Are you a Christian?
JOURNAL FROM NOVEMBER 26, 1746, TO JULY 20, 1749.
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———— Tuesday, NOVEMBER 25, 1746. — I labored much to convince one who had known me for several years, that she had “left her first love,” and was in the utmost danger of losing the things which she had wrought; but she was proof against argument as well as persuasion, and very civilly renounced all fellowship with me, because, she said, I was disaffected to the Government. O what will not those either believe or assert, who are resolved to defend a desperate cause! Sun. 30. — John Jones (late a zealous Calvinist) preached for the first time at the Foundery. I trust he will never rest, till He who “died for all” hath “cleansed him from all unrighteousness.” Thur. DECEMBER 4. — I mentioned to the society my design of giving physic to the poor. About thirty came the next day, and in three weeks about three hundred. This we continued for several years, till, the number of patients still increasing, the expense was greater than we could bear:
Meantime, through the blessing of God, many who had been ill for months or years, were restored to perfect health. Mon. 8. — This week I read the Collection of Tracts published by Mr. John Fresenius, one of the Ministers at Frankfort, concerning Count Zinzendorf and his people, commonly called Moravians. He writes both like a gentleman and a Christian; with mildness, good-nature, and good manners; and yet with all plainness of speech, so as to place their pride, guile, and various errors, in the clearest and strongest light. Mon. 15. — Most of this week I spent at Lewisham in writing “Lessons for Children;” consisting of the most practical scriptures, with a very few, short, explanatory notes. Sat. 20. — I had a visit from Mr. Bland, an accurate master of the Hebrew tongue; but how exceeding far from the judgment of Mr. Hutchinson! He avers, (and thinks he has demonstrated, in a tract on that head lately published,) that both the vowel and accent points are absolutely essential to the Hebrew language; and that they are far elder than Ezra, yea, coeval with the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai. Thursday, 25, was a day of great consolation. Mon. 29. — I resumed my vegetable diet, (which I had now discontinued for several years,) and found it of use both to my soul and body; but after two years, a violent flux which seized me in Ireland obliged me to return to the use of animal food. Wed. 31. — I heard an amazing instance of the providence of God. About six years ago, Mr. Jebner (as he related it himself) and all his family, being eight persons, were in bed, between ten and eleven at night. On a sudden he heard a great crack, and the house instantly fell, all at once, from the top to the bottom. They were all buried in the ruins. Abundance of people gathered together, and in two or three hours dug them out. The beds in which they had lain were mashed in pieces, as was all the furniture of the house; but neither man, woman, nor child was killed or hurt. Only he had a little scratch on his hand. Sat .JANUARY 3, 1747. — I called upon poor Mr. C., who once largely “tasted of the good word, and the powers of the world to come.” I found him very loving, and very drunk; as he commonly is, day and night. But I could fix nothing upon him. “He may fall foully, but not finally!” Sun. 11. — In the evening I rode to Brentford; the next day to Newbury; and, Tuesday, 13, to the Devizes. The town was in an uproar from end to end, as if the French were just entering; and abundance of swelling words we heard, oaths, curses, and threatening. The most active man in stirring up the people, we were informed, was Mr. J., the C. He had been indefatigable in the work, going all the day from house to house. He had also been at the pains of setting up an advertisement in the most public places of the town of “An Obnubilative, Pantomime Entertainment, to be exhibited at Mr. Clark’s;” (where I was to preach;) the latter part of it contained a kind of double entendre, which a modest person cannot well repeat. I began preaching at seven, on “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Many of the mob came in, listened a little, and stood still. No one opened his mouth, but attention sat on the face of every hearer. Wed. 14. — I rode on to Bristol, and spent a week in great peace. Thursday, 22. About half-hour after twelve I took horse for Wick, where I had appointed to preach at three. I was riding by the wall through St. Nicholas-gate (my horse having been brought to the house where I dined) just as a cart turned short from St. Nicholas-street, and came swiftly down the hill. There was just room to pass between the wheel of it and the wall; but that space was taken up by the carman. I called to him to go back, or I must ride over him; but the man, as if deaf, walked straight forward. This obliged me to hold back my horse. In the mean time the shaft of the cart came full against his shoulder with such a shock as beat him to the ground.
He shot me forward over his head as an arrow out of a bow, where I lay, with my arms and legs, I know not how, stretched out in a line close to the wall. The wheel ran by, close to my side, but only dirtied my clothes. I found no flutter of spirit, but the same composure as if I had been sitting in my study. When the cart was gone, I rose. Abundance of people gathered round, till a gentleman desired me to step into his shop. After cleaning myself a little, I took horse again, and was at Wick by the time appointed.
I returned to Bristol (where the report of my being killed had spread far and wide) time enough to praise God in the great congregation, and to preach on, “Thou, Lord, shalt save both man and beast.” My shoulders, and hands, and side, and both my legs, were a little bruised; my knees something more; my right thigh the most, which made it a little difficult to me to walk; but some warm treacle took away all the pain in an hour; and the lameness in a day or two.
After visiting the little societies in Somersetshire and Wiltshire, on Thursday, 29, I preached at Bearfield in my way, and thence rode on to the Devizes. I found much pains had been taken again to raise a mob; but it was lost labor; all that could be mustered were a few straggling soldiers, and forty or fifty boys. Notwithstanding these, I preached in great peace, on, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” In the morning, Friday, 30, I explained and applied, “He healeth them that are broken in heart.” We then took horse, in the midst of a quiet civil multitude, and the next afternoon came to London. Mon .FEBRUARY 2. — I began examining the classes. Having desired the Leaders, such as had leisure, to give me a short account, in writing, of those under their care, among many others, I received the following note: — “DEAR SIR, “ I HOPE my class are bending one way. K. T., A. G., A. S., M. S., M. R., E. L., and S. S., seem to retain their confidence in the Lord. W. R., L. R., S. R., H. B., I. B., the elder, and A. B., seem to be shut up in a fog, and are not able to get out on any side. They are very dead, and yet very sore. Nothing seems to do them any good, unless it be smooth as oil, and yet sharp as a razor. “M. S., M. Q., E. E., E. B., M. H., F. B., M. S., J. B., and J. B., the younger, seem to be in earnest, seeking the Lord. J. T., M. H., appear to have a desire, and to be widely seeking something. “It seems to me, we all want advice that is plain and cutting, awakening and shaking, and hastening us, like that of the angel, ‘Escape for thy life:
Look not behind thee; neither tarry thou in all the plain.’ I find the Lord often waking me as with thunder. Yet I find a spirit of stillness and luke warmness to cleave to me like the skin of my flesh. The Lord shows me at times how insensibly it steals upon me; and makes me tremble, because I have not been fearing always. May He give us to feel the true state of our souls! Which, I hope, will ever be the prayer of “Your unworthy son in the Gospel, “JOHN HAGUE.”
Ye who loved and profited by this man of God, when he was alive, hear what, “being dead,” he “yet speaketh.” Tues. 10. — My brother returned from the north, and I prepared to supply his place there. Sunday, 15. I was very weak and faint; but on Monday, 16, I rose soon after three, lively and strong, and found all my complaints were fled away like a dream.
I was wondering, the day before, at the mildness of the weather; such as seldom attends me in my journeys. But my wonder now ceased: The wind was turned full north, and blew so exceeding hard and keen, that when we came to Hatfield, neither my companions nor I had much use of our hands or feet. After resting an hour, we bore up again, through the wind and snow, which drove full in our faces. But this was only a squall. In Baldock-field the storm began in earnest. The large hail drove so vehemently in our faces, that we could not see, nor hardly breathe.
However, before two o’clock we reached Baldock, where one met and conducted us safe to Potten.
About six I preached to a serious congregation. Tuesday, 17. We set out as soon as it was well light; but it was really hard work to get forward; for the frost would not well bear or break: And the untracked snow covering all the roads, we had much ado to keep our horses on their feet. Meantime the wind rose higher and higher, till it was ready to overturn both man and beast. However, after a short bait at Bugden, we pushed on, and were met in the middle of an open field with so violent a storm of rain and hail, as we had not had before. It drove through our coats, great and small, boots and every thing, and yet froze as it fell, even upon our eyebrows; so that we had scarce either strength or motion left, when we came into our inn at Stilton.
We now gave up our hopes of reaching Grantham, the snow falling faster and faster. However, we took the advantage of a fair blast to set out, and made the best of our way to Stamford-Heath. But here a new difficulty arose, from the snow lying in large dritts. Sometimes horse and man were well-nigh swallowed up. Yet in less than an hour we were brought safe to Stamford. Being willing to get as far as we could, we made but a short stop here; and about sunset came, cold and weary, yet well, to a little town called Brig-Casterton. Wed. 18. — Our servant came up and said, “Sir, there is no traveling today. Such a quantity of snow has fallen in the night, that the roads are quite filled up.” I told him, “At least we can walk twenty miles a day, with our horses in our hands.” So in the name of God we set out. The northeast wind was piercing as a sword, and had driven the snow into such uneven heaps, that the main road was unpassable. However, we kept on, afoot or on horseback, till we came to the White Lion at Grantham.
Some from Grimsby had appointed to meet us here; but not hearing any thing of them, (for they were at another house, by mistake,) after an hour’s rest, we set out straight for Epworth. On the road we overtook a Clergyman and his servant; but the toothache quite shut my mouth. We reached Newark about five. Soon after we were set down, another Clergyman came and inquired for our fellow-traveler. It was not long before we engaged in close conversation. He told me, some of our Preachers had frequently preached in his parish; and his judgment was, 1. That their preaching at Hunslet had done some good, but more harm.
Because, 2. Those who attended it had only turned from one wickedness to another; they had only exchanged Sabbath-breaking, swearing, or drunkenness, for slandering, backbiting, and evil-speaking; and, 3. Those who did not attend it were provoked hereby to return evil for evil: So that the former were, in effect, no better; the latter worse than before.
The same objection (in substance) has been made in most other parts of England. It therefore deserves a serious answer, which will equally hold in all places. Whether then we speak of Hunslet, Leeds, Bristol, or London, it is allowed, 1. That our preaching has done some good; common swearers, Sabbath-breakers, drunkards, thieves, fornicators, having been reclaimed from those outward sins. But it is affirmed, 2. That it has done more harm; the persons so reclaimed only changing one wickedness for another; and their neighbors being so provoked thereby, as to become worse than they were before. “Those who have left their outward sins,” you affirm, “have only changed drunkenness or Sabbath-breaking, for backbiting and evil-speaking.” I answer, If you affirm this of them all, it is notoriously false. Many we can name who left cursing, swearing, and backbiting, drunkenness and evil-speaking, all together; and who are to this day just as fearful of slandering, as they are of cursing or swearing. And if some are not yet enough aware of this snare of the devil, we may hope they will he ere long.
Meantime, see that you bless God for what He has done; and pray that He would deliver them from this death also.
You affirm, farther, that “their neighbors are provoked hereby to return evil for evil; and so, while the former are no better, the latter are worse, than they were before.”
I answer, 1. These are worse than they were before: But why? Because they do fresh “despite to the Spirit of grace;” because they despise that long-suffering love of God, which would lead them (as it does their neighbors) to repentance. And in laying the blame of this on those who will no longer run with them to the same excess of riot, they only fulfill the Scriptures, and fill up the measure of their own iniquity.
I answer, 2. There is still no proportion at all between the good on the one hand, and the harm on the other: For they who reject the goodness of God were servants of the devil before, and they are but servants of the devil still. But they who accept it, are brought from the power of Satan to serve the living and true God. Thur. 19. — The frost was not so sharp, so that we had little difficulty till we came to Haxey-Car; but here the ice which covered the dykes, and great part of the Common, would not bear, nor readily break; nor did we know (there being no track of man or beast) what parts of the dykes were fordable. However, we committed ourselves to God, and went on. We hit all our fords exactly; and, without any fall, or considerable hindrance, came to Epworth in two hours, full as well as when we left London. Sun. 22. — I preached at five and at eight in the Room; after Evening Prayers, at the cross. I suppose most of the grown people in the town were present. A poor drunkard made a noise for some time, till Mr. Maw (the chief gentleman of the town) took him in hand and quieted him at once. Mon. 23. — Leaving Mr. Meyrick here, I set out with Mr. Larwood and a friend from Grimsby. At two I preached at Laseby in the way, to a quiet and serious congregation. We reached Grimsby by five, and spoke to as many of the society as could conveniently come at that time. About seven I would have preached to a very large audience, but a young gentleman, with his companions, quite drowned my voice, till a poor woman took up the cause, and, by reciting a few passages of his life, wittily and keenly enough turned the laugh of all his companions full upon him. He could not stand it; but hastened away. When he was gone, I went on with little interruption. Tues. 24. — I wrote a few lines to Mr. C., giving him an account of his kinsman’s behavior. He obliged him to come straight to me and ask my pardon. Since that time we have had no disturbance at Grimsby.
At noon I examined the little society at Tetney. I have not seen such another in England. In the class-paper (which gives an account of the contribution for the poor) I observed one gave eight-pence, often ten-pence, a week; another thirteen, fifteen, or eighteen-pence; another, sometimes one, sometimes two shillings. I asked Micah Elmoor, the Leader, (an Israelite indeed, who now rests from his labor,) “How is this?
Are you the richest society in all England?” He answered, “I suppose not:
But all of us who are single persons have agreed together, to give both ourselves and all we have to God: And we do it gladly; whereby we are able, from time to time, to entertain all the strangers that come to Tetney; who often have no food to eat, nor any friend to give them a lodging.”
We came to Hainton soon after sunset. I never before saw so large a congregation here. I declared to them all, (Protestants and Papists,) “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ;” and they seemed to be, indeed, (as Homer says,) epea pteroenta , “winged words,” that flew as arrows from the hand of the Most High, to the heart of every hearer. Wed. 25. — I had designed to go straight for Epworth, but W. Fenwick begged I would call on the little flock at Tealby. Mr. B., (he said,) the Minister of the place, had preached against them with the utmost bitterness, had repelled them from the Lord’s table, and zealously endeavored to stir up the whole town against them. I called there about seven, and began to talk with two or three that were in the house where we alighted. Presently the house was full from end to end. I stood up and declared, “By grace are ye saved through faith.” Even at Hainton I did not find such a blessing as here. Surely this day was the Scripture fulfilled, “If ye be reproached for the sake of Christ, happy are ye: For the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you.”
About two in the afternoon I preached at Ferry, and in the evening at Epworth. Thursday, 26. I left them all in peace and love, and rode to Sykehouse, where William Shent met me, and one from Acomb. I preached at three and at seven; and we were not a little comforted. Fri. 27. — Honest muddy M. B. conducted me to his house at Acomb. I now found out (which I could not comprehend before) what was the matter with him. He, and one or two more, since I saw them last, had been studying the profound Jacob Behmen. The event was, (as might easily have been foreseen,) he had utterly confounded their intellects, and filled them so full of sublime speculations that they had left Scripture and common sense far behind.
I preached, at seven, on, “Repent ye, and believe the Gospel.” The congregation, many of whom came from York, was surprisingly quiet.
Though I used the utmost plainness of speech, several of York came again at five in the morning. After preaching, I spoke with a few who were desirous to join heart and hand together in seeking the kingdom of God. Sat. 28. — I called at Shipton, on Mr. C., the Minister of Acomb, who had desired to see me; and, after half an hour both agreeably and usefully spent, rode on to Thirsk.
God has lately added to them a third; one formerly famous for all manner of wickedness, who was cut to the heart while Mr. Brooke was talking to him, and went down to his house justified. This had struck the whole town; so that when I went down, about five, to preach in a vacant house, it was quickly filled within and without, the Justice being one of the congregation. In the morning, about six, I preached again to a congregation more numerous than before; nor did any man open his mouth, either at the time of preaching, or while I walked through the town; unless it were to bid me God-speed, or to inquire when I would come again. Sun. MARCH 1. — I came to Osmotherley about ten o’clock, just as the Minister (who lives some miles off) came into town. I sent my service to him, and told him, if he pleased, I would assist him, either by reading Prayers or preaching. On receiving the message, he came to me immediately; and said, he would willingly accept of my assistance. As we walked to church he said, “Perhaps it would fatigue you too much, to read Prayers and preach too.” I told him, no; I would choose it, if he pleased; which I did accordingly. After service was ended, Mr. D. said, “Sir, I am sorry I have not an house here to entertain you. Pray let me know whenever you come this way.” Several asking, where I would preach in the afternoon, one went to Mr. D. again, and asked, if he was willing I should preach in the church. He said, “Yes, whenever Mr. Wesley pleases.” We had a large congregation at three o’clock. Those who in time past had been the most bitter gainsayers, seemed now to be melted into love. All were convinced we are no Papists. How wisely does God order all things in their season! Mon. 2. — I rode to Newcastle. The next day, I met the Stewards, men who have approved themselves in all things. They are of one heart and of one mind. I found all in the house of the same spirit; pouring out their souls to God many times in a day together, and breathing nothing but love and brotherly kindness. Wed. 4. — (Being Ash-Wednesday.) I spent some hours in reading “The Exhortations of Ephrem Syrus.” Surely never did any man, since David, give us such a picture of a broken and contrite heart.
This week I read over with some young men a Compendium of Rhetoric, and a System of Ethics. I see not, why a man of tolerable understanding may not learn in six months’ time more of solid philosophy than is commonly learned at Oxford in four (perhaps seven) years. Sun. 8. — I preached at Gateshead, and declared the loving-kindness of the Lord. In the evening, observing abundance of strangers at the Room, I changed my voice, and applied those terrible words, “I have overthrown some of you as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and the rest of you were as brands plucked out of the burning; yet have ye not turned unto me, saith the Lord.”
On Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, I examined the classes. I had been often told, it was impossible for me to distinguish the precious from the vile, without the miraculous discernment of spirits. But I now saw, more clearly than ever, that this might be done, and without much difficulty, supposing only two things: First, Courage and steadiness in the examiner.
Secondly, Common sense and common honesty in the Leader of each class. I visit, for instance, the class in the Close, of which Robert Peacock is Leader. I ask, “Does this and this person in your class live in drunkenness or any outward sin? Does he go to church, and use the other means of grace? Does he meet you as often as he has opportunity?” Now, if Robert Peacock has common sense, he can answer these questions truly; and if he has common honesty, he will. And if not, some other in the class has both, and can and will answer for him. Where is the difficulty then of finding out if there be any disorderly walker in this class, and, consequently, in any other? The question is not concerning the heart, but the life. And the general tenor of this, I do not say cannot be known, but cannot be hid without a miracle.
Where then is the need of any miraculous discernment in order to purge one of those societies? Nay, where is the use of it? For if I had that discernment, I am to pass sentence only ew allegatis et probatis; 1 not according to what I miraculously discern, but according to what is proved in the face of the sun.
The society, which the first year consisted of above eight hundred members, is now reduced to four hundred. But, according to the old proverb, the half is more than the whole. We shall not be ashamed of any of these, when we speak with our enemies in the gate. Fri. 13. — I found Mr. P. and I almost discouraged at the doctrine of absolute and connotative nouns. I wonder any one has patience to learn Logic, but those who do it on a principle of conscience; unless he learns it as three in four of the young gentlemen in the Universities do: That is, goes about it and about it, without understanding one word of the matter.
In some of the following days I snatched a few hours to read “The History of the Puritans.” I stand in amaze: First, at the execrable spirit of persecution, which drove those venerable men out of the Church, and with which Queen Elizabeth’s Clergy were as deeply tinctured as ever Queen Mary’s were. Secondly, at the weakness of those holy Confessors, many of whom spent so much of their time and strength in disputing about surplices and hoods, or kneeling at the Lord’s Supper. Thur . 19. — I considered, “What would I do now, if I was sure I had but two days to live?” All outward things are settled to my wish; the Houses at Bristol, Kingswood, and Newcastle are safe; the deeds whereby they are conveyed to the Trustees took place on the 5th instant; my Will is made; what have I more to do, but to commend my soul to my merciful and faithful Creator?
The rough mountains round about were still white with snow. In the midst of them is a small winding valley, through which the Derwent runs. On the edge of this the little town stands, which is indeed little more than a heap of ruins. There seems to have been a large cathedral church, by the vast walls which still remain. I stood in the church-yard, under one side of the building, upon a large tombstone, round which, while I was at prayers, all the congregation kneeled down on the grass. They were gathered out of the lead-mines from all parts; many from Allandale, six miles off. A row of little children sat under the opposite wall, all quiet and still. The whole congregation drank in every word with such earnestness in their looks, I could not but hope that God will make this wilderness sing for joy.
In the evening I came back to Newlands, where also John Brown has gathered a society. O, what may not a man of small natural talents do, if he be full of faith and love! Sun. 29. — After preaching at South-Biddick, at five, I hastened to Sunderland, where I preached at eight, and again at two, in the main street, to a Kennington-Common congregation. I admire the spirit of this people.
From the first day I preached here to this hour, I have not seen a man behave indecently. Those who did not approve, quietly went away. Mon. 30. — I had leisure to reflect on the strange case of Francis Coxon, who was at first the grand support of the society at Biddick. But after a time he grew weary of well-doing; complaining that it took up too much of his time. He then began to search after curious knowledge, and to converse with those who were like-minded. The world observed it, and courted his company again. Now he was not so precise; his school was filled with children; money flowed in, and he said, “Soul, take thy ease for many years.” He came to Newcastle with John Reah the Saturday after I came; but had no leisure to call upon me. At night they set out homeward. He was walking a little before his companion, about three miles from Newcastle, in a way he knew as well as his own house floor, when John heard him fall, and asked, “What is the matter?” He answered, “God has overtaken me: I am fallen into the quarry, and have broke my leg.” John ran to some houses that were near, and, having procured help, carried him thither. Thence he was removed to another house, and a Surgeon sent for, who came immediately. He soon recovered his spirits, and asked how long it would be, before he could be in his school again. And on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, was full of the world, nor was God in all his thoughts. On Wednesday, the Surgeon told him honestly, he thought he could not live. Then he awoke out of sleep. The snares of death came about him, the pains of hell overtook him. He continued all Thursday and Friday in the lowest pit, in a place of darkness and in the deep; warning all to beware of drawing back unto perdition, and calling upon God with strong cries and tears. On Sunday he found a little dawning of hope; this gradually increased all the day. On Monday, he knew God had healed his backsliding, and sorrow and sighing fled away. He continued all day in fervent prayer, mingled with praise and strong thanksgiving. “This night,” said he, “will be a glorious night to me; my warfare is accomplished; my sin is pardoned.” Then he broke out again into vehement prayer. About eight he left off speaking; and soon after, without any struggle or groan, gave up his soul to God. Wed. APRIL 1. — I rode to Winlinton-Mills, a place famous above many, and called the rebels to lay down their arms, and be reconciled to God through his Son. I saw neither old nor young that behaved amiss; for the dread of the Lord was upon them. Sun. 5. — We set out early, and about eight went out into the market-place at Hexham. A multitude of people soon ran together, the greater part mad as colts untamed. Many had promised to do mighty things. But the bridle was in their teeth. I cried aloud, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.” They felt the sharpness of the two-edged sword, and sunk into seriousness on every side: In so much that I heard not one unkind or uncivil word, till we left them standing, and staring one at another. At one I preached at Horsley; and about five in the evening at Newcastle. Mon. 6. — Having been informed, there were many large collieries three or four miles north or northwest from Durham, I rode to a village called Renton, in the midst of them, and proclaimed, “The Lord God, gracious and merciful.” Abundance of people gave earnest heed to every word which was spoken; kneeled down when I prayed, sung (after their manner) when I sung, and crowded into the house where I went in; crying out, one and all, “A, they were only too long a-coming! Why did they not come sooner?” Tues. 7. — Finding the people about Dent’s Hole were grow dead and cold, I preached there at twelve o’clock; if haply it might please God yet again to breathe on the dry bones, that they might live. Wed. 8. — I found the congregation at Blanchland abundantly increased. I preached in the evening at Spen, and the next day, at noon, to a serious congregation at Winlinton-Mills: A gentleman who had talked of making a disturbance, finding not one man to second him. Fri. 10. — Having settled all the societies in the country, I began examining that of Newcastle again. It was my particular concern, to remove, if possible, every hindrance of brotherly love. And one odd one I found creeping in upon us, which had already occasioned much evil:
Namely, a fancy that we must not justify ourselves. (Some of the spawn of Mystic Divinity.) Just contrary to the scriptural injunction, “Be ready to give a reason of the hope that is in you.” For want of doing, this in time, some offenses were now grown incurable. I found it needful, therefore, to tear up this by the roots; to explain this duty from the foundation; and to require all who desired to remain with us to justify themselves, whenever they were blamed unjustly; and not to swallow up both peace and love in their voluntary humility. Sat. 11. — I preached at Biddick at noon; at Pictery, (two miles west of Biddick,) by Mr. M.’s invitation, in the afternoon; and in the evening at Newcastle. Sun. 12. — I preached at Gateshead in the morning; at Swalwell about two; and at the Room in the evening. I scarce ever heard so fine a defense of a weak cause, as was Mr. S.’s sermon in the morning; wherein he labored much to prove the unlawfulness of laymen’s preaching; but with such tenderness and good nature, that I almost wish the sermon were printed, for a pattern to all polemical writers. April 19. — ( Being Easter-day.) I preached in Gateshead for the last time; afterwards at Swalwell, and at Newcastle in the evening. I could gladly have spent six weeks more in these parts; but my time being now expired, I preached my farewell sermon at five. On Monday, 20, a great part of the congregation (which filled the room) were some of the finest people I had ever seen there. Surely God is working a new thing in the earth. Even to the rich is the Gospel preached! And there are, of these also, who have ears to hear, and hearts to receive the truth as it is in Jesus.
