The Journal Of John Wesley-Part II

Table of Contents

Chap 151. Cornish Smugglers
Chap 152. Wesley Writes His Epitaph
Chap 153. Wesley His Own Doctor
Chap 154. Introduction
Chap 155. Wesley Retires to Paddington
Chap 156. Persecuting the Methodists
Chap 157. Wesley’s Prescriptions
Chap 158. Wesley and the Sunshine
Chap 159. The Room Was Like and Oven
Chap 160. This Is No Mazed Man|
Chap 161. Slandering Wesley in the Pulpit
Chap 162. Extraordinary Coincidence
Chap 163. Macbeth and Thunder at Drury Lane
Chap 164. At Dover Castle
Chap 165. Preaching to a Press-gang
Chap 166. Waiting for the Ferry
Chap 167. Irish Honesty
Chap 168. A Remarkable Premonition Fulfilled
Chap 169. Preaching in a Loft
Chap 170. A Terrible Dream
Chap 171. The Delights of North Wales
Chap 172. Wesley’s Debt of 1236
Chap 173. Wesley on Electricity as a Cure
Chap 174. Introduction
Chap 175. In Glasgow Cathedral
Chap 176. Wesley Sings a Scotch Psalm
Chap 177. I Do Indeed Live by Preaching!|
Chap 178. Wesley at Charterhouse
Chap 179. Wesley Opposed by Mayor and Minister
Chap 180. Fire at Kingswood School
Chap 181. In Norfolk and Suffolk
Chap 182. Another Ninety-mile Journey
Chap 183. Wesley’s Advice to Travelers
Chap 184. Wesley at Norwich and Colchester
Chap 185. The Sands of Ravenglass
Chap 186. Useless Doctors
Chap 187. Fire in a Coalpit
Chap 188. Newcastle as a Summer Resort
Chap 189. Wesley Likes a Soft Cushion
Chap 190. Defeating the Press-gang
Chap 191. Extraordinary Trances
Chap 192. Wesley Rides Twenty-four Hundred Miles in Seven Months
Chap 193. Field-preaching Expedient
Chap 194. Wesley Clothes French Prisoners
Chap 195. The Truth about Trances
Chap 196. Wesley and the Irish Question
Chap 197. Attack on Wesley’s Hat
Chap 198. A Kind of Waterspout|
Chap 199. A Tinner’s Story
Chap 200. Wesley Writes to the London Chronicle
Chap 201. Preaching in the Inn Yard
Chap 202. Wesley Preaches at Aberdeen
Chap 203. Wesley’s Criticism of Edinburgh
Chap 204. A Busy Week
Chap 205. Wesley and Impositions
Chap 206. A Monster Called a Declaration
Chap 207. Some Impudent Women
Chap 208. Seen in a Looking Glass
Chap 209. Wesley at Matlock Bath and Boston
Chap 210. Preaching by Moonlight
Chap 211. Some Rough Journeys
Chap 212. Remarkable Speaking Statue
Chap 213. Wesley and the Oatmeal Sellers
Chap 214. The Irish Whiteboys
Chap 215. Whitewashing Kilkenny Marble
Chap 216. Wesley in Cornwall
Chap 217. Wesley’s Day of Pentecost
Chap 218. Wesley in Aberdeen Again
Chap 219. Plain Dealing in Scotland
Chap 220. The Drunkard’s Magnificat
Chap 221. Methodists and Their Wealth
Chap 222. A Difficult Crossing
Chap 223. Wesley at Birmingham, Walsal, and Derby
Chap 224. No Law for Methodists|
Chap 225. Wesley Unhorsed
Chap 226. Wesley on Holy Island
Chap 227. Wesley at the General Assembly
Chap 228. At Inverness
Chap 229. A Sermon and Congregation to Order
Chap 230. Wesley and a Scotch Communion
Chap 231. Wesley’s Likes and Dislikes
Chap 232. She Thought, |I Laugh Prettily|
Chap 233. An Exhausting Day
Chap 234. Seven Hours on Horseback
Chap 235. The Ride from Pembroke to Swansea
Chap 236. Wesley’s Experiments with Lions
Chap 237. Introduction
Chap 238. Breakfast with Mr. Whitefield
Chap 239. Two Deeds
Chap 240. Wesley Covered with Mud
Chap 241. Wesley Secures Justice for Methodists
Chap 242. Gwennap’s Famous Amphitheater
Chap 243. Wesley on a Country Life
Chap 244. Wesley and the Character of a Methodist
Chap 245. The Sexton’s Strange Apparition
Chap 246. Queer Houses at Sheerness
Chap 247. Wesley in the Marshalsea Prison
Chap 248. Wesley Travels North
Chap 249. Preaching in a North Wind
Chap 250. Wesley Instructs Parents
Chap 251. Wesley and Mary Queen of Scots
Chap 252. Wesley at Scoon and Holyrood
Chap 253. Wesley’s Old Schoolfellow
Chap 254. Wesley’s Wife Ill
Chap 255. Wesley and Seaport Towns
Chap 256. Introduction
Chap 257. Wesley’s Land-shark
Chap 258. Wesley Opens a New Church
Chap 259. A Forsaken Beauty
Chap 260. Wesley at the Countess of Huntingdon’s
Chap 261. The Gentleman with Rotten Eggs
Chap 262. Wesley on Geology and Rousseau
Chap 263. Swedenborg an Entertaining Madman
Chap 264. Wesley and His Horses
Chap 265. Wesley at Nairn, Elgin, and Aberdeen
Chap 266. Where Are the Highlands?
Chap 267. Wesley and the Turnpikes
Chap 268. Wesley in St. Albans Abbey
Chap 269. Wesley and the Druid Monuments
Chap 270. Congregation of 20,000
Chap 271. Fire at Portsmouth Dock
Chap 272. Wesley Preaches Whitefield’s Funeral Sermon
Chap 273. Introduction
Chap 274. The Earl of Desmond’s Castle
Chap 275. Wesley in Winchester Cathedral
Chap 276. Wesley at Windsor Park
Chap 277. Wesley as Art Critic
Chap 278. Wesley on A Sentimental Journey
Chap 279. Wesley and the Boarding School
Chap 280. Wesley at Greenock and Glasgow
Chap 281. Wesley Receives the Freedom of Perth
Chap 282. Wesley Visits the Bass Rock
Chap 283. Through the Dales
Chap 284. Field-preaching as Wesley’s Cross
Chap 285. Good or Bad Spirits?
Chap 286. A Remarkable Dream
Chap 287. Wesley’s Letters and Friends
Chap 288. Wesley and His Chaise
Chap 289. Incidents in Ireland
Chap 290. A Neglected School
Chap 291. Mobbed by Masons
Chap 292. Wesley at Derry and Armagh
Chap 293. The Speaking Statue Again
Chap 294. The Earthquake at Madeley
Chap 295. A Man of Seventy Preaches to 30,000 People
Chap 296. A Monster Elm
Chap 297. Introduction
Chap 298. Wesley Arrested in Edinburgh
Chap 299. Wesley’s Terrible Ride
Chap 300. A Collier’s Remarkable Escape


The Journal Of John Wesley-Part III – John Wesley

Chap 151. Cornish Smugglers

On Wednesday, 25, the stewards met at St. Ives, from the western part of Cornwall. The next day I began examining the society, but I was soon obliged to stop short. I found an accursed thing among them; well-night one and all bought or sold uncustomed goods. I therefore delayed speaking to any more till I had met them all together. This I did in the evening and told them plainly either they must put this abomination away or they would see my face no more. Friday, 27. They severally promised so to do. So I trust this plague is stayed.

Monday, November 12. — I set out in a chaise for Leigh, having delayed my journey as long as I could. I preached at seven, but was extremely cold all the time, the wind coming strong from a door behind and another on one side; so that my feet felt just as if I had stood in cold water.

Tuesday, 13. — The chamber wherein I sat, though with a large fire, was much colder than the garden; so that I could not keep myself tolerably warm, even when I was close to the chimney. As we rode home on Wednesday, 14, the wind was high and piercing cold, and blew just in our face so that the open chaise was no defense, but my feet were quite chilled. When I came home, I had a settled pain in my left breast, a violent cough, and a slow fever; but in a day or two, by following Dr. Fothergill’s prescriptions; I found much alteration for the better; and on Sunday, 18, I preached at Spitalfields and administered the sacrament to a large congregation.

Chap 152. Wesley Writes His Epitaph

Monday, 19. — I retired to Shoreham and gained strength continually; till about eleven at night, on Wednesday, 21, I was obliged by the cramp to leap out of bed and continue, for some time, walking up and down the room, though it was a sharp frost. My cough now returned with greater violence and that by day as well as by night.

Saturday, 24. — I rode home as was pretty well till night; but my cough was then worse than ever. My fever returned at the same time, together with the pain in my left breast; so that I should probably have stayed at home on Sunday, 25, had it not been advertised in the public papers that I would preach a charity sermon at the chapel, both morning and afternoon. My cough did not interrupt me while I preached in the morning; but it was extremely troublesome while I administered the sacrament. In the afternoon I consulted my friends whether I should attempt to preach again or no. They thought I should, as it had been advertised. I did so; but very few could hear. My fever increased much while I was preaching; however, I ventured to meet the society, and for nearly an hour my voice and strength were restored so that I felt neither pain nor weakness.

Monday, 26. — Dr. F. — – told me plainly that I must not stay in town a day longer; adding, |If anything does thee good, it must be the country air, with rest, asses’ milk, and riding daily.| So (not being able to sit a horse) about noon I took coach for Lewisham.

In the evening (not knowing how it might please God to dispose of me), to prevent vile panegyric, I wrote as follows:

Here lieth the Body









He ordered that this, if any, inscription should be placed on his tombstone.

Chap 153. Wesley His Own Doctor

Wednesday, 28. — I found no change for the better, the medicines which had helped me before now taking no effect. About noon (the time that some of our brethren in London had set apart for joining in prayer) a thought came into my mind to make an experiment. So I ordered some stone brimstone to be powdered, mixed with the white of an egg, and spread on brown paper, which I applied to my side. The pain ceased in five minutes, the fever in half an hour; and from this hour I began to recover strength. The next day I was able to ride, which I continued to do every day till January 1. Nor did the weather hinder me once; it being always tolerably fair (however it was before) between twelve and one o’clock.

Friday, December 14. — Having finished all the books which I designed to insert in the |Christian Library,| I broke through the doctor’s order not to write and began transcribing a journal for the press; and in the evening I went to prayers with the family, without finding any inconvenience.

Thursday, 20. — I felt a gradual increase of strength till I took a decoction of the bark, which I do not find (such is the peculiarity of my constitution) will agree with me in any form whatever. This immediately threw me into a purging, which brought me down again a few days and quite disappointed me in my design of going out on Christmas Day.

Chap 154. Introduction

1754. Tuesday, January 1. — I returned once more to London.

On Wednesday, 2, I set out in the machine and the next afternoon came to Chippenham. Here I took a post chaise, in which I reached Bristol about eight in the evening.

Friday, 4. — I began drinking the water at the Hot Well, having a lodging at a small distance from it; and on Sunday, 6, I began writing Notes on the New Testament, a work which I should scarcely ever have attempted had I not been so ill as not to be able to travel or preach, and yet so well as to be able to read and write.

Monday, 7. — I went on now in a regular method, rising at my hour and writing from five to nine at night; except the time of riding, half an hour for each meal, and the hour between five and six in the evening.

Thursday, 31. — My wife desiring to pay the last office to her poor dying child, set out for London and came a few days before he went home, rejoicing and praising God.

Tuesday, March 19 (Bristol). — Having finished the rough draught, I began transcribing the Notes on the Gospels.

Tuesday, 26. — I preached for the first time, after an intermission of four months. What reason have I to praise God that He does not take the Word of His truth utterly out of my mouth!

Chap 155. Wesley Retires to Paddington

Monday, April 1. — We set out in the machine, and the next evening reached the Foundry.

