respect his learning and spirituality, which is for her a more important reality. No doubt this was a factor in their early relationship. After her return to the Church of England, she notes that she was for a time tempted to the position of the Socinians, but a wise man helped her better understand and appreciate the orthodox teaching on the Trinity.19 Susanna, with her defined priorities, ended up marrying this man. It seems having a spiritual insight and wisdom was something Susanna respected in her father, in her husband, and in her sons and her daughters.20

We see in her letters to each of her sons a slightly different expression of Susanna. Indeed, the very distinctions in her response and in the personalities of her children—all of whom continued strong in the faith—argue as much as anything against her being identified as a psycho-social oppressor.

In her letters to her eldest son Samuel, we find a spiritual and emotional counselor sharing insights to her eldest son, apparently in response to questions he had sent.21 Her comments during his school days in the early years of the eighteenth century are not merely emotional encouragement meant to bolster his attitude during his education, and go well beyond reminders for him to attend church and to his studies. In a letter written in March 1704, Susanna reveals an intellectual and insightful theology, and hopes to remind her eldest of his spiritual responsibilities by means of what is, in effect, a short philosophical treatise on the nature of religion. “We may,” she writes as she gets into the heart of the letter, “distinguish the propositions of natural religion into theoretical and practical. I’ve already said enough of the first. I proceed to the second and shall divide the propositions of a practical natural religion into two parts: first the internal, second the external worship of God.”22

At the end of the long letter she notes that going well beyond her own counsel, young “Sammy” should seek God continually in his own devotions. “That you may more perfectly know and obey the law of God, be sure you constantly pray for the assistance of the Holy Spirit.” She continues, “Observe that assistance implies a joint concurrence of the person assisted; nor can you possibly be assisted if you do nothing. Therefore, use your utmost care and diligence to do your duty and rely upon the veracity of God, who will not fail to perform what he has promised.”23 In later letters, she specifies more what this diligence involves, including watching how much he drinks and taking note of his specific temptations.

A summary of her approach might be found in a letter she wrote to Samuel in August of 1704:

The mind of a Christian should always be composed, temperate, free from all extremes of mirth or sadness, and always disposed to hear the still small voice of God’s Holy Spirit, which will direct him what and how to act in all the occurrences of life, if in all his ways he acknowledge him and depend on his assistance.24

These early letters to Samuel are important not simply as insights into Susanna’s relationship with her eldest son, but also as an indication of her theological and intellectual life in John Wesley’s earliest years, showing the atmosphere in which he was raised was filled with very engaged theological thought. To be sure, the letters sent to a young man in school were not the complete picture of the relationship Susanna had with her eldest son. Indeed, after his untimely death in 1739, Susanna wrote Charles with her expressions of grief. “Your brother was exceedingly dear to me in his life, and perhaps I’ve erred in loving him too well. I once thought it impossible for me to bear his loss, but none knows what they can bear till they are tried.”25

She then adds an honest expression of her spiritual need in her grief. “As your good old grandfather often used to say, ‘That’s an affliction, that God makes an affliction.’ For surely the manifestation of his presence and favour is more than an adequate support under any suffering whatever. But if he withhold his consolations and hide his face from us the least suffering is intolerable.” After her husband’s death, she had lived with her eldest son and was dependent on him for her own needs. But she writes she had not even thought about this, as she had indeed felt God’s provision, felt called to “a firmer dependence” on him. “That, though my son was good, he was not my God—and that now our heavenly father seemed to have taken my cause more immediately into his own hand; and therefore even against hope, I believed in hope that I should never suffer more.”26

In her letters to her youngest son, Charles, we find Susanna showing the same interest in spiritual guidance, acting as a sought-after spiritual counselor, giving practical and theological advice. Yet, there are other aspects shown as well, especially later on in her life when Charles had gained a fair amount of his own spiritual confidence. After the Wesley brothers had their enlightening experiences of renewed faith, it seems Charles was eager to share the fruits of their discovery with his mother, and may have been a bit zealous in his own attempts to convince her that his own faith was lacking prior to his new experience, apparently implying her understanding was deficient as well. After quoting a long passage from the French-born Anglican priest, Pierre du Moulin, she writes, “I think you are fallen into an odd way of thinking. You say that till within a few months you had no spiritual life nor any justifying faith. Now this is as if a man should affirm he was not alive in his infancy, because, when an infant he did not know he was alive. A strange way of arguing, this!”27