About nine I preached to a large congregation at Renton, and before six reached Osmotherley. Finding Mr. D. (as I expected) had been vehemently attacked by the neighboring Clergy and Gentry, that he might be exposed to no farther difficulty on my account, I did not claim his promise, but preached on a tombstone near the church, on, “The Lord is risen indeed.”
How wisely does God order all things! Some will not hear even the word of God out of a church. For the sake of these we are often permitted to preach in a church. Others will not hear it in a church: For their sakes we are often compelled to preach in the highways.
Here John Nelson met me. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, he had preached at Acomb, and the neighboring places: On Good-Friday, in particular, on Heworth-Moor, to a large and quiet congregation. On Easter-Sunday, at eight, he preached there again, to a large number of serious hearers. Towards the close of his discourse a mob came from York, hired and headed by some (miscalled) gentlemen. They stood still, till an eminent Papist cried out, “Why do not you knock the dog’s brains out?”
On which they immediately began throwing all that came to hand, so that the congregation was quickly dispersed. John spoke a few words, and walked towards York. They followed with showers of bricks and stones; one of which struck him on the shoulder, one on the back, and, a little before he came to the city, part of a brick hit him on the back part of the head, and felled him to the ground. When he came to himself, two of Acomb lifted him up, and led him forward between them. The gentlemen followed, throwing as before, till he came to the city gate, near which lived an honest tradesman, who took him by the arm, and pulled him into his house. Some of the rioters swore they would break all his windows, if he did not turn him out. But he told them resolutely, “I will not; and let any of you touch my house at your peril: I shall make you remember it as long as you live.” On this they thought good to retire.
After a Surgeon had dressed the wound in his head, John went softly on to Acomb. About five he went out, in order to preach, and began singing an hymn. Before it was ended, the same gentlemen came in a coach from York, with a numerous attendance. They threw clods and stones so fast on every side, that the congregation soon dispersed. John walked down into a little ground, not far from Thomas Slaton’s house. Two men quickly followed, one of whom swore desperately he would have his life. And he seemed to be in good earnest. He struck him several times, with all his force, on the head and breast; and at length threw him down, and stamped upon him, till he left him for dead. But, by the mercy of God, being carried into an house, he soon came to himself; and after a night’s rest, was so recovered, that he was able to ride to Osmotherley. Tues . 21. — I called at Thirsk; but, finding the town full of holiday folks, drinking, cursing, swearing, and cock-fighting, I did not stop at all, but rode on to Borough-bridge, and in the afternoon to Leeds. Wed. 22. — I spent an hour with Mr. M., and pressed him to make good his assertion, that our preaching had done more harm than good. This he did not choose to pursue; but enlarged on the harm it might occasion in succeeding generations. I cannot see the force of this argument. I dare not neglect the doing certain, present good, for fear of some probable ill consequences in the succeeding century. Thur. 23. — I preached at Morley and Bristol; on Friday, at Bristol and Leeds; on Saturday, at Oulton and Armley. Sun. 26. — I met the Leeds society at five; preached at seven, on, “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come;” and at one, to an unwieldy multitude, several hundreds of whom soon went away, it being impossible for them to hear. Such another congregation I had at Bristol; yet here I believe my voice reached all that were present. Mon. 27. — I preached at Bristol, at Wibsey-Moor, and at Bradford, and regulated the societies. Tues. 28. — One of Pudsey would take no denial; so I promised to preach there at eight o’clock. Coming before the hour, we walked to the new House of the Germans. It stands on the side of a hill, commanding all the vale beneath, and the opposite hill. The front is exceeding grand, though plain, being faced with fine, smooth, white stone. The Germans suppose it will cost, by that time it is finished, about three thousand pounds: It is well if it be not nearer ten. But that is no concern to the English Brethren; for they are told, (and potentially believe,) that all the money will come from beyond sea.
I preached at eight at the place appointed, and thence rode to Dewsbury, where I was to preach at noon. But first I called on the Minister, Mr. Robson; and in an acceptable time. Abundance of little offenses had arisen, and been carefully magnified by those who sought such occasions. But we both spoke our minds without reserve; and the snare was presently broken.
After sermon, Mr. R. having sent a note to desire I would call upon him again, I went and passed such an hour as I have not had since I left London. We did not part without tears. Who knows how great a work God can work in a short time? Wed. 29. — I preached at Hightown at one; and at Bristol in the evening. Thur . 30. — I rode to Keighley. The ten persons I joined here are increased to above an hundred. And above a third of them can rejoice in God, and walk as becomes the Gospel. Fri. MAY 1. — I read prayers and preached in Haworth church to a numerous congregation. In the evening I preached near Skircoat-Green, and baptized Eliz. K., late a Quaker. Sat. 2. — I preached at Halifax, to a civil, senseless congregation; at noon at Gildersome; and in the evening at Armley. Sun. 3. — At one I preached to a vast congregation at Hunslet; and, about five, to a still larger at Bristol, I preached on, “All things are ready; come to the marriage.” And some, I trust, were “compelled to come in.” Mon. 4. — At his earnest request, I began examining those that are called W. D.’s societies. At three I preached at Great Harding; in the evening at Roughlee, where there was a large society. But since the men of smooth tongue broke in upon them, they are every man afraid of his brother; half of them ringing continually in the ears of the rest, “No works, no law, no bondage.” However, we gathered above forty of the scattered sheep, who are still minded to stand in the old paths. Tues. 5. — I preached at Roughlee at five; about eleven at Hinden, and about three at Widdap, a little village in the midst of huge, barren mountains, where also there was a society. But Mr. B. had effectually dispersed them, so that I found but three members left.
We rode thence about five miles to Stonesey-gate, which lies in a far more fruitful country. Here was a larger congregation at six o’clock than I had seen since my leaving Bristol. They filled both the yard and the road to a considerable distance; and many were seated on a long wall adjoining, which, being built of loose stones, in the middle of the sermon, all fell down at once. I never saw, heard, nor read of such a thing before. The whole wall, and the persons sitting upon it, sunk down together, none of them screaming out, and very few altering their posture: And not one was hurt at all; but they appeared sitting at the bottom just as they sat at the top. Nor was there any interruption either of my speaking, or of the attention of the hearers. Wed. 6. — I rode to Shore, four miles south from Stonesey, lying about half way down an huge, steep mountain. Here I preached at twelve to a loving, simple-hearted people. We then climbed up to Todmorden-Edge, the brow of a long chain of mountains, where I called a serious people to “repent and believe the Gospel.” Thur. 7. — We left the mountains, and came down to the fruitful valley of Rosendale. Here I preached to a large congregation of wild men; but it pleased God to hold them in chains. So that even when I had done, none offered any rudeness, but all went quietly away.
We came to Manchester between one and two. I had no thought of preaching here, till I was informed, John Nelson had given public notice, that I would preach at one o’clock. I was now in a great strait. Their house would not contain a tenth part of the people; and how the unbroken spirits of so large a town would endure preaching in the street, I knew not.
Besides that, having rode a swift trot for several hours, and in so sultry a day, I was both faint and weary. But after considering, that I was not going a warfare at my own cost, I walked straight to Salford-Cross. A numberless crowd of people partly ran before, partly followed after me. I thought it best not to sing, but, looking round, asked abruptly, “Why do you look as if you had never seen me before? Many of you have seen me in the neighboring church, both preaching and administering the sacrament.” I then began, “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.” None interrupted at all, or made any disturbance, till, as I was drawing to a conclusion, a big man thrust in, with three or four more, and bade them bring out the engine. Our friends desired me to remove into a yard just by, which I did, and concluded in peace.
About six we reached Davy-Hulme, five miles from Manchester, where I was much refreshed both in preaching and meeting the society. Their neighbors here used to disturb them much; but a Justice of Peace, who feared God, granting them a warrant for the chief of the rioters, from that time they were in peace. Fri. 8. — I preached at Oldfield-Brow to a much larger congregation, though many of them had been hurt by doubtful disputations. But they now began again to take root downward and bear fruit upward.
In the evening I preached at Booth-Bank, among a quiet and loving people; but a famous Anabaptist Teacher, Joseph Pickup by name, had lately occasioned some disturbance among them. He had given them a particular account of a conference he had had with me on the road; what he said, and what I said; and how he had stopped my mouth with the Seventeenth Article. In the morning I told them the plain fact. I had overtook him on the road, and we rode half a bow-shot together, but did not exchange five sentences till we parted.
About noon I preached at Mr. Anderton’s, near Northwich. Several of the gay and rich were there. I continued praying and talking with them till past two: We were then obliged to take horse for Astbury.
Here likewise I found an open door, though many fine people were of the congregation; but they behaved as people fearing God; as seriously as the poor ploughmen. Sun. 10. — I preached at Astbury at five; and at seven proclaimed at Congleton-Cross, Jesus Christ, our “wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” It rained most of the time that I was speaking; but that did not hinder abundance of people from quietly attending. Between twelve and one I preached near Macclesfield, and in the evening at Woodly-Green. Mon. 11. — I preached at noon about a mile from Ashton, and in the evening at Stayley-Hall. Tuesday, 12. I rode to Bongs, and explained to a serious people the parable of the Prodigal Son. In the evening I exhorted them at Chinley, “earnestly to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.” Wed. 13. — I preached at noon in the High-Peak, and in the evening at Sheffield. Thursday, 14. I rode to Barley-Hall. As soon as I had done preaching, William Shent told me he was just come from Leeds, where he had left Mr. Perronet in a high fever. I had no time to spare: However, at three in the morning, on Friday, 15, I set out, and between seven and eight came to Leeds. By the blessing of God, he recovered from that hour.
Being willing to redeem the time, I preached at noon, and then hastened back to Barley-Hall, where I preached at seven, on, “Glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Sat. 16. — I spent an hour or two at Nottingham, and then rode on to Markfield. At eight I preached. The church was pretty well filled, and God gave a blessing with his word. Sun. 17. — Desiring to improve the time we had, I preached at eleven in the morning, and in the evening. Monday, 18. I rode to Wednesbury; and, after two or three days spent there and at Birmingham, on Thursday, 21, came to London. Sun. 31. — I preached at seven in Moorfields to a large and well-behaved congregation. Mr. Bateman desired me to preach a charity sermon at his church, St. Bartholomew the Great, in the afternoon: But it was with much difficulty that I got in; not only the church itself, but all the entrances to it, being so thronged with people ready to tread upon one another. The great noise made me afraid at first, that my labor would be in vain; but that fear was soon over; for all was still, as soon as the service began. I hope God gave us this day a token for good. If he will work, who shall stay his hand? Thur. JUNE 4. — I reduced the sixteen Stewards to seven; to whom were given the following instructions: — “1. You are to be men full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, that you may do all things in a manner acceptable to God. “2. You are to be present every Tuesday and Thursday morning, in order to transact the temporal affairs of the society. “3. You are to begin and end every meeting with earnest prayer unto God, for a blessing on all your undertakings. “4. You are to produce your accounts the first Tuesday in every month, that they may be transcribed into the ledger. “5. You are to take it in turn, month by month, to be Chairman. The Chairman is to see, that all the rules be punctually observed, and immediately to check him who breaks any of them. “6. You are to do nothing without the consent of the Minister, either actually had, or reasonably presumed. “7. You are to consider, whenever you meet, ‘God is here.’ Therefore be deeply serious: Utter no trifling word: Speak as in his presence, and to the glory of his great name. “8. When any thing is debated, let one at once stand up and speak, the rest giving attention. And let him speak just loud enough to be heard, in love and in the spirit of meekness. “9. You are continually to pray and endeavor that a holy harmony of soul may in all things subsist among you; that in every step you may ‘keep the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace.’ “10.In all debates, you are to watch over your spirits; avoiding, as fire, all clamor and contention; being ‘swift to hear, slow to speak;’ in honor, every man preferring another before himself. “11.If not cannot relieve, do not grieve, the poor: Give them soft words, if nothing else: Abstain from either sour looks, or harsh words. Let them be glad to come, even though they should go empty away. Put yourself in the place of every poor man; and deal with him as you would God should deal with you. “These instructions, we whose names are under-written (being the present Stewards of the society at London) do heartily receive, and earnestly desire to conform to. In witness whereof we have set our hands. “N. B. If any Steward shall break any of the preceding rules, after having been thrice admonished by the Chairman, (whereof notice is to be immediately given the Minister,) he is no longer Steward.” Sat. 6. — I appointed to speak with those who had applied to us on a physical account. I found there had been about six hundred in about six months. More than three hundred of these came twice or thrice, and we saw no more of them. About twenty of those who had constantly attended, did not seem to be either better or worse. Above two hundred were sensibly better; and fifty-one thoroughly cured. The entire expense, from the beginning till this time, was about thirty pounds. Sun. 14. — I preached at St. Bartholomew’s again. I admire the behavior of this people; none betrays either lightness or inattention. Surely all the seed sown here will not be lost! Mon. 15. — Our Conference began, and ended on Saturday, 20. The Minutes of all that passed therein were some time after transcribed and published. Sun. 21. — I preached once more at St. Bartholomew’s, on the Gospel for the day, the story of Dives and Lazarus. I was constrained to speak very plain and strong words. But God gave the audience ears to hear; so that they appeared as far from anger on the one hand, as from sleepiness on the other.
After preaching at the chapel in the afternoon, I set out for Brentford with Robert Swindells. The next day we reached Marlborough; where one in the room beneath us was swearing desperately. Mr. Swindells stepped down, and put into his hand the paper entitled, “Swear not at all.” He thanked him, and promised to swear no more. And he did not while he was in the house. Tues . 23. — We took horse at three, breakfasted at Chippenham, and dined at Kingswood; whence I walked to Bristol. About seven I went to the Old Orchard, where were rich and poor, a great multitude. We had a solemn and a joyful hour. Surely these fields are white unto the harvest! Wed. 24. — We rode to Beercrocomb, hoping to reach Tavistock the next day. So we set out at three. The rain began at four. We reached Colestock, dropping wet, before seven. The rain ceased while we were in the house, but began when we took horse, and attended us all the way to Exeter.
While we stayed here to dry our clothes, I took the opportunity of writing “A Word to a Freeholder.” Soon after three we set out: But it was near eight before we could reach Oakhampton. Fri. 26. — We came to Tavistock before noon; but it being market-day, I did not preach till five in the evening. The rain began almost as soon as we began singing, and drove many out of the field. After preaching (leaving Mr. Swindells there) I went on for Plymouth-Dock.
Within two miles of Plymouth, one overtook and informed us, that, the night before, all the Dock was in an uproar; and a Constable, endeavoring to keep the peace, was beaten and much hurt. As we were entering the Dock, one met us, and desired we would go the back-way: “For,” said he, “there are thousands of people waiting about Mr. Hide’s door.” We rode up straight into the midst of them. They saluted us with three huzzas; after which I alighted, took several of them by the hand, and began to talk with them. I would gladly have passed an hour among them; and believe, if I had, there had been an end of the riot. But the day being far spent, (for it was past nine o’clock,) I was persuaded to go in. The mob then recovered their spirits, and fought valiantly with the doors and windows: But about ten they were weary, and went every man to his own home. Sat. 27. — I preached at four, and then spoke severally to part of the society. As yet I have found only one person among them who knew the love of God, before my brother came. No wonder the devil was so still; for his goods were in peace.
About six in the evening, I went to the place where I preached the last year. A little before we had ended the hymn, came the Lieutenant, a famous man, with his retinue of soldiers, drummers, and mob. When the drums ceased, a gentleman-barber began to speak: But his voice was quickly drowned in the shouts of the multitude, who grew fiercer and fiercer, as their numbers increased. After waiting about a quarter of an hour, perceiving the violence of the rabble still increasing, I walked down into the thickest of them, and took the captain of the mob by the hand. He immediately said, “Sir, I will see you safe home. Sir, no man shall touch you. Gentlemen, stand off: Give back. I will knock the first man down that touches him.” We walked on in great peace; my conductor every now and then stretching out his neck (he was a very tall man) and looking round, to see if any behaved rudely, till we came to Mr. Hide’s door. We then parted in much love. I stayed in the street near half an hour after he was gone, talking with the people, who had now forgot their anger, and went away in high good humor. Sun. 28. — I preached at five, on the Common, to a well-behaved, earnest congregation; and at eight near the Room, on, “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found.” The congregation was much larger than before, and equally serious and attentive. At ten I went to church. Mr. Barlow preached an useful sermon, on, “God be merciful to me a sinner;” and a thundering one in the afternoon, on, “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”
At one I preached again near the Room, from those words, in the Gospel for the day, “Come, for all things are ready.” And the hearts of all that were round about seemed to bow down before the Lord. I designed to have preached on Stoke’s Hill at five, but the rain would not permit. However, before six I went to the head of the town, where we had a large and venerable assembly. The fear of God seemed to spread itself over all, and they received what was spoken as the word of God. Yet once more he hath opened the door, that the Gospel may have free course here also. Mon. 29. — I took horse between three and four, and reached Perranwell, three miles beyond Truro, about six. I preached to a very large congregation at seven; and the word was as the rain on the tender herb. Tues. 30. — We came to St. Ives before Morning Prayers, and walked to church without so much as one huzza. How strangely has one year changed the scene in Cornwall! This is now a peaceable, nay, honorable station. They give us good words almost in every place. What have we done, that the world should be so civil to us? Wed. JULY 1. — I spoke severally to all those who had votes in the ensuing election. I found them such as I desired. Not one would even eat or drink at the expense of him for whom he voted. Five guineas had been given to W. C., but he returned them immediately. T. M. positively refused to accept any thing. And when he heard that his mother had received money privately, he could not rest till she gave him the three guineas, which he instantly sent back. Thursday, 2, was the day of election for Parliament-men. It was begun and ended without any hurry at all. I had a large congregation in the evening, among whom two or three roared for the disquietness of their heart: As did many at the meeting which followed; particularly those who had lost their first love. Sat. 4. — About two I preached in the street at Redruth. The congregation was large, and deeply attentive: Indeed there are now scarce any in the town (but gentlemen) who are not convinced of the truth.
At seven I preached at Stithians, and at five in the morning, Sunday, 5. We rode thence to St. Agnes. At two I preached to a large multitude of quiet hearers, many of whom seemed deeply affected. Yet soon after I had done, some began to divert themselves with throwing dirt and clods. Mr. Shepherd’s horse was frighted at this; and as one of them stooped down, leaped clear over him. The man screamed amain; but finding himself not hurt, he and his comrades poured a shower of stones after him. Knowing nothing of the matter, I rode soon after through the midst of them; and none lifted up a hand or opened his mouth.
About half-hour after five I began at Gwennap. I was afraid my voice would not suffice for such an immense multitude. But my fear was groundless; as the evening was quite calm, and the people all attention.
It was more difficult to be heard in meeting the society, amidst the cries of those, on the one hand, who were pierced through as with a sword, and of those, on the other, who were filled with joy unspeakable. Mon. 6. — I preached, about twelve, at Bray: But neither the house nor the yard would contain the congregation; and all were serious; the scoffers are vanished away. I scarce saw one in the county.
I preached in the evening at Camborn to an equally serious congregation. I looked about for John Rogers, the champion, who had so often sworn, I should never more preach in that parish. But it seems, he had given up the cause, saying, “One may as well blow against the wind.” Tues. 7. — I preached at St. Ives; Wednesday, 8, at Sithney. On Thursday the Stewards of all the societies met. I now diligently inquired what Exhorters there were in each society; whether they had gifts meet for the work; whether their lives were eminently holy; and whether there appeared any fruit of their labor. I found, upon the whole, 1. That there were no less than eighteen Exhorters in the county. 2. That three of these had no gifts at all for the work, neither natural nor supernatural. 3. That a fourth had neither gifts nor grace; but was a dull, empty, self-conceited man. 4. That a fifth had considerable gifts, but had evidently made shipwreck of the grace of God: These therefore I determined immediately to set aside, and advise our societies not to hear them. 5. That J. B., A. L., and J. W. had gifts and grace, and had been much blessed in the work.
Lastly, That the rest might be helpful when there was no Preacher in their own or the neighboring societies, provided they would take no step without the advice of those who had more experience than themselves. Fri. 10. — I preached at Gulval-Cross, in the midway between Penzance and Marazion. Sat. 11. — I examined the classes at St. Just, established and settled in the grace of God. Sun . 12. — At five I preached at St. Just; at twelve, to the largest congregation I ever saw at Morva. I then went to church at Zennor; and when the service was ended, preached under the churchyard wall.
Hence I rode to Newlyn, a little town on the south sea, about a mile from Penzance. At five I walked to a rising ground, near the seashore, where was a smooth white sand to stand on. An immense multitude of people was gathered together; but their voice was as the roaring of the sea. I began to speak, and the noise died away: But before I had ended my prayer, some poor wretches of Penzance began cursing and swearing, and thrusting the people off the bank. In two minutes I was thrown into the midst of them; when one of Newlyn, a bitter opposer till then, turned about and swore, “None shall meddle with the man: I will lose my life first.” Many others were of his mind: So I walked an hundred yards forward, and finished my sermon without any interruption. Mon. 13. — I preached at Terdinny, in Buryan parish, where was a large and earnest congregation, notwithstanding the wonderful stories which they have frequently heard related in the pulpit for certain truths. In the morning I wrote as follows: — “REV.SIR, Terdinny, July 14, 1747. “ I WAS exceedingly surprised when I was informed yesterday, of your affirming publicly in the church, in the face of a whole congregation, ‘Now Wesley has sent down for an hundred pounds; and it must be raised directly. Nay, it is true.’ O Sir, is this possible? Can it be, that you should be so totally void (I will not say of conscience, of religion, but) of good-nature, as to credit such a tale? and of good manners and common sense, as thus to repeat it? “I must beg that you would either justify or retract this; (for it is a point of no small concern;) and that I may know what you propose to do, before I set out for London. “I am, Reverend Sir, “Your brother and servant, for Christ’s sake.”
But he never favored me with an answer. Sat. 25. — I was welcomed into Port-Isaac by more company than I expected. The man who had some time since headed the mob when they left Edward Grenfill for dead, had gathered all his troops, and received us as soon as we entered the first street. They all attended us to Mr. Scantlebury’s door, who (Mr. T. informed me) desired I would lodge at his house. I knocked long at the door; but no one answered: At length, the master appeared, — an hoary, venerable old man. I asked, “Pray, is Mr. T. here?” He replied, “Mr. T. is not here. But, pray what may thy name be?”
I answered, “My name is John Wesley.” He said, “I have heard of thee.”
Perceiving that he had no more to say, I turned back to another house. The mob followed, hallooing and shouting; but none of then offered to strike, or even throw any thing. Only their captain, after some hard words, lifted up his stick at me once or twice. But one of his companions interposed.
He then went quietly away.
After spending half an hour, we rode on to Camelford. We stopped at a friend’s house near the town; and between four and five walked to Mr. M.’s, who had often desired that, if Mr. Wesley came, he would preach either in his house or bowling green: But word came from the Mayor, while I was there, that if I did preach he would prosecute him. Finding no convenient place could be procured, we thought it best to go on to Mr. Bennet’s. As I walked through the town, we had a large train to attend us.
Only one stone struck me on the shoulder. Fifty or a hundred waited upon us about half a mile: We then went on quietly to Tregear. Sun. 26. — I preached at Tamerton church in the morning, Mary Week in the afternoon, and St. Gennis in the evening. Mon. 27. — In the evening I preached in Tresmere church; and at five on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Tuesday evening I preached at Laneast church; on Wednesday noon on St. Stephen’s Down, near Launceston.
Thence we rode to Crockern-Well; and on Thursday in the afternoon came once more to Beercrocomb. Fri . 31. — About noon I preached at Taunton. Much opposition was expected; and several young gentlemen came, as it seemed, with that design; but they did not put it in execution. From hence we rode to Bridgewater; and even at this dry, barren place, God largely watered us with the dew of heaven. After preaching I rode to Middlesey, intending only to meet the society; but notice had been given that I would preach there; so I gave an exhortation to all that were present. Sat. AUGUST 1. — I preached here soon after four; about noon at Waywick; and in the evening at Bristol. Sun. 2. — I preached in Kingswood at eight; in the afternoon at Connam; and at five in the Old Orchard, to the largest congregation which I ever remember to have seen at Bristol. What hath God wrought in this city!