Wednesday, 3. — I settled all the business I could and the next morning retired to Paddington. Here I spent some weeks in writing; only going to town on Saturday evenings, and leaving it again on Monday morning.

In my hours of walking I read Dr. Calamy’s Abridgment of Mr. Baxter’s Life. What a scene is opened here! In spite of all the prejudice of education, I could not but see that the poor Nonconformists had been used without either justice or mercy; and that many of the Protesant bishops of King Charles had neither more religion nor humanity than the popish Bishops of Queen Mary.

Monday, 29. — I preached at Sadler’s Wells in what was formerly a playhouse. I am glad when it pleases God to take possession of what Satan esteemed his own ground. The place, though large, was extremely crowded; and deep attention sat on every face.

Wednesday, May 22. — Our conference began; and the spirit of peace and love was in the midst of us. Before we parted, we all willingly signed an agreement not to act independently of each other: so that the breach lately made has only united us more closely together than ever.

June 2. — (Being Whitsunday.) I preached at the Foundry, which I had not done before in the evening; still I have not recovered my whole voice or strength, perhaps I never may; but let me use what I have.

Chap 156. Persecuting the Methodists

Monday, September 9. — I preached at Charlton, a village six miles from Taunton, to a large congregation gathered from the towns and country for many miles round. All the farmers here had some time before entered into a joint engagement to turn all out of their service and give no work to any who went to hear a Methodist preacher. But there is no counsel against the Lord. One of the chief of them, Mr. G — -, was not long after convinced of the truth and desired those very men to preach at his house. Many of the other confederates came to hear, whom their servants and laborers gladly followed. So the whole device of Satan fell to the ground; and the Word of God grew and prevailed.

Wednesday, October 2. — I walked to Sold Sarum, which, in spite of common sense, without house or inhabitants, still sends two Members to the Parliament. It is a large, round hill, encompassed with a broad ditch, which, it seems, has been of a considerable depth. At the top of it is a cornfield; in the midst of which is another round hill, about two hundred yards in diameter, encompassed with a wall and a deep ditch. Probably before the invention of cannon, this city was impregnable. Troy was; but now it is vanished away and nothing left but |the stones of emptiness.|

Thursday, 3. — I rode to Reading and preached in the evening. Observing a warm man near the door (he was once of the society), I purposely bowed to him; but he made no return. During the first prayer he stood, but sat while we sang. In the sermon his countenance changed, and in a little while he turned his face to the wall. He stood at the second hymn and then kneeled down. As I came out he caught me by the hand and dismissed me with a hearty blessing.

Friday, 4. — I came to London. On Monday, 7, I retired to a little place near Hackney, formerly a seat of Bishop Bonner’s (how are the times changed!) and still bearing his name. Here I was as in a college.

Twice a day we joined in prayer. The rest of the day (allowing about an hour for meals and another for walking before dinner and supper) I spent quietly in my study.

Chap 157. Wesley's Prescriptions

1755. Monday, April 7 (Wednesbury). — I was advised to take the Derbyshire road to Manchester. We baited at a house six miles beyond Lichfield. Observing a woman sitting in the kitchen, I asked, |Are you not well?| and found she had just been taken ill (being on her journey) with all the symptoms of an approaching pleurisy. She was glad to hear of an easy, cheap, and (almost) infallible remedy — a handful of nettles, boiled a few minutes and applied warm to the side. While I was speaking to her, an elderly man, pretty well dressed, came in. Upon inquiry, he told us he was traveling, as he could, toward his home near Hounslow, in hopes of agreeing with his creditors to whom he had surrendered his all. But how to get on he knew not, as he had no money and had caught a tertian ague. I hope a wise Providence directed this wanderer also, that he might have a remedy for both his maladies.

Monday, 14. — I rode by Manchester (where I preached about twelve) to Warrington. At six in the morning, Tuesday, 15, I preached to a large and serious congregation; and then went on to Liverpool, one of the neatest, best-built towns I have seen in England. I think it is fully twice as large as Chester; most of the streets are quite straight. Two thirds of the town, we were informed, have been added within these forty years. If it continues to increase in the same proportion, in forty years more it will nearly equal Bristol. The people in general are the most mild and courteous I ever saw in a seaport town; as indeed appears by their friendly behavior, not only to the Jews and Papists who live among them, but even to the Methodists (so called). The preaching-house is a little larger than that at Newcastle. It was thoroughly filled at seven in the evening; and the hearts of the whole congregation seemed to be moved before the Lord and before the presence of His power.

Chap 158. Wesley and the Sunshine

Thursday, 24. — We rode in less than four hours the eight miles (so called) to Newell Hay [from Bolton]. Just as I began to preach the sun broke out and shone exceedingly hot on the side of my head. I found that if it continued, I should not be able to speak long, and lifted up my heart to God. In a minute or two it was covered with clouds, which continued till the service was over. Let any who please, call this chance: I call it an answer to prayer.

Friday, 25. — About ten I preached near Todmorden. The people stood, row above row, on the side of the mountain. They were rough enough in outward appearance, but their hearts were as melting wax.

One can hardly conceive anything more delightful than the vale through which we rode from hence. The river ran through the green meadows on the right. The fruitful hills and woods rose on either hand.

At three in the afternoon I preached at Heptonstill, on the brow of the mountain. The rain began almost as soon as I began to speak. I prayed that, if God saw best, it might be stayed till I had delivered His Word. It was so, and then began again. But we had only a short stage to Ewood.

Tuesday, May 6. — Our conference began at Leeds. The point on which we desired all the preachers to speak their minds at large was whether we ought to separate from the church. Whatever was advanced on one side or the other was seriously and calmly considered; and on the third day we were all fully agreed in that general conclusion — that (whether it was lawful or not) it was no ways expedient.

Monday, 12. — We rode (my wife and I) to Northallerton.

Wednesday, 21. — I preached at Nafferton, near Horsley, about thirteen miles from Newcastle. We rode chiefly on the new western road, which lies on the old Roman wall. Some part of this is still to be seen, as are the remains of most of the towers, which were built a mile distant from each other, quite from sea to sea. But where are the men of renown who built them and who once made all the land tremble? Crumbled into dust! Gone hence, to be no more seen till the earth shall give up her dead!

June 2. — We rode to Thirsk, where I met the little society; and then went on to York. The people had been waiting for some time. So I began preaching without delay, and felt no want of strength, though the room was like an oven through the multitude of people.

Saturday, 7. — One of the residentiaries sent for Mr. Williamson, who had invited me to preach in his church, and told him, |Sir, I abhor persectuion; but if you let Mr. Wesley preach, it will be the worse for you.| He desired it nevertheless; but I declined. Perhaps there is a providence in this also. God will not suffer my little remaining strength to be spent on those who will not hear me but in an honorable way.

Chap 159. The Room Was Like and Oven

Sunday, 8. — We were at the minster in the morning and at our parish church in the afternoon. The same gentleman preached at both; but though I saw him at the church, I did not know I had ever seen him before. In the morning he was all life and motion; in the afternoon he was as quiet as a post. At five in the evening, the rain constrained me to preach in the oven again. The patience of the congregation surprised me. They seemed not to feel the extreme heat or to be offended at the close application of those words, |thou art not far from the kingdom of God| [Mark 12:34].

Monday, 16. — I preached in the evening at Nottingham and on Thursday afternoon reached London. From a deep sense of the amazing work which God has of late years wrought in England, I preached in the evening on those words (Psalm 147:20), |He hath not dealt so with any nation|; no, not even with Scotland or New England. In both these God has indeed made bare His arm; yet not in so astonishing a manner as among us. This must appear to all who impartially consider 1) the numbers of persons on whom God has wrought; 2) the swiftness of His work in many, both convinced and truly converted in a few days; 3) the depth of it in most of these, changing the heart as well as the whole conversation; 4) the clearness of it, enabling them boldly to say, |Thou hast loved me; Thou hast given Thyself for me|; 5) the continuance of it.

Tuesday, 24 (London). — Observing in that valuable book, Mr. Gillies’ Historical Collections, the custom of Christian congregations in all ages to set apart seasons of solemn thanksgivings, I was amazed and ashamed that we had never done this, after all the blessings we had received; and many to whom I mentioned it gladly agreed to set apart a day for that purpose.

Chap 160. This Is No Mazed Man

Sunday, August 31. — At five I preached in Gwennap to several thousands, but not one of them light or inattentive. After I had done, the storm arose and the rain poured down till about four in the morning; then the sky cleared, and many of them that feared God gladly assembled before Him.

Monday, September 1. — I preached at Penryn, to abundantly more than the house could contain.

Tuesday, 2. — We went to Falmouth. The town is not now what it was ten years since; all is quiet from one end to the other. I had thoughts of preaching on the hill near the church; but the violent wind made it impracticable, so I was obliged to stay in our own room. The people could hear in the yard likewise and the adjoining houses; and all were deeply attentive.

Wednesday, September 3. — After preaching again to a congregation who now appeared ready to devour every word, I walked up to Pendennis castle, finely situated on the high point of land which runs out between the bay and the harbor and commanding both. It might easily be made exceedingly strong; but our wooden castles are sufficient.

In the afternoon we rode to Helstone, once turbulent enough, but now quiet as Penryn. I preached at six, on a rising ground about a musket-shot from the town. Two drunken men strove to interrupt, but one soon walked away, and the other leaned on his horse’s neck and fell fast asleep.

About noon, Friday, 5, I called on W. Row, in Breage, in my way to Newlyn. |Twelve years ago,| he said, |I was going over Gulval Downs and I saw many people together. I asked what was the matter, and they told me a man was going to preach. I said, Nay, this is no mazed man.’ You preached on God’s raising the dry bones, and from that time I could never rest till God was pleased to breathe on me and raise my dead soul.|

Chap 161. Slandering Wesley in the Pulpit

I had given no notice of preaching here; but seeing the poor people flock from every side, I could not send them empty away. So I preached at a small distance from the house and besought them to consider our |great High Priest, who is passed through into the heavens| [Heb.4:14]; and none opened his mouth, for the lions of Breage too are now changed into lambs. That they were so fierce ten years ago is no wonder, since their wretched minister told them from the pulpit (seven years before I resigned my fellowship) that |John Wesley was expelled the College for a base child, and had been quite mazed ever since; that all the Methodists, at their private societies, put out the lights,| and so on; with abundance more of the same kind. But a year or two since, it was observed, he grew thoughtful and melancholy; and, about nine months ago, he went into his own necessary house and hanged himself.

Saturday, 6. — In the evening I preached at St. Just. Except at Gwennap, I have seen no such congregation in Cornwall. The sun (nor could we contrive it otherwise) shone full in my face when I began the hymn; but just as I ended it, a cloud arose, which covered it till I had done preaching. Is anything too small for the providence of Him by whom our very hairs are numbered?

Sunday, 7. — Last year, a strange letter, written at Penzance, was inserted in the public papers. Today I spoke to the two persons who occasioned that letter. They are of St. Just parish, sensible men, and no Methodists. The name of the one is James Tregeer, of the other, Thomas Sackerly. I received the account from James, two or three hours before Thomas came; but there was no material difference. In July was twelvemonth, they both said, as they were walking from St. Just church town toward Sancreet, Thomas, happening to look up, cried out, |James, look, look! What is that in the sky?| The first appearance, as James expressed it, was three columns of horsemen, swiftly pressing on as in a fight, from southwest to northeast, a broad streak of sky being between each column. Sometimes they seemed to run thick together, then to thin their ranks. Afterward they saw a large fleet of three-mast ships, in full sail toward the Lizard Point. This continued above a quarter of an hour; then, all disappearing, they went on their way. The meaning of this, if it was real (which I do not affirm), time only can show.