Despite this sharp disagreement, with both holding their ground, the letters as a whole reflect a continued interest in worthwhile conversation. In 1735, she writes, “that as pleases God, but if while I have life and any remains of health, it may be useful or pleasing to you, that we hold a correspondence together by letters, I shall gladly do it. But then, dear Charles, let us not spend our time in trifling, in talking of impertinent matters that will turn to no account.” Indeed, while her letters do contain the occasional tidbit of personal information—especially as it seems Charles was in closer contact with several of the Wesley daughters—there was a frank spiritual conversation that Susanna continued to pursue. In one of her last letters, when she was seventy-two, she finishes her brief comments to Charles by expressing her confidence in God’s work in John’s life and also in his, saying “my fears are at an end,” for she sees her life’s work not only taking shape but also exhibiting great fruit. She had sought to teach all her sons the ways of God, and they were incomparably active in teaching this to others. She finishes with an exhortation to continue in service to God. “Proclaim his universal love and free grace to all men. And that ye may go on in [the power of the Lord and in] the strength of his might and be preserved from yielding place to those bold blasphemers so much as for an hour is the hearty prayer of your loving mother. I send thee my love and blessing.”28

It is not surprising that her letters to John are the most numerous of all that have been preserved. Throughout these letters she shows the same quality of affection and deep interaction that she reveals in her letters to Charles and Samuel. Indeed, as in the example with which we opened this study, Susanna was willing to engage in theological musings with her son, interacting with him about readings in spirituality and theology. It seems John was curious about his mother’s opinion on topics, knowing that she was well-read.29 Throughout the letters to John, there does seem to also reflect a lot of mutual respect. In March of 1734, she responds to a letter of his, in which she addresses a particularly troublesome interaction John experienced, and then replies to his apparent questions about his own devotions. She writes, “You want no direction from me how to employ your time. I thank God for his inspiring you with a resolution of being faithful in improving that important talent committed to your trust.” She admits her own haphazard devotions, adding that because of her circumstances, likely related to her health, “I can’t observe order, or think consistently, as formerly. When I have lucid interval I aim at improving it, but alas, it is but aiming.”30

However, she always does seem to have an opinion or a suggestion, adding that while she sees nothing of his use of time “but what I approve, unless it be that you do not assign enough of it to meditation, which is (I conceive) incomparably the best means to spiritualize our affections, confirm our judgments, and add strength to our pious resolutions of any exercise whatsoever.” She then proceeds to a passionate meditation on God. “And what is so proper for this end as deep and serious consideration of that pure, unaccountable love which is demonstrated to us in our redemption by God Incarnate! Verily, the simplicity of divine love is wonderful! It transcends all thought, it passeth our sublimest apprehensions! Perfect love indeed!” She continues on, “And yet this great, incomprehensible, ineffable all-glorious God deigns to regard us! Declares he loves us!” She presses on with her passionate reminder, proceeding back to her counsel, reminding John of how God reaches out to his people. “How oft doth he call upon us to return and live! By his ministers, his providence, by the still, small voice of his Holy Spirit! By conscience, his viceregent within us and by his merciful corrections and the innumerable blessings we daily enjoy!” She notes we cannot truly contemplate God as he is in himself, but she gives hope. “But when we consider him under the character of a Savior we revive, and the greatness of that majesty which before astonished, and confounded our weak faculties now enhances the value of his condescension towards us and melts our tempers into tenderness and love.”

