Hervey was an original member of the The Holy Club at Oxford along with John and Charles Wesley, George Whifield, and a handful of others. He remained friends with Whitefield throughout his entire life, but John Wesley publicly turned on Hervey due to Hervey's insistence that salvation is only experienced though the imputation of sin to Christ at Calvary and the imputation of Christ's righteousness to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus' work on behalf of sinners. Wesley, who taught righteousness before God came through "methodical" holy living, called imputed righteousness "imputed nonsense." It was years after being involved with "The Holy Club" at Oxford that Hervey came to personal faith in the righteousness of Jesus Christ for the salvation of his soul--under the influence and teaching of a poor farmer who had no formal theological education but had come under the influential teaching of grace by famous non-conformist pastor Dr. Philip Doddridge.
Hervey was at his best when he wrote to convince the lost of their need for a righteousness that comes from outside of themselves. I have profited greatly from updating Meditation Among the Tombs for possible republishing. Hervey's works often contain more nuggets of truth that edifies the soul per page than most books have in their entirety.
An example of one such nugget of truth I offer below. The following is a rewrite of a small portion of "Meditations" as Hervey describes being seated in an ancient church that doubled as a cemetery for the dead. He notices a beautiful, framed painting behind the altar and later discovers that the altar-piece has been donated by the craftsman who originally built the church in "gratefulness to the Almighty" for being able to complete their task. The meditation Hervey offers on the workmens' gratitude to God has caused me a great deal of pleasant and profitable reflection this week. I trust it will do the same for you.
I have always considered gratefulness to be the greatest instrument in moving the heart of man toward action. Gratitude contains something noble; feels naturally selfless, and if I may say so, seems always attached to an intense devotion. Unlike gratitude, repentance keeps a sharp attention on our fallen nature, and prayer is most often focused on oneself. In the Garden of Eden there were no prayers and repentance because there were no faults or sins to deplore—but there was gratitude. Likewise, there will be no prayers or repentance in heaven for what is faulty has been restored and “God is all in all”—but gratitude shall be perpetuated there. Gratitude is the most excellent of all Christian principles. The language of the grateful spirit is: “I am unspeakably obligated. How may I express my appreciation?” ... Gratitude would quicken each of us toward effectual holiness more than a thousand other motives! Under the influence of such thankfulness we would work to maintain a purity of intention, a dignity of action and a walk worthy of that transcendently majestic Being who admits us to a fellowship with Himself and with His Son Jesus Christ.
In Gratitude for His Grace,