The Methodist Magazine, 1798. Printed by Henry Tuckniss, 575 pages. This magnificent volume covers the entire year of 1798 with original sermons, experiences, letters, poetry and other religious pieces, together with instructive and useful extracts from different authors. There are a number of original sermons and letters by John Wesley and two comprehensive articles entitled, "A Summary View of the Slave Trade". There are interesting letters to and from Bishop Francis Asbury (first Protestant bishop in North America). Many A.M.E. churches bear his name.
-- A little background on Francis Asbury: Asbury preached in every state. In Virginia, he preached often in Loudoun and Fauquier counties and in the Shenandoah Valley and Piedmont regions. He had no home. He relied on the hospitality of others. When Asbury was 26, his ship from England docked at Philadelphia. He wrote in his journal: "When I came near the American shore, my very heart melted within me, to think from whence I came, where I was going, and what I was going about. But I felt my mind open to the people, and my tongue loosed to speak. I feel that God is here." Asbury was one of several itinerant preachers in early America, but what set him apart was his companion, Harry Hosier, a black man, not a servant but an equal. In May 1781 in Fairfax County, Asbury preached, followed by Hosier. Asbury wrote of the service in his journal: "This circumstance was new, and the white people looked on with attention." Hosier's presence might account for some African American Methodist churches taking the name Asbury, but there was another reason. In 1783 -- the year the Colonies received their liberty from England -- Asbury, in Petersburg, Va., wrote that he and other ministers 'all agreed in the spirit of African liberty.' At times Asbury would leave his host if he saw a black person being mistreated or ask an inhospitable person whether he could stay in the "Negro quarter." The word "slave" was not in Asbury's vocabulary. Just before Christmas in 1797, he wrote, "We should not wondering ask, Where did this or that nation of people come from? either [American] Indians or Africans." Asbury's work took him far afield. He crossed the Allegheny mountains sixty times, often through trackless underbrush. No house provided shelter at night. His rheumatism, worsened by repeated drenchings and cold winds, left his feet grotesquely swollen; someone lifted him onto his horse, his dangling feet unable to get through the stirrups. Incapacitated as well by asthma and pleurisy in the last two years of his life he had to be carried like a child everywhere. When urged to give up traveling he replied that "Come" had always been the operative word he used with younger preachers, never "Go."