Chap 162. Extraordinary Coincidence

Saturday, 13. — I preached once more at St. Just, on the first stone of their new society house. In the evening as we rode to Camborne, John Pearce, of Redruth, was mentioning a remarkable incident: While he lived at Helstone, as their class was meeting one evening, one of them cried, with an uncommon tone, |We will not stay here: we will go to — -,| a house, which was in a quite different part of the town. They all rose immediately and went, though neither they nor she knew why. Presently, after they were gone, a spark fell into a barrel of gunpowder, which was in the next room, and blew up the house. So did God preserve those who trusted in Him and prevent the blasphemy of the multitude.

Monday, 15. — We walked an hour near the seashore [at Cubert], among those amazing caverns, which are fully as surprising as Pool’s Hole, or any other in the Peak of Derbyshire. Some part of the rock in these natural vaults glitters as bright and ruddy as gold; part is a fine sky-blue; part green; part enameled, exactly like mother-of-pearl; and a great part, especially near the Holy Well (which bubbles up on the top of a rock and is famous for curing either scorbutic or scrofulous disorders), is crusted over, wherever the water runs, with a hard, white coat like alabaster.

Tuesday, 23. — We walked up to Glastonbury Tower, which a gentleman is now repairing. It is the steeple of a church, the foundation of which is still discernible. On the west of the tower there are niches for images; one of which, as big as the life, is still entire. The hill on which it stands is extremely steep and of an uncommon height, so that it commands the country on all sides, as well as the Bristol Channel. I was weary enough when we came to Bristol; but I preached till all my complaints were gone; and I had now a little leisure to sit still and finish the Notes on the New Testament.

Wednesday, November 5. — Mr. Whitefield called upon me. Disputings are now no more; we love one another and join hand in hand to promote the cause of our common Master.

Chap 163. Macbeth and Thunder at Drury Lane

Monday, 17. — As we were walking toward Wapping, the rain poured down with such violence that we were obliged to take shelter till it abated. We then held on to Gravel Lane, in many parts of which the waters were like a river. However, we got on pretty well till the rain put out the candle in our lantern. We then were obliged to wade through all, till we came to the chapel yard. Just as we entered it, a little streak of lightening appeared in the southwest. There was likewise a small clap of thunder and a vehement burst of rain, which rushed so plentifully through our shattered tiles that the vestry was all in a float. Soon after I began reading prayers, the lightning flamed all round it, and the thunder rolled just over our heads. When it grew louder and louder, perceiving many of the strangers to be much affrighted, I broke off the prayers after the collect, |Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord,| and began applying, |The Lord sitteth above the waterflood; the Lord remaineth a king forever| [see Ps.29:10]. Presently the lightning, thunder, and rain ceased, and we had a remarkably calm evening.

It was observed that exactly at this hour they were acting Macbeth in Drury Lane, and just as the mock thunder began, the Lord began to thunder out of heaven. For a while it put them to a stand; but they soon took courage and went on. Otherwise it might have been suspected that the fear of God had crept into the very theater!

Friday, December 12. — As I was returning from Zoar, I came as well as usual to Moorfields; but there my strength entirely failed, and such a faintness and weariness seized me that it was with difficulty I got home. I could not but think how happy it would be (suppose we were ready for the Bridegroom) to sink down and steal away at once, without any of the hurry and pomp of dying! Yet it is happier still to glorify God in our death, as well as our life.

Tuesday, 23. — I was in the robe-chamber, adjoining the House of Lords, when the King put on his robes. His brow was much furrowed with age and quite clouded with care. And is this all the world can give even to a king? All the grandeur it can afford? A blanket of ermine round his shoulders, so heavy and cumbersome he can scarcely move under it! A huge heap of borrowed hair, with a few plates of gold and glittering stones upon his head! Alas, what a bauble is human greatness! And even this will not endure.

Chap 164. At Dover Castle

1756. — Monday, January 26. — I rode to Canterbury and preached in the evening to such a congregation as I never saw there before, in which were abundance of the soldiers and not a few of their officers.

Wednesday, 28. — I preached about noon at Dover to a very serious but small congregation. We afterwards walked up to the castle, on the top of a mountain. It is an amazingly fine situation; and from hence we had a clear view of that vast piece of the cliff which a few days ago divided from the rest and fell down upon the beach.

Friday, 30. — In returning to London, I read the life of the late Tsar, Peter the Great. Undoubtedly he was a soldier, a general, and a statesman, scarcely inferior to any. But why was he called a Christian? What has Christianity to do either with deep dissimulation or savage cruelty?

Friday, February 6. — The fast-day was a glorious day, such as London has scarcely seen since the Restoration. Every church in the city was more than full, and a solemn seriousness sat on every face. Surely God heareth the prayer, and there will yet be a lengthening of our tranquillity. style=|#_ftn28| name=|_ftnref28|>

Chap 165. Preaching to a Press-gang

Monday, 23. — I paid another visit to Canterbury, but came in too late to preach.

Tuesday, 24. — Abundance of soldiers and many officers came to the preaching. And surely the fear and the love of God will prepare them either for death or victory.

Wednesday, 25. — I dined with Colonel — -, who said, |No men fight like those who fear God; I had rather command five hundred such, than any regiment in his Majesty’s army.|

Thursday, March 11. — I rode to Pill and preached to a large and attentive congregation. A great part of them were seafaring men. In the middle of my discourse, a press-gang landed from a man-of-war and came up to the place; but after they had listened a while, they went quietly by and molested nobody.

Monday, 15. — I rode to the Old Passage; but finding we could not pass, we went on to Purton; which we reached about four in the afternoon. But we were no nearer still; for the boatmen lived on the other side, and the wind was so high we could not possibly make them hear. However, we determined to wait awhile, and in a quarter of an hour they came of their own accord. We reached Coleford before seven and found a plain, loving people, who received the Word of God with all gladness.

Friday, 19. — I rode over to Howell Harris at Trevecka, though not knowing how to get any further. But he helped us out of our difficulties, offering to send one with us who would show us the way and bring our horses back; so I then determined to go on to Holyhead, after spending a day or two at Brecknock.

Saturday, 20. — It being the day appointed for the justices and commissioners to meet, the town was extremely full, and curiosity (if no better motive) brought most of the gentlemen to the preaching. Such another opportunity could not have been of speaking to all the rich and great of the county; they all appeared to be serious and attentive. Perhaps one or two may lay it to heart.

Monday, 22. — It continued fair till we came to Builth, where I preached to the usual congregation. Mr. Phillips then guided us to Royader, about fourteen English miles. It snowed hard behind us and on both sides, but not at all where we were.

Tuesday, 23. — When we took horse, there was nothing to be seen but a waste of white; the snow covered both hills and vales. As we could see no path, it was not without much difficulty, as well as danger, that we went on. But between seven and eight the sun broke out and the snow began to melt, so we thought all our difficulty was over; about nine, the snow fell faster than ever. In an hour it changed into hail, which, as we rode over the mountains, drove violently in our face. About twelve this turned into hard rain, followed by an impetuous wind. However, we pushed on through all and before sunset came to Dolgelly.

Chap 166. Waiting for the Ferry

Here we found everything we wanted except sleep, of which we were deprived by a company of drunken sea captains, who kept possession of the room beneath us till between two and three in the morning. We did not take horse till after six and then we could make no great speed, the frost being exceedingly sharp and much ice in the road. Hence we were not able to reach Tannabull till between eleven and twelve. An honest Welshman here gave us to know (though he spoke no English) that he was just going over the sands. So we hastened on with him and by that means came in good time to Carnarvon.

Here we passed a quiet and comfortable night, and took horse about six in the morning. Supposing, after we had ridden nearly an hour, that a little house on the other side was the ferry-house, we went down to the water and called amain; but we could not procure any answer. In the meantime it began to rain hard, though the wind was extremely high. Finding none would come over, we went to a little church which stood near, for shelter.

We had waited about an hour when a woman and girl came into the churchyard, whom I did not mind, supposing they could speak no English. They were following a sheep, which ran close to us. I then asked, |Is not this Baldon Ferry?| The girl answered, |Baldon Ferry! No. The ferry is two miles further.| So we might have called long enough. When we came to Baldon the wid fell, the sky cleared up, the boat came over without delay and soon landed us in Anglesey. On our way to Holyhead, one met and informed us that the packet had sailed the night before. I said, |Perhaps it may carry me for all that.| So we pushed on and came thither in the afternoon. The packet did sail the night before and got more than half sea over. But the wind turning against them and blowing hard, they were glad to get back this afternoon.

I scarcely ever remember so violent a storm as blew all the night long. The wind continued contrary the next day.

Chap 167. Irish Honesty

Monday, 29. — We left the harbor about twelve, having six or seven officers and abundance of passengers on board. The wind was full west, and there was great probability of a stormy night. So it was judged best to put back; but one gentleman making a motion to try a little longer, in a short time brought all over to his opinion. So they agreed to go out and |look for a wind.|

The wind continued westerly all the night. Nevertheless, in the morning we were within two leagues of Ireland! Between nine and ten I landed at Howth and walked on for Dublin. The congregation in the evening was such as I never saw here before. I hope this also is a token for good.

Wednesday, 21. — In conversing with many, I was surprised to find that all Ireland is in perfect safety. None here has any more apprehension of an invasion than of being swallowed up in the sea, everyone being absolutely assured that the French dare not attempt any such thing.

Thursday, April 1. — I bought one or two books at Mr. Smith’s, on the Blind Quay. I wanted change for a guinea, but he could not give it; so I borrowed some silver of my companion. The next evening a young gentleman came from Mr. Smith’s to tell me I had left a guinea on his counter. Such an instance of honesty I have rarely met with, either in Bristol or London.

Chap 168. A Remarkable Premonition Fulfilled

Wednesday, 28. — I rode to Tullamore, where one of the society, Edward Willis, gave me a very surprising account of himself, he said:

|When I was about twenty years old, I went to Waterford for business. After a few weeks I resolved to leave it and packed up my things, in order to set out the next morning. This was Sunday, but my landlord pressed me much not to go till the next day. In the afternoon we walked out together and went into the river. After a while, leaving him near the shore, I struck out into the deep. I soon heard a cry and, turning, saw him rising and sinking in the channel of the river. I swam back with all speed and, seeing him sink again, dived down after him. When I was near the bottom, he clasped his arm round my neck and held me so fast that I could not rise.

|Seeing death before me, all my sins came into my mind and I faintly called for mercy. In a while my senses went away and I thought I was in a place full of light and glory, with abundance of people. While I was thus, he who held me died, and I floated up to the top of the water. I then immediately came to myself and swam to the shore, where several stood who had seen us sink and said they never knew such a deliverance before; for I had been under water full twenty minutes. It made me more serious for two or three months. Then I returned to all my sins.

|But in the midst of all, I had a voice following me everywhere, When an able minister of the gospel comes, it will be well with thee!’ Some years after I entered into the army; our troop lay at Phillipstown, when Mr. W. came. I was much affected by his preaching, but not so as to leave my sins. The voice followed me still, and when Mr. J. W. came, before I saw him I had an unspeakable conviction that he was the man I looked for. Soon after I found peace with God, and it was well with me indeed.|

Chap 169. Preaching in a Loft

Monday, May 10. — I went forward to Clonmell, the pleasantest town, beyond all comparison, which I have yet seen in Ireland. It has four broad, straight streets of well-built houses, which cross each other in the center of the town. Close to the walls, on the south side, runs a broad, clear river. Beyond this rises a green and fruitful mountain, and hangs over the town. The vale runs many miles both east and west, and is well cultivated throughout.

I preached at five in a large loft, capable of containing five or six hundred people. But it was not full, many being afraid of its falling, as another did some years before; by which several of the hearers were much hurt, and one so bruised that she died in a few days.

Tuesday, 11. — I was at a loss where to preach, the person who owned the loft refusing to let me preach there, or even in the yard below. And the commanding officer being asked for the use of the barrack-yard, answered, it was not a proper place. |Not,| said he, |that I have any objection to Mr. Wesley. I will hear him if he preaches under the gallows.| It remained to preach in the street, and by this means the congregation was more than doubled. Both the officers and soldiers gave great attention, till a poor man, special drunk, came marching down the street, attended by a popish mob, with a club in one hand and a large cleaver in the other, grievously cursing and blaspheming, and swearing he would cut off the preacher’s head. It was with difficulty that I restrained the troopers, especially them that were not of the society.