And yet perhaps the hundredth part of his work does not now appear. Tues. 4. — I set out for Ireland. We rode that day (but it was hard labor) to Builth, where I preached in the evening on the Prodigal Son. Wed. 5. — Taking horse early in the morning, we rode over the rough mountains of Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire into Merionethshire. In the evening I was surprised with one of the finest prospects, in its kind, that ever I saw in my life. We rode in a green vale, shaded with rows of trees, which made an arbor for several miles. The river labored along on our left hand, through broken rocks of every size, shape, and color. On the other side of the river, the mountain rose to an immense height, almost perpendicular: And yet the tall straight oaks stood, rank above rank, from the bottom to the very top; only here and there, where the mountain was not so steep, were interposed pastures or fields of corn. At a distance, as far as the eye could reach, as it were by way of contrast, A mountain huge uprear’d Its broad bare back, with vast, rugged rocks hanging over its brow, that seemed to nod portending ruin. Thur. 6. — Between three and four in the afternoon we, with some difficulty, reached Carnarvon. This has the face of a fortified town, having walls, (such as they are,) and a castle as considerable as that of Cardiff.
Here we parted with our guide and interpreter, Mr. Philips. Mr. Tucker and I set out for Holyhead. We intended to cross over into Anglesey, at Baldonferry, four miles from Carnarvon: But not being able to inquire our way, (as we spoke no Welsh, and the country people no English,) we could not find where the ferry was, till we saw the boat coming over.
We went into the boat about sunset, and lodged that night at a little inn by the waterside. Fri. 7. — We made a little stop at Llangevenye, seven miles from the ferry. We should have hired a guide to have steered over the sands, but it was quite out of my mind till we came to them; so we went straight across, and came to Holyhead without any stop or hindrance at all. Sat. 8. — Finding one of the packet-boats ready, we went on board about eight o’clock in the morning. It was a dead calm when we rowed out of the harbor: But about two in the afternoon the wind sprung up, and continued till near four on Sunday morning, when we were within sight of the Irish shore.
I could not but observe, 1. That while we were sailing with a fresh gale, there was no wind at all a mile off; but a ship which lay abreast of us was quite becalmed, till we left her out of sight. 2. That a French privateer, which for several days had taken every ship which sailed on that coast, was taken and brought into Dublin Bay, the very morning we arrived there.
Before ten we came to St. George’s Quay. Soon after we landed, hearing the bells ringing for church, I went thither directly. Mr. Lunell came to the Quay just after I was gone, and left word at the house where our things were, he would call again at one. He did so; and took us to his house.
About three I wrote a line to the Curate of St. Mary’s, who sent me word, he should be glad of my assistance: So I preached there, (another gentleman reading Prayers,) to as gay and senseless a congregation as ever I saw. After sermon Mr. R. thanked me very affectionately, and desired I would favor him with my company in the morning. Mon. 10. — I met the society at five, and at six preached, on, “Repent, and believe the Gospel.” The room, large as it was, would not contain the people, who all seemed to taste the good word.
Between eight and nine I went to Mr. R., the Curate of St. Mary’s. He professed abundance of goodwill, commended my sermon in strong terms, and begged he might see me again the next morning. But, at the same time, he expressed the most rooted prejudice against Lay-Preachers, or preaching out of a church; and said, the Archbishop of Dublin was resolved to suffer no such irregularities in his diocese.
I went to our brethren, that we might pour out our souls before God. I then went straight to wait on the Archbishop myself; but he was gone out of town.
In the afternoon a gentleman desired to speak with me. He was troubled that it was not with him as in times past, when, at the age of fourteen, the power of God came mightily upon him, constraining him to rise out of bed to pour out his prayers and tears from an heart overflowed with love and joy in the Holy Ghost. For some months he scarce knew whether he was in the body, — continually walking and talking with God. He has now an abiding peace; but cannot rest till the love of God again fills his heart.
Between six and seven I went to Marlborough-Street. The house wherein we then preached was originally designed for a Lutheran church, and will contain about four hundred people. But four or five times the number may stand in the yard. Many of the rich were there, and many Ministers of every denomination. I preached on, “The Scripture hath concluded all under sin;” and spoke closely and strongly: But none at all seemed to be offended. If my brother or I could have been here for a few months, I question if there might not have been a larger society here, than even in London itself. Tues. 11. — I waited on the Archbishop at Newbridge, ten miles from Dublin. I had the favor of conversing with him two or three hours; in which I answered abundance of objections. In the evening I returned to Mr. Lunell’s. John Trembath preached at Marlborough-Street, to a large congregation both of Laity and Clergy, who behaved with much decency. Wed . 12. — I purposely delayed examining the classes, till I had gone through the Rules of the Society, part of which I explained to them at large, with the reasons of them, every morning. Thur. 13. — We walked in the afternoon to see two persons that were sick near Phoenix-Park. That part of it which joins to the city is sprinkled up and down with trees, not unlike Hyde-Park. But about a mile from the town is a thick grove of old, tall oaks; and in the center of this, a round, open green, (from which are vistas all four ways,) with a handsome stone pillar in the midst, having a Phoenix on the top.
I continued preaching, morning and evening, to many more than the house would contain, and had more and more reason to hope they would not all be unfruitful hearers. Fri . 14. — I procured a genuine account of the great Irish massacre in 1641. Surely never was there such a transaction before, from the beginning of the world! More than two hundred thousand men, women, and children, butchered within a few months, in cool blood, and with such circumstances of cruelty as make one’s blood run cold! It is well if God has not a controversy with the nation, on this very account, to this day. Sat. 15. — I stayed at home, and spoke to all that came. But I found scarce any Irish among them. At least ninety-nine in an hundred of the native Irish remain in the religion of their forefathers. The Protestants, whether in Dublin or elsewhere, are almost all transplanted lately from England. Nor is it any wonder that those who are born Papists generally live and die such, when the Protestants can find no better ways to convert them than Penal Laws and Acts of Parliament. Sun. 16. — We went to St. James’s church in the morning, (there being no service at St. Patrick’s,) and in the afternoon, to Christ Church. When I came out of the choir, I could not but observe well-nigh the whole congregation drawn up in rows in the body of the church, from the one end to the other. I walked through the midst of them; and they stared their fill:
But scarce one spoke either good or bad.
It contained about two hundred and four-score members, many of whom appeared to be strong in faith. The people in general are of a more teachable spirit than in most parts of England. But, on that very account, they must be watched over with the more care, being equally susceptible of good and ill impressions. Tues. 18. — I was informed that Mr. Latrobe, the Moravian Preacher; had read in his pulpit part of the “Short View of the Difference between the Moravians” and us, with the addition of many bitter words. Herein he did us, unawares, a signal favor; giving an authentic proof that we have nothing to do with them. Fri. 21. — I was desired to see the town and the college. The town has scarce any public building, except the Parliament-house, which is at all remarkable. The churches are poor and mean, both within and without. St. Stephen’s Green might be made a beautiful place, being abundantly larger than Lincoln’s Inn-Square; but the houses round about it (besides that some are low and bad) are quite irregular; and unlike each other; and little care is taken of the Green itself, which is as rough and uneven as a common. 2 The College contains two little quadrangles; and one about as large as that of New-College in Oxford. There is likewise a bowling-green, a small garden, and a little park; and a new-built handsome library.
I expected we should have sailed on Saturday, 22; but no packet-boat was come in. In order to make the best of our time, I preached this day at noon, as well as in the evening. It was not for nothing that our passage was delayed. Who knows what a day may bring forth? Sun . 23. — The room was so crowded in the morning, that I thought it best to begin before the usual time in the evening. Yet were a multitude of people got together, in the house, yard, and street, far more than my voice could reach. I cried aloud to as many of them as could hear, “All things are ready: Come we to the marriage.” I had then delivered my message: So before ten we took boat, and about eleven reached the ship.
The wind was right ahead. Then succeeded a dead calm; so that we did not get out of the bay till Monday evening; nor within sight of Wales till Wednesday, 26. By this means we had an opportunity of talking largely both with our fellow passengers and the sailors, many of whom received our words with gladness. About two in the afternoon we landed at Holyhead. Between three and four we took horse, and came in the evening to Thomas Thomas’s, near Ryd-y-Spardon. He had before desired Jonathan Reeves to call there in his return; but we were at a great loss, none in the house understanding English, and none of us understanding Welsh; till Mr. Morgan, a neighboring Schoolmaster, came, who took us to his own house; and in the morning, Thursday, 27, rode with us to the passage.
We reached Carnarvon before ten, Tannabull in the evening, and Llanidloes, Friday, 28.
Sat. 29. — About noon we came to Builth. At three I preached in the main street, and at Garth in the evening; where I met my brother going to Ireland. Sun. 30. — He preached at Builth about nine. Thence we went to Maesmennys church. But it would not near contain the congregation; so that I was constrained to preach in the churchyard. Thence I rode to Lanzunfried. Here also the church not being able to hold the people, I came out to a large tombstone, under a shady tree, and proclaimed “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
One of the audience pressed me much to preach at Clero; telling me Mr. J. had often said I should be welcome to his pulpit. Monday, 31. I rode thither, and called on Mr. J.; but (as I supposed it would) his heart failed. I preached on a large smooth meadow, Christ our “wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption;” and a multitude of people were gathered from all parts, though on so short a warning.
We set out early,SEPTEMBER 1; and after a short stop near Crick-Howell, aimed at the nearest way over the mountains, to Cardiff. But it was near four in the afternoon before we could reach a little village at the foot of the hills, called Risca. The people at the inn here were civil above measure; particularly a young, genteel man, who was son to the woman of the house, and lived at a small distance from it. He rode with us two miles, to show us the nearest way; and desired, if we came again, we would lodge at his house. The reason of all this kindness was, that, a year or two ago, he had heard me preach at Bristol.
I reached Cardiff between seven and eight, and immediately went to the Room. My strength just lasted till I had done preaching. I was then quite ready to lie down and rest. Wed. 2. — I spent some time with T. Prosser, who had filled the society with vain janglings. I found the fault lay in his head, rather than his heart.
He is an honest, well-meaning man; but no more qualified, either by nature or grace, to expound Scripture, than to read lectures in Logic or Algebra.
Yet even men of sense have taken this dull, mystical man to be far deeper than he is: And it is very natural so to do. If we look into a dark pit, it seems deep; but the darkness only makes it seem so. Bring the light, and we shall see it is very shallow.
In the evening I preached at Fonmon; but, the congregation being larger than the chapel would contain, I was obliged to preach in the court. I was myself much comforted, in comforting the weary and heavy laden. Fri. 4. — There was a very large congregation at Cardiff Castle-yard, in the evening. I afterwards met the society, spoke plain to them, and left them once more in peace. Sat. 5. — In my road to Bristol, I read over Q. Curtius, a fine writer, both as to thought and language. But what an hero does he describe! whose murder of his old friend and companion Clitus, (though not done of a sudden, as is commonly supposed; but deliberately, after some hours’ consideration,) was a virtuous act in comparison of his butchering poor Philotas, and his good old father, Parmenio. Yet even this was a little thing, compared to the thousands and ten thousands he slaughtered, both in battle, and in and after taking cities, for no other crime than defending their wives and children. I doubt whether Judas claims so hot a place in hell as Alexander the Great. Thur. 10. — I preached at Bath about noon, and in the evening at Bearfield. Friday, 11. We rode to Reading. Mr. Richards, a tradesman in the town, came to our inn, and entreated me to preach at a Room which he had built far that purpose. I did so, at six in the morning, and then rode on.
It rained all the way till we came to London. Sat. 19. — Mrs. Baddily desired me to go up to her son, who had been out of order for some days. For one or two years he was a pattern to all the family; till he began to converse more with good sort of men. He then grew cooler and cooler in the ways of God, and, in a few months, quitted the society; resolving, he said, to keep to his Church, and live a sober life, and that was enough. That was too much in a little time. He grew tired of his Church too, and dropped that and sobriety together. He was now, his mother informed me, dead as a stone to all the things of God. I spake a few words, and went to prayer. And God broke his heart. He continued weeping and praying all the day, and all the night; and at six in the morning, fell asleep. Tues. 22. — I rode to Shoreham, where I preached every morning in the house, and every evening in the church. But the season of fruit is not yet. Sun. 27. — I preached in Moorfields, morning and evening, and continued so to do till November. I know no church in London (that in West-Street excepted) where there is so serious a congregation. Mon. 28. — I talked with one who, a little time before, was so overwhelmed with affliction, that she went out one night to put an end to it all, by throwing herself into the New River. As she went by the Foundery, (it being a watch-night,) she heard some people singing. She stopped, and went in: She listened awhile, and God spoke to her heart. She had no more desire to put an end to her life; but to die to sin, and live to God. Tues. 29. — I retired to Mrs. Sparrow’s, at Lewisham, where also I preached every evening. Saturday, OCTOBER 3. I returned to London. In the evening I buried a young man, who had but lately known God; but from that time he had lived much in a little space. His soul was clouded at the beginning of his illness; but the clouds soon vanished away, and he continued in the calm joy of faith, till his spirit returned to God. Fri. 9. — We had a watch-night at the chapel. Being weak in body, I was afraid I could not go through it. But the longer I spoke, the more strength I had: In so much that at twelve o’clock all my weariness and weakness were gone, and I was as one refreshed with wine.
The former part of the next week, and of some others, I spent at Newington and Lewisham in writing. Fri. 16. — I went with two or three friends, to see what are called the electrical experiments. How must these also confound those poor half-thinkers, who will believe nothing but what they can comprehend?
Who can comprehend, how fire lives in water, and passes through it more freely than through air? How flame issues out of my finger, real flame, such as sets fire to spirits of wine? How these, and many more as strange phenomena, arise from the turning round a glass globe? It is all mystery: If haply by any means God may hide pride from man! Tues. 20. — I read Dr. Doddridge’s “Account of Colonel Gardiner.” And what matters it, whether his soul was set at liberty by a fever, or a Lochaber axe, seeing he has gone to God? Thur. 29. — T. C., who had been with the Brethren some years, desired to speak with me. He said, he could find no rest any where else, and was constrained to return where he was first called. I believe he obeyed that conviction for a month. “Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.” Mon. NOVEMBER 2. — I preached at Windsor at noon, and in the afternoon rode to Reading. Mr. J. R. had just sent his brother word, that he had hired a mob to pull down his preaching-house that night. In the evening Mr. S.
Richards overtook a large company of bargemen walking towards it, whom he immediately accosted, and asked if they would go with him and hear a good sermon; telling them, “I will make room for you, if you were as many more.” They said, they would go with all their hearts. “But, neighbors,” said he, “would it not be as well to leave those clubs behind you? Perhaps some of the women may be frighted at them.” They threw them all away, and walked quietly with him to the house, where he set them in a pew.
In the conclusion of my sermon, one of them who used to be their captain, being the head taller than his fellows, rose up, and looking round the congregation, said, “The gentleman says nothing but what is good: I say so; and there is not a man here that shall dare to say otherwise.” Thur. 5. — I began examining the classes, and every person severally, touching that bane of religion, evil-speaking; as well as touching their manner of life before they heard this preaching; and by comparing what they were with what they are now, we found more abundant cause to praise God. Fri . 20. — I was informed of a remarkable providence: One going home the last watch-night, met a woman in Blackfriars, who inquired which was the way to the waterside. She said, “It is so late I doubt you will get no boat.”
The woman answered, “I don’t want one.” On this she stopped and began to question her more closely, what she was going to do. After a while, she confessed she was going to drown herself, being under heavy affliction.
But she was soon brought to a better mind; and seemed resolved to cast her care on Him, who had so signally cared for her. Sun. 22. — I spent an hour with Mary Cheesebrook, a strange monument of the mercy of God. About six years ago, she was without God in the world, being a kept mistress. An acquaintance brought her one evening to the chapel in West-Street, where God gave her a new heart. She shed abundance of tears, she plucked out the right eye and cast it from her; and from that time procured for herself by hard labor what was needful for life and godliness. She missed no opportunity of coming to the preaching; often after a hard day’s work, at May-Fair, she came to the Foundery in the evening, running the greater part of the way. Every Saturday, after paying her little debts, she gave away all the money that remained; leaving the morrow to take thought for the things of itself.
Two years ago she catched a violent cold, which she neglected, till it settled upon her lungs. I knew nothing of her illness till it was past cure, she being then worn to a skeleton. Upon my mentioning her case to Mrs. —, she sent her half-a-guinea. Molly immediately sent for a poor man, a baker, of whom she had lately taken her bread. She owed him about ten shillings: But an earnest dispute arose between them; for the man would not take the money, saying, she wanted it more than he. But at length she prevailed, saying, she could not die in peace, if she owed any man any thing.
But I found something still lay upon her mind. Upon my pressing her to speak freely, she told me, it was concern for her child, a girl about eight years old, who, after she was gone, would have no friend to take care either of her soul or body. I replied, “Be at rest in this thing also; I will take care of the child.” From that time she lay (two or three weeks) quietly waiting for the salvation of God. Fri. 27. — Poor Mr. Simpson spent an hour with me, distressed on every side; drawn up to London by fair and specious promises; and then left to perish, unless he would promise, never more to preach out of a church.
Alas! what a method of conversion is this! I love the Church too: But I would no more starve men into the Church, than burn them into it. Sat. 28. — Mr. H., one of the first ten who met in band with my brother and me, desired to speak with me. I had not exchanged a word with him before, since we parted at Fetter-Lane. He said, about six years ago, the Brethren told him, it was the will of the Lamb, that he should give himself to the public work, quitting all secular business. He obeyed, discharged his men, sold his goods, parted with his house. From that time, he not only preached, but was employed in places of the greatest trust.
About two years ago, having many doubts upon his mind concerning their method of proceeding, he wrote a long letter to the Count, who seemed to take it well; and he continued laboring, as before, both in preaching and in the government of the Church.
But about a month ago, he was ordered to leave off preaching and return to his trade. Having learned not to dispute, but obey, he hired an house and set up a sign: Nevertheless he could not be easy; he mused much, and prayed much, and at last resolved to come to me.
He seethed to tell me all his heart, both at this and our following interviews. If he only seemed, let him look to it. Ego in portu navigo. Sun. 29. — About six in the morning, Mrs. Witham slept in the Lord. A mother in Israel hast thou also been, and thy works shall praise thee in the gates. Some years ago, before Mr. Witham died, she seemed to stand on the brink of eternity. But God renewed her strength, till she had finished the work which he had given her to do. She was an eminent pattern of calm boldness for the truth, of simplicity and godly sincerity; of unwearied constancy in attending all the ordinances of God; of zeal for God and for all good works; and of self-denial in every kind. Blessed is the dead that hath thus lived and died in the Lord! for she rests from her labors, and her works follow her. Mon. 30. — I set out early, and called on Mr. H. at Brentford, who rode on with me to Basingstoke that night. We were thoroughly wet with the heavy rain, which intermitted in the night, but began again before we took horse in the morning. Tues. DECEMBER 1. — About noon we reached Stockbridge. The rain then changed into snow. Seeing no prospect of fair weather, after resting a while we set out in the midst of the storm. It blew such a hurricane, as I have scarce known in England, and that full in our teeth, so that our horses reeled to and fro, and had much ado to keep their feet. The snow likewise drove so vehemently in our faces, in riding over the open Downs, where, for several miles, there was neither house, nor tree, nor shrub to shelter, that it was hard labor to get forward. But in about an hour, the sky cleared up, and we rode on comfortably to Salisbury.
Twelve years ago, he was, without all question, filled with faith and the love of God. He was a pattern of humility, meekness, seriousness, and, above all, of self-denial; so that in all England, I knew not his fellow.
It were easy to point out the several steps, whereby he fell from his steadfastness; even till he fell into a course of adultery, yea, and avowed it in the face of the sun! Thur. 3. — I took my leave of this uncomfortable place, and set out for Bristol. But the heavy rains, together with the melting snow, had made the lower parts of the road scarce passable. However, we made a shift to reach Philip’s Norton that night, and Bristol the next day. We found fresh proof everyday, that God had brought us hither, both to give and to receive a blessing. Mon. 14. — We had a glorious hour, with a few that know the Lord. We then rode to Bearfield, where I preached at noon, with a deep sense of his presence. Some who were laughing when I began, hid their faces soon, being ashamed to be seen in tears. We rode on in the afternoon, and came the next evening, thoroughly weary and wet, to Reading. Wed. 16. — I preached at Datchet at noon, and at London in the evening. Mon. 21. — I went to Newington. Here, in the intervals of writing, I read the deaths of some of the Order de la Trappe. I am amazed at the allowance which God makes for invincible ignorance. Notwithstanding the mixture of superstition which appears in every one of these, yet what a strong vein of piety runs through all! What deep experience of the inward work of God; of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost!
Being not convinced, that I had yet delivered my own soul, with regard to that unhappy man, on Tuesday, 22, I wrote once more to Mr. H., as follows: — “DEAR BROTHER, London, Dec. 22, 1747. “1. WHEN you was at Oxford with me, fourteen or fifteen years ago, you was holy and unblamable in all manner of conversation. I greatly rejoiced in the grace of God which was given unto you, which was often a blessing to my own soul. Yet even then you had frequently starts of thought which were not of God, though they at first appeared so to be. But you was humble and teachable; you was easily convinced, and those imaginations vanished away. “2. More than twelve years ago, you told me, God had revealed it to you, that you should marry my youngest sister. I was much surprised, being well assured that you was able to receive our Lord’s saying, (so you had continually testified,) and to be an ‘eunuch for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.’ But you vehemently affirmed, the thing was of God; you was certain it was his will. God had made it plain to you that you must marry, and that she was the very person. You asked and gained her consent, and fixed the circumstances relating thereto. “3. Hence I date your fall. Here were several faults in one. You leaned altogether to your own understanding, not consulting either me, who was then the guide of your soul, or the parents of your intended wife, till you had settled the whole affair. And while you followed the voice of nature, you said it was the voice of God. “4. In a few days you had a counter-revelation, that you was not to marry her, but her sister. This last error was far worse than the first. But you was now quite above conviction. So, in spite of her poor, astonished parent, of her brothers, of all your vows and promises, you shortly after jilted the younger, and married the elder sister. The other, who had honored you as an angel from heaven, and still loved you much too well, (for you had stole her heart from the God of her youth,) refused to be comforted. She fell into a lingering illness, which terminated in her death.
And doth not her blood still cry unto God from the earth? Surely it is upon your head. “5. Till this time you was a pattern of lowliness, meekness, seriousness, and continual advertence to the presence of God; and, above all, of self-denial in every kind, and of suffering all things with joyfulness. But there was now a worm at the root of the gourd. Yet it did not presently wither away; but for two years or more, after your marriage, you behaved nearly the same as before. “Then anger and surliness began to appear, particularly toward your wife.
But it was not long before you was sensible of this, and you seemed to have conquered it. “6. You went up to London ten years ago. After this you began to speak on any head; not with your usual diffidence and self-abasement, but with a kind of confidence in your own judgment, and an air of self-sufficiency. A natural consequence was, the treating with more sharpness and contempt those who opposed either your judgment or practice. “7. You came to live at London. You then, for a season, appeared to gain ground again. You acted in concert with my brother and me; heard our advice, and sometimes followed it. But this continued only till you contracted a fresh acquaintance with some of the Brethren of Fetter-Lane.
Thenceforward you was quite shut up to us; we had no manner of influence over you; you was more and more prejudiced against us, and would receive nothing which we said. “8. About six years ago you removed to Salisbury, and began a society there. For a year or two you went with them to the church and sacrament, and simply preached faith working by love. God was with you, and they increased both in number, and in the knowledge and love of God. “About four years since you broke off all friendship with us; you would not so much as make use of our hymns, either in public or private, but laid them quite aside, and took the German hymn-book in their stead. “You would not willingly suffer any of your people to read anything which we wrote. You angrily caught one of my sermons out of your servant’s hand; saying, you would have no such books read in your house.
In much the same manner you spoke to Mrs. Whitemarsh, when you found her reading one of the ‘Appeals.’ So that as far as in you lay, you fixed a great gulf between us and you, which remains to this day, notwithstanding a few steps lately made towards a reunion. “About the same time you left off going to church, as well as to the sacrament. Your followers very soon trod in your steps; and not content with neglecting the ordinances of God, they began, after your example, to despise them, and all that continued to use them: Speaking with equal contempt of the Public Service, of Private Prayer, of Baptism, and of the Lord’s Supper. “From this time also you began to espouse and teach many uncommon opinions: As, that there is no resurrection of the body; that there is no general judgment to come; and that there is no hell, no worm that never dieth, no fire that never shall be quenched. “9. Your seriousness, and advertence to the presence of God, now declined daily. You could talk on any thing or nothing, just as others did. You could break a jest, or laugh at it heartily; and as for fasting, abstinence, and self-denial, you, with the Moravians, trampled it under foot.”
In the following paragraphs I recited to him the things he had done with regard to more than one, or two, or three women, concluding thus: — “And now you know not that you have done anything amiss! You can eat and drink and be merry! You are everyday engaged with variety of company, and frequent the coffee-houses! Alas, my brother, what is this?
