She had been… a preacher of righteousness.

Sun Aug 1 1742: Almost an innumerable company of people being gathered together, about five in the afternoon I committed to the earth the body of my mother, to sleep with her fathers. The portion of Scripture from which I afterwards spoke was, ‘I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it; from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened. . . . And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.’ It was one of the most solemn assemblies I ever saw, or expect to see on this side eternity.

We set up a plain stone at the head of her grave, inscribed with the following words:
Here lies the body of Mrs. Susannah Wesley, the youngest and last surviving daughter of Dr. Samuel Annesley.
In sure and steadfast hope to rise
And claim her mansion in the skies,
A Christian here her flesh laid down,
The cross exchanging for a crown.
True daughter of affliction she,
Inured to pain and misery,
Mourned a long night of griefs and fears,
A legal night of seventy years.

The Father then revealed his Son,
Him in the broken bread made known.
She knew and felt her sins forgiven,
And found the earnest of her heaven.
Meet for the fellowship above,
She heard the call, ‘Arise, my love.’
I come, her dying looks replied,
And lamb-like, as her Lord, she died.
I cannot but farther observe that even she (as well as her father and grandfather, her husband, and her three sons) had been, in her measure and degree, a preacher of righteousness.

From John Wesley’s Journal, but more directly I noticed this on John Wesley’s blog (which posts journal entries each day). I quibble with John’s “legal night of seventy years” comment. More than quibble, really, entirely disagree, but that’s a discussion for another time. For now, I want to honor Susanna Wesley once more.

Last Spring, I read her collected writings and was continually impressed by her depth of thought and indeed inspired by her depth of informed faith. She’s a woman people need to get to know more. She had a spiritual maturity and seeming balance that it took John a long time to gain.

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