When he came nearer, the mayor stepped out of the congregation and strove, by good words, to make him quiet; but he could not prevail. He went into his house and returned with is white wand. At the same time he sent for two constables, who presently came with their staves. He charged them not to strike the man unless he struck first; but this he did immediately, as soon as they came within his reach, and wounded one of them in the wrist. On this, the other knocked him down, which he did three times before he would submit. The mayor then walked before, the constables on either hand, and conducted him to the gaol.

Chap 170. A Terrible Dream

Thursday, June 3. — I received a remarkable letter from a clergyman, whom I had been a day or two before. Part of it ran thus:

|I had the following account from the gentlewoman herself, a person of piety and veracity. She is now the wife of Mr. J — – B — -, silversmith, in Cork.

|’About thirty years ago, I was addressed by way of marriage by Mr. Richard Mercier, then a volunteer in the army. The young gentleman was quartered at that time in Charleville, where my father lived, who approved of his addresses and directed me to look upon him as my future husband. When the regiment left the town, he promised to return in two months and marry me. From Charleville he went to Dublin; thence to his father’s, and from thence to England; where, his father having bought him a Cornetcy of horse, he purchased many ornaments for the wedding; returning to Ireland, he let us know that he would be at our house in Charleville in a few days.

|’On this the family was busied to prepare for his reception and the ensuing marriage; when one night, my sister Molly and I being asleep in our bed, I was awakened by the sudden opening of the side-curtain and, starting up, saw Mr. Mercier standing by the bedside. He was wrapped up in a loose sheet, and had a napkin folded like a nightcap on his head. He looked at me very earnestly and, lifting up the napkin, which much shaded his face, showed me the left side of his head, all bloody and covered with his brains. The room meantime was quite light. My terror was excessive, which was still increased by his stooping over the bed and embracing me in his arms. My cries alarmed the whole family, who came crowding into the room.

|’Upon their entrance, he gently withdrew his arms, and ascended, as it were, through the ceiling. I continued for some time in strong fits. When I could speak, I told them what I had seen. One of them, a day or two after, going to the postmaster for letters, found him reading the newspapers, in which was an account that Cornet Mercier’s going into Christ Church belfry, in Dublin, just after the bells had been ringing; he was standing under the bells when one of them, which was turned bottom upwards, suddenly turned again, struck one side of his head, and killed him on the spot. On further inquiry, we found he was struck on the left side of his head.’|

Sunday, July 4. — In the morning we rode through Tuam, a neat little town, scarcely half so large as Islington; nor is the cathedral half so large as Islington church. The old church at Kilconnel, two miles from Aghrim, is abundantly larger. If one may judge by the vast ruins that remain (over all which we walked in the afternoon), it was a far more stately pile of building than any that is now standing in Ireland. Adjoining it are the ruins of a large monastery; many of the cells and apartments are pretty entire. At the west end of the church lie abundance of skulls, piled one upon another, with innumerable bones round about, scattered as dung upon the earth. O sin, what has thou done!

Chap 171. The Delights of North Wales

Friday, August 6. — On this and the next day I finished my business in Ireland, so as to be ready to sail at an hour’s warning.

Sunday, 8. — We were to sail, the wind being fair; but as we were going aboard, it turned full east. I find it of great use to be in suspense: it is an excellent means of breaking our will. May we be ready either to stay longer on this shore or to launch into eternity!

On Tuesday evening I preached my farewell sermon. Mr. Walsh did the same in the morning. We then walked to the quay. But it was still a doubt whether we were to sail or no, Sir T. P. having sent word to the captain of the packet that if the wind were fair, he would go over; and it was his custom to keep the whole ship to himself. But the wind coming to the east, he would not go; so about noon we went on board. In two or three hours we reached the mouth of the harbor. It then fell calm. We had five cabin-passengers beside Mr. Walsh, Haughton, Morgan, and me. They were all civil and tolerably serious; the sailors likewise behaved uncommonly well.

Thursday, 12. — About eight we began singing on the quarter-deck and soon drew all our fellow passengers, as well as the captain, with the greatest part of his men. I afterward gave an exhortation. We then spent some time in prayer. They all kneeled down with us; nor did their seriousness wear off all the day. About nine we landed at Holyhead, after a pleasant passage of twenty-three hours.

Friday, 13. — Having hired horses for Chester, we set out about seven. Before one we reached Bangor, the situation of which is delightful beyond expression. Here we saw a large and handsome cathedral, but no trace of the good old monks of Bangor so many hundreds of whom fell a sacrifice at once to cruelty and revenge. The country from hence to Penmaen-Mawr is far pleasanter than any garden. Mountains of every shape and size, vales clothed with grass or corn, woods and smaller tufts of trees, were continually varying on the one hand, as was the sea prospect on the other.

Penmaen-Mawr itself rises almost perpendicular to an enormous height from the sea. The road runs along the side of it, so far above the beach that one could not venture to look down except that there is a wall built all along, about four feet high. Meantime, the ragged cliff hangs over one’s head as if it would fall every moment. An hour after we had left this awful place, we came to the ancient town of Conway. It is walled round, and the walls are in tolerably good repair. The castle is the noblest ruin I ever saw. It is four-square and has four large round towers, one at each corner, the inside of which have been stately apartments. One side of the castle is a large church, the windows and arches of which have been curiously wrought. An arm of the sea runs round two sides of the hill on which the castle stands — once the delight of kings, now overgrown with thorns and inhabited by doleful birds only.

Chap 172. Wesley's Debt of 1236

Wednesday, 25. — We rode on to Bristol.

Thursday, 26. — About fifty of us being met, the Rules of the Society were read over and carefully considered one by one; but we did not find any that could be spared. So we all agreed to abide by them all and to recommend them with our might.

We then largely considered the necessity of keeping in the church and using the clergy with tenderness, and there was no dissenting voice. God made us all of one mind and judgment.

Friday, 27. — The Rules of the Bands were read over and considered, one by one; which rules, after some verbal alterations, we all agreed to observe and enforce.

Saturday, 28. — My brother and I closed the conference by a solemn declaration of our purpose never to separate from the church, and all our brethren concurred therein.

Monday, September 6. — I set out in the machine, and on Tuesday evening came to London.

Wednesday and Thursday, I settled my temporal business. It is now about eighteen years since I began writing and printing books; and how much in that time have I gained by printing? Why, on summing up my accounts, I found that on March 1, 1756 (the day I left London last), I had gained by printing and preaching together a debt of twelve hundred and thirty-six pounds.

Sunday, October 10. — I preached to a huge multitude in Moorfields on |Why will ye die, O house of Israel?| It is field-preaching which does the execution still; for usefulness there is none comparable to it.

Chap 173. Wesley on Electricity as a Cure

Tuesday, November 9. — Having procured an apparatus on purpose, I ordered several persons to be electrified who were ill of various disorders; some of whom found an immediate, some a gradual, cure. From this time I appointed, first some hours in every week and afterward an hour in every day, wherein any that desired it might try the virture of this surprising medicine. Two or three years after, our patients were so numerous that we were obliged to divide them: so part were electrified in Southwark, part at the Foundry, others near St. Paul’s, and the rest near the Seven Dials. The same method we have taken ever since; and to this day, while hundreds, perhaps thousands, have received unspeakable good, I have not known one man, woman, or child, who has received any hurt thereby: so that when I hear any talk of the danger of being electrified (especially if they are medical men who talk so), I cannot but impute it to great want either of sense or honesty.

Chap 174. Introduction

1757. Tuesday, May 31. — I breakfasted at Dumfries and spent an hour with a poor backslider of London, who had been for some years settled there. We then rode through an uncommonly Pleasant country (so widely distant is common report from truth) to Thorny Hill, two or three miles from the Duke of Queensborough’s seat; an ancient and noble pile of building, delightfully situated on the side of a pleasant and fruitful hill. But it gives no pleasure to its owner, for he does not even behold it with his eyes. Surely this is a sore evil under the sun; a man has all things and enjoys nothing.

We rode afterward partly over and partly between some of the finest mountains, I believe, in Europe; higher than most, if not than any, in England, and clothed with grass to the very top. Soon after four we came to Lead Hill, a little town at the foot of the mountains, wholly inhabited by miners.

Chap 175. In Glasgow Cathedral

Wednesday, June 1. — We rode on to Glasgow; a mile short of which we met Mr. Gillies, riding out to meet us.

In the evening the tent (so they call a covered pulpit) was Placed in the yard of the poorhouse, a very large and commodious Place. Fronting the pulpit was the infirmary, with most of their manner of baptizing. I believe this removed much prejudice.

Friday, 3. — At seven the congregation was increased, and earnest attention sat on every face. In the afternoon we walked to the college and saw the new library, with the collection of pictures. Many of them are by Raphael, Rubens, Van Dyck, and other eminent hands; but they have not room to place them to advantage, their whole building being very small.

Saturday, 4 — l walked through all parts of the old cathedral, a very large and once beautiful structure; I think, more lofty than that at Canterbury and nearly the same length and breadth. We then went up the main steeple, which gave us a fine prospect both of the city and the adjacent country. A more fruitful and better cultivated plain is scarcely to be seen in England. Indeed nothing is wanting but more trade (which would, naturally bring more people), to make a great part of Scotland no way inferior to the best counties in England.

I was much pleased with the seriousness of the people in the evening; but still I prefer the English congregation. I cannot be reconciled to men sitting at prayer, or covering their heads while they are singing praise to God.

Chap 176. Wesley Sings a Scotch Psalm

Thursday, 9. — Today, Douglas, the play which has made so much noise, was put into my hands. I was astonished to find it is one of the finest tragedies I have ever read. What pity that a few lines were not left out, and that it was ever acted at Edinburghl

Friday, 10. — l found myself much out of order, till the flux stopped at once, without any medicine. But being still weak, and the sun shining extremely hot, I was afraid I should not be able to go round by Kelso. Vain fear! God took care, for this also. The wind, which had been full east for several days, turned this morning full west and blew just in our face; about ten the clouds rose and kept us cool till we came to Kelso.

At six, William Coward and I went to the market house. We stayed some time, and neither man, woman, nor child came near us. At length I began singing a Scotch psalm, and fifteen or twenty people came within hearing, but with great circumspection, keeping their distance as though they knew not what might follow. But while I prayed, their number increased; so that in a few minutes there was a pretty large congregation. I suppose the chief men of the town were there; and I spared neither rich nor poor. I almost wondered at myself, it not being usual with me to use so keen and cutting expressions; and I believe many felt that, for all their form, they were but heathens still.

Monday, 13 — l proclaimed the love of Christ to sinners, in the market place at Morpeth. Thence we rode to Placey. The society of colliers here may be a pattern to all the societies in England. No person ever misses his band or class; they have no jar of any kind among them but with one heart and one mind |provoke one another to love and to good works.| After preaching I met the society in a room as warm as any in Georgia; this, with the scorching heat of the sun when we rode on, quite exhausted my strength. But after we came to Newcastle I soon recovered and preached with as much ease as in the morning.

Thursday, 16. — In the evening I preached at Sunderland. I then met the society and told them plainly that none could stay with us unless he would part with all sin; particularly, robbing the King, selling or buying run goods, which I could no more suffer than robbing on the highway. This I enforced on every member the next day. A few would not promise to refrain, so these I was forced to cut off. About two hundred and fifty were of a better mind.

Wednesday, 22. — In the evening and the following morning I preached at Chester-on-the-Strate. Observing some very fine, but not very modest, pictures in the parlor where we supped, I desired my companion, when the company was gone, to put them where they could do no hurt. He piled them on a heap in a corner of the room, and they have not appeared since.

Chap 177. I Do Indeed Live by Preaching!