How are you above measure hardened by the deceitfulness of sin! Do you remember the story of Santon Barsisa? I pray God your last end may not be like his! O, how have you grieved the Spirit of God! Return to him with weeping, fasting, and mourning. You are in the very belly of hell; only the pit hath not yet shut its mouth upon you. Arise, thou sleeper, and call upon thy God! Perhaps he may yet be found. Because he still bears with me, I cannot despair for you. But you have not a moment to lose. May God this instant strike you to the heart, that you may feel his wrath abiding on you, and have no rest in your bones, by reason of your sin, till all your iniquities are done away!” Fri. 25. — We met at four, and solemnly rejoiced in God our Savior. I found much revival in my own soul this day; and so did many others also.
Both this and the following days, I strongly urged the wholly giving up ourselves to God, and renewing in every point our covenant, that the Lord should be our God. Sat. 26. — I called on one, with whose mother I had prayed a little before her death. I knew not till now, how she came to desire me , of all persons, to pray with her. It seems her daughter; who was of a lion-like spirit, came to me some time before, and told me, she had just been quarreling with her aunt on my account, and was so angry that she struck her. I told her, “Then go and ask her pardon.” She went home, ran to her aunt, and asked her pardon. While they were hanging upon each other, both in tears, her mother came in, being afraid they were fighting. She cried out, “Sister, what is Sally doing to you?” She replied, “She has just been asking me pardon.” “I never knew her to do such a thing since she was born,” said her mother: “Sally, who taught you that?” “My Minister,” said Sally. All were struck; and their enmity was at an end.
1, 1748. — We began the year at four in the morning, with joy and thanksgiving. The same spirit was in the midst of us both at noon and in the evening. Surely we shall at length present ourselves “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God.” Wed. 6. — I conversed an hour with Counselor G., many years eminent for an utter disregard of all religion. He had lately contracted an acquaintance with Mr. R., in consequence of which, he soon set upon his wife. She told him, “Sir, here is a fuller answer to your objections, than I am able to give;” and desired him seriously to read the “Earnest Appeal.” He did so, and was thoroughly convinced that there is reality in religion.
I believe he told me all that was in his heart. He stayed till the watch-night service was ended, and appeared much affected. Let but a little seed be sown, and God is able to give it an increase. Sat. 16. — Upon reviewing the account of the sick, we found great reason to praise God. Within the year, about three hundred persons had received medicines occasionally. About one hundred had regularly taken them, and submitted to a proper regimen: More than ninety of these were entirely cured of diseases they had long labored under. And the expense of medicines for the entire year amounted to some shillings above forty pounds. Sun. 17. — I made a public collection towards a lending-stock for the poor. Our rule is, to lend only twenty shillings at once, which is repaid weekly within three months. I began this about a year and a half ago:
Thirty pounds sixteen shillings were then collected; and out of this, no less than two hundred and fifty-five persons have been relieved in eighteen months. Dr. W., hearing of this design, sent a guinea toward it; as did an eminent Deist the next morning. Mon. 25. — I preached at four; and afterwards set out for Brentford.
Thence I rode to Windsor, and preached about noon. We lodged at Morrel-Green, and came to Fisherton on Tuesday, about two o’clock.
Mr. Hall, having heard I was coming, had given strict orders that no one should be let in. The inner door he had locked himself, and (I suppose) taken away the key. Yet when we knocked at the outer gate, which was locked also, William Sims opened the wicket. I walked straight in. A girl stood in the gateway, but turned as soon as she saw me. I followed close at her heels, and went in after her, at a back door. I asked the maid, “Where is Mr. Hall?” She said, “In the parlor,” and went in to him. I followed her, and found him sitting with my sister: But he presently rose and went up stairs. He then sent William Sims down, and bid him, “Tell my brother, he has no business in my house.” After a few minutes, I went to a house in the town, and my sister came to me. In about an hour, she returned home; but he sent word to the gate, she might go to the place whence she came.
I met a little company, gathered up out of the wreck, both in the evening and at five in the morning, and exhorted them to go on in the Bible way, and not to be wise above that is written. Thur. 28. — I commended them to the grace of God, and set out for Deverel Long-Bridge. About ten o’clock we were met by a loaded wagon, in a deep, hollow way. There was a narrow path between the road and the bank; I stepped into this, and John Trembath followed me. When the wagon came near, my horse began to rear, and to attempt climbing up the bank. This frighted the horse which was close behind, and made him prance and throw his head to and fro, till the bit of the bridle catched hold of the cape of my great coat, and pulled me backward off my horse. I fell as exact on the path, between the wagon and the bank, as if one had taken me in his arms and laid me down there. Both our horses stood stock still, one just behind me, the other before; so, by the blessing of God, I rose unhurt, mounted again, and rode on.
At twelve I preached at Deverel; in the evening at Bearfield; and on Friday, 29, came to Bristol. Mon. FEBRUARY 1. — I received an account of Mr. Towers, of Leeds, who had even prayed that he might not know his sins forgiven, as believing it was the highest presumption. But, notwithstanding this, as he lay one night upon his bed, he did receive the knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins: And he declared it boldly to the confusion, at least, if not conviction, of those who denied the truth. Sat. 6. — I preached at eight in the morning at Bath, and in the evening at Coleford. The colliers of this place were “darkness” indeed; but now they are “light in the Lord.” Tues. 9. — I met about sixty of the society in Bristol, to consult about enlarging the Room; and indeed securing it, for there was no small danger of its falling upon our heads. In two or three days, two hundred and thirty pounds were subscribed. We immediately procured experienced builders to make an estimate of the expense: And I appointed five Stewards (besides those of the society) to superintend the work. Fri. 12. — After preaching at Oakhill about noon, I rode to Shepton, and found them all under a strange consternation. A mob, they said, was hired, prepared, and made sufficiently drunk, in order to do all manner of mischief. I began preaching between four and five: None hindered or interrupted at all. We had a blessed opportunity, and the hearts of many were exceedingly comforted. I wondered what was become of the mob.
But we were quickly informed, they mistook the place, imagining I should alight (as I used to do) at William Stone’s house, and had summoned, by drum, all their forces together, to meet me at my coming: But Mr. Swindells innocently carrying me to the other end of the town, they did not find their mistake till I had done preaching; so that the hindering this, which was one of their designs, was utterly disappointed.
However, they attended us from the preaching-house to William Stone’s, throwing dirt, stones, and clods in abundance; but they could not hurt us; only Mr. Swindells had a little dirt on his coat, and I a few specks on my hat.
After we were gone into the house, they began throwing great stones, in order to break the door. But perceiving this would require some time, they dropped that design for the present. They first broke all the tiles on the penthouse over the door, and then poured in a shower of stones at the windows. One of their captains, in his great zeal, had followed us into the house, and was now shut in with us. He did not like this, and would fain have got out; but it was not possible; so he kept as close to me as he could, thinking himself safe when he was near me. But, staying a little behind, — when I went up two pair of stairs, and stood close on one side, where we were a little sheltered, — a large stone struck him on the forehead, and the blood spouted out like a stream. He cried out, “O Sir, are we to die tonight? What must I do? What must I do?” I said, “Pray to God. He is able to deliver you from all danger.” He took my advice, and began praying in such a manner as he had scarce done ever since he was born.
Mr. Swindells and I then went to prayer; after which I told him, “We must not stay here we must go upon immediately.” He said, “Sir, we cannot stir; you see how the stones fly about.” I walked straight through the room, and down the stairs; and not a stone came in, till we were at the bottom. The mob had just broke open the door when we came into the lower room; and exactly while they burst in at one door, we walked out at the other. Nor did one man take any notice of us, though we were within five yards of each other.
They filled the house at once, and proposed setting it on fire. But one of them, happening to remember that his own house was next, with much ado persuaded them not to do it. Hearing one of them cry out, “They are gone over the grounds,” I thought the advice was good; so we went over the grounds, to the farther end of the town, where Abraham Jenkins waited, and undertook to guide us to Oakhill.
I was riding on in Shepton-Lane, it being now quite dark, when he cried out, “Come down: Come down from the bank.” I did as I was bid; but the bank being high, and the side very near perpendicular, I came down all at once, my horse and I tumbling one over another. But we both rose unhurt.
In less than an hour we came to Oakhill, and the next morning to Bristol. Sun. 14. — At seven I preached at Bedminster. At Kingswood I began between eight and nine; at Connam about two; (where I read prayers also;) and in Bristol at five. After the society was the love-feast; at which my soul was refreshed; but my body was worn-out, so that I could hardly speak to be heard: Nor did I recover my voice for several days. Mon . 15. — I set out for Ireland. We came to the New-Passage at ten.
After waiting about five hours, we found, (which they did not care to confess,) that the boatmen did not dare to venture out. It blew a storm. We then rode to the Old-Passage; but the boat was just gone off. Tues. 16. — They talked of passing early; but the storm was too high. I then walked to Aust, where I preached about ten, to a small, serious congregation. Between four and five, the wind somewhat abating, a boat ventured out and carried us over. We passed through Chepstow soon after sunset, and pushed n; though it grew dark, and the untracked snow lay thick upon the ground. About eight we reached the Star, a good, though small inn, five long miles from Chepstow.
It snowed all night. On Wednesday , 17, we set out before day; but found it bad traveling, there being no path to be seen, neither footstep of man or beast. However, in four or five hours, we reached Abergavenny; and Brecknock before three in the afternoon.
Our landlady here almost forced us to take a guide. And it was extremely well she did; for the snow had so entirely covered the roads, that our guide himself mistook the way more than once. So that if he had not been with us, we should, without doubt, have lodged upon the mountains.
Sat. 20. — I preached in Maesmennys church in the after noon; at Garth morning and evening. Sun. 21. — I preached in the morning in Lanzunfried church. The service at Builth was not over till past two; I then began in the churchyard, not with standing the northeast wind, to call sinners to repentance. More than all the town were gathered together in that pleasant vale, and made the woods and mountains echo while they sung, Ye mountains and vales, In praises abound; Ye hills and ye dales, Continue the sound; Break forth into singing, Ye trees of the wood; For Jesus is bringing Lost sinners to God.
We had waited four days in hopes the snow would melt, fearing the drifts of it would lie deep upon the mountains, particularly as we journeyed northward; but quite contrary to our expectation, the farther northward we went, the less snow we found, so that it scarce hindered us after the first day. About eleven we came to Llanidlocs. At the earnest request of one who lived there, I preached at noon in the market-place, to such a congregation as no one could expect at an hour’s warning.
It was as much as we could do to reach Machynlleth that night. It snowed again from about midnight till morning; so that no path was to be seen for several miles. However, we found our way to Tannabull, and passed the sands in the afternoon, being determined to reach Carnarvon, if possible.
And so we did, notwithstanding my horse’s losing a shoe; but not till between nine and ten at night. Wed. 24. — We hastened on to Holyhead; but all the ships were on the other side. Thur. 25. — No packet-boat being come, I gave notice of preaching in the evening. The hearers were many more than the room could contain, and they all behaved with decency. Fri. 26. — I preached again in the evening. Mr. E., the Minister, came in towards the close. He was speaking warmly to our landlord, when Mr. Swindells went to him, and spoke a few mild words. Mr. E. asked him to step with him to his lodgings, where they had a long and friendly conversation. Sat. 27. — Mr. Swindells informed me, that Mr. E. would take it a favor if I would write some little thing, to advise the Methodists not to leave the Church, and not to rail at their Ministers. I sat down immediately and wrote, “A Word to a Methodist,”’ which Mr. E. translated into Welsh, and printed. Sun. 28. — In the evening I read Prayers at our inn and preached to a large and serious audience. I did the same on Monday and Tuesday evening.
Perhaps our stay here may not be in vain.
I never knew men make such poor, lame excuses, as these Captains did for not sailing. It put me in mind of the epigram, There are, if rightly I methink, Five causes why a man should drink; which, with a little alteration, would just suit them: — There are, unless my memory fail, Five causes why we should not sail:
The fog is thick; the wind is high; It rains; or may do by-and-by; Or — any other reason why. Wed. MARCH 2. — Finding no more probability of sailing now than the first day we came to Holyhead, we rode into the country to see for Mr. William Jones, who had some acquaintance with my brother. We procured a guide to show us the way to his house; but all we learned there was, that he was not at home. We lodged at the Bull’s head: All the family came up to prayers, and we had a quiet and comfortable night. Thur . 3. — Mr. Holloway, a neighboring Exciseman, invited us to breakfast with him. He once began to run well; and now resolved to set out afresh: I trust we were sent to him for good.
His wife bitterly opposed this way, till, one day, as she was sitting in her house, a flash of lightning killed a cat which sat just by her, and struck her to the earth, scorching her flesh in many parts, and yet not at all singeing her clothes. When she came to herself, she could not but acknowledge the loud call of God: But her seriousness did not continue long; her acquaintance soon laughed her out of it.
Yet God called her again, in dreams and visions of the night. She thought she was standing in the open air, when one appeared in the clouds exceeding glorious, above the brightness of the sun: She soon after saw a second, and then a third. One had a kind of spear in his hand; the second, a besom, wherewith he was going to sweep the earth; the third, an hourglass, as though the time was short. This so deeply affected her, that she began from that time, to seek God with her whole heart.
At noon we went to Mr. Morgan’s, where I lodged in August last. About two we met Mr. Jones and Mr. Williams, a Clergyman from South Wales, at Ryd-y-Spardon. After Mr. W. had preached in Welsh, I preached in English. Many understood me, and felt the power of God. Fri . 4. — We went to Llandaniel, a mile or two from Baldon-Ferry. Here again Mr. W. preached in Welsh, and I in English. I was much pleased with this loving, artless people, and readily complied with their request, of preaching again in the afternoon. Sat . 5. — At two I preached at Ryd-y-Spardon, to a little, earnest company, who were ready to devour every word. We spent the evening very agreeably with Mr. Jones, at Trefollwin. Sun . 6. — We went to Langefnye church, though we understood little of what we heard. O what a heavy curse was the confusion of tongues! And how grievous are the effects of it! All the birds of the air, all the beasts of the field, understand the language of their own species. Man only is a barbarian to man, unintelligible to his own brethren!
In the afternoon I preached at Llanfehengel, about six miles southwest of Llangefnye. I have not seen a people so deeply affected since we came into Anglesey; their cries and tears continued a long time without any intermission. O that we could declare to them, in their own tongue, the wonderful works of God!
In the evening I preached at Llanygorse. When I had done, Mr. Jones repeated in Welsh, (as he likewise did in the afternoon,) the substance of what I had said. The next morning we returned to Holyhead, and found there all the packet-boats which we had left.
I was determined not to stay another day at an inn; so in the afternoon I took a lodging in a private house, not a bow-shot distant from the town, and removed thither without delay.
My congregation this evening was larger than ever; and several of the Gentry agreed to come the next, but it was a little too late; for at midnight the wind became fair, and before one we sailed out of the harbor. Tues . 8. — Having a gentle gale, it soon lulled me fast asleep. I was waked before five by a violent storm: This continued two or three hours longer, and left us within sight of Howth, with a small breeze, which brought us to the Black-Rock about four in the afternoon.
We hired horses here, and rode to Dublin.; Mr. Meriton, Swindells, and I.
We came to our House, in Cork-Street, (vulgarly called Dolphin’s barn-lane,) while my brother was meeting the society. But it was some time before my voice could be heard for the noise of the people, shouting and praising God. The remaining days of the week, I despatched all the business I could, and settled with my brother all things relating to the work. Sun. 13. — My brother preached both morning and evening, expecting to sail at night. But before night the wind turned full east, and so continued all the week. Mon. 14. — I began preaching at five in the morning; — an unheard-of thing in Ireland. I expounded part of the first chapter of the Acts; which I purpose, God willing, to go through in order. Wed . 16. — I inquired into the state of the society. Most pompous accounts had been sent me, from time to time, of the great numbers that were added to it; so that I confidently expected to find therein six or seven hundred members. And how is the real fact? I left three hundred and ninety-four members; and I doubt if there are now three hundred and ninety-six!
Let this be a warning to us all, how we give in to that hateful custom of painting things beyond the life. Let us make a conscience of magnifying or exaggerating any thing. Let us rather speak under, than above, the truth.
We, of all men, should be punctual in all we say; that none of our words may fall to the ground. Sun. 20. — I preached at eight, on Oxmantown-Green. We expected noise; but there was none: The whole congregation was as quiet and still as that in Bristol or London.
In the afternoon my brother embarked. I preached about three in Marlborough-Street; and in the evening, at our own House, in Cork-Street. Wed. 23. — I talked with a warm man, who was always very zealous for the Church, when he was very drunk, and just able to stammer out the Irish proverb, “No gown, no crown.” He was quickly convinced, that, whatever we were, he was himself a child of the devil. We left him full of good resolutions, which holden several days.
I preached at Newgate at three; but found no stirring at all among the dry bones. Fri. 25. — I preached in Marlborough-Street at five, to the largest congregation I have yet seen in a morning. At two I began in Ship-Street, where were many of the rich and genteel. I was exceeding weak in body, having been examining classes all the day; but I felt it not after I had spoke two sentences. I was strengthened both in body and soul.
I finished the classes the next day, and found them just as I expected. I left three hundred and ninety-four persons united together in August; I had now admitted between twenty and thirty, who had offered themselves since my return to Dublin; and the whole number was neither more nor less than three hundred and ninety-six. Sun. 27. — It rained most of the day, so that I was constrained to preach in the house only; viz., at our own House, morning and evening, and at Marlborough-Street in the afternoon. Tues. 29. — I preached in Skinner’s Alley, at five, to a large and quiet congregation. I preached in Newgate at two, in the Common Hall, the jailer refusing us the room where we used to preach. But that is not the worst: — I see no fruit of our labor. Tues. 30. — I rode to Philip’s Town, the shire-town of the King’s county.
I was obliged to go into the street, which was soon filled with those who flocked from every side; to whom I declared Jesus Christ, our “wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.” Thur. 31. — One would have dissuaded me from preaching at five, being sure none would rise so soon. But I kept my hour, and had a large and serious congregation. After preaching I spoke severally to those of the society, of whom forty were troopers. At noon I preached to (I think) the largest congregation I had seen since I came from Builth. God did then make a clear offer of eternal life to all the inhabitants of Philip’s Town.
But how few retained these good impressions one week; or would effectually come to him that they might have life!
In the evening I preached at Tullamore, to most of the inhabitants of the town. Abundance of them came again at five in the morning. But “he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” Fri. APRIL 1. — I preached at Clara, to a vast number of well-behaved people; although some of them came in their coaches, and were (I was informed) of the best quality in the country. How few of these would have returned empty, if they had heard the word of God, not out of curiosity merely, but from a real desire to know and do his will!
In the evening I preached at Temple-Macqueteer, and again at five in the morning. About one (Saturday, 2) we came to Moat, — the pleasantest town I have yet seen in Ireland. Here I preached to an handful of serious people, and then hastened on to Athlone. At six I preached from the window of an unfinished house, opposite to the Market-House, (which would not have contained one-half of the congregation,) on, “Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I scarce ever saw a better-behaved or more attentive congregation. Indeed, so civil a people as the Irish in general, I never saw, either in Europe or America. Sun . 3. — I preached at five to, at least, three hundred hearers. I walked from thence to see a poor woman that was sick, about a mile from the town. About an hundred and fifty people ran after me. After I had prayed with the sick person, being unwilling so many people should go empty away, I chose a smooth, grassy place, near the road, where we all kneeled down to prayer; after which we sung a psalm, and I gave them a short exhortation. At eleven we went to church, and heard a plain, useful sermon. At two I preached on the Connaught side of the bridge, where there are only (they informed me) five or six families of Protestants. Such a company of people (many said) had never before been seen at Athlone; many coming from all the country round, and (for the present) receiving the word with joy. I preached again, at six, in the same place, and to nearly the same (only a little larger) congregation; the greater part whereof (notwithstanding the prohibition of their Priests) I afterward found were Papists. Mon . 4. — I preached once more at five, and a great part of the congregation was in tears. Indeed almost all the town appeared to be moved, full of goodwill and desires of salvation. But the waters spread too wide to be deep. I found not one under any strong conviction; much less had any one attained the knowledge of salvation, in hearing above thirty sermons. So that, as yet, no judgment could be formed of the future work of God in this place.
I took horse at ten, and about twelve preached at Moat, to a little larger congregation than before. I could not but observe the zeal of these young disciples. They were vehemently angry at a man’s throwing a cabbage stalk. Let them keep their courage till they see such a sight as that at Walsal or Shepton.
In the evening I preached at Tyrrel’s Pass, and found great enlargement of heart. But when the society met, I was quite exhausted; so that I dismissed them after a short exhortation. Tues . 5. — Our Room was filled at five. After preaching I examined the classes. I found a surprising openness among them. When I asked one in particular, how he had lived in time past; he spread abroad his hands, and said, with many tears, “Here I stand, a gray-headed monster of all manner of wickedness;” which, I verily believe, had it been desired, he would have explained before them all. Much in the same manner spoke one who came from Connaught; but with huge affliction and dismay. We determined to wrestle with God in her behalf; which we did for above an hour: And he heard the prayer; so that her soul was filled with joy unspeakable. Mr. Jonathan Handy, greatly sorrowing before, was also now enabled to rejoice in God; and four other persons were cut to the heart, and cried aloud to Him that is mighty to save. Wed . 6. — I baptized seven persons educated among the Quakers. In the afternoon we rode to Philip’s Town; but the scene was changed. The curiosity of the people was satisfied; and few of them cared to hear any more.
As soon as I mounted my horse, he began to snort and run backward without any visible cause. One whipped him behind, and I before; but it profited nothing. He leaped to and fro, from side to side, till he came over against a gateway, into which he ran backward, and tumbled head over heels. I rose unhurt. He then went on quietly.
At Tullamore, in the evening, well-nigh all the town, rich and poor, were gathered together. I used great plainness of speech, in applying those words, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” The next day, being Good Friday, I preached at five to a large and serious congregation. Between one and two I preached at Clara, and then rode to Athlone. I preached at six, on, “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and after that to enter into his glory?” So general a drawing I never knew among any people; so that, as yet, none even seems to oppose the truth. Sat. . 9. — I preached in Connaught, a few miles from Athlone. Many heard; but, I doubt, felt nothing.
The Shannon comes within a mile of the house where I preached. I think there is not such another river in Europe: It is here ten or twelve miles over, though scarce thirty miles from its fountain-head. There are many islands in it, once well inhabited, but now mostly desolate. In almost every one is the ruins of a church: In one, the remains of no less than seven. I fear, God hath still a controversy with this land, because it is defiled with blood. APRIL 10. — (Easter-Day.) Never was such a congregation seen before at the sacrament in Athlone. I preached at three. Abundance of Papists flocked to hear; so that the Priest, seeing his command did not avail, came in person at six, and drove them away before him like a flock of sheep. Mon. 11. — I preached, at five, the terrors of the Lord, in the strongest manner I was able. But still they who are ready to eat up every word, do not appear to digest any part of it.
In the evening there appeared more emotion in the congregation than ever I had seen before. But it was in a manner I never saw; not in one here and there, but in all. Perhaps God is working here in a way we have not known, going on with a slow and even motion through the whole body of the people, that they may all remember themselves and be turned unto the Lord. Tues. 12. — I rode to Clara, where I was quickly informed, that there was to begin in an hour’s time a famous cockfight, to which almost all the country was coming from every side. Hoping to engage some part of them in a better employ, I began preaching in the street, as soon as possible.
One or two hundred stopped, and listened awhile, and pulled off their hats, and forgot their diversion.
The congregation at Tullamore in the evening was larger than ever before, and deep attention sat on every face. Toward the latter end of the sermon, there began a violent storm of hail. I desired the people to cover their heads; but the greater part of them would not; nor did any one go away till I concluded my discourse. Wed . 13. — I preached in the evening at Tyrrel’s Pass. The congregation here also was larger than ever; and the word of God seemed to take deeper root here than in any other part of this country. Thur . 14. — The House was full at five. In the evening, many of the neighboring Gentlemen were present, but none mocked. That is not the custom here; all attend to what is spoken in the name of God; they do not understand the making sport with sacred things; so that whether they approve or no, they behave with seriousness. Fri . 15. — I rode to Edinderry. Abundance of people were quickly gathered together. Having been disturbed in the night by Mr. Swindells, who lay with me, and had a kind of apoplectic fit, I was not at all well about noon, when I began to preach, in a large walk, on one side of the town, and the sun shone hot upon my head, which had been aching all the day; but I forgot this before I had spoken long; and when I had finished my discourse, I left all my weariness and pain behind, and rode on, in perfect health, to Dublin. Sat . 16. — I found great reason to praise God for the work wrought among the people in my absence. But still there is no such work as I look for. I see nothing yet but drops before a shower. Sun. 17. — I preached at Skinner’s Alley, both morning and evening.