Susanna realizes that she is running out of paper, so tries to conclude, steering the note back to his state of life, and adding encouragements. “Therefore you must not judge of your interior state by your not feeling great fervours of spirit and extraordinary agitations, as plentiful weeping, etc. but rather by the firm adherence of your will to God.”31 She then adds, “follow Mr. Baxter’s advice, and you will be easy.”32 Given the course of these middle years of the 1730s, it seems John was not quick to take Baxter’s or Susanna’s advice, and he was not easy. Susanna ended her note, written four years prior to John’s Aldersgate experience, with these words: “Dear Jacky, God Almighty bless thee!”

It seems God answered Susanna’s prayers.


Susanna Wesley was, to be sure, a woman of her age, a wife to an oft tempestuous pastor and a mother to significantly more children than is understandable in our era. In this she was conventional. In light of her seemingly rigid ideals about parenting, it would then seem to be very fitting to interpret her, and thus her children, in light of conventional approaches to developmental psychology. Her goal to break the will of her children would lead to anxiety about guilt and lead to forms of religious interactions that were defined by performance, proving one’s worth in order to gain approval and love. Such a picture of Susanna would also be useful in explaining John Wesley’s particular troubles with women, caught as he was between an intense interest in them and a persistent awkwardness in developing close relationships with them. This impression of Susanna then leads to interpretations of John Wesley’s theology and later Methodism that fit this developmental narrative. In this way, Susanna has served as a decisive if not always prominent part of Wesley studies. John Wesley, you see, had mother issues, and that explains a lot.

It is for this reason that Susanna should be further studied for who she actually was and how she thought as a real person, not as a caricature. She was, in many ways, a conventional woman of her age but, in many other ways, she was an extraordinarily unique woman. She was extremely well-read, and more than this she showed continued evidence of intellectual engagement with the key thinkers of her era, whether in philosophy or religion. She expressed from her earliest days a strong will of her own, an independence of thought and judgment that led her to independently leave the Dissenting tradition of her father and return to the Church of England. Her letters show both the evidence of her learning and her tendency towards intellectual sparring, not for its own sake but as a way of better determining the truth about God and life. She was, it seems, characterized by a persistent intellectual and spiritual curiosity, one that became expressed in her relationships with her sons, leading her to give counsel and seek counsel, to discuss what she read and respond to the issues her sons were worried about. She was not, it seems, an overbearing mother but an involved mother who was dedicated to her children. It is her lasting legacy that she helped instill in her sons their own intellectual curiosity and independent drive, a drive oriented around a quest for the Living God and what it means to live with God in this present life and into eternity.


This article was first published as “‘Let us not spend our time in trifling’: Susanna Wesley, a Mother to her Sons,” Wesleyan Theological Journal 48/2 (2013) 112–25. It is reproduced with kind permission and has been lightly edited for length.