Thursday, July 28 (Sheffield). — I received a strange account from Edward Bennet’s eldest daughter:

On Tuesday, the twelfth of this month, I told my husband in the morning, ‘I desire you will not go into the water today, at least, not into the deep water, on the far side of the town; for I dreamed I saw you there out of your depth, and only your head came up just above the water.’ He promised me he would not, and went to work.

|Soon after four in the afternoon, being at John Hanson’s (his partner’s) house, I was on a sudden extremely sick, so that for some minutes I seemed just ready to expire. Then I was well in a moment. Just at that time, John Hanson, who was an excellent swimmer, persuaded my husband to go into the water on the far side of the town. He objected — the water was deep, and he could not swim; being much importuned to go in, he stood some time after he was undressed, and then kneeling down, prayed with an earnest and loud voice. When he rose from his knees, John, who was swimming, called him again and, treading the water, said, ‘See, it is only breast-high.’ He stepped in and sank. A man who was near, cutting fern, and who had observed him for some time, ran to the bank and saw his head come up just above the water. The second or third time he rose, he clasped his hands, and cried aloud, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Immediately he sank, and rose no more.|

One might naturally inquire, What became of John Hanson? As soon as he saw his partner sink, he swam from him to the other side, put on his clothes, and went straight home.

About noon I preached at Woodseats; in the evening at Sheffield. I do indeed live by preaching!

How quiet is this country now, since the chief persecutors are no more seen! How many of them have been snatched away in an hour when they looked not for it! Some time since, a woman of Thorpe often swore she would wash her bands in the heart’s blood of the next preacher that came. But before the next preacher came she was carried to her long home. A little before John Johnson settled at Wentwerth, a stout, healthy man who lived there told his neighbors, |After May Day we shall have nothing but praying and preaching but I will make noise enough to stop it.| But before May Day he was silent in his grave. A servant of Lord R — was as bitter as he and told many lies purposely to make mischief; but before this was done, his mouth was stopped. He was drowned in one of the fishponds.

Chap 178. Wesley at Charterhouse

Monday, August 8 (London). — I took a walk in the Charterhouse. I wondered that all the squares and buildings, and especially the schoolboys, looked so little. But this is easily accounted for. I was little myself when I was at school and measured all about me by myself. Accordingly, the upper boys being then bigger than myself seemed to me very big and tall, quite contrary to what they appear now when I am taller and bigger than they. I question if this is not the real ground of the common imagination that our forefathers, and in general men in past ages, were much larger than now, an imagination current in the world eighteen hundred years ago. Whereas, in reality, men have been, at least ever since the deluge, very nearly the same as we find them now, both for stature and understanding.

Friday, September 7. — I rode to St. Agnes.

Sunday, 4 — I. T. preached at five. I could scarcely have believed if I had not heard it that few men of learning write so correctly as an unlearned tinner speaks extempore. Mr. V. preached two such thundering sermons at church as I have scarcely heard these twenty years.

Monday, 5. — l rode on to Illogan, but not to the house where I used to preach; indeed his wife promised Mr. P., before he died, that she would always receive the preachers; but she soon changed her mind. God has just taken her only son, suddenly killed by a pit failing upon him; and on Tuesday last, a young, strong man, riding to his burial, dropped off his horse stone dead. The concurrence of these awful providences added considerably to our congregation.

Saturday, 10. — We rode to the Land’s End. I know no natural curiosity like this. The vast ragged stones rise on every side, when you are near the point of land, with green turf between as level and smooth as if it were the effect of art. And the rocks which terminate the land are so torn by the sea that they appear like great heaps of ruins.

Sunday, 11. — I preached at St. Just at nine. At one, the congregation in Morva stood on a sloping ground, rank above rank, as in a theater. Many of them bewailed their want of God, and many tasted how gracious He is.

At five I preached in Newlyn, to a huge multitude; and one only seemed to be offended — a very good sort of woman, who took great pains to get away, crying aloud, |Nay, if going to church and sacrament will not put us to heaven, I know not what will.

Chap 179. Wesley Opposed by Mayor and Minister

Wednesday, 21. — After an hour with a few friends in Truro, I rode forward to Grampound, a mean, inconsiderable, dirty village. However, it is a borough townl Between twelve and one I began preaching in a meadow, to a numerous congregation. While we were singing, I observed a person in black on the far side of the meadow, who said, |’Come down; you have no business there.| Some boys who were on a wall, taking it for granted that he spoke to them, got down in all haste. I went on, and he walked away. I afterward understood that he was the minister and the Mayor of Grampound. Soon after, two constables came and said, |Sir, the mayor says you shall not preach within his borough.| I answered, |The mayor has no authority to hinder me. But it is a point not worth contesting.| So I went about a musket-shot farther and left the borough to Mr. Mayor’s disposal.

Thursday, 22. — I rode to Mevagissey, which lies on the south sea, just opposite to Port Isaac on the north. When I was here last, we had no place in the town; I could only preach about half a mile from it. But things are altered now: I preached just over the town, to almost all the inhabitants, and all were still as night. The next evening a drunken man made some noise behind me. But after a few words were spoken to him, he quietly listened to the rest of the discourse.

Saturday, 24 — At half-hour after twelve I preached once more and took my leave of them. All the time I stayed the wind blew from the sea so that no boat could stir out. By this means all the fishermen (who are the chief part of the town) had opportunity of hearing.

At six I preached at St. Austle, a neat little town on the side of a fruitful hill.

Sunday, 25. — At two I preached in St. Stephen’s, near a lone house, on the side of a barren mountain; but neither the house nor the court could contain the people; so we went into a meadow, where all might kneel (which they generally do in Cornwall), as well as stand and hear. And they did hear, and sing, and pray, as for life. I saw none careless or inattentive among them.

Chap 180. Fire at Kingswood School

Monday, October 24 — l preached about noon at Bath, and in the evening at Escot, near Lavington.

Tuesday, 25. — In my return, a man met me near Hannam and told me the schoolhouse at Kingswood had burned down. I felt not one moment’s pain, knowing that God does all things well. When I came thither, I received a fuller account: about eight on Monday evening, two or three boys went into the gallery, up two pair of stairs. One of them heard a strange crackling in the room above. Opening the staircase door, he was beat back by smoke, on which he cried out, |Firel Murderl Fire!| Mr. Baynes, hearing this, ran immediately down and brought up a pail of water. But when he went into the room and saw the blaze, he had not presence of mind to go up to it but threw the water upon the floor.

Meantime one of the boys rang the bell; another called John Maddern from the next house, who ran up, as did James Burges quickly after, and found the room all in a flame. The deal partitions took fire immediately, which spread to the roof of the house. Plenty of water was now brought; but they could not come nigh the place where it was wanted, the room being so filled with flame and smoke that none could go into it. At last a long ladder, which lay in the garden, was reared up against the wall of the house. But it was then observed that one of the sides of it was broken in two and the other quite rotten. However, John How (a young man who lived next door) ran up it, with an axe in his hand. But he then found the ladder was so short that, as he stood on the top of it, he could but just lay one hand over the battlements.

How he got over to the leads none can tell; but he did so and quickly broke through the roof, on which a vent being made, the smoke and flame issued out as from a furnace. Those who were at the foot of the stairs with water, being able to go no further, then went through the smoke to the door of the leads and poured it down through the tiling. By this means the fire was quickly quenched, having consumed only a part of the partition, with a box of clothes, and a little damaged the roof and the floor beneath.

Chap 181. In Norfolk and Suffolk

Wednesday, November 23 (Norwich). — I was shown Dr. Taylor’s new meetinghouse, perhaps the most elegant one in Europe. It is eight-square, built of the finest brick, with sixteen sash-windows below, as many above, and eight skylights in the dome, which, indeed, are purely ornamental. The inside is finished in the highest taste and is as clean as any nobleman’s saloon. The communion table is fine mahogany; the very latches of the pew doors are polished brass. How can it be thought that the old, coarse gospel should find admission here?

Thursday, 24. — A man had spoken to me the last week as I was going through Thetford, and desired me to preach at Lakenheath, near Mildenhall, in Suffolk. I now purposed so to do and rode thither from Thetford. One Mr. Evans had lately built a large and convenient preaching house there, at his own expense. It was more than filled at six o’clock, many standing at the door. At five in the morning (as uncommon a thing as this was in those parts) the house was nearly filled again with earnest, loving, simple people. Several of them came in to Mr. E’s house after- ward, stood a while, and then burst into tears. I promised to call upon them again and left them much comforted.

1758. Wednesday, January 4. — I rode to Kingswood and rejoiced over the school, which is at length what I have so long wished it to be — a blessing to all that are therein, and an honor to the whole body of Methodists.

Chap 182. Another Ninety-mile Journey

Monday, March 6 (London). — I took horse about seven o’clock. The wind being east, I was pleasing myself that we should have it on our back; but in a quarter of an hour it shifted to the northwest and blew the rain full in our face; both increased so that when we came to Finchley Common it was hard work to sit our horses. The rain continued all the way to Dunstable, where we exchanged the main road for the fields; which, having been just ploughed, were deep enough. However, before three we came to Sundon.

Hence, on Thursday, 9, I rode to Bedford and found the sermon was not to be preached till Friday. Had I known this in time, I should never have thought of preaching it, having engaged to be at Epworth on Saturday.

Friday, 10. — The congregation at St. Paul’s was very large and very attentive. The judge, immediately after the sermon, sent me an invitation to dine with him. But having no time, I was obliged to send my excuse and set out between one and two. The northeast wind was piercing cold and, blowing exactly in our faces, soon brought a heavy shower of snow, then of sleet, and afterward of hail. However, we reached Stilton at seven, about thirty miles from Bedford.

Rest was now the more sweet, because both our horses were lame. However, resolving to reach Epworth at the time appointed, I set out in a post chaise between four and five in the morning; but the frost made it so bad driving that my companion came with the lame horses into Stamford as soon as I. The next stage I went on horseback; but I was then obliged to leave my mare and take another post chaise. I came to Bawtry about six. Some from Epworth had come to meet me, but were gone half an hour before I came. I knew no chaise could go the rest of the road, so it remained only to hire horses and a guide.

We set out about seven, but I soon found my guide knew no more of the way than I. However, we got pretty well to Idlestop, about four miles from Bawtry, where we had just light to discern the river at our side and the country covered with water. I had heard that one Richard Wright lived thereabouts who knew the road over the moor perfectly well. Hearing one speak (for we could not see him), I called |Who is there?| He answered, |Richard Wright.| I soon agreed with him, and he quickly mounted his horse and rode boldly forward. Tne northeast wind blew full in our faces; and I heard them say, |It is very cold!| But neither my face, nor hands, nor feet were cold till between nine and ten when we came to Epworth; after traveling more than ninety miles, I was little more tired than when I rose in the morning.

Chap 183. Wesley's Advice to Travelers

Tuesday, August 1. — The captain with whom we were to sail was in great haste to have our things on board; but I would not send them while the wind was against us. On Wednesday he sent message after message, so in the evening we went down to the ship, near Passage; but there was nothing ready, or near ready for sailing. Hence I learned two or three rules very needful for those who sail between England and Ireland: 1) never pay till you set sail; 2) go not on board till the captain goes on board; 3) send not your baggage on board till you go yourself.

Thursday, 17 — l went to the Bristol cathedral to hear Mr. Handel’s Messiah. I doubt if that congregation was ever so serious at a sermon as they were during this performance. In many parts, especially several of the choruses, it exceeded my expectation.

Monday, October 16. — I rode to Canterbury. As we came into the city, a stone flew-out of the pavement and struck my mare upon the leg with such violence that she dropped down at once. I kept my seat till, in struggling to arise, she fell again and rolled over me. When she rose I endeavored to rise too but found I had no use of my right leg or thigh. But an honest barber came out, lifted me up, and helped me into his shop. Feeling myself very sick, I desired a glass of cold water, which instantly gave me ease.

Friday, 27 — I rode on through an extremely pleasant and fruitful country, to Colchester. I have seen very few such towns in England. It lies on the ridge of a hill, with other hills on each side which run parallel with it at a small distance. The two main streets, one running east and west, the other north and south, are quite straight the whole length of the town and fully as broad as Cheapside.