About four I went to St. Luke’s church, being very near us. When I came out, I had a large attendance, even in the churchyard, hallooing and calling names. I am much mistaken, if many of the warmest zealots for the Church would ever come within the doors, if they were thus to run the gauntlet every time they came. Would they not rather sleep in a whole skin? Wed . 20. — I spent an agreeable hour with Mr. Miller, the Lutheran Minister. From him I learned that the earnest religion which I found in so many parts of Germany is but of late date, having taken its rise from one man, August Herman Francke! So can God, if it pleaseth him, enable one man to revive his work throughout a whole nation. Sat . 23. — I read, some hours, an extremely dull book, Sir James Ware’s “Antiquities of Ireland.” By the vast number of ruins which are seen in all parts, I had always suspected what he shows at large, namely, that in ancient times it was more populous, tenfold, than it is now; many that were large cities, being now ruinous heaps; many shrunk into inconsiderable villages.
I visited one in the afternoon who was ill of a fever, and lay in a very close room. While I was near him, I found myself not well. After my return home, I felt my stomach out of order. But I imagined it was not worth any notice, and would pass off before the morning. Sun . 24. — I preached at Skinner’s Alley at five; and on Oxmantown-Green at eight. I was weak in body, but was greatly revived by the seriousness and earnestness of the congregation. Resolving to improve the opportunity, I gave notice of preaching there again in the afternoon; which I did to a congregation much more numerous, and equally attentive. As I came home I was glad to lie down, having a quinsy, attended with a fever. However, when the society met, I made a shift to creep in among them. Immediately my voice was restored. I spoke without pain, for near an hour together. And great was our rejoicing over each other; knowing that God would order all things well. Mon . 25. — Finding my fever greatly increased, I judged it would be best to keep my bed, and to live awhile on apples and apple tea. On Tuesday, I was quite well, and should have preached, but that Dr. Rutty (who had been with me twice) insisted on my resting for a time.
I read today what is accounted the most correct history of St. Patrick that is extant; and, on the maturest consideration, I was much inclined to believe, that St. Patrick and St. George were of one family. The whole story smells strong of romance. To touch only on a few particulars: — I object to his first setting out: The Bishop of Rome had no such power in the beginning of the fifth century as this account supposes; nor would his uncle, the Bishop of Tours, have sent him in that age to Rome for a commission to convert Ireland, having himself as much authority over that land as any Italian Bishop whatever. Again, if God had sent him thither, he would not so long have buried his talent in the earth. I never heard before of an Apostle sleeping thirty-five years, and beginning to preach at three-score. But his success staggers me the most of all: No blood of the Martyrs is here; no reproach, no scandal of the Cross; no persecution to those that will live godly. Nothing is to be heard of, from the beginning to the end, but Kings, nobles, warriors, bowing down before him. Thousands are converted, without any opposition at all; twelve thousand at one sermon. If these things were so, either there was then no devil in the world, or St. Patrick did not preach the Gospel of Christ. Wed . 27. — In the evening I read the letters; my voice being weak, but I believe audible. As I was reading one from S. G., a young woman dropped down, and cried out exceedingly; but in a few minutes her sorrow was turned into joy, and her mourning into praise. Thursday , 28, was the day fixed for my going into the country: But all about me began to cry out, “Sure, you will not go today? See how the rain pours down!” I told them, “I must keep my word, if possible.” But before five, the man of whom I had bespoke an horse sent word, his horse should not go out in such a day. I sent one who brought him to a better mind. So about six I took horse. About nine I called at Killcock: The old landlord was ill of the gout, and his wife of a complication of distempers: But when I told her, “The Lord loveth whom he chasteneth, and all these are tokens of his love,” she burst out, “O Lord, I offer thee all my sufferings, my pain, my sickness! If thou lovest me, it is enough. Here I am: Take me, and do with me what thou wilt.”
Between one and two we came to Kinnegad. My strength was now pretty well exhausted; so that when we mounted again, after resting an hour, it was as much as I could do to sit my horse. We had near eleven Irish (measured) miles to ride, which are equal to fourteen English. I got over them pretty well in three hours, and by six reached Tyrrel’s Pass.
At seven I recovered my strength, so as to preach and meet the society; which began now to be at a stand, with regard to number, but not with regard to the grace of God. Fri . 29. — I rode to Temple-Macqueteer, and thence toward Athlone. We came at least an hour before we were expected. Nevertheless we were met by many of our brethren. The first I saw about two miles from the town, were a dozen little boys running with all their might, some bare-headed, some bare-footed and bare-legged: So they had their desire of speaking to me first, the others being still behind. Sat . 30. — I found the roaring lion began to shake himself here also. Some Papists, and two or three good Protestant families, were cordially joined together, to oppose the work of God; but they burst not yet do it openly, the stream running to strongs against them. Sun. MAY 1. — Great part of the town was present at five, and, I found, began to feel what was spoken. Yet still the impression is not made, as in other places, on one here and there only; but the main body of the hearers seem to go on together with an even pace.
About two I preached on the Connaught side of the bridge, to an attentive multitude both of Protestants and Papists, whose Priest, perceiving he profited nothing, at five came himself. I preached on, “Is there no balm in Gilead?” and could not help applying to the Papists in particular. I am satisfied many of them were almost persuaded to give themselves up to the great Physician of souls. Tues. 3. — I rode to Birr, twenty miles from Athlone, and, the key of the Sessions-House not being to be found, declared “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” in the street, to a dull, rude, senseless multitude. Many laughed the greater part of the time. Some went away just in the middle of a sentence. And yet when one cried out, (a Carmelite Friar, Clerk to the Priest,) “You lie! you lie!” the zealous Protestants cried out, “Knock him down:” And it was no sooner said than done. I saw some bustle, but knew not what was the matter, till the whole was over.
In the evening we rode to Balliboy. There being no house that could contain the congregation, I preached here also in the street. I was afraid, in a new place, there would be but few in the morning; but there was a considerable number, and such a blessing as I had scarce found since I landed in Ireland. Wed . 4. — I rode to Clara, and preached to a small company, who were not afraid of a stormy day. I spent half an hour after sermon with a few serious people, and then rode to Tullamore.
One who looks on the common Irish cabins, might imagine Saturn still reigned here: — Cum frigida parvas Praeberet spelunca domos; ignemque laremque, Et pecus et dominos, communi clauderet umbra. Communi umbra indeed: For no light can come into the earth or straw-built cavern, on the master and his cattle, but at one hole; which is both window, chimney, and door.
In the evening I preached to a large, quiet congregation; though not so large as the last. Thur . 5. — Though my flux continually increased, (which was caused by my eating a bad egg at Birr,) yet I was unwilling to break my word, and so made shift to ride in the afternoon to Mountmelick. I had not seen such a congregation before since I set out from Dublin: And the greater part did not stand like stocks and stones; but seemed to understand what I spake of worshipping God “in spirit and in truth.” Fri . 6. — More people came at five than I had seen at that hour in any part of Ireland: And I found my heart so moved towards them, that, in spite of weakness and pain, I enforced, for more than an hour, those solemn words, “The kingdom of God is at hand: Repent ye, and believe the Gospel.”
Hence I rode to Philip’s Town, — a poor, dry, barren, place. I pray God the first may not be last. Sat. 7. — I set out in the morning, and after resting two hours at Tullamore, and two or three more at Moat, I rode on to Athlone, and preached at six, on, “He healeth them that are broken in heart.” I felt no weariness or pain till I had done speaking; but then found I could not meet the society, being ill able to walk the length of the room: But God gave me refreshing sleep. Sun . 8. — I preached at five, though I could not well stand. I then set out for Aghrim, in the county of Galway, thirteen Connaught (that is, Yorkshire) miles from Athlone. The Morning Prayers (so called) began about twelve; after which we had a warm sermon against enthusiasts. I could not have come at a better time: For I began immediately after; and all that were in the church, high and low, rich and poor, stopped to hear me.
Mr. S., a neighboring Justice of Peace, as soon as I had done, desired me to dine with him. After dinner, I hastened back to Athlone, and began preaching about six: Five Clergymen were of the audience, and abundance of Romanists. Such an opportunity I never had before in these parts. Mon . 9. — Having not had an hour’s sound sleep, from the time I lay down till I rose, I was in doubt whether I could preach or not: However, I went to the Market-place as usual, and found no want of strength, till I had fully declared “the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.” I had designed, afterwards, to settle the society thoroughly; but I was not able to sit up so long.
Many advised me not to go out at night, the wind being extremely cold and blustering. But I could in no wise consent to spare myself, at such a time as this. I preached on, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden.” And I found myself at least as well when I had done, as I was before I begun. Tues. 10. — With much difficulty I broke away from this immeasurably loving people; and not so soon as I imagined neither; for when we drew near to the turnpike, about a mile from the town, a multitude waited for us at the top of the hill. They fell back on each side, to make us way, and then joined and closed us in. After singing two or three verses, I put forward, when, on a sudden, I was a little surprised by such a cry of men, women, and children, as I never heard before. Yet a little while, and we shall meet, to part no more; and sorrow and sighing shall flee away for ever.
Instead of going straight to Tullamore, I could not be easy without going round by Coolylough; I knew not why; for I did not know then that Mr. Handy’s wife, who had been brought to bed a few days, had an earnest desire to see me once more before I left the kingdom. She could not avoid praying for it, though her sister checked her again and again, telling her, it could not be. Before the debate was concluded, I came in: So they wondered, and praised God.
In the evening I preached at Tullamore, and at five in the morning. I was then glad to lie down. In the afternoon, Wednesday, 11, I rode once more to Mountmelick. The congregation, both in the evening and the next morning, was larger than before.
After preaching, a gray headed man came to me, bitterly lamenting, that he had lived many years without knowing that he had need of a Physician.
Immediately came another, who had been a harmless man as any in the town: He would have spoke, but could not. I then spoke to him; but not two minutes before he sunk to the ground. So I perceived I had not spent my little strength here “as one that beateth the air.”
I took the straight road from hence to Dublin. Here likewise I observed abundance of ruined buildings; but I observed also, that some of them were never finished; and some had been pulled down by those who built them.
Such is the amazing fickleness of this people. Almost every one who has his fortune in his own hands diruit, aedificat, mutat quadrata rotundis; and leaves those monuments of his folly to all succeeding generations.
I reached Dublin in the evening, faint and weary; but the two next days I rested. Sun. 15. — Finding my strength greatly restored, I preached at five, and at eight on Oxmantown Green. I expected to sail as soon as I had done; but the Captain putting it off, (as their manner is,) gave me an opportunity of declaring the Gospel of peace to a still larger congregation in the evening.
One of them, after listening some time, cried out, shaking his head, “Ay, he is a Jesuit; that’s plain.” To which a Popish Priest, who happened to be near, replied aloud, “No, he is not; I would to God he was.” Mon . 16. — Observing a large congregation in the evening, and many strangers among them, I preached more roughly than ever I had done in Dublin, on those awful words, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Tues . 17. — I spoke strong and plain words again, both in the morning and evening; and should not have regretted my being detained, had it been only for the blessings of this day. Wed . 18. — We took ship. The wind was small in the afternoon, but exceeding high towards night. About eight I laid me down on the quarterdeck. I was soon wet from head to foot, but I took no cold at all.
About four in the morning we landed at Holyhead, and in the evening reached Carnarvon. Fri . 20. — I rode with Mr. C. Perronet to Machynlleth, and the next day, Saturday , 21, to Builth. I had no desire to go further, as it rained hard; but Mr. Philips pressed us to go on to Garth. We came thither just as they were singing before family prayer; so I took the book, and preached on those words, “Behold, to fear the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil, that is understanding.” Sun . 22. — At eight I preached at Garth, afterwards in Maesmennys church, and at Built in the afternoon. We proposed going this evening to John Price’s at Mertha; but hearing he might be as the society, (two miles from his house,) we went round that way, and came while the exhorter was in the midst of his sermon. I preached when he had done. About eight we came to Mertha, and slept in peace. Mon. 23. — We were on horseback at four o’clock; and at four in the afternoon came to Cardiff. The rain obliged me to preach in the Room. Tuesday, 24. I breakfasted at Fonmon, dined at Wenvo, and preached at Cardiff in the evening. Wednesday, 25. We set out after preaching, and in the afternoon came to Bristol. Whit-Sunday, MAY 29. — Our first service began about four, at the Weavers’ Hall. At seven I preached in the Old Orchard. At ten I began in Kingswood; where, at two, (the house being too small for the congregation,) I preached under the sycamore tree. At five I preached in the Old Orchard, and then rode to Kingswood; where we concluded the day with a lovefeast. Mon. 30. — I preached at three in the Old Orchard, and in the evening at Bath. Tuesday, 31. In the evening I preached at Reading, and Wednesday, JUNE 1, I reached London.
We had an exceeding solemn meeting of the Bands this evening, and of the societies the next. Sat . 4. — I was sent for by Captain H., one who had been strongly prejudiced against us. But the arrows of the Almighty now constrained him to cry out, “Lord, send by whom thou wilt send!” Sun . 5. — I preached in Moorfields both morning and evening. There had been much tumult there the last Sunday; but all was quiet now; and the power of God seemed even to compel sinners to come in. Sun . 12. — I designed preaching in the fields at seven; but the thunder, and lightning, and rain prevented. At eleven I preached in St. Bartholomew’s church. Deep attention sat on every face, while I explained, and by the grace of God pressed home, those words, “Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.” Mon . 13. — I spent an hour or two with Dr. Pepusch. He asserted, that the art of music is lost; that the ancients only understood it in its perfection; that it was revived a little in the reign of King Henry VIII., by Tallys and his cotemporaries; as also in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, who was a judge and patroness of it; that after her reign it sunk for sixty or seventy years, till Purcell made some attempts to restore it; but that ever since, the true, ancient art, depending on nature and mathematical principles, had gained no ground; the present masters having no fixed principles at all. Wed . 15. — I preached once more at St. Bartholomew’s. How strangely is the scene changed! What laughter and tumult was there among the best of the parish, when we preached in a London church ten years ago! And now all are calm and quietly attentive, from the least even to the greatest. Sun . 19. — The congregation in Moorfields was greatly increased, both morning and afternoon; and their seriousness increased with their number; so that it was comfortable even to see them. In the evening, to ease me a little in my journey, as I had not yet recovered my strength, Colonel Gumley carried me in his chair to Brentford. Mon . 20. — I preached at Reading, at noon, to a serious, well behaved congregation; and, in the afternoon, rode to Hungerford. Tuesday , 21. I preached in the Old Orchard, at Bristol, on, “Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous.” Friday , 24, the day we had appointed for opening the school at Kingswood, I preached there, on, “Train up a child in the way that he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” My brother and I administered the Lord’s Supper to many who came from far. We then agreed on the general rules of the School, which we published presently after. Mon . 27. — I rode to Wall Bridge, near Stroud, and preached at one, to a lively congregation. About two we set out for Stanley. I scarce ever felt the sun so scorching hot in England. I began preaching in Farmer Finch’s orchard, (there not being room in the house,) between seven and eight, and the poor, earnest people devoured every word. Tues . 28. — I rode to Evesham, and exhorted them to “strengthen the things that remained, which were ready to die.” Wednesday , 29. We took horse at four, and, calling at Studley, found a woman of a broken heart, mourning continually after God, and scarce able to speak without tears About one I began preaching in the open air at Birmingham. At the same time it began raining violently, which continued about a quarter of an hour; but did not disturb either me or the congregation.
At half an hour after six I preached at Wednesbury, to an exceeding large congregation; and every man, woman, and child behaved in a manner becoming the Gospel. Thur . 30. — We set out between three and four, and reached Nottingham in the afternoon. Friday, JULY 1. I rode to Sheffield, and preached in the evening, at the end of the House, to a quiet congregation. Sat . 2. — I rode to Epworth, and preached to a large congregation, many of them established in the grace of God. Sun. 3. — I preached in the Room at five, but at nine, on my usual stand, at the cross. The clouds came just in time (it being a warm, sunshiny morning) to shade me and the congregation: But at the same time both the light and power of the Most High were upon many of their souls.
I was quite surprised when I heard Mr. R. preach. That soft, smooth, tuneful voice, which he so often employed to blaspheme the work of God, was lost, without hope of recovery: All means had been tried, but none took place. He now spoke in a manner shocking to hear, and impossible to be heard distinctly by one quarter of the congregation.
Mr. Hay, the Rector, reading Prayers, I had once more the comfort of receiving the Lord’s Supper at Epworth. After the Evening Service, I preached at the cross again, to almost the whole town. I see plainly, we have often judged amiss, when we have measured the increase of the work of God, in this and other places, by the increase of the society only. The society here is not large; but God has wrought upon the whole place.
Who knows but, by and by, God may utterly take it away?
I was peculiarly pleased with the deep seriousness of the congregation at church, both morning and evening: And all the way as we walked down the Church Lane, after the sermon was ended, I scarce saw one person look on either side, or speak one word to another. Mon . 4. — I rode to Hainton. The congregation here was but small, which was chiefly owing to the miserable diligence of the poor Rector. Art thou also to die, and to give an account to God of every word and work? Tues . 5. — We rode to Coningsby, on the edge of the Fens. Mr. B., a Baptist Minister, had wrote to me at London, begging me to lodge with him, whenever I came to Coningsby: But he was gone out of town that very morning. However, one rode after him, and brought him back in the afternoon. I was scarce set down in his house, before he fell upon the point of baptism. I waived the dispute for some time; but finding there was no remedy, I came close to the question, and we kept to it for about an hour and half. From that time we let the matter rest, and confirmed our love towards each other.
At seven I preached in the street, to one of the largest congregations I had seen in Lincolnshire. In the morning Wednesday , 6, we had another quiet and comfortable opportunity. We thence rode to Lorborough, where I preached at eleven; and in the afternoon, to Grimsby.
At seven I preached in the large room; but it was not near large enough to contain the congregation. Many stood on the stairs, and in the adjoining rooms, and many below in the street. The fear of God has lately spread in an uncommon degree among this people also. Nor has Mr. Prince been able to prevent it, though he bitterly curses us in the name of the Lord. Thur . 7. — Immediately after preaching I rode to Laseby, and preached at seven to a small, earnest congregation. We stopped no more till we came to Epworth, where we had a joyful meeting in the evening. Fri . 8. — I took horse immediately after preaching, and rode to Mr. Stovill’s, of Crowle. I began preaching soon after eight; but so wild a congregation I had not lately seen: However, as I stood within the Justice’s garden, they did not make any disturbance.
About noon I preached at Sykehouse. The little society here also seemed to partake of the general revival. We took horse at ten, and soon after eight came to Boroughbridge. Sat . 9. — Setting out between two and three, we reached Newcastle about three in the afternoon. Sunday, 10. I began exhorting all that loved their own souls, solemnly to renew their covenant with God; the nature of which I explained at large on the mornings of the ensuing week.
I had designed preaching between eight and nine in Sandgate; but the rain drove us into the Room. In the afternoon I preached on the First Lesson, David’s conquest of Goliath; but the house would in no wise contain the people, so that many were forced to go away.
The same thing I observed in all the country societies, among which I spent one or more nights every week. Sun . 17. — We had a glorious hour in the morning. At half hour past eight I preached in the Castle Garth, and again at four in the afternoon to a vast multitude of people. Mon . 18. — I began my journey northward, having appointed to preach in Morpeth at noon. As soon as I had sung a few verses at the Cross, a young man appeared at the head of his troop, and told me very plainly and roughly, “You shall not preach there.” I went on; upon which he gave the signal to his companions, who prepared to force me into better manners; but they quickly fell out among themselves. Meantime I began my sermon, and went on without any considerable interruption; the congregation softening more and more, till, toward the close, the far greater part appeared exceeding serious and attentive.
In the afternoon we rode to Widdrington, which belonged to the Lord Widdrington, till the Rebellion in 1716. The people flocked in from all parts, so that the congregation here was larger than at Morpeth. It was a delightful evening, and a delightful place, under the shade of tall trees; and every man hung upon the word; none stirred his head or hand, or looked to the right or left, while I declared, in strong terms, “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Tues . 19. — We rode to Alemouth, a small seaport town, famous for all kinds of wickedness. The people here are sinners convict; they have nothing to pay, but plead guilty before God. Therefore, I preached to them without delay Jesus Christ, for “wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.”
After dinner we rode to Alnwick, one of the largest inland towns in the county of Northumberland. At seven I preached at the Cross to as large a congregation as at Newcastle on Sunday evening. This place seemed much to resemble Athlone; all were moved a little, but none very much. The waters spread wide, but not deep. But let the Lord work as it seemeth him good. Wed. 20. — We took horse between eight and nine, and a little before two came to Berwick. I sent to the Commander of the Garrison to desire the use of a green place near his house, which he readily granted. I preached at seven to (it was judged) two thousand people. I found the generality of them just such as I expected; serious and decent, but not easy to be convinced of any thing. For who can tell them what they did not know before? Thur . 21. — After preaching we walked round the walls, which they were repairing and rebuilding. I could not but observe today, how different the face of things was, from what it appeared yesterday; especially after I had preached at noon. Yesterday we were hallooed all along the streets; today none opened his mouth as we went along; the very children were all silent.
At seven I preached to a far larger congregation than before. And now the word of God was as a fire and an hammer. I began again and again, after I thought I had done; and the latter words were still stronger than the former; so that I was not surprised at the number which attended in the morning, when we had another joyful, solemn hour. Here was the loud call to the people of Berwick, if haply they would know the day of their visitation. Fri . 22. — I preached about noon at Tuggle, a village about three miles from Barnborough; and then went on to Alnwick, where, at seven, was such a congregation as one would not have thought the whole town could afford; and I was enabled to deal faithfully with them, in explaining, “Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.” I was constrained to speak twice as long as usual; but none offered to go away: And I believe the most general call of God to the people of Alnwick was at this hour. Sat . 23. — I preached at noon at Long Horsley. The Minister here was of a truly moderate spirit. He said, “I have done all I can for this people; and I can do them no good. Now let others try. If they can do any, I will thank them with all my heart.” Sun . 24. — I preached at five in the Newcastle House; at half hour past eight in the Castle Garth, and at four in the afternoon. I was weary and faint when I began to speak; but my strength was quickly renewed.
Thence we went to the society. I had designed to read the Rules; but I could not get forward. As we began, so we went on till eight o’clock, singing, and rejoicing, and praising God. Wed. 27. — I rode to Blanchland, intending to preach there. But, at the desire of Mr. W., the Steward of the lead mines, I went about a mile further, to a house where he was paying the miners; it being one of their general paydays. I preached to a large congregation of serious people, and rode on to Hindly Hill, in Allandale. Thur . 28. — We rode over the moors to Nint’s Head, a village southwest from Allandale, where I preached at eight. We then went on to Alesden, a small market town in Cumberland. At noon I preached at the Cross, to a quiet, staring people, who seemed to be little concerned, one way or the other. In the evening I preached at Hindly Hill again, and we praised God with joyful lips. Fri . 29. — At noon I went to the Cross in Allandale town, where Mr. Topping, with a company of the better sort, waited for us. I soon found it was but a vain attempt to dispute or reason with him. He skipped so from one point to another, that it was not possible to keep up with him: So after a few minutes I removed about an hundred yards, and preached in peace to a very large congregation; it being the general payday, which is but once in six months. Sat . 30. — At noon I preached at Newlands: About three near Tanfield Cross, and at Newcastle in the evening. Sun . 31. — At eight I preached in the street, at Sunderland, and at one in the afternoon. I rode thence straight to the Castle Garth, and found abundance of people gathered together. Many were in tears all round, while those comfortable words were opened and applied, “He healeth them that are broken in heart, and giveth medicine to heal their sickness.” Mon. AUGUST 1. — One of my old companions returned, — my headache; which I never had while I abstained from animal food. But I regarded it not, supposing it would go off in a day or two of itself. Tues. 2. — I preached about noon at Biddick, and at Pelton in the evening.
I intended to have given an exhortation to the society; but as soon as we met the spirit of supplication fell upon us, so that I could hardly do any thing but pray and give thanks, till it was time for us to part. Wed. 3. — I found it absolutely necessary to publish the following advertisement: — “WHEREAS one Thomas Moor, alias Smith, has late]y appeared in Cumberland and other parts of England, preaching (as he calls it) in a Clergyman’s habit, and then collecting money of his hearers: This is to certify whom it may concern, that the said Moor is no Clergyman, but a cheat and impostor; and that no Preacher in connection with me, either directly or indirectly asks money of any one. “JOHN WESLEY.” Thur . 4. — I preached in the evening at Spen: Friday , 5, about noon, at Horsley. As I rode home I found my headache increase much. But as many people were come from all parts, (it being the monthly watch-night,) I could not be content to send them empty away. I almost forgot my pain while I was speaking; but was obliged to go to bed as soon as I had done. Sat . 6. — The pain was much worse than before. I then applied cloths dipped in cold water: Immediately my head was easy, but I was exceeding sick. When I laid down, the pain returned, and the sickness ceased: When I sat up, the pain ceased, and the sickness returned. In the evening I took ten grains of ipecacuanha: It wrought for about ten minutes. The moment it had done I was in perfect health, and felt no more either of pain or sickness. Sun . 7. — I preached as usual at five, and at half hour after eight. In the afternoon all the street was full of people, come from all parts to see the Judges. But a good part of them followed me into the Castle Garth and found something else to do. This put a zealous man that came by quite out of patience, so that I had hardly named my text, when he began to scold and scream, and curse and swear, to the utmost extent of his throat. But there was not one of the whole multitude, rich or poor, that regarded him at all. Mon . 8. — I set out once more for the north. At noon I preached at the Cross, in Morpeth; in the evening at Alnwick; where many now began to fear God, and tremble at his word. Tues . 9. — I preached about noon at Tuggle; and between six and seven in the evening at Berwick. More of the Gentry were there than ever before; and I think but three went away. Wednesday, 10. The congregation was nearly doubled, and the word seemed to sink into their hearts. It was with great difficulty that I afterwards met the society; so many crowded after me, (though without the least incivility,) and knew not how to go away. Thur. 11. — Abundance of them were with us in the morning. We took horse as soon as we could after preaching, and before twelve reached Alemouth, where all the publicans and sinners drew near to hear: Nay, and all the Gentry; the chief of whom invited us to dinner, where we spent two hours in agreeable and useful conversation.