  1. Charles Wallace Jr., ed., Susanna Wesley: The Complete Writings (Oxford University Press, 1997) 107.
  2. Wallace, Susanna, 108.
  3. Wallace, Susanna, 108.
  4. Wallace, Susanna, 112.
  5. Robert L. Moore, “Justification without Joy: Psychohistorical Reflections on John Wesley’s Childhood and Conversion,” History of Childhood Quarterly: The Journal of Psychohistory 2/1 (1974) 36.
  6. Moore, “Justification without Joy,” 36.
  7. Wallace, Susanna, 370.
  8. Moore, “Justification without Joy,” 36. Cf. James Fowler, “John Wesley’s Development in Faith,” in The Future of the Methodist Theological Traditions, ed. M. Douglas Meeks (Abingdon, 1985); Claire E. Wolfteich, “A Difficult Love: Mother as Spiritual Guide in the Writing of Susanna Wesley,” Methodist History 38/1 (1999) 58ff. Fowler, 183, in fact attributes Wesley’s later identity crisis to repressed infantile anger and a personality organized out of his superego.
  9. For another perspective on John’s family life, see Anthony J. Headley, Family Crucible: The Influence of Family Dynamics in the Life and Ministry of John Wesley (Wipf & Stock, 2010). Headley utilizes Murray Bowen’s Extended Family Systems Theory and Alfred Adler’s concept of family constellation. He offers a worthwhile exploration of Wesley’s intimate interactions. However, he does not utilize Susanna’s collected works, relying instead on six letters written by her and a similar number written by other family members.
  10. See further Martha F. Bowden, “Susanna Wesley’s Educational Method,” Journal of the Canadian Church Historical Society 44/1 (2002); David Butler, “‘Look for the Mother to Find the Son’: The Influence of Susanna Wesley on Her Son John,” Epworth Review 25/4 (1998) 90–100; Frank Baker, “Susanna Wesley: Puritan, Parent, Pastor, Protagonist, Pattern,” in Women in New Worlds (Abingdon, 1982) 112–31; Henry D. Rack, Reasonable Enthusiast: John Wesley and the Rise of Methodism (Abingdon, 2002) 54ff.; Wallace, Susanna, 367ff.; Kenneth J. Collins, A Real Christian: The Life of John Wesley (Abingdon, 1999) 11ff.; John A. Newton, Susanna Wesley and the Puritan Tradition in Methodism (Epworth, 2002) 106ff.
  11. Wallace, Susanna, 71.
  12. Newton, Susanna, 59ff.
  13. In 1731, she wrote to John: “No one can, without renouncing the world in the most literal sense, observe my method, and there’s few (if any) that would entirely devote above twenty years of the prime of life in hope to save the souls of their children (which they think may be saved without so much ado); for that was my principal intention, however unskillfully or unsuccessfully managed.” Wallace, Susanna, 150.
  14. See Charles Wallace Jr., “Susanna Wesley’s Spirituality: The Freedom of a Christian Woman,” Methodist History 22/3 (1984) 158–73.
  15. Wallace, Susanna, 33.
  16. Wallace, Susanna, 33.
  17. Wallace, Susanna, 106.
  18. Wallace, Susanna, 107.
  19. Newton, Susanna, 66.
  20. We have significantly more evidence of her interaction with her sons, and they found more opportunity than the Wesley daughters. Society did not give ample space for educated women, and they, for the most part, were victims of this reality. See Rack, Reasonable Enthusiast, 51ff.; Samuel J. Rogal, “The Epworth Women: Susanna Wesley and Her Daughters,” Wesleyan Theological Journal 18/2 (1983) 80–89.
  21. See Wallace, Susanna, 41–75:
  22. Wallace, Susanna, 42.
  23. Wallace, Susanna, 48.
  24. Wallace, Susanna, 50.
  25. Wallace, Susanna, 179.
  26. Wallace, Susanna, 180. Indeed, her poverty and the death of almost half of her children, as well as frequent ill health, suggest a near continual experience of suffering which underlies her spiritual writings.
  27. Wallace, Susanna, 176. Her understanding of the continual gradual work of the Holy Spirit in the life a maturing Christian is something that John Wesley, and later John Fletcher, continued to consider.
  28. Wallace, Susanna, 190.
  29. In her journals we learn more about the extent and depth to which she read, both intellectually and devotionally. Among her dialogue partners are Aristotle, Plato, Beveridge, and many others from history and Scripture. She especially valued Richard Lucas, George Herbert, John Locke, Pascal, and Richard Baxter, each providing profound influence in her expressions, spirituality, and overall philosophy of life. See Charles Wallace Jr., “‘Some Stated Employment of Your Mind’: Reading, Writing, and Religion in the Life of Susanna Wesley,” CH 58/3 (1989) 354–66; Wallace, Susanna, ch. 5. See further Richard E. Brantley, Locke, Wesley, and the Method of English Romanticism (University Presses of Florida, 1984); Frederick Dreyer, “Faith and Experience in the Thought of John Wesley,” AHR 88/1 (1983) 12–30; Robert C. Monk, John Wesley: His Puritan Heritage (Scarecrow, 1999); Richard Lucas, An Enquiry after Happiness (W. Innys and R. Manby, 1735).
  30. Wallace, Susanna, 165.
  31. Wallace, Susanna, 165–66.
  32. She here refers to Richard Baxter, a Puritan preacher from the seventeenth century: “Put your souls, with all their sins and dangers, and all their interests, into the hand of Jesus Christ your Saviour; and trust them wholly with him by a resolved faith. . . .”
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