Letter from James Reed to Daniel Burton
Reed, James, d. 1777
Volume 06, Pages 1060-1061
[From North Carolina Letter Book. S. P. G.]
Mr. Reed to the Secretary, Extract,
No Carolina, New Bern
Decr 21, 1764
On Saturday the 17 of Novr last the Revd Mr. Whitford [Whitfield] arrived here from the northern Provinces, on his Journey to So Carolina Georgia and at the request of the inhabitants of this town stayed & Preached on Sunday in the forenoon to a very numerous Congregation & in the afternoon proceeded on his Journey. As I was obliged at that time to attend one of my chapels about 35 miles from New Bern, I had not the satisfaction of seeing & hearing this surprising minister, he complains much I am told of an Asthma, tho'
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fat and looks well, and therefore preaches but seldom and never reads Prayers at the same time, this was the only place he preached at in this Province, nor can I learn that he had preached either in Maryland or Virginia, or at any place before, since he had left New York. I desired a particular friend to give due attention to his discourse & collect the heads as well as he could & find that he kept quite clear of Enthusiastic rant & within the bounds of decency, till towards the close when he got to raving & in the opinion of the most competent Judges, spoiled the whole in his conversation with the Parish Clerk, he mentioned the particular number of small tracts, which the Society had sent me, & seemed to intimate that in my letter to the Society, I had improperly called the enthusiastic sect in these parts, by the name of Methodists, for that none were properly called by that name, but the followers of himself & Mr. Wesley, Tho' with submission to Mr. Whitfield, granting they were not his immediate disciples and followers I do affirm, they sprung from the seed which he first planted in New England and the difference of the soil may perhaps have caused, such an alteration in the fruit, that he may be ashamed of it, however upon the whole I think his discourse has been of some real service here, for he particularly condemned the rebaptizing of Adults & the doctrine of the irresistible influence of the spirit, for both which, the late Methodists in these parts had strongly contended & likewise recommended infant Baptism, & declared himself a member & minister of the Church of England.
You must no doubt have heard of the safe arrival of the Honble Colln Tryon our Lieut Govr, in this Province long before the receipt of this. His coming was so sudden & unexpected that he had almost brought the news of his appointment himself. I expect him here daily on his tour thro' the Province. He is a young man and God grant, that from a personal knowledge of him, I may hereafter be enabled to say with the strictest truth, he is a religious man, and as well disposed towards the Clergy as our present worthy Governor, who intends to embark for England in the spring and only waits, till the weather be a little milder.