In the evening I preached to the earnest congregation at Widdrington.
There is always a blessing among this people. Fri . 12. — In riding to Newcastle, I finished the tenth Iliad of Homer.
What excuse can any man of common sense make for His scolding heroes and his wounded gods?
Nay, does he not introduce even his “Father of gods and men,” one while shaking heaven with his nod, and soon after using his sister and wife, the empress of heaven, with such language as a carman might be ashamed of?
And what can be said for a King, full of days and wisdom, telling Achilles how often he had given him wine, when he was a child and sat in his lap, till he had vomited it up on his clothes? Are these some of those “divine boldnesses which naturally provoke short sightedness and ignorance to show themselves?” Tues. 16. — We left Newcastle. In riding to Leeds, I read Dr. Hodge’s “Account of the Plague in London.” I was surprised, 1. That he did not learn, even from the symptoms related by himself, that the part first seized by the infection was the stomach; and, 2. That he so obstinately persevered in the hot regimen; though he continually saw the ill success of it, — a majority of the patients dying under his hands.
Soon after twelve I preached near the market-place in Stockton, to a very large and very rude congregation. But they grew calmer and calmer; so that long before I had done, they were quiet and serious. Some gentlemen of Yarm earnestly desired that I would preach there in the afternoon. I refused for some time, being weak and tired; so that I thought preaching thrice in the day, and riding upwards of fifty miles, would be work enough. But they would take no denial: So I went with them about two o’clock, and preached at three in the market-place there to a great multitude of people, gathered together at a few minutes’ warning,. About seven I preached in the street at Osmotherley. It rained almost all the time; but none went away. We took horse about five, Wednesday, 17, and in the afternoon came to Leeds.
On Thursday and Friday I preached at the neighboring towns. Sat . 20. — At the earnest desire of the little society, I went to Wakefield. I knew the madness of the people there: But I knew also they were in God’s hand. At eight I would have preached in Francis Scot’s yard; but the landlord would not suffer it; saying the mob would do more hurt to his houses than ever we should do him good; so I went, perforce, into the main street, and proclaimed pardon for sinners. None interrupted, or made the least disturbance, from the beginning to the end.
About one I preached at Oulton, where likewise all is now calm, after a violent storm of several weeks, wherein many were beaten and wounded, and outraged various ways; but none moved from their steadfastness. In the evening I preached at Armley to many who want a storm, being quite unnerved by constant sunshine. Sun . 21. — I preached, as usual, at Leeds and Birstal. Mon . 22. — After preaching at Heaton, I rode to Skircoat Green. Our brethren here were much divided in their judgment. Many thought I ought to preach at Halifax Cross: Others judged it to be impracticable; the very mention of it as a possible thing having set all the town in an uproar.
However, to the Cross I went. There was an immense number of people, roaring like the waves of the sea. But the far greater part of them were still as soon as I began to speak. They seemed more and more attentive and composed till a gentleman got some of the rabble together, and began to throw money among them, which occasioned much hurry and confusion.
Finding my voice could not be heard, I made signs to the people, that I would remove to another place. I believe nine in ten followed me to a meadow, about half a mile from the town, where we spent so solemn an hour as I have seldom known, rejoicing and praising God. Tues . 23. — The congregation was larger at five in the morning than it was in the evening when I preached here before. About one I preached at Baildon, and in the evening at Bradford; where none behaved indecently but the Curate of the parish. Wed . 24. — At eight I preached at Eccleshill, and about one at Keighley.
At five Mr. Grimshaw read Prayers and I preached at Haworth, to more than the church could contain. We began the service in the morning at five:
And even then the church was nearly filled. Thur . 25. — I rode with Mr. Grimshaw to Roughlee, where T. Colbeck, of Keighley, was to meet us. We were stopped again and again, and begged not to go on; for a large mob from Colne was gone before us. Coming a little farther, we understood they had not yet reached Roughlee. So we hastened on, that we might be there before them. All was quiet when we came. I was a little afraid for Mr. Grimshaw: But it needed not: He was ready to go to prison or death for Christ’s sake.
At half hour after twelve I began to preach. I had about half finished my discourse, when the mob came poring down the hill like a torrent. After exchanging a few words with their captain, to prevent any contest, I went with him as he required. When we came to Barrowford, two miles off, the whole army drew up in battle array before the house into which I was carried, with two or three of my friends. After I had been detained above an hour, their captain went out and I followed him, and desired him to conduct me whence I came. He said, he would: But the mob soon followed after; at which he was so enraged, that he must needs turn back to fight them, and so left me alone.
A farther account is contained in the following letter, which I wrote the next morning: — “SIR, Widdop, Aug .26, 1748. “YESTERDAY, between twelve and one o’clock, while I was speaking to some quiet people, without any noise or tumult, a drunken rabble came, with clubs and staves, in a tumultuous and riotous manner the captain of whom, Richard B., by name, said he was a Deputy Constable, and that he was come to bring me to you. I went with him; but I had scarce gone ten yards, when a man of his company struck me with his fist in the face with all his might; quickly after, another threw his stick at my head: I then made a little stand; but another of your champions, cursing and swearing in the most shocking manner, and flourishing his club over his head, cried out, ‘Bring him away!’ “With such a convoy I walked to Barrowford, where they informed me you was; their drummer going before, to draw all the rabble together from all quarters. “When your deputy had brought me into the house, he permitted Mr. Grimshaw, the Minister of Haworth, Mr. Colbeck, of Keighley, and one more, to be with me, promising that none should hurt them. Soon after you and your friends came in, and required me to promise, I would come to Roughlee no more. I told you, I would sooner cut off my hand, than make any such promise: Neither would I promise that none of my friends should come. After abundance of rambling discourse (for I could keep none of you long to any one point,) from about one o’clock till between three and four, (in which one of you frankly said, ‘No; we will not be like Gamaliel, we will proceed like the Jews,’) you seemed a little satisfied with my saying, ‘I will not preach at Roughlee at this time.’ You then undertook to quiet the mob, to whom you went and spoke a few words, and their noise immediately ceased. I then walked out with you at the back door. “I should have mentioned that I had several times before desired you to let me go, but in vain; and that when I attempted to go with Richard B., the mob immediately followed, with oaths, curses, and stones; that one of them beat me down to the ground; and when I rose again, the whole body came about me like lions, and forced me back into the house. “While you and I went out at one door, Mr. Grimshaw and Mr. Colbeck went out at the other. The mob immediately closed them in, tossed them to and fro with the utmost violence, threw Mr. Grimshaw down, and loaded them both with dirt and mire of every kind; not one of your friends offering to call off your bloodhounds from the pursuit. “The other quiet, harmless people, who followed me at a distance, to see what the end would be, they treated still worse, not only by the connivance, but by the express order of your Deputy. They made them run for their lives, amidst showers of dirt and stones, without any regard to age or sex. Some of them they trampled in the mire, and dragged by the hail; particularly Mr. Mackford, who came with me from Newcastle.
Many they beat with their clubs without mercy. One they forced to leap down (or they would have thrown him headlong) from a rock, ten or twelve feet high, into the river. And when he crawled out, wet and bruised, they swore they would throw him in again, which they were hardly persuaded not to do. All this time you sat well pleased close to the place, not attempting in the least to hinder them. “And all this time you was talking of Justice and Law! Alas, Sir, suppose we were Dissenters, (which I deny,) suppose we were Jews or Turks, are we not to have the benefit of the laws of our country? Proceed against us by the law, if you can or dare; but not by lawless violence; not by making a drunken, cursing, swearing, riotous mob, both judge, jury, and executioner. This is flat rebellion against God and the King, as you may possibly find to your cost.”
Between four and five we set out from Roughlee. But observing several parties of men upon the hills, and suspecting their design, we put on and passed the lane they were making for before they came. One of our brothers, not riding so fast, was intercepted by them. They immediately knocked him down, and how it was that he got from amongst them he knew not.
Before seven we reached Widdop. The news of what had passed at Barrowford made us all friends. The person in whose house Mr. B. preached, sent and begged I would preach there; which I did at eight, to such a congregation as none could have expected on so short a warning. He invited us also to lodge at his house, and all jealousies vanished away. Fri . 26. — I preached at five to much the same congregation. At twelve we came to Heptonstall Bank. The house stands on the side of a steep mountain, and commands all the vale below. The place in which I preached was an oval spot of ground, surrounded with spreading trees, scooped out, as it were, in the side of the hill, which rose round like a theatre. The congregation was equal to that at Leeds; but such serious and earnest attention! It lifted up my hands, so that I preached as I scarce ever did in my life.
About four I preached again to nearly the same congregation, and God again caused the power of his love to be known. Thence we rode to Midgley. Many flocked from all parts, to whom I preached till near an hour after sunset. The calmness of the evening agreed well with the seriousness of the people; every one of whom seemed to drink in the word of God, as a thirsty land the refreshing showers. Sat. 27. — I preached once more at seven to the earnest people at the Bank, and then rode to Todmorden Edge. Here several prisoners were set at liberty, as was Mr. Mackford the day before. At five I preached at Mellar Barn, in Rosendale. There were a few rude people; but they kept at a distance; and it was well they did, or the unawakened hearers would have been apt to handle them roughly. I observed here what I had not then seen, but at one single place in England: — When I had finished my discourse, and even pronounced the blessing, not one person offered to go away; but every man, woman, and child stayed just where they were, till I myself went away first. Sun. 28. — I was invited by Mr. U., the Minister of Goodshaw, to preach in his church. I began reading Prayers at seven; but perceiving the church would scarce contain half of the congregation, after Prayers I went out, and standing on the church yard wall, in a place shaded from the sun, explained and enforced those words in the Second Lesson, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.”
I wonder at those who still talk so loud of the indecency of field preaching.
The highest indecency is in St. Paul’s church, when a considerable part of the congregation are asleep, or talking, or looking about, not minding a word the Preacher says. On the other hand, there is the highest decency in a churchyard or field, when the whole congregation behave and look as if they saw the Judge of all, and heard him speaking from heaven.
At one I went to the Cross in Bolton. There was a vast number of people, but many of them utterly wild. As soon as I began speaking, they began thrusting to and fro; endeavoring to throw me down from the steps on which I stood. They did so once or twice; but I went up again, and continued my discourse. They then began to throw stones; at the same time some got upon the Cross behind me to push me down; on which I could not but observe, how God overrules even the minutest circumstances. One man was bawling just at my ear, when a stone struck him on the cheek, and he was still. A second was forcing his way down to me, till another stone hit him on the forehead: It bounded back, the blood ran down, and he came no farther. The third, being got close to me, stretched out his hand, and in the instant a sharp stone came upon the joints of his fingers. He shook his hand, and was very quiet till I concluded my discourse and went away.
We came to Shackerley, six miles further, before five in the evening.
Abundance of people were gathered before six; many of whom were disciples of Dr. Taylor; laughing at Original Sin, and, consequently, at the whole frame of Scriptural Christianity. O what a providence is it, which has brought us here also, among these silver tongued Anti-christs! Surely a few, at least, will recover out of the snare, and know Jesus Christ as their wisdom and righteousness! Mon . 29. — I preached at Davy Hulme. I had heard a surprising account concerning a young woman of Manchester, which I now received from her own mouth. She said, “On Friday, the 4th of last March, I was sitting in the house while one read the Passion Hymn. I had always before thought myself good enough, having constantly gone to church and said my prayers, nor had I ever heard any of the Methodist Preachers. On a sudden I saw our Savior on the cross, as plain as if it had been with my bodily eyes; and I felt it was my sins for which he died. I cried out, and had no strength left in me. Whether my eyes were open or shut, he was still before me hanging on the cross; and I could do nothing but weep and mourn day and night. This lasted till Monday in the afternoon. Then I saw, as it were, heaven open, and God sitting upon his throne in the midst of ten thousand of his saints; and I saw a large book in which all my sins were written; and he blotted them all out, and my heart was filled with peace, and joy, and love, which I have never lost to this hour.”
In the evening I preached at Booth Bank. Tuesday, 30. I preached about one at Oldfield Brow. We rode in the afternoon to Woodley. We saw by the way many marks of the late flood; of which John Bennet, who was then upon the place, gave us the following account: — “On Saturday, the 23d of July last, there fell for about three hours, in and about Hayfield, in Derbyshire, a very heavy rain, which caused such a flood as had not been seen by any now living in those parts. “The rocks were loosened from the mountains: One field was covered with huge stones from side to side. “Several water mills were clean swept away, without leaving any remains. “The trees were torn up by the roots, and whirled away like stubble. “Two women of a loose character were swept away from their own door and drowned. One of them was found near the place; the other was carried seven or eight miles. “Hayfield churchyard was all torn up, and the dead bodies swept out of their graves. When the flood abated, they were found in several places.
Some were hanging on trees; others left in meadows or grounds; some partly eaten by dogs, or wanting one or more of their members.” Wed . 31. — John Bennet showed me a gentleman’s house, who was, a few years since, utterly without God in the world. But two or three years ago, God laid his hand both upon his body and soul. His sins dropped off. He lived holy and unblamable in all things. And not being able to go about doing good, he resolved to do what good he could at home. To this end he invited his neighbors to his house, every Sunday morning and evening, (not being near any church,) to whom he read the Prayers of the Church and a sermon. Sometimes he had an hundred and fifty or two hundred of them at once. At Bongs I received an invitation from him; so John Bennet and I rode down together, and found him rejoicing under the hand of God, and praising him for all his pain and weakness.
In the evening I preached at Chinley; Thursday, SEPTEMBER 1, near Finny Green at noon; and in the evening near Astbury. Friday , 2. I preached at Wednesbury in the afternoon, and thence rode to Meridan. Riding long stages the next day, we reached St. Alban’s, and the Foundery on Sunday morning.
In the following week I examined the classes, and settled all the business which had called me to London. Monday, 12. I preached at Reading, and rode on to Hungerford. Tuesday , 13. I preached in the new built Room at Bristol. Thursday, 15. I rode to Beercrocombe, where, between six and seven, I preached to a serious congregation. At three, Friday , 16, we took horse and came in the evening to Lifton, near Launceston.
One who removed from Camelford hither, received us gladly. I had not been well all the day, so that I was not sorry they had had no notice of my coming. Being much better in the morning, I preached at seven in the street to a listening multitude, on, “Repent ye, and believe the Gospel.”
After preaching, I rode on to Mr. Bennet’s. In the evening I read Prayers and preached in Tresmere church. Sunday , 18. I rode to St. Gennis. Mr. Bennet read Prayers, and I preached, on, “Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.” I question if there were more than two persons in the congregation who did not take it to themselves. Old Mrs. T. did, who was in tears during a great part of the sermon. And so did Mr. B., who afterwards spoke of himself in such a manner as I rejoiced to hear.
Between three and four we reached Tresmere, where a large congregation waited for us. There was no need of speaking terrible things to these, a people ready prepared for the Lord. So I began immediately after Prayers, “All things are of God, who hath reconciled us unto himself.”
A little before six I preached again near St. Stephen’s Down. The whole multitude were silent while I was speaking. Not a whisper was heard; But the moment I had done, the chain fell off their tongues. I was really surprised. Surely never was such a cackling made on the banks of Cayster, or the Common of Sedgmoor. Mon . 19. — I rode to Camelford, and preached about noon, none now offering to interrupt. Thence I went to Port lsaac, and preached in the street at five to near the whole town; none speaking an unkind word. It rained most of the time, but I believe not five persons went away. Tues . 20. — The Room was full at four. I breakfasted about seven, at Wadebridge, with Dr. W., who was, for many years, a steady, rational infidel. But it pleased God to touch his heart in reading the “Appeal;” and he is now laboring to be altogether a Christian.
After preaching at one at St. Agnes, I went on to St. Ives. The lives of this society have convinced most of the town, that what we preach is the very truth of the Gospel. Fri . 23. — I preached at St. Ives, Ludgvan, and Gulval; Saturday, 24, at St. Just. I rejoiced over the society here; their hearts are so simple and right toward God. And out of one hundred and fifty persons, more than an hundred walk in the light of his countenance. Sun . 25. — Believing my strength would not allow of preaching five times in the day, I desired John Whitford to preach at five. At eight I preached at Morva, near the village of Trembath. Hence I rode to Zennor: Mr. Simmonds came soon after, and preached a close, awakening sermon; which I endeavored to enforce by earnestly applying those words, “Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.”
I reached Newlyn a little after four. Here was a congregation of quite a different sort, — a rude, gaping, staring rabblerout; some or other of whom were throwing dirt or stones continually. But before I had done, all were quiet and still; and some looked as if they felt what was spoken. We came to St. Ives about seven: The Room would nothing near contain the congregation; but they stood in the orchard all round, and could hear perfectly well. I found tonight, that God can wound by the Gospel as well as by the Law; although the instances of this are exceeding rare, nor have we any Scripture ground to expect them. While I was enforcing, “We pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God,” a young woman, till then quite unawakened, was cut to the heart, and sunk to the ground; though she could not give a clear, rational account of the manner how the conviction seized upon her. Mon . 26. — I took my leave of St. Ives; about noon preached at Sithney, and at six in the evening at Crowan. Tues . 27. — At one I preached in Penryn, in a convenient place, encompassed with houses. Many of the hearers were at first like those of Newlyn. But they soon softened into attention. Wed . 28. — I took horse between three and four, and came to St. Mewan at eight. It rained all the time I was walking to the Green, which was the usual place of preaching. But the moment I began to speak the rain ceased, and did not begin again till I had done speaking. It rained with little intermission all the day after; which made the roads so bad, that it was pretty dark when we came within two miles of Crimble Passage. We were in doubt, whether the tide would allow us to ride along the sands, as we do at low water. However, it being much the shortest way, we tried. The water was still rising; and at one step our foremost man plunged in, above the top of his boots. Upon inquiry we found his horse had stumbled on a little rock, which lay under water. So we rode on, reached the passage about seven, and the Dock a little before eight.
We found great part of the congregation still waiting for us. They attended again at four in the morning. At five we took horse, and, by easy riding, soon after eight came to Tavistock. After I had preached, we hasted on, rested an hour at Oakhampton, and soon after sunset came to Crediton.
We could willingly have staved here, but John Slocomb had appointed to meet us at Collumpton. Soon after we set out, it was exceeding dark, there being neither moon nor stars. The rain also made it darker still, particularly in the deep, narrow lanes. In one of these we heard the sound of horses coming toward us, and presently a hoarse voice cried, “What have you got?” Richard Moss understood him better than me, and replied, “We have no panniers.” Upon which he answered “Sir, I ask your pardon,” and went by very quietly.
There were abundance of turnings in the road, so that we could not easily have found our way at noon day. But we always turned right; nor do I know that we were out of the nay once. Before eight the moon rose. We then rode cheerfully on, and before ten reached Collumpton. Fri . 30. — I preached at eleven in Taunton; at three in Bridgewater; at seven in Middlesey. Sat. OCTOBER 1. — I preached at Waywick about one, and then rode quietly on to Bristol.
I examined the society the following week, leaving out every careless person, and every one who wilfully and obstinately refused to meet his brethren weekly. By this means their number was reduced from nine hundred to about seven hundred and thirty. Sun. 9. (I began examining the classes in Kingswood; and was never before so fully convinced of the device of Satan, which has often made our hands hang down, and our minds evil affected to our brethren. Now, as ten times before, a cry was gone forth, “What a scandal do these people bring upon the Gospel! What a society is this! With all these drunkards and tale bearers and evil speakers in it!” I expected, therefore, that I should find an heavy task upon my hands; and that none of these scandalous people might be concealed, I first met all the Leaders, and inquired particularly of each person in every class. I repeated this inquiry when the classes themselves met. And what was the ground of all this outcry? Why, two persons had relapsed into drunkenness within three months time; and one woman was proved to have made, or at least related, an idle story concerning another. I should rather have expected two and twenty instances of the former, and one hundred of the latter kind. Thur. 13. — I preached in Bath at noon to many more than the Room would contain. In the evening I preached in the street at Westbury, under Salisbury Plain. The whole congregation behaved well, though it was a town noted for rough and turbulent people. Fri. 14. — I preached at Reading; and on Saturday , 15, rode to London. Sat . 22. — I spent an hour in observing the various works of God in the Physic Garden at Chelsea. It would be a noble improvement of the design, if some able and industrious person were to make a full and accurate inquiry into the use and virtues of all these plants: Without this, what end does the heaping them thus together answer, but the gratifying an idle curiosity? Tues. NOVEMBER 1. — Being All-Saints’ day, we had a solemn assembly at the chapel; as I cannot but observe, we have had on this very day, for several years. Surely, “right dear in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints!” Sun . 13. — Sarah Peters, a lover of souls, a mother in Israel, went to rest.
During a close observation of several years, I never saw her, upon the most trying occasions, in any degree ruffled or discomposed, but she was always loving, always happy. It was her peculiar gift, and her continual care, to seek and save that which was lost; to support the weak, to comfort the feeble minded, to bring back what had been turned out of the way. And in doing this, God endued her, above her fellows, with the love that “believeth, hopeth, endureth all things.” “For these four years last past,” says one who was intimately acquainted with her, “we used once or twice a week to unbosom ourselves to each other. I never knew her to have one doubt concerning her own salvation.
Her soul was always filled with the holy flame of love, and ran after Christ as the ‘chariots of Amminadib.’ She used to say, ‘I think I am all spirit; I must be always moving: I cannot rest, day or night, any longer than I am gathering in souls to God.’ Yet she would often complain of her weakness and imperfections; and cry out, ‘I am an unprofitable servant.’ I was sometimes jealous that she carried her charity too far, not allowing herself what was needful. But she would answer, ‘I can live upon one meal a day, so that I may have to give to them that have none.’” On Sunday , October 9, she went, with one more, to see the condemned malefactors in Newgate. They inquired for John Lancaster, in particular, who had sent to desire their coming. He asked them to go into his cell, which they willingly did; although some dissuaded them from it, because the gaol distemper (a kind of pestilential fever) raged much among the prisoners. They desired he would call together as many of the prisoners as were willing to come. Six or seven of those who were under sentence of death came. They sung a hymn, read a portion of Scripture, and prayed.
Their little audience were all in tears. Most of them appeared deeply convinced of their lost estate. From this time her labors were unwearied among them; praying with them and for them night and day.
John Lancaster said, “When I used to come to the Foundery every morning, which I continued to do for some time, I little thought of ever coming to this place. I then often felt the love of God, and thought I should never commit sin more. But after a while, I left off coming to the preaching: Then my good desires died away. I fell again into the diversions I had laid aside, and the company I had left off. As I was one day playing at skittles with some of these, a young man, with whom I was now much acquainted, gave me a part of the money which he had just been receiving for some stolen goods. This, with his frequent persuasion, so wrought upon me, that at last I agreed to go partners with him. Yet I had often strong convictions; but I stifled them as well as I could. “We continued in this course till August last. As we were then going home from Bartholomew Fair, one morning about two o’clock, it came into my mind to go and steal the branches out of the Foundery. I climbed over the wall, and brought two of them away; though I trembled and shook, and made so great a noise, that I thought all the family must be dead, or else they could not but hear me. Within a few days after, I stole the velvet; for which I was taken up, tried, and condemned.”
Some being of opinion it would not be difficult to procure a pardon for him, S. Peters, though she never mentioned this to him, resolved to leave no means unattempted. She procured several petitions to be drawn, and went herself to Westminster, to Kensington, and to every part of the Town where any one lived who might possibly assist therein. In the mean time, she went constantly to Newgate, sometimes alone, sometimes with one or two others, visited all that were condemned in their cells, exhorted them, prayed with them, and had the comfort of finding them, every time, more athirst for God than before; and of being followed, whenever she went away, with abundance of prayers and blessings.
After a time, she and her companions believed it would be of use to examine each closely, as to the state of his soul. They spoke to John Lancaster first. He lifted up his eyes and hands, and, after pausing awhile, said, “I thank God, I do feel that He has forgiven me my sins: I do know it.” They asked how, and when, he knew it first. He replied, “I was in great fear and heaviness, till the very morning you came hither first. That morning I was in earnest prayer; and just as St. Paul’s clock struck five, the Lord poured into my soul such peace as I had never felt; so that I was scarce able to bear it. From that hour I have never been afraid to die; for I know, and am sure, as soon as my soul departs from the body, the Lord Jesus will stand ready to carry it into glory.”