I preached at four on St. John’s Green, at the side of a high old wall (a place that seemed to be made on purpose), to an extremely attentive audience; and again at eight in the morning, on Saturday, 28, and at four in the afternoon. In the hours between I took the opportunity of speaking to the members of the society. In three months here are joined together a hundred and twenty persons. A few of these know in whom they have believed, and many are sensible of their wants.

Chap 184. Wesley at Norwich and Colchester

Sunday, November 5 (Norwich). — We went to St. Peter’s Church, the Lord’s supper being administered there. I scarcely ever remember to have seen a more beautiful parish church: the more so, because its beauty results not from foreign ornaments, but from the very form and structure of it. It is very large and of an uncommon height, and the sides are almost all window; so that it has an awful and venerable look and, at the same time, surprisingly cheerful.

Monday, December 4 — I was desired to step into the little church behind the Mansion House, commonly called St. Stephen’s, Walbrook. It is nothing grand, but neat and elegant beyond expression. So that I do not wonder at the speech of the famous Italian architect who met Lord Burlington in Italy: |My Lord, go back and see St. Stephen’s in London. We have not so fine a piece of architecture in Rome.|

Friday, 29. — Today I walked all over the famous castle (Colchester), perhaps the most ancient building in England. A considerable part of it is, without question, fourteen or fifteen hundred years old. It was mostly built with Roman bricks, each of which is about two inches thick, seven broad, and thirteen or fourteen long. Seat of ancient kings, British and Roman, once dreaded far and near! But what are they now? Is not |a living dog better than a dead lion|? And what is it wherein they prided themselves, as do the present great ones of the earth?


A little pomp, a little sway,

A sunbeam in a winter’s clay,

Is all the great and mighty have

Between the cradle and the gravel

1759. Sunday, May 6. — I received much comfort at the old church (Liverpool) in the morning and at St. Thomas’s in the afternoon. It was as if both the sermons had been made for me. I pity those who can find no good at church. But how should they if prejudice come between, an effectual bar to the grace of God?

Chap 185. The Sands of Ravenglass

Saturday, 12. — Setting out early we came to Bottle about twenty-four measured miles from Fluckborough, soon after eight, having crossed the Millam Sand without either guide or difficulty. Here we were informed that we could not pass at Ravenglass before one or two o’clock; whereas, had we gone on (as we afterwards found), we might have passed immediately. About eleven we were directed to a ford near Manchester Hall, which they said we might cross at noon. When we came thither, they told us we could not cross; so we sat still till about one. We then found we could have crossed at noon. However, we reached Whitehaven before night. But I have taken my leave of the sand road. I believe it is ten measured miles shorter than the other. But there are four sands to pass, so far from each other that it is scarcely possible to pass them all in a day; especially as you have all the way to do with a generation of liars who detain all strangers as long as they can, either for their own gain or their neighbors’. I can advise no stranger to go this way; he may go round by Kendal and Keswick, often in less time, always with less expense and far less trial of his patience.

Chap 186. Useless Doctors

Reflecting today on the case of a poor woman who had continual pain in her stomach, I could not but remark the inexcusable negligence of most physicians in cases of this nature. They prescribe drug upon drug without knowing a jot of the matter concerning the root of the disorder. And without knowing this, they cannot cure, though they can murder, the patient. Whence came this woman’s pain? (which she would never have told, had she never been questioned about it) from fretting for the death of her son. And what availed medicines while that fretting continued? Why then do not all physicians consider how far bodily disorders are caused or influenced by the mind, and in those cases, which are utterly out of their sphere, call in the assistance of a minister; as ministers, when they find the mind disordered by the body, call in the assistance of a physician? But why are these cases out of their sphere? Because they know not God. It follows, no man can be a thorough physician without being an experienced Christian.

Thursday, 17. — I inquired into a signal instance of Providence. When a coalpit runs far under the ground it is customary here to build a partition wall, nearly from the shaft to within three or four yards of the end, in order to make the air circulate; it then moves down one side of the wall, turns at the end, and then moves briskly up on the other side. In a pit two miles from the town, which ran full four hundred yards under the ground and had been long neglected, several parts of this wall were fallen down. Four men were sent down to repair it. They were about three hundred yards from the shaft, when the foul air took fire. In a moment it tore down the wall from end to end; and, burning on till it came to the shaft, it then burst and went off like a large cannon.

Chap 187. Fire in a Coalpit

The men instantly fell on their faces, or they would have been burned to death in a few moments. One of them, who once knew the love of God (Andrew English), began crying aloud for mercy. But in a very short time his breath was stopped. The other three crept on their hands and knees, till two got to the shaft and were drawn up; but one of them died in a few minutes. John McCombe was drawn up next, burned from head to foot, but rejoicing and praising God. They then went down for Andrew, whom they found senseless, the very circumstance which saved his life. For, losing his senses, he lay flat on the ground, and the greatest part of the fire went over him; whereas, had he gone forward on his hands and knees, he would undoubtedly have been burned to death. But life or death was welcome; for God had restored the light of His countenance.

Monday, 21. — I preached at ten in the market place at Wigton and came to Solway Frith, just as the water was fordable. At some times it is so three hours in twelve; at other times, barely one.

After making a short bait at Rothwell, we came to Dumfries before six o’clock. Having time to spare, we took a walk in the churchyard, one of the pleasantest places I ever saw. A single tomb I observed there, which was about a hundred and thirty years old; but the inscription was hardly legible. So soon do even our sepulchers die! Strange that men should be so careful about them! But are not many self-condemned therein? They see the folly, while they run into it. So poor Mr. Prior, speaking of his own tomb, has those melancholy words, |For this last piece of human vanity, I bequeath five hundred pounds.|

Tuesday, 22. — We rode through a pleasant country to Thorny Hill, near which is the grand seat of the Duke of Queensborough. How little did the late duke imagine that his son would plough up his park and let his house run to ruin! But let it go! In a little time the earth itself, and all the works of it, shall be burned up.

Hence we rode through and over huge mountains, green to the very top, to Lead Hills; this village contains five hundred families who have had no minister for these four years. So in Scotland, the poor have not the gospel preached! Who shall answer for the blood of these men?

Chap 188. Newcastle as a Summer Resort

Monday, June 4. — After preaching (at Alnwick), I rode on to Newcastle. Certainly if I did not believe there was another world, I should spend all my summers here; I know no place in Great Britain comparable to it for pleasantness. But I seek another country and therefore am content to be a wanderer upon the earth.

Thursday, 21.-I preached at Nafferton at one. As I was riding thence, one stopped me on the road and said, |Sir, do you not remember, when you were at Prudhoe two years since and you breakfasted at Thomas Newton’s? I am his sister. You looked upon me as you were going out, and said, ‘Be in earnest.’ I knew not then what earnestness meant, nor had any thought about it; but the words sank into my heart so that I could never rest any more till I sought and found Christ.

Chap 189. Wesley Likes a Soft Cushion

Friday, 22. — I rode to S — k and preached to my old congregation of colliers on |Why will ye die, O house of Israel?| After preaching, a servant of Mr. — – came and said, |Sir, my master discharges you from preaching any more on his ground; not out of any disrespect to you, but he will stand by the Church.| |Simple master Shallowl| as Shakespeare has it: wise, wise master rector, his counselor!

Saturday, 23. — I spoke to each of the society in Sunderland. Most of the robbers, commonly called smugglers, have left us; but more than twice the number of honest people are already come in their place. And if none had come, yet should I not dare to keep those who steal hither from the King or subject.

On Monday and Tuesday evening I preached abroad, near the Keelman’s Hospital, to twice the people we should have had at the house. What marvel the devil does not love field preaching? Neither do I. I love a commodious room, a soft cushion, a handsome pulpit. But where is my zeal if I do not trample all these under foot in order to save one more soul?

Wednesday, July 4 (Hartlepool). — Mr. Jones preached at five, I at eight. Toward the close of the sermon, a queer, dirty, clumsy man, I suppose a country wit, took a deal of pains to disturb the congregation. When I had done, fearing he might hurt those who were gathered about him, I desired two or three of our brethren to go to him, one after the other, and not say much themselves but let him talk till he was weary. They did so, but without effect, as his fund of ribaldry seemed inexhaustible. W. A. then tried another way. He got into the circle close to him and listening a while said, |This is pretty; pray say it over again.| |What! are you deaf?| |No; but for the entertainment of the people. Come; we are all attention.| After repeating this twice or thrice, the wag could not stand it; but, with two or three curses, walked clear off.

Chap 190. Defeating the Press-gang

In the evening I began near Stockton market place as usual. I had hardly finished the hymn when I observed the people, in great confusion; this was occasioned by a lieutenant of a man-of-war who had chosen that time to bring his press-gang and ordered them to take Joseph Jones and William Alwood. Joseph Jones told him, |Sir, I belong to Mr. Wesley.| After a few words, he let him go; as he did likewise William Alwood, after a few hours, understanding he was a licensed preacher. He likewise seized upon a young man of the town, but the women rescued him by main strength. They also broke the lieutenant’s head and so stoned both him and his men that they ran away with all speed.

Friday, August 3. — I preached at Gainsborough in Sir Nevil Hickman’s great hall. It is fully as large as the Weaver’s Hall in Bristol. At two it was filled with a rude, wild multitude (a few of a better spirit excepted). Yet all but two or three gentlemen were attentive, while I enforced our Lord’s words, |What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?| I was walking back through a gaping, staring crowd when Sir Nevil came and thanked me for my sermon, to the no small amazement of his neighbors, who shrank back as if they had seen a ghost.

Chap 191. Extraordinary Trances

Monday, 6 (Everton). — I talked largely with Ann Thorn and two others, who had been several times in trances. What they all agreed in was 1) that when they went away, as they termed it, it was always at the time they were fullest of the love of God; 2) that it came upon them in a moment, without any previous notice and took away all their senses and strength; 3) that there were some exceptions, but in general, from that moment, they were in another world, knowing nothing of what was done or said by all that were round about them.

About five in the afternoon I heard them singing hymns. Soon after, Mr. B. came up and told me Alice Miller (fifteen years old) had fallen into a trance. I went down immediately and found her sitting on a stool and leaning against the wall, with her eyes open and fixed upward. I made a motion as if going to strike, but they continued immovable. Her face showed an unspeakable mixture of reverence and love, while silent tears stole down her cheeks. Her lips were a little open, and sometimes moved; but not enough to cause any sound.

I do not know whether I ever saw a human face look so beautiful; sometimes it was covered with a smile, as from joy, mixing with love and reverence; but the tears fell still though not so fast. Her pulse was quite regular. In about half an hour I observed her countenance change into the form of fear, pity, and distress; then she burst into a flood of tears and cried out, |Dear Lord; they will be damned! They will all be damnedl| But in about five minutes her smiles returned, and only love and joy appeared in her face.

About half an hour after six, I observed distress take place again; and soon after she wept bitterly and cried out, |Dear Lord, they will go to hell! The world will go to hell!| Soon after, she said, |Cry aloud! Spare not!| And in a few moments her look was composed again and spoke a mixture of reverence, joy, and love. Then she said aloud, |Give God the glory.| About seven her senses returned. I asked, |Where have you been?| — |I have been with my Saviour.| |In heaven, or on earth?| — |I cannot tell; but I was in glory.| |Why then did you cry?| — |Not for myself, but for the world; for I saw they were on the brink of hell.| |Whom did you desire to give the glory to God?| — |Ministers that cry aloud to the world; else they will be proud; and then God will leave them, and they will lose their own souls.

Chap 192. Wesley Rides Twenty-four Hundred Miles in Seven Months

Tuesday, 7. — After preaching at four (because of the harvest) I took horse and rode easily to London. Indeed I wanted a little rest; having ridden, in seven months, about four-and-twenty hundred miles.

Monday, 13 — l took a little ride to Croydon, one of the seats of the Archbishops of Canterbury. Was it one of these who ordered, many years ago (for the characters are of old standing), that dreadful inscription to be placed just over the communion table? |And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts, and one shall take you away with it| [Mal.2-1-3].

The Archbishop’s palace is an ancient, venerable pile, and the gardens are extremely pleasant. The late Archbishop had improved them at a large expense; but continual illness prevented his enjoying them; till, after four years’ constant pain, he was called away — one may hope to the garden of God.

I dined at Mr. B.’s, in Epsom, whose house and gardens lie in what was once a chalkpit. It is the most elegant spot I ever saw with my eyes, everything within doors and without being finished in the most exquisite taste. Surely nothing on earth can be more delightful. Oh, what will the possessor feel when he cries out,


Must I then leave thee, paradise? then leave

These happy shades, and mansions fit for gods?

Thursday, 30 — l preached at the Tabernacle in Norwich to a large, rude, noisy congregation. I took knowledge, what manner of teachers they had been accustomed to and determined to mend them or end them. Accordingly, the next evening after sermon I reminded them of two things: the one, that it was not decent to begin talking aloud as soon as service was ended, and hurrying to and fro, as in a bear garden. The other, that it was a bad custom to gather in knots just after sermon and turn a place of worship into a coffee house. I therefore desired that none would talk under that roof, but go quietly and silently away. And on Sunday, September 2, I had the pleasure to observe that all went as quietly away as if he had been accustomed to it for many years.

Sunday, September 9. — I met the society at seven and told them in plain terms that they were the most ignorant, self-conceited, self-willed, fickle, untractable, disorderly, disjointed society that I knew in the three kingdoms. And God applied it to their hearts so that many were profited; but I do not find that one was offended.

Chap 193. Field-preaching Expedient

Friday 14. — l returned to London. Saturday, 15. Having left orders for the immediate repairing of West Street Chapel, I went to see what they had done and saw cause to praise God for this also. The main timbers were so rotten that in many places one might thrust his fingers into them. So that probably, had we delayed till spring, the whole building must have fallen to the ground.

Monday, 17. — l went to Canterbury. Two hundred soldiers, I suppose, and a whole row of officers attended in the evening. Their number was increased the next evening, and all behaved as men fearing God. Wednesday, 19, I preached at Dover, in the new room which is just finished. Here also the hearers increase, some of whom are convinced and others comforted daily. Thursday, 20. I strongly applied at Canterbury to the soldiers in particular, |He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life| [I John 5:12]. The next day, in my return to London, I read Mr. Huygens’s Conjectures on the Planetary World. He surprised me. I think he clearly proves that the moon is not habitable: that there are neither

Rivers nor mountains on her spotty globe;

that there is no sea, no water on her surface, nor any atmosphere; and hence he very rationally infers that |neither are any of the secondary planets inhabited.| And who can prove that the primary are? I know the earth is. Of the rest I know nothing.

Sunday, 23. — A vast majority of the immense congregation in Moorfields were deeply serious. One such hour might convince any impartial man of the expediency of field-preaching. What building, except St. Paul’s Church, would contain such a congregation? And if it would, what human voice could have reached them there? By repeated observations I find I can command thrice the number in the open air that I can under a roof. And who can say the time for field-preaching is over while 1) greater numbers than ever attend; 2) the converting, as well as convincing, power of God is eminently present with them?

Chap 194. Wesley Clothes French Prisoners

Monday, October 1 (Bristol). — All my leisure time, during my stay at Bristol, I employed in finishing the fourth volume of |Discourses|; probably the last which I shall publish.

Monday, 15 — l walked up to Knowle, a mile from Bristol, to see the French prisoners. About eleven hundred of them, we are informed, were confined in that little place, without anything to lie on but a little dirty straw, or anything to cover them but a few foul thin rags, either by day or night, so that they died like rotten sheep. I was much affected and preached in the evening on (Exodus 23:9), |Thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.| Eighteen pounds were contributed immediately, which were made up four-and-twenty the next day. With this we bought linen and woolen cloth, which were made up into shirts, waistcoats, and breeches. Some dozen of stockings were added; all which were carefully distributed where there was the greatest want. Soon after, the Corporation of Bristol sent a large quantity of mattresses and blankets. And it was not long before contributions were set on foot at London and in various parts of the kingdom; so that I believe from this time they were pretty well provided with all the necessaries of life.

Chap195. The Truth about Trances

Saturday, November 17 (London). — I spent an hour agreeably and profitably with Lady G — H — , and Sir C — H — . It is well a few of the rich and noble are called. Oh, that God would increase their number! But I should rejoice (were it the will of God), if it were done by the ministry of others. If I might choose, I should still (as I have done hitherto) preach the gospel to the poor.

Friday, 23. — The roads were so extremely slippery that it was with much difficulty we reached Bedford. We had a pretty large congregation; but the stench from the swine under the room was scarcely supportable. Was ever a preaching place over a hogsty before? Surely they love the gospel who come to hear it in such a place.

Sunday, 25 — In the afternoon God was eminently present with us, though rather to comfort than convince. But I observed a remarkable difference, since I was here (Everton) before, as to the manner of the work. None now were in trances, none cried out, none fell down or were convulsed; only some trembled exceedingly, a low murmur was heard, and many were refreshed with the multitude of peace.

The danger was to regard extraordinary circumstances too much, such as outcries, convulsions, visions, trances; as if these were essential to the inward work, so that it could not go on without them. Perhaps the danger is, to regard them too little; to condemn them altogether; to imagine they had nothing of God in them, and were a hindrance to his work. Whereas the truth is 1) God suddenly and strongly convinced many that they were lost sinners; the natural consequence whereof were sudden outcries and strong bodily convulsions; 2) to strengthen and encourage them that believed, and to make His work more apparent, He favored several of them with divine dreams, others with trances and visions; 3) in some of these instances, after a time, nature mixed with grace; 4) Satan likewise mimicked this work of God in order to discredit the whole work; and yet it is not wise to give up this part any more than to give up the whole. At first, it was, doubtless, wholly from God. It is partly so at this day; and He will enable us to discern how far, in every case, the work is pure and where it mixes or degenerates.

Wednesday, 28. — I returned to London; on Thursday, 29, the day appointed for the general thanksgiving, I preached again in the chapel near the Seven Dials, both morning and afternoon. I believed the oldest man in England has not seen a thanksgiving day so observed before. It had the solemnity of the general fast. All the shops were shut up; the people in the streets appeared, one and all, with an air of seriousness; the prayers, lessons, and whole public service were admirably suited to the occasion. The prayer for our enemies, in particular, was extremely striking; perhaps it is the first instance of the kind in Europe. There was no noise, hurry, bonfires, fireworks in the evening, and no public diversions. This is indeed a Christian holiday, a |rejoicing unto the Lord.| The next day came the news that Sir Edward Hawke had dispersed the French fleet.

Sunday, December 9. — I had, for the first time, a love-feast for the whole society. Wednesday, 12. I began reading over the Greek Testament and the notes, with my brother and several others; carefully comparing the translation with the original and correcting or enlarging the notes as we saw occasion.

The same day I spent part of the afternoon in the British Museum. There is a large library, a great number of curious manuscripts, many uncommon monuments of antiquity, and the whole collection of shells, butterflies, beetles, grasshoppers, and so forth, which the indefatigable Sir Hans Sloane, with such vast expense and labor, procured in a life of fourscore years.

Chap 196. Wesley and the Irish Question

1760. Wednesday, January 16. — One came to me, as she said, with a message from the Lord, to tell me that I was laying up treasures on earth, taking my ease, and minding only my eating and drinking. I told her God knew me better; and if He had sent her, He would have sent her with a more proper message.

Monday, April 21. — In riding to Rosmead I read Sir John Davis’s Historical Relations concerning Ireland. None who reads these can wonder that, fruitful as it is, it was always so thinly inhabited; for he makes it plain 1) that murder was never capital among the native Irish; the murderer paid only a small fine to the chief of his sept; style=|#_ftn29| name=|_ftnref29|> 2) when the English settled here, still the Irish had no benefit of the English laws. They could not so much as sue an Englishman. So the English beat, plundered, yea, murdered them, at pleasure. Hence 3) arose continual wars between them, for three hundred and fifty years together; and hereby both the English and Irish natives were kept few, as well as poor.

4) When they were multiplied during a peace of forty years, from 1600 to 1641, the general massacre, with the ensuing war, again thinned their numbers; not so few as a million of men, women, and children, being destroyed in four years’ time.5) Great numbers have ever since, year by year, left the land merely for want of employment.6) The gentry are continually driving away hundreds, yea, thousands, of them that remain, by throwing such quantities of arable land into pasture, which leaves them neither business nor food. This it is that now dispeoples many parts of Ireland, of Connaught in particular, which, it is supposed, has scarcely half the inhabitants at this day which it had fourscore years ago.

Chap 197. Attack on Wesley's Hat

Tuesday, June 10. — I rode to Drumersnave, a village delightfully situated.

At noon William Ley, Jaynes Glasbrook, and I rode to Carrick-upon-Shannon. In less than an hour, an esquire and justice of the peace came down with a drum and what mob he could gather. I went into the garden with the congregation, while he was making a speech to his followers in the street. He then attacked William Ley (who stood at the door), being armed with a halbert and long sword, and ran at him with the halbert; but missing his thrust, he then struck at him and broke it short upon his wrist. Having made his way through the house to the other door, he was at a full stop. James Glasbrook held it fast on the other side.

While he was endeavoring to force it open, one told him I was preaching in the garden. On this he quitted the door in haste, ran round the house, and with part of his retinue, climbed over the wall into the garden; with a whole volley of oaths and curses declared, |You shall not preach here today.| I told him, |Sir, I do not intend it, for I have preached already.| This made him ready to tear the ground. Finding he was not to be reasoned with, I went into the house. Soon after he revenged himself on James Glasbrook (by breaking the truncheon of his halbert on his arm), and on my hat, which he beat and kicked most valiantly; but a gentleman rescued it out of his hands, and we rode quietly out of the town.

Wednesday, September 10. — When I came to St. Ives, I was determined to preach abroad; but the wind was so high, I could not stand where I had intended. But we found a little enclosure near it, one end of which was native rock, rising ten or twelve feet perpendicular, from which the ground fell with an easy descent. A jetting out of the rock, about four feet from the ground, gave me a very convenient pulpit. Here well nigh the whole town, high and low, rich and poor, assembled together. Nor was there a word to be heard, or a smile seen, from one end of the congregation to the other. It was just the same the three following evenings. Indeed I was afraid on Saturday that the roaring of the sea, raised by the north wind, would have prevented their hearing. But God gave me so clear and strong a voice that I believe scarcely one word was lost.

Sunday, 14. — At eight I chose a large ground, the sloping side of a meadow, where the congregation stood, row above row, so that all might see as well as hear. It was a beautiful sight. Everyone seemed to take to himself what was spoken. I believe every back-slider in the town was there. And surely God was there, to |heal their backslidings.|

I began at Zennor, as soon as the church service ended; I suppose scarcely six persons went away.

At five I went once more into the ground at St. Ives and found such a congregation as I think was never seen in a place before (Gwennap excepted) in this county. Some of the chief of the town were now not in the skirts, but in the thickest of the people. The clear sky, the setting sun, the smooth, still water, all agreed with the state of the audience.

Chap 198. A Kind of Waterspout

Wednesday, 17. — The room at St. Just was quite full at five, and God gave us a parting blessing. At noon I preached on the cliff near Penzance, where no one now gives an uncivil word. Here I procured an account, from an eyewitness, of what happened the twenty-seventh of last month. A round pillar, narrowest at bottom, of a whitish color, rose out of the sea near Mousehole and reached the clouds. One who was riding over the strand from Marazion to Penzance saw it stand for a short space and then move swiftly toward her, till the skirt of it touching her, the horse threw her and ran away. It had a strong sulphurous smell. It dragged with it abundance of sand and pebbles from the shore; and then went over the land, carrying with it corn, furze, or whatever it found in its way. It was doubtless a kind of waterspout; but a waterspout on land, I believe, is seldom seen.