The next who was spoken to was Thomas Atkins, nineteen years of age.
When he was asked (after many other questions, in answering which he expressed the clearest and deepest conviction of all his sins, as well as that for which he was condemned) if he was not afraid to die; he fixed his eyes upward, and said, in the most earnest and solemn manner, “I bless God, I am not afraid to die; for I have laid my soul at the feet of Jesus.” And to the last moment of his life, he gave all reason to believe that these were not vain words.
Thomas Thompson, the next, was quite an ignorant man, scarce able to express himself on common occasions; yet some of his expressions were intelligible enough. “I don’t know,” said he, “how it is: I used to have nothing but bad and wicked thoughts in me, and now they are all gone; and I know God loves me, and He has forgiven my sins.” He persisted in this testimony till death, and in a behavior suitable thereto.
When John Roberts came first into John L.’s cell, he was utterly careless and sullen. But it was not long before his countenance changed: The tears ran down his cheeks, and he continued, from that hour, earnestly and steadily seeking repentance and remission of sins. There did not pass many days, before he likewise declared that the burden of sin was gone, that the fear of death was utterly taken away, and it returned no more.
William Gardiner, from the time that he was condemned, was very ill of the gaol distemper. She visited him in his own cell, till he was able to come abroad. He was a man of exceeding few words, but of a broken and contrite spirit. Some time after, he expressed great readiness to die, vet with the utmost diffidence of himself. One of his expressions, to a person accompanying him to the place of execution, was, “O Sir, I have nothing to trust to but the blood of Christ! If that won’t do, I am undone for ever.”
As soon as Sarah Cunningham was told that the warrant was come down for her execution, she fell raving mad. She had but few intervals of reason till the morning of her execution. She was then sensible, but spoke little; till, being told, “Christ will have pity upon you, if you ask him,” she broke out, “Pity upon me! Will Christ have pity upon me? Then I will ask him; indeed I will;” which she did in the best manner she could, till her soul was required of her.
Samuel Chapman appeared to be quite hardened. He seemed to fear neither God nor devil. But when, after some time, Sarah Peters talked with him, God struck him down at one stroke. He felt himself a sinner, and cried aloud for mercy. The gaol distemper then seized upon him, and confined him to his bed, till he was carried out to die. She visited him frequently in his cell. He wept much, and prayed much; but never appeared to have any clear assurance of his acceptance with God.
It was the earnest desire of them all, that they whom God had made so helpful to them might spend the last night with them. Accordingly she came to Newgate at ten o’clock, but could not be admitted on any terms.
What a blessed morning is this! O when will the hour come that we long for, that our souls shall be set at liberty!” The turnkey said, “I never saw such people before.” When the bellman came at twelve o’clock, to tell them, (as usual,) “Remember you are to die today,” they cried out, “Welcome news! Welcome news!”
John Lancaster was the first who was called out to have his irons knocked off. When he came to the block, (at which this is done,) he said, “Blessed be the day I came into this place! O what a glorious work hath the Lord carried on in my soul since I came hither!” Then he said to those near him, “O my dear friends, join in praise with me a sinner! O for a tongue to praise him as I ought! My heart is like fire in a close vessel. I am ready to burst for want of vent. O that I could tell the thousandth part of the joys I feel!” One saying, “I am sorry to see you in that condition;” he answered, “I would not change it for ten thousand worlds.” From the press yard he was removed into a large room, where he exhorted all the officers to repentance, till Thomas Atkins was brought in; whom he immediately asked, “How is it between God and your soul?” He answered, “Blessed be God, I am ready.” An officer asking about this time, “What is it o’clock?” was answered, “Near nine.” On which Lancaster said, “By one I shall be in Paradise, safely resting in Abraham’s bosom.” To another prisoner coming in, he said, “Cannot you see Jesus? I see him by faith, standing at the right hand of God, with open arms to receive our souls.” One asking, “Which is Lancaster?” he answered, “Here I am. Come, see a Christian triumphing over death.” A bystander said, “Be steadfast to the end.” He replied, “I am, by the grace of God, as steadfast as the rock I am built upon, and that rock is Christ.” Then he said to the people, “Cry to the Lord for mercy, and you will surely find it. I have found it; therefore none should despair.
When William Gardiner came in, he said, “Well, my dear man, how are you?” He answered, “I am happy, and think the moments long; for I want to die, that I may be with Him whom my soul loves.” Lancaster asked, “Had we not a sweet night?” He said, “I was as it were in heaven. O, if a foretaste be so sweet, what must the full enjoyment be?” Then came in Thomas Thompson, who with great power witnessed the same confession. The people round, the mean time, were in tears; and the officers stood like men affrighted.
Then Lancaster exhorted one in doubt, never to rest till he had found rest in Christ. After this he brake out into strong prayer, (mingled with praise and thanksgiving,) that the true Gospel of Christ might spread to every corner of the habitable earth; that the congregation at the Foundery might abound more and more in the knowledge and love of God; that he would, in a particular manner, bless all those who had taken care of his dying soul; and that God would bless and keep Mr. W.s, that neither men nor devils might ever hurt them, but that they might, as a ripe shock of corn, be gathered into the garner of God.
When the last prisoner came into the room, he said, “Here is another of our little flock.” An officer said tenderly, he thought it was too large. He said, “Not too large for heaven: Thither we are going.”
He said to Mr. M., “O Sir, be not faint in your mind. Be not weary of well doing. You serve a glorious Master; and if you go on, you will have a glorious reward.”
When the officers told them, it was time to go, they rose with inexpressible joy, and embraced each other, commending each other’s soul to the care of Him who had so cared for them. Lancaster then earnestly prayed, that all there present might, like him, be found of God, though they sought Him not.
Coming into the pressyard, he saw Sarah Peters. He stepped to her, kissed her, and earnestly said, “I am going to Paradise today; and you will follow me soon.”
The crowd being great, they could not readily get through. So he had another opportunity of declaring the goodness of God. And to one in heaviness he said, “Cry unto the Lord, and he will be found. My soul for thine, he will have mercy upon thee.” Then he said to all, “Remember Mary Magdalene, out of whom the Lord cast seven devils. So rely ye on him for mercy, and you will surely find it.”
As they were preparing to go into the cart, he said, “Come, my dear friends, let us go on joyfully; for the Lord is making ready to receive us into everlasting habitations.” Then turning to the spectators, he said, “My friends, God be your guide. God direct you in the right way to eternal glory. It is but a short time, and we shall be ‘where all sorrow and sighing shall flee away.’ Turn from the evil of your ways; and you also, with us, shall stand with the innumerable company on Mount Sion.”
As they went along, he frequently spoke to the people, exhorting them to repentance. To some he said, “Ye poor creatures, you do not know where I am going. See that you love Christ; see that you follow Christ; and then you will come there too.” He likewise gave out, and sung, several hymns; particularly that, with which he was always deeply affected, — Lamb of God, whose bleeding love We still recall to mind, Send the answer from above, And let us mercy find.
Think on us, who think on thee, And every struggling soul release:
O remember Calvary; And let us go in Peace!
All the people who saw them seemed to be amazed; but much more when they came to the place of execution. A solemn awe overwhelmed the whole multitude. As soon as the executioner had done his part with Lancaster, and the two that were with him, he called for a hymn book, and gave out a hymn with a clear, strong voice. And after the Ordinary had prayed, he gave out and sung the fifty first psalm. He then took leave of his fellow sufferers with all possible marks of the most tender affection.
He blessed the persons who had attended him, and commended his own soul to God.
Even a little circumstance that followed seems worth observing. His body was carried away by a company hired of the Surgeons: But a crew of sailors pursued them, took it from them by force, and delivered it to his mother; by which means it was decently interred, in the presence of many who praised God on his behalf.
One thing which occasioned some amazement was, that even after death there were no marks of violence upon him. His face was not at all bloated or disfigured; no, nor even changed from its natural color; but he lay with a calm, smiling countenance, as one in a sweet sleep.
He died on Friday, October 28, and was buried on Sunday, the 30th.
S. Peters, having now finished her work, felt the body sink apace. On Wednesday , November 3, she took to her bed, having the symptoms of a malignant fever. She praised God in the fires for ten days; continually witnessing the good confession, “I have fought the good fight; I have kept the faith; I am going to receive the crown:” And a little after midnight, on Sunday, the 13th, her spirit also returned to God. Mon . 14. — I rode to Windsor, and, after preaching, examined the members of the society. The same I did at Reading in the evening; at Wycombe, on Tuesday; and on Wednesday, at Brentford. In the afternoon I preached to a little company at Wandsworth, who had just begun to seek God: But they had a rough setting out; the rabble gathering from every side, whenever they met together, throwing dirt and stones, and abusing both men and women in the grossest manner. They complained of this to a neighboring Magistrate, and he promised to do them justice; but Mr. C. walked over to his house, and spoke so much in favor of the rioters, that they were all discharged. It is strange, that a mild, humane man could be persuaded, by speaking quite contrary to the truth, (means as bad as the end,) to encourage a merciless rabble in outraging the innocent. A few days after, Mr. C., walking over the same field, dropped down, and spoke no more! Surely the mercy of God would not suffer a well meaning man to be any longer a tool to persecutors. Mon . 21. — I set out for Leigh, in Essex. It had rained hard in the former part of the night, which was succeeded by a sharp frost; so that most of the road was like glass; and the northeast wind set just in our face.
However, we reached Leigh by four in the afternoon. Here was once a deep open harbor; but the sands have long since blocked it up, and reduced a once flourishing town to a small ruinous village. I preached to most of the inhabitants of the place in the evening; to many in the morning, and then rode back to London. Mon. DECEMBER 5. — I retired to Newington to write. I preached every evening to a little company. One who stumbled in among them on Wednesday was a man eminent for all manner of wickedness: He appeared much affected, and went away full of good desires and resolutions. Thur . 8. — A poor mourner found peace. When she related it to me in the morning, I told her, “If you watch and pray, God will give you more of his love.” She replied, “More! Why, is it possible I should feel more love to God than I do now?” the natural thought of newborn babes, who feel as much as their hearts will then contain.
In the evening I saw one in a far different state. He was crying out, (in a high fever,) “O Sir, I am dying without God, without Christ, without hope!” I spoke strongly of the mercies of God in Christ, and left him a little revived. The next night he told me, “For some time after you was here, I was — I know not how; so light and easy I had no doubt but God would have mercy upon me; but now I am dark again: I fear lest I should perish at the last.” He then broke out into prayer. I left him a little easier, beginning again to cast his care upon God. Sun. 11. — Several of our brethren called upon him, and found his hope gradually increasing. Mon . 12. — He expressed a strong confidence in the mercy of God, and said, he feared nothing but lest he should live and turn back into the world.
Before noon he was a little delirious; but as soon as any one spoke of God, he recovered himself, and prayed so vehemently as to set all that heard him in tears. I called once more about six in the evening, and commended his soul to God. He was speechless, but not without sense, as the motion of his lips plainly showed; though his eyes were generally fixed upwards, with a look which said, “I see God.” About half an hour after I went away, his soul was set at liberty.
Thus, in the strength of his years, died Francis Butts, one in whose lips was found no guile. He was an honest man, fearing God, and earnestly endeavoring to work righteousness. Sat . 24. — I buried the body of William Turner; who, towards the close of a long illness, had been removed into Guy’s Hospital, though with small hope of recovery. The night before his death he was delirious, and talked loud and incoherently, which occasioned many in the ward to gather round his bed, in order to divert themselves. But in that hour it pleased God to restore him at once to the full use of his understanding; and he began praising God and exhorting them to repent, so as to pierce many to the heart. He remained for some time in this last labor of love, and then gave up his soul to God. Tues . 27. — Mr. Glanville died. He was at the burial of Francis Butts, and was then saying, “What a mercy it is that I am alive! That I was not cut off a year ago!” The same night he was taken ill, and was for the most part delirious. In his lucid intervals he seemed intent on the things of God. I saw him not till the night before his death: He answered me sensibly once or twice, saying, he hoped to meet me in a better place: Then he raved again; so I used a short prayer, and commended his spirit to God. Mon. JANUARY 2, 1749. — I had designed to set out with a friend for Rotterdam; but being much pressed to answer Dr. Middleton’s book against the Fathers, I postponed my voyage, and spent almost twenty days in that unpleasing employment. Sat . 28. — I looked over the celebrated Tract of Mr. Daille, “On the right Use of the Fathers.” I soon saw what occasion that good man had given to the enemies of God to blaspheme; and that Dr. Middleton, in particular, had largely used that work in order to overthrow the whole Christian system. Sun. FEBRUARY 5. — Mr. Manning being dangerously ill, I was desired to ride over to Hayes. I knew not how the warm people would behave considering the stories which passed current among them; Mrs. B. having averred to Mr. M. himself, that Mr. Wesley was unquestionably a Jesuit.
Just such a Jesuit in principle (and desirous to be such in practice) as Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston was.
But God made all things easy. Far from any tumult or rudeness, I observed deep attention in almost the whole congregation. Sun. 12. — Mr. M. having had a relapse, I rode over again; and again I observed the same decency of behavior in a much larger congregation. Tues. 14. — I rode with my brother to Oxford, and preached to a small company in the evening. Thur . 16. — We rode to Ross, and on Friday to Garth. Sun. 19. — My brother preached at Maesmennys in the morning. I preached at Builth in the afternoon, and at Garth in the evening. Tuesday, 21. I rode to Ragland, and the next day to Kingswood. Thur . 23. — My design was to have as many of our Preachers here, during the Lent, as could possibly be spared; and to read lectures to them everyday, as I did to my Pupils in Oxford. I had seventeen of them in all.
These I divided into two classes; and read to one, Bishop Pearson on the Creed: to the other, Aldrich’s Logic; and to both, “Rules for Action and Utterance.” Fri. MARCH 3. — I corrected the Extract of John Arndt, designed for part of the “Christian Library.” But who can tell, whether that and an hundred other designs will be executed or no? “When the breath of man goeth forth, he turneth again to his dust, and then all his thoughts perish.” Sat. 11. — I rode to Freshford, three or four miles from Bath. The house not containing the people, I was obliged to preach out of doors. It was dark when I began, and rained all the time I preached; but, I believe, none went away. Sun. 12. (After preaching at five, I rode to Bearfield, and preached there between eight and nine, and about one at Seend. Mrs. Andrews, the wife of a neighboring Clergyman, afterwards invited me, in her husband’s name, to his house: There I found An hoary, reverend, and religious man; the very sight of whom struck me with awe. He told me, his only son, about nine years ago, came to hear me preach at Bearfield. He was then in the flower of his age, but remarkable above his years, both for piety, sense, and learning. He was clearly and deeply convinced of the truth, but returned home ill of the small-pox. Nevertheless he praised God for having been there, rejoiced in a full sense of his love, and triumphed more and more over sickness, pain, and death, till his soul returned to God. He said he had loved me ever since, and greatly desired to see me; and that he blessed God he had seen me once, before he followed his dear son into eternity.
At five I preached at Bearfield again. This day I was wet from morning to night, with the continued rain; but I found no manner of inconvenience. Tues . 14. — Having set apart an hour weekly for that purpose, I met the children of our four schools together: Namely, the boys boarded in the new House, the girls boarded in the old; the day scholars (boys) taught by James Harding, and the girls taught by Sarah Dimmock. We soon found the effect of it in the children, some of whom were deeply and lastingly affected. Thur . 23. — I preached in the evening at Bath; Friday, 24, about noon, at Road; and in the evening at Westbury. Monday, 27. I rode to Shepton, where all is quiet now; in the evening I preached at Coleford; ‘Tuesday , 28, at Oakhill, where was also great peace, and a people loving one another. Fri . 31. — I began abridging Dr. Cave’s “Primitive Christianity.” O what pity, that so great piety and learning should be accompanied with so little judgment! Mon. APRIL 3. — I set out for Ireland. We waited more than four hours at the Passage; by which delay, I was forced to disappoint a large congregation at Newport. About three I came, to Pedwas, near Caerphilly.
In the evening, and the next morning, (Tues . 4,) I preached at Cardiff. O what a fair prospect was here some years ago! Surely this whole town would have known God, from the least even to the greatest, had it not been for men leaning to their own understanding, instead of “the Law and the Testimony.”
At twelve I preached at Lanmais, to a loving, earnest people, who do not desire to be any wiser than God. In the evening I preached at Fonmon, the next morning at Cowbridge. How is the scene changed since I was here last, amidst the madness of the people, and the stones flying on every side! Now all is calm; the whole town is in good humor, and flock to hear the glad tidings of salvation.
However, a large number of honest, simple people soon came together; but few could understand me: So Henry Lloyd, when I had done, repeated the substance of my sermon in Welsh. The behavior of the people recompensed us for our labor in climbing up to them.
About noon we came to Aberdare, just as the bell was ringing for a burial.
This had brought a great number together, to whom, after the burial, I preached in the church. We had almost continued rain from Aberdare to the great rough mountain that hangs over the vale of Brecknock: But as soon as we gained the top of this, we left the clouds behind us. We had a mild, fair, sunshiny evening the remainder of our journey. Fri . 7. — We reached Garth. Saturday , 8. I married my brother and Sarah Gwynne. It was a solemn day, such as became the dignity of a Christian marriage. Sun . 9. — I preached at Builth, Maesmennys, and Garth. Monday, 10. A little after ten we reached Llanidloes. Many were come thither before us from all parts. About eleven I reached in the market-place. The wind was so piercing that whenever it came in my face, it almost took away my voice. But the poor people (though all of them stood bareheaded) seemed not to know there was any wind at all. We rode from hence in three hours to a village seven miles off. The persons at whose house we called, knowing who we were, received us with open arms, and gladly gave us such fare as they had. In three hours more we rode with much ado, seven miles further; to a village named Dynasmouthy. Here an honest man, out of pure goodwill, without my knowing any thing of the matter, sent for the most learned man in the town, who was an Exciseman, to bear me company. He sent an excuse, being not very well, but withal invited me to his house. I returned him thanks, and sent him two or three little books; on which he wrote a few lines, begging me to call upon him. I went, and found one that wanted a Savior, and was deeply sensible of his want. I spent some time with him in conversation and prayer, and had reason to hope, the seed was sown in good ground. Tues. 11. — We reached Dall-y-gelle in less than three hours, Tannabull before noon, and Carnarvon in the evening What need there is of guides over these sands I cannot conceive. This is the third time I have crossed them without any. Wed . 12. — We came to Holyhead between one and two. But all the ships were on the Irish side. One came in the next day, but could not go out, the wind being quite contrary. In this journey I read over Statius’s Thebais. I wonder one man should write so well and so ill. Sometimes he is scarce inferior to Virgil; sometimes as low as the dullest parts of Ovid.
In the evening I preached on, “Be ye also ready.” The poor people now seemed to be much affected; and equally so the next night: So that I was not sorry the wind was contrary. Sat. 15. — We went on board at six, the wind then standing due east. But no sooner were we out of the harbor, than it turned southwest, and blew a storm. Yet we made forward, and about one o’clock came within two or three leagues of land. The wind then wholly failed; a calm suddenly following a storm, produced such a motion as I never felt before. But it was not long before the wind sprung up west, which obliged us to stand away for the Skerries. When we wanted a league of shore it fell calm again, so that there we rolled about till past sunset. But in the night we got back into Dublin Bay, ad landed soon after three at Dunleary, about seven English miles from the city. Leaving William Tucker to follow me in a chaise, I walked straight away, and came to Skinner’s Alley, a little before the time of preaching. I preached on, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” In the afternoon, and again in the evening, (in our own garden,) I preached on, “Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
On Thursday and Friday I examined the classes, and was much comforted among them. I left about four hundred in the society; and, after all the stumbling blocks laid in the way, I found four hundred and forty nine. Sun. 23. — We had several showers in the afternoon, while I was preaching in our garden: and, toward the conclusion, a vehement shower of hail. But all kept their ground till I concluded. Mon. 24. — The cold which I had had for some days growing worse and worse, and the swelling which began in my cheek increasing greatly, and paining me much, I sent for Dr. Rutty. But, in the mean time, I applied boiled nettles, which took away the pain in a moment. Afterwards I used warm treacle, which so abated the swelling, that before the Doctor came I was almost well. However, he advised me not to go out that day. But I had appointed to read the letters in the evening. I returned home as early as I could, and found no inconvenience. Sat. 29. — I rode to Tyrrel’s Pass, and preached in the evening; and on Sunday morning and evening. Mon. MAY 1. — I preached at five in the evening at Edinderry, to an exceedingly well behaved congregation. I preached at five in the morning (many Quakers being present) on, “They shall be all taught of God.”
In the evening I preached at Mount Mellick. Wed . 3. — I preached at Tullamore; Thursday , 4, at Clara, about noon; and in the evening at Athlone. I never saw so large a congregation here on a weekday before; among whom were many of the soldiers, (the remains of the regiment wherein John Nelson was,) and seven or eight of the Officers.
They all behaved well, and listened with deep attention. Fri . 5. — This day and the next I endeavored to see all who were weary and faint in their minds. Most of them, I found, had not been used with sufficient tenderness. Who is there that sufficiently weighs the advice of Kempis, Noli duriter agere cum tentato? “Deal not harshly with one that is tempted.” Sun . 7. — I preached (as usual) at five and at three, with the spirit of convincing speech. The Rector preached in the afternoon, (though it is called the Morning Service,) a close, useful sermon on the fear of God. At five I had great numbers of the poor Papists, (as well as Protestants,) maugre all the labor of their Priests. I called aloud, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money!” Strange news to them! One of whom had declared frankly, but a few days before, “I would fain be with you, but I dare not; for now I have all my sins forgiven for four shillings a year; and this could not be in your church.”
We had a triumphant hour when the society met. Several captives were set at liberty: One of these was Mr. Joseph Ch——s. He had been an eminent man many years for cursing, swearing, drinking, and all kinds of fashionable wickedness. On Monday last he had rode fifteen miles to Tyrrel’s Pass, and came thither before five in the morning. He was immediately convinced, and followed me in from the preaching. I was then examining a class: The words cut him to the heart. He came after me to Athlone, (when he had settled some temporal business,) having his eyes continually filled with tears; and being scarce able either to eat, drink, or sleep. But God now wiped away the tears from his eyes; and he returned to his house, to declare what things God had wrought. Mon . 8. — I rode to Aghrim, where the face of things was quite changed since the time I was there before. Here was now a serious congregation from all the country round. I preached about seven, and afterwards explained the manner and use of a society. The first who desired to join therein, was Mr. S., his wife, and daughter. Tues . 9. — I rode to Ahaskra, six miles south, at the desire of Mr. G., the Rector. As the Papists durst not come into the church, I preached before Mr. Glass’s door. I should not have imagined this was the first time of their hearing this preaching; so fixed and earnest was their attention. In the morning, Wednesday, 10, I think the congregation was larger than in the evening; among whom was the Rector of a neighboring parish, who seemed then to be much athirst after righteousness.
Mr. Wade, of Aghrim, rode with me hence to Eyre Court, about fourteen miles from Ahaskra. Here I preached in the market-house, a large, handsome room, to a well behaved congregation. Thence I rode on to Birr, and preached, at seven, to a large, unconcerned congregation. The next day, both in the morning and evening, I spoke very plain and rough. And the congregation had quite another appearance than it had the night before. So clear it is, that love will not always prevail; but there is a time for the terrors of the Lord. Fri . 12. — Before nine we came to Nenagh. I had no design to preach; but one of the Dragoons quartered there, would take no denial: So I ordered a chair to be carried out, and went to the market-place. Presently such a congregation was gathered round me as I had not seen since I left Athlone.
Between six and seven I preached at Mardyke, (an open place without the walls,) to about two thousand people; not one of whom I observed either to laugh, or to look about, or to mind any thing but the sermon.
Some years since an old abbey here was rebuilt, with a design to have Public Service therein. But that design failing, only the shell of it was finished. Of this (lying useless) the society has taken a lease. Here I preached in the morning, Saturday , 13, to since or seven hundred people.
We then went to Prayers at the cathedral, an ancient and venerable pile. In the afternoon I walked round the walls of the town, scarce so large as Newcastle upon Tyne. And the fortifications are much in the same repair; very sufficient to keep out the wild Irish. MAY 14. — (Being Whit-Sunday.) Our church was more than full in the morning, many being obliged to stand without. I hardly knew how the time went, but continued speaking till near seven o’clock. I went at eleven to the cathedral. I had been informed it was a custom here, for the Gentry especially, to laugh and talk all the time of Divine Service; but I saw nothing of it. The whole congregation, rich and poor, behaved suitably to the occasion.
In the evening I preached to a numerous congregation, on, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” We afterwards met the society.
Six or seven prisoners of hope were set at liberty this day. Mon. 15. — A company of revelers and dancers had in the afternoon taken possession of the place where I used to preach. Some advised me to go to another place; but I knew it needed not. As soon as ever I came in sight, the holiday mob vanished away. Tues . 16. — I went to dine on the island: (So they call a peninsula without the walls:) We had hardly dined when one and another of the neighbors came in, till we had a company of sixteen or eighteen. We joined together in prayer, and praising God; and many, I believe, went home rejoicing.
How does the frequency and greatness of the works of God make us less (instead of more) sensible of them! A few years ago, if we heard of one notorious sinner truly converted to God, it was matter of solemn joy to all that loved or feared him: And now, that multitudes of every kind and degree are daily turned from the power of darkness to God, we pass it over as a common thing! O God, give us thankful hearts! Wed. 17. — I met the class of soldiers, eight of whom were Scotch Highlanders. Most of these were brought up well: But evil communications had corrupted good manners. They all said, from the time they entered into the army, they had grown worse and worse. But God had now given them another call, and they knew the day of their visitation. Sat . 20. — I saw a melancholy sight. A gentlewoman of an unspotted character, sitting at home, on May 4,1747, cried out that something seized her by the side. Then she said it was in her mouth. Quickly after she complained of her head. From that time she wept continually for four months, and afterwards grew outrageous; but always insisted that God had forsaken her, and that the devil possessed her, body and soul.
I found it availed nothing to reason with her; she only blasphemed the more; cursing God, and vehemently desiring, yet fearing, to die. However, she suffered me to pray; only saying, it signified not, for God had given her up.
Her brother gave me almost as strange an account of himself. Some years since, as he was in the full career of sin, in a moment he felt the wrath of God upon him, and was in the deepest horror and agony of soul. He had no rest, day or night, feeling he was under the full power of the devil. He was utterly incapable of any business, so that he was obliged to shut up his shop. Thus he wandered up and down, in exquisite torture, for just eighteen months: And then, in a moment, the pressure was removed: He believed God had not forsaken him: His understanding was clear as ever; he resumed his employ, and followed it in the fear of God. Mon. 22. — The more I converse with this people, the more I am amazed.
That God hath wrought a great work among them, is manifest; and yet the main of them, believers and unbelievers, are not able to give a rational account of the plainest principles of religion. It is plain, God begins his work at the heart; then “the inspiration of the Highest giveth understanding.” Wed. 24. — A gentlewoman called upon me, with her son, who (she informed me) was given over last summer, having long been ill of a wasting distemper, and expected death everyday. In this state he was one day in agony of prayer, when God revealed to him his pardoning love. He immediately declared this to his mother, telling her also, “I shall not die now: God has told me so.” And he recovered from that hour.
About eight, several of us took boat for Newtown, six miles from Limerick. After dinner we took boat, in order to return. The wind was extremely high. We endeavored to cross over to the leeward side of the river; but it was not possible. The boat, being small and overloaded, was soon deep in water; the more so, because it leaked much, and the waves washed over us frequently; and there was no staying to empty it, all our men being obliged to row with all their strength. After they had toiled about an hour, the boat struck upon a rock, the point of which lay just under the water. It had four or five shocks, the wind driving us on before we could get clear. But our men wrought for life; and about six o’clock God brought us safe to Limerick. Sun . 28. — I preached at Mardyke in the evening, on, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” I never saw, even at Bristol, a congregation which was at once so numerous and so serious. Mon . 29. — I set out for Cork. We breakfasted at Brough, nine miles from Limerick. When I went into the kitchen, first one or two, then more and more, of the neighbors gathered about me, listening to every word. I should soon have had a congregation, but I had no time to stay.
A mile or two beyond Killmallock, (once a large and strong city, now a heap of ruins,) we saw the body of a man lying dead in the highway, and many people standing and looking upon it. I stopped and spoke a few words. All listened attentively, and one who was on horseback rode on with us. We quickly fell into discourse. I soon perceived he was a Priest, and found he was a sensible man. I gave him a book or two at parting; and he dismissed me with, “God bless you!” earnestly repeated twice or thrice.
We stopped awhile at Killdorrery, in the afternoon, and took the opportunity of speaking closely to every one that understood English, and of giving them a few books. What a nation is this! Every man, woman, and child, (except a few of the great vulgar,) not only patiently, but gladly, “suffer the word of exhortation.”
Between six and seven we reached Rathcormuck. Mr. Lloyd read Prayers, and I preached. Even the Papists ventured to come to church for once, and were a very serious part of the congregation. Tues. 30. — I preached at eleven, and the hearts of the people seemed to be as melting wax. These are now “willing, in” this “day of his power.”
But will not many of them harden their hearts again?
Our congregation in the evening was larger than ever; and never, since I came into this kingdom, was my soul so refreshed, as it was both in praying for them, and in calling them to accept the “redemption that is in Jesus.”
Just as we came out of church, Mr. Skelton came from Cork, and told me I had no place there yet; it being impossible for me to preach now, while the rioters filled the streets. Wed. 31. — I preached at nine, and about eleven took horse. Our way lay through Cork. We had scarce got into it, (though I had never been there till then,) before the streets, and doors, and windows, were full of people; but the mob had not time to gather together, till we were quite gone through the town. I rode on to Bandon, a town which is entirely inhabited by Protestants. I preached at seven, in the middle of the main street, on, “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found.” Here were by far the largest congregations, both morning and evening, of any I had seen in Ireland. Fri. JUNE 2. — I was sent for by a Clergyman, who had come twelve miles on purpose to talk with me. We had no dispute, but simply endeavored to strengthen each other’s hands in God.
In the evening a gentlewoman informed me that Dr. B. had averred to her and many others, 1. That both John and Charles Wesley had been expelled the University of Oxford long ago. 2. That there was not a Methodist left in Dublin, or any where in Ireland, but Cork and Bandon; all the rest having been rooted out, by order of the Government. 3. That neither were there any Methodists left in England. And, 4. That it was all Jesuitism at the bottom. Alas, for poor Dr. B.! God be merciful unto thee, a sinner! Sat. 3. — At the request of many in the town, in the close of my evening sermon, I answered for myself; and have reason to believe, it was much blessed to many of the congregation. Sun. 4. — Being extremely hoarse, I could not speak without difficulty.
However, I made shift to preach at nine, at two, and at five, the congregation continually increasing. I think the most general call of God to the inhabitants of Bandon was at or about this time. Mon. 5. — I rode to Blarney, three miles wide of Cork, where many of the society met me. I spent some time with them in exhortation and prayer, and then went on to Rathcormuck.
I was a little surprised at the acuteness of a gentleman here, who, in conversation with Colonel Barry, about late occurrences, said, he had heard, there was a people risen up that placed all religion in wearing long whiskers; and seriously asked, whether these were not the same who were called Methodists. Wed . 7. — I set out early with Mr. Lloyd, and breakfasted at Mr. T.’s, at Castle Hyde. They both rode with me to Killdorrery: About one I preached to some stocks and stones at Brough; in the evening, to another sort of a congregation at Limerick, on, “Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous.”
Four comfortable days I spent with this lively people, the like to whom I have not found in all the kingdom. Monday , 12. I had appointed to take horse at four, that I might have time to preach at Nenagh, but no horses came till seven. At four I walked forward: After resting awhile at Tullah, I walked on, till an honest man overtaking me, desired me to ride behind him. With this help I came to Nenagh before eleven, preached there at twelve, and at Birr in the evening. Tues . 13. — We rode over to Gloster, a beautiful seat, built by an English gentleman, who had scarce finished his house, and laid out his gardens, when he was called to his everlasting home. Sir L—— P—— and his lady dined with us, whether coming by accident or design I know not. About five I preached in the stately saloon, to a little company of plain, serious people; the fine ones looking on, and some of them seeming to be a little affected. I expounded at Birr about seven, in the strongest manner I could, the story of Dives and Lazarus. Wed. 14. — We designed to dine at Ferbane, about twelve miles from Birr.
We stopped at the first inn in the town; but they did not care to entertain heretics; neither did the people at the second inn: I alighted at the third, and went in, without asking any questions. Here I met with a woman very sick; and very serious. Some of her neighbors quickly gathered about us, and we endeavored to improve the opportunity. After some time spent in close conversation and prayer, we parted in much love.
About seven I preached at Athlone. It being the time of the General Review, abundance of soldiers and many Officers were present. They all behaved with the utmost decency. Bat a gentleman of the town did not; which had like to have cost him dear. Many swords were drawn; but the Officers interposed, and it went no farther. Sat. 17. — The wind being very tempestuous in the evening, I preached in our new built House. Toward the close of the sermon, I asked, “Which of yon will give yourself, soul and body, to God?” One cried out, with a cry that almost shook the House, “O, I will, I will.” And as soon as she could stand, she came forth in the midst, to witness it before all the congregation.
It was Mrs. Glass. Her words pierced like lightning. Presently another witnessed the same resolution. And not long after, one who had been sorrowing as without hope, Mrs. Meecham, lifted up her head with joy, and continued singing and praising God to the dawn of the next day.
When I had at length pronounced the blessing, no man stirred, but each stayed in his place till I walked through them. I was soon called back by one crying out, “My God! My God! thou hast forgotten me.” Having spoken this, she sunk to the earth. We called upon God in her behalf. The cries both of her and of several others, mourning after God, redoubled. But we continued wrestling with God in prayer, till he gave us an answer of peace. Sun . 18. — I preached at five, and about two on the Connaught side of the river; thence I hastened to Aghrim, and endeavored to awaken a serious but sleepy congregation. Mon . 19. — I rode over to Ahaskra, and thence to Mr. Mahon’s, at Castle Garth. I had much conversation with Mr. M——, and was much in doubt, from the account she gave of her own experience, whether she had not been justified many years, though she knew it not by that name.
I preached at Ahaskra at six, both in the evening and in the morning; on Tuesday evening at Athlone. I then met the society, where one, and another, and another cried aloud for mercy. We called upon God, till several of them found mercy, and praised him with a good courage. I think more found peace with God in these four days, than in sixteen months before. Wed. 21. — I rode to Tyrrel’s Pass; but did not find that fervor of spirit in the congregation which was among them the last year: Yet a few there were who were still pressing on to the mark. Thur . 22. — I preached at noon at a village three miles from Tyrrel’s Pass; in the evening at Tullamore, and on Friday morning and evening. Sat . 24. — I rode to Mount Mellick, and dined with Joseph Fry, late a Quaker. Abundance of people were at the preaching in the evening, and all seemed to give earnest attention. Sun. 25. — I preached at eight to a still increasing congregation; and God’s word was as a two-edged sword. I rode thence to Portarlington, a town inhabited chiefly by French. A Clergyman there received me gladly. Some time before, a gentleman of Mount Mellick had desired him to preach against the Methodists. He said, he could not, till he knew what they were; in order to which, he came soon after and heard Mr. Larwood. And from that time, instead of preaching against them, he spoke for them, wherever he came.
As soon as we came out of church I went straight to the market-house, and the whole congregation followed me. I had not seen in all Ireland so glittering a company before, unless a St. Mary’s church, in Dublin; and yet all of them, high and low, behaved in such a manner as became His presence before whom they stood.
Thence I rode two miles farther, to Mr. L.’s house, at Closeland, near Ballybrittas. It rained the whole time that I was preaching: But the congregation regarded it no more than I did; though I was thoroughly wet before I had done, the shower driving full in my face. Mon . 26. — We had a blessed opportunity at Mount Mellick in the evening, while I was explaining the covenant God hath made with us. The same spirit continued with us at the meeting of the society; so that my voice could not be heard for the voice of those who cried for mercy, or praised the God of their salvation. Tues . 27. — I talked two hours with J—— Str——n, a Quaker. He spoke in the very spirit and language wherein poor Mr. Hall used to speak, before he made shipwreck of the grace of God. I found it good for me to be with him: It enlivened and strengthened my soul.
I rode in the afternoon to Closeland, and preached in the evening and morning to a people earnestly desirous of pleasing God. Thur . 29. — I rode to Portarlington again, and preached to a larger congregation than before. They all seemed to hear, not only with strong desire, but with understanding also.
I afterwards explained to them the nature of a society; and desired any who were willing so to unite together, to speak to me severally. Above three score did so the same day. Sat. JULY 1. — I preached at Mount Mellick. Sunday , 2. I preached at eight in Portarlington, and again at two. I scarce knew how to leave off; all the people seemed to be so deeply affected. The society now contained above one hundred members, full of zeal and good desires; and in one week the face of the whole town is changed. Open wickedness is not seen: The fear of God is on every side; and rich and poor ask, “What must I do to be saved?” And how long (I thought with myself) will this continue? In most, only till the fowls of the air come and devour the seed. Many of the rest, when persecution or reproach begins, will immediately be offended and in the small remainder, some will fall off, either through other desires, or the cares of the world, or the deceitfulness of riches. Mon . 3. — I preached at Edinderry, and on Tuesday morning and evening.
Almost every person who was present at the meeting of the society appeared to be broken in pieces. A cry went up on every side, till Joseph Fry, once as eminent a sinner as even Joseph Fry, of Mount Mellick, and since as eminent an instance of the grace of God, broke out into prayer. It was not long before praise and prayer were mixed together: And shortly after, prayer was swallowed up in the voice of praise and thanksgiving. Wed . 5. — I returned to Dublin. Sunday, 9. I preached on the Green both morning and afternoon; and the congregation was considerably larger than any I had seen in Dublin before. Wed. 12. — Being one of the grand Irish festivals, by reason of “the Breach (that is, Battle) of Aghrim,” we had a very large congregation, to whom I showed “what reward” they had given “unto the Lord for all his benefits.” I expected much of their usual courtesy from the mob when we came out. But I walked through them all in perfect peace, none molesting us, either by word or deed. Tues . 18. — Mr. Miller, the Lutheran Minister, informed me, that in a collection of Tracts, published at Buding, Count Z.’s Brethren had printed several passages of my Journal, and whatever else they could glean up, which tended to prejudice the Lutherans against the Methodists. Was this merely to show their goodwill, or to obviate my testimony against themselves? Wed . 19. — I finished the translation of “Martin Luther’s Life.” Doubtless he was a man highly favored of God, and a blessed instrument in his hand.
But O! what pity that he had no faithful friend! None that would, at all hazards, rebuke him plainly and sharply, for his rough, untraceable spirit, and bitter zeal for opinions, so greatly obstructive of the work of God! Thur . 20. — I saw Dr. Stephen’s Hospital, far cleaner and sweeter than any I had seen in London, and the Royal Hospital for old soldiers, standing on the top of an hill, overlooking Phoenix Park. All the buildings are kept not only in good repair, but likewise exactly clean. The hall is exceeding, grand: The chapel far better finished than any thing of the kind in Dublin. O what is wanting to make these men happy? Only the knowledge and the love of God.
I had now an opportunity of inquiring into the real state of the late transactions at Cork; an account of which is subjoined, being the extracts of some papers which were about this time put into my hands. THOMAS JONES, of Cork, Merchant, deposes: — That on May 3, 1749, Nicholas Butler, ballad singer, came before the house of this deponent, and assembled a large mob: That this deponent went to Daniel Crone, Esq., then Mayor of Cork, and desired that he would put a stop to these riots; asking, at the same time, whether he gave the said Butler leave to go about in this manner: That Mr. Mayor said, he neither gave him leave, neither did he hinder him: That in the evening Butler gathered a larger mob than before, and went to the house where the people called Methodists were assembled to hear the word of God, and, as they came out, threw dirt, and hurt several of them.
That on May 4, this deponent, with some others, went to the Mayor, and told what had been done, adding, “If your Worship pleases to speak only three words to Butler, it will be all over:” That the Mayor gave his word and honor there should be no more of it, he would put an entire stop to it:
That, notwithstanding, a larger mob than ever came to the house the same evening: That they threw much dirt and many stones at the people, both while they were in the house and when they came out: That the mob then fell upon them, both on men and women, with clubs, hangers, and swords; so that many of them were much wounded, and lost a considerable quantity of blood.
That on May 5, this deponent informed the Mayor of all, and also that Butler had openly declared, there should be a greater mob than ever there was that night: That the Mayor promised he would prevent it: That in the evening Butler did bring a greater mob than ever: That this deponent, hearing the Mayor designed to go out of the way, set two men to watch him; and when the riot was begun went to the alehouse and inquired for him: That, the woman of the house denying he was there, this deponent insisted he was, declared he would not go till he had seen him, and began searching the house: That Mr. Mayor then appearing, he demanded his assistance, to suppress a riotous mob: That when the Mayor came in sight of them, he beckoned Butler, who immediately came down from the place where he stood: That the Mayor then went with this deponent and looked on many of the people covered with dirt and blood: That some of them still remained in the house, fearing their lives, till James Chatterton and John Reilly, Esquires, Sheriffs of Cork, and Hugh Millard, junior, Esquire, Alderman, turned them out to the mob, and nailed up the doors. 2.ELIZABETH HOLLERAN, of Cork, deposes: — That on May 3, as she was going down Castle Street, she saw Nicholas Butler on a table, with ballads in one hand and a Bible in the other: That she expressed some concern thereat; on which Sheriff Reilly ordered his Bailiff to carry her to Bridewell: That afterward the Bailiff came and said, his master ordered she should be carried to gaol: And that she continued in gaol from May 3, about eight in the evening, till between ten and twelve on May 5. 3.JOHN STOCKDALE, of Cork, tallow chandler, deposes: — That on May 5, while he and others were assembled to hear the word of God, Nicholas Butler came down to the house where they were, with a very numerous mob: That when this deponent came out, they threw all manner of dirt, and abundance of stones at him: That they then beat, bruised, and cut him in several places: That seeing his wife on the ground, and the mob abusing her still, he called out, and besought them not to kill his wife: That on this one of them struck him with a large stick, as did also many others, so that he was hurt in several parts, and his face in a gore of blood. 4.DANIEL SULLIVAN, of Cork, baker, deposes: — That everyday but one from the 6th to the 16th of May, Nicholas Butler assembled a riotous mob before this deponent’s house: That they abused all who came into the shop, to the great damage of this deponent’s business: That on or about the 15th, Butler swore he would bring a mob the next day and pull down his house: That accordingly, on the 16th, he did bring a large mob, and beat or abused all that came to the house: That the Mayor walked by while the mob was so employed, but did not hinder them: That afterwards they broke his windows, threw dirt and stones into his shop, and spoiled a great quantity of his goods. 5.DANIEL SULLIVAN is ready to depose farther: — That from the 16th of May to the 28th, the mob gathered everyday before his house: That On Sunday, the 28th, Butler swore, they would come the next day and pull down the house of that heretic dog; and called aloud to the mob, “Let the heretic dogs indict you; I will bring you off without a farthing cost.”
That accordingly, on May 29, Butler came with a greater mob than before:
That he went to the Mayor and begged him to come, which he for some time refused to do; but after much importunity, rose up, and walked with him down the street: That when they were in the midst of the mob, the Mayor said aloud, “It is your own fault, for entertaining these Preachers.
If you will turn them out of your house, I will engage there shall be no harm done; but if you will not turn them out, you must take what you will get:” That upon this the mob set up an huzza, and threw stones faster than before: That he said, “This is fine usage under a Protestant Government; if I had a Priest saying Mass in every room of it, my house would not be touched:” That the Mayor replied, “The Priests are tolerated, but you are not; you talk too much; go in, and shut up your doors:” That seeing no remedy, he did so; and the mob continued breaking the windows, and throwing stones in, till near twelve at night.
That on May 31, the said Sullivan, and two more, went and informed the Mayor of what the mob was then doing: That it was not without great importunity they brought him as far as the exchange: That he would go no further, nor send any help, though some that were much bruised and wounded came by: That some hours after, when the mob had finished their work, he sent a party of soldiers to guard the walls. 6.JOHN STOCKDALE deposes farther: — That on May 31, he with others was quietly hearing the word of God, when Butler and his mob came down to the house: That as they came out, the mob threw showers of dirt and stones: That many were hurt, many beat, bruised, and cut; among whom was this deponent, who was so bruised and cut, that the effusion of blood from his head could not be stopped for a considerable time. 7.JOHN M’ NERNY, of Cork, deposes: — That on the 31st of May last, as this deponent with others was hearing a sermon, Butler came down with a large mob: That the stones and dirt coming in fast, obliged the congregation to shut the doors, and lock themselves in: That the mob broke open the door; on which this deponent endeavored to escape through a window: That not being able to do it, he returned into the house, where he saw the mob tear up the pews, benches, and floor; part of which they afterwards burnt in the open street, and carried away part for their own use. 8.DANIEL SULLIVAN is ready to depose farther: — That Butler, with a large mob, went about from street to street, and from house to house, abusing, threatening, and beating whomsoever he pleased, from June 1st to the 16th, when they assaulted, bruised, and cut Ann Jenkins; and from the 16th to the 30th, when a woman whom they had beaten, miscarried, and narrowly escaped with life.
Some of the particulars were as follows: 9.THOMAS BURNET, of Cork, nailor, deposes: — That on or about the 12th of June, as this deponent was at work in his master’s shop, Nicholas Butler came with a great mob to the door, and seeing this deponent, told him he was an heretic dog, and his soul was burning in hell: That this deponent asking, “Why do you use me thus?”
Butler took up a stone, and struck him so violently on the side, that he was thereby rendered incapable of working for upwards of a week: That he hit this deponent’s wife with another stone, without any kind of provocation, which so hurt her that she was obliged to take to her bed, and has not been right well since. 10.ANN COOSHEA, of Cork, deposes: — That on or about the 12th of June, as she was standing at her father’s door, Nicholas Butler, with a riotous mob, began to abuse this deponent and her family, calling them heretic bitches, saying they were damned, and all their souls were in hell: That then, without any provocation, he took up a great stone, and threw it at this deponent, which struck her on the head with such force, that it deprived her of her senses for some time. 11.ANN WRIGHT, of Cork, deposes: — That on or about the 12th of June, as this deponent was in her own house, Butler and his mob came before her door, calling her and her family heretic bitches, and swearing he would make her house hotter than hell fire: That he threw dirt and stones at them, hit her in the face, dashed all the goods about which she had in her window, and, she really believes, would have dashed out her brains, had she not quitted her shop, and fled for her life. 12.MARGARET GRIFFIN, of Cork, deposes: — That on the 24th of June, as this deponent was about her business, Butler and his mob came up, took hold on her, tore her clothes, struck her several times, and cut her mouth: That after she broke from him, he and his mob pursued her to her house, and would have broke in, had not some neighbors interposed: That he had beat and abused her several times before, and one of those times to such a degree, that she was all in a gore of blood, and continued spitting blood for several days after. 13.JACOB CONNOR, clothier, of Cork, deposes: — That on the 24th of June, as he owns employed in his lawful business, Butler and his mob came up, and without any manner of provocation fell upon him: That they beat him till they caused such an effusion of blood, as could not be stopped for a considerable time; and that he verily believes, had not a Gentleman interposed, they would have killed him on the spot. 14.ANN HUGHES, of Cork, deposes: — That on the 29th of June, she asked Nicholas Butler, why he broke open her house on the 21st: That hereon he called her many abusive names, (being attended with his mob,) dragged her up and down, tore her clothes in pieces, and with his sword stabbed and cut her in both her arms. 15.DANIEL FILTS, blacksmith, of Cork, deposes: — That on the 29th of June, Butler and a riotous mob came before his door, called him many abusive names, drew his hanger, and threatened to stab him: That he and his mob the next day assaulted the house of this deponent with drawn swords; and that he is persuaded, had not one who came by prevented, they would have taken away his life. 16.MARY FULLER, of Cork, deposes: — That on the 30th of June, Butler, at the head of his mob, came, between nine and ten at night, to the deponent’s shop, with a naked sword in his hand: That he swore, he would cleave the deponent’s skull, and immediately made a full stroke at her head: Whereupon she was obliged to fly for her life, leaving her shop and goods to the mob, many of which they hacked and hewed with their swords, to her no small loss and damage. 17.HENRY DUNKLE, joiner, of Cork, deposes: — That on the 30th of June, as he was standing at widow Fuller’s shop window, he saw Butler, accompanied with a large mob, who stopped before her shop: That after he had grossly abused her, he made a full stroke with his hanger at her head; which must have cleft her in two, had not this deponent received the guard of the hanger on his shoulder: That presently after, the said Butler seized upon this deponent: That he seized him by the collar with one hand, and with the other holden the hanger over his head, calling him all manner of names, and tearing his shirt and clothes; and that, had it not been for the timely assistance of some neighbors, he verily believes he should have been torn to pieces. 18.MARGARET TREMNELL, of Cork, deposes: — That On the 30th of June, John Austin and Nicholas Butler, with a numerous mob, came to her shop: That, after calling her many names, Austin struck her with his club On the right arm, so that it has been black ever since from the shoulder to the elbow: That Butler came next, and with a great stick struck her a violent blow across the back: That many of them drew their swords, which they carried under their coats, and cut and hacked her goods, part of which they threw out into the street, while others of them threw dirt and stones into the shop, to the considerable damage of her goods, and loss of this deponent.
It was not for those who had any regard either to their persons or goods, to oppose Mr. Butler after this. So the poor people patiently suffered, till long after this, whatever he and his mob were pleased to inflict upon them.