Friday, 19. — I rode to Illogan. We had heavy rain before I began, but scarcely any while I was preaching. I learned several other particulars here concerning the waterspout. It was seen near Mousehole an hour before sunset. About sunset it began traveling over the land, tearing up all the furze and shrubs it met. Nearly an hour after sunset it passed (at the rate of four or five miles an hour) across Mr. Harris’s fields, in Camborne, sweeping the ground as it went, about twenty yards in diameter at bottom, and broader and broader up to the clouds. It made a noise like thunder, took up eighteen stacks of corn, with a large haystack and the stones whereon it stood, scattered them abroad (but it was quite dry), and then passed over the cliff into the sea.

Saturday, 20. — In the evening I took my old stand in the main street in Redruth. A multitude of people, rich and poor, calmly attended. So is the roughest become one of the quietest towns in England.

Chap 199. A Tinner's Story

Sunday, 21. — I preached in the same place at eight. Mr. C — p of St. Cubert, preached at the church both morning and afternoon and strongly confirmed what I had spoken. At one, the day being mild and calm, we had the largest congregation of all. But it rained all the time I was preaching at Gwennap. We concluded the day with a love-feast, at which James Roberts, a tinner of St. Ives, related how God had dealt with his soul.

He was one of the first in the society in St. Ives, but soon relapsed into his old sin, drunkenness, and wallowed in it for two years, during which time he headed the mob who pulled down the preaching-house. Not long after, he was standing with his partner at Edward May’s shop when the preacher went by. His partner said, |I will tell him I am a Methodist.| |Nay,| said Edward, |your speech will betray you.| James felt the word as a sword, thinking in himself, |So does my speech now betray mel| He turned and hastened home, fancying he heard the devil stepping after him all the way. For forty hours he never closed his eyes or tasted either meat or drink. He was then at his wit’s end and went to the window, looking to drop into hell instantly, when he heard those words, |I will be merciful to thy unrighteousness, thy sins and iniquities will I remember no more| [see Heb.8:12]. All his load was gone; and he has now for many years walked worthy of the gospel.

Wednesday, October 22. — Being informed that some neighboring gentlemen had declared they would apprehend the next preacher who came to Pensford, I rode over to give them the meeting; but none appeared. The house was more than filled with deeply attentive hearers. It seems the time is come at length for the Word of God to take root here also.

Friday, 24 — l visited the French prisoners at Knowle and found many of them almost naked again. In hopes of provoking others to jealousy, I made another collection for them and ordered the money to be laid out in linen and waistcoats, which were given to those that were most in want.

Saturday, 25. — King George was gathered to his fathers. When will England have a better Prince?

Many of us agreed to observe Friday, 31, as a day of fasting and prayer for the blessing of God upon our nation, and in particular on his present Majesty. We met at five, at nine, at one, and at half-past eight. I expected to be a little tired, but was more lively after twelve at night than I was at six in the morning.

Chap 200. Wesley Writes to the London Chronicle

1761. January, Friday 2. — I wrote the following letter:

|To the Editor of the London Chronicle.

|Sir, — Of all the seats of woe on this side hell, few, I suppose, exceed or even equal Newgate. If any region of horror could exceed it a few years ago, Newgate in Bristol did; so great was the filth, the stench, the misery and wickedness, which shocked all who had a spark of humanity left.

How was I surprised then, when I was there a few weeks ago! 1) Every part of it, above stairs and below, even the pit wherein the felons are confined at night is as clean and sweet as a gentleman’s house; it being now a rule that every prisoner wash and clean his apartment thoroughly twice a week.2) Here is no fighting or brawling. If any thinks himself ill-used, the cause is immediately referred to the keeper, who hears the contending parties face to face and decides the affair at once.3) The usual grounds of quarreling are removed. For it is very rarely that anyone cheats or wrongs another, as being sure, if anything of this kind is discovered, to be committed to a closer confinement.

4) Here is no drunkenness suffered, however advantageous it might be to the keeper, as well as the tapster.5) Nor any whoredom; the women prisoners being narrowly observed and kept separate from the men; nor is any woman of the town now admitted, no, not at any price.6) All possible care is taken to prevent idleness; those who are willing to work at their callings are provided with tools and materials, partly by the keeper, who gives them credit at a very moderate profit; partly by the alms occasionally given, which are divided with the utmost prudence and impartiality. Accordingly, at this time, among others, a shoemaker, a tailor, a brazier, and a coachmaker are working at their several trades.

7) Only on the Lord’s day they neither work nor play, but dress themselves as clean as they can, to attend the public service in the chapel, at which every person under the roof is present. None is excused, unless sick; in which case he is provided, gratis, both with advice and medicines.8) And in order to assist them in things of the greatest concern (besides a sermon every Sunday and Thursday), they have a large Bible chained on one side of the chapel, which any of the prisoners may read. By the blessing of God on these regulations the prison now has a new face: nothing offends either the eye or ear, and the whole has the appearance of a quiet, serious family. And does not the keeper of Newgate deserve to be remembered full as well as the Man of Ross? May the Lord remember him in that day! Meantime, will no one follow his example? I am, Sir,

|Your humble servant,

|John Wesley.|

Saturday, March 14. — l rode (from Birmingham) to Wednesbury. Sunday, 15. I made a shift to preach within at eight in the morning; but in the afternoon I knew not what to do, having a pain in my side and a sore throat. However, I resolved to speak as long as I could. I stood at one end of the house, and the people (supposed to be eight or ten thousand) in the field adjoining. I spoke from, |I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord| [Phil.3:8]. When I had done speaking, my complaints were gone.

Monday, 16. — I intended to rest two or three days; but being pressed to visit Shrewsbury, and having no other time, I rode over today, though upon a miserable beast. When I came, my head ached as well as my side. I found the door of the place where I was to preach surrounded by a numerous rnob. But they seemed met only to starve. Yet part of them came in; almost all that did (a large number) behaved quietly and seriously.

Chap 201. Preaching in the Inn Yard

Tuesday, 17. — At five the congregation was large and appeared not a little affected. The difficulty now was how to get back, for I could not ride the horse on which I came. But this too was provided for. We met in the street with one who lent me his horse, which was so easy that I grew better and better till I came to Wolverhampton. None had yet preached abroad in this furious town; but I was resolved, with God’s help, to make a trial, and I ordered a table to be set in the inn-yard. Such a number of wild men I have seldom seen; but they gave me no disturbance, either while I preached, or when I afterward walked through the midst of them.

About five I preached to a far larger congregation at Dudley, and all as quiet as at London. The scene is changed since the dirt and stones of this town were flying about me on every side.

Saturday, May 2 (Aberdeen). — In the afternoon I sent to the principal and regent to desire leave to preach in the College Close. This was readily granted; but as it begin to rain, I was desired to go into the hall. I suppose this is fully a hundred feet long, and seated all around. The congregation was large, notwithstanding the rain; and fully as large at five in the morning.

Chap 202. Wesley Preaches at Aberdeen

Monday, 4. — About noon I took a walk to the King’s College, in Old Aberdeen. It has three sides of a square, handsomely built, not unlike Queen’s College in Oxford. Going up to see the hall, we found a large company of ladies, with several gentlemen. They looked and spoke to one another, after which one of the gentlemen took courage and came to me, He said, |We came last night to the College Close, but could not hear, and should be extremely obliged if you would give us a short discourse here.| I knew not what God might have to do; and so began without delay on |God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself| [II Cor.5:19]. I believe the word was not lost: it fell as dew on the tender glass.

In the afternoon I was walking in the library of the Marischal College, when the principal, and the divinity professor, came to me; and the latter invited me to his lodgings, where I spent an hour very agreeably. In the evening, the eagerness of the people made them ready to trample each other under foot. It was some time before they were still enough to hear; but then they devoured every word. After preaching, Sir Archibald Grant (whom business had called to town) sent and desired to speak to me. I could not then, but promised to wait upon him, with God’s leave, in my return to Edinburgh.

Tuesday, 5. — I accepted the principal’s invitation, and spent an hour with him at his house. I observed no stiffness at all, but the easy good breeding of a man of sense and learning. I suppose both he and all the professors, with some of the magistrates, attended in the evening. I set all the windows open; but the hall, notwithstanding, was as hot as a bagnio. style=|#_ftn30| name=|_ftnref30|>

Wednesday, 6. — At half-hour after six I stood in the College Close and proclaimed Christ crucified. My voice was so strengthened that all could hear, and all were earnestly attentive.

Chap203. Wesley's Criticism of Edinburgh

Monday, 11. — I took my leave of Edinburgh for the present. The situation of the city, on a hill shelving down on both sides, as well as to the east, with the stately castle upon a craggy rock on the west, is inexpressibly fine. And the main street, so broad and finely paved, with the lofty houses on either hand (many of them seven or eight stories high), is far beyond any in Great Britain. But how can it be suffered that all manner of filth should still be thrown even into this street continually? Where are the magistracy, the gentry, the nobility of the land? Have they no concern for the honor of their nation? How long shall the capital city of Scotland, yea, and the chief street of it, stink worse than a common sewer? Will no lover of his country, or of decency and common sense, find a remedy for this?

Holyrood House, at the entrance of Edinburgh, the ancient palace of the Scottish kings, is a noble structure. It was rebuilt and furnished by King Charles the Second. One side of it is a picture gallery wherein are pictures of all the Scottish kings, and an original one of the celebrated Queen Mary. It is scarcely possible for any who looks at this to think her such a monster as some have painted her; nor indeed for any who considers the circumstances of her death, equal to that of an ancient martyr.

Chap 204. A Busy Week

Monday, June 15. — l rode to Durham, having appointed to preach there at noon. The meadow, near the riverside, was quite convenient, and the small rain neither disturbed me nor the congregation. In the afternoon I rode to Hartlepool. But I had much ado to preach; my strength was gone as well as my voice; and indeed, they generally go together. Three days in a week I can preach thrice a day without hurting myself; but I had now far exceeded this, besides meeting classes and exhorting the societies. I was obliged to lie down a good part of Tuesday. However, in the afternoon I preached at Cherington, and in the evening at Hartlepool again, though not without difficulty. Wednesday, 17. I rode to Stockton, where, a little before the time of preaching, my voice and strength were restored at once. The next evening it began to rain just as I began to preach; but it was suspended till the service was over; it then rained again till eight in the morning.

Friday, 19. — It was hard work to ride eight miles (so called) in two hours and a half, the rain beating upon us, and the by-road being exceedingly slippery. But we forgot all this when we came to the Grange, so greatly was God present with His people. Thence we rode to Darlington. Here we were under a difficulty again; not half the people could come in, and the rain forbade my preaching without. But at one (the hour of preaching) the rain stopped and did not begin again till past two; so the people stood very conveniently in the yard, and many did not care to go away. When I went in, they crowded to the door and windows, and stayed till I took horse. At seven I preached at Yarm, style=|#_ftn31| name=|_ftnref31|> and desired one of our brethren to take my place in the morning.

Chap 205. Wesley and Impositions

Sunday, 21. — I rode to Osmotherley, where the minister read prayers seriously and preached a useful sermon. After service I began in the churchyard: I believe many were wounded and many comforted. After dinner I called on Mr. Adams, who first invited me to Osmotherley. He was reading the strange account of the two missionaries who have lately made such a figure in the newspapers. I suppose the whole account is just such another gross imposition upon the public as the man’s gathering the people together to see him go into the quart bottle. |Men seven hundred years old!| And why not seven yards high? He that can believe it, let him believe it.

Monday, 22. — I spoke, one by one, to the society at Hutton Rudby. At eleven I preached once more, though in great weakness of body, and met the stewards of all the societies. I then rode to Stokesley and, having examined the little society, went on for Guisborough. The sun was burning hot; but in a quarter of an hour a cloud interposed, and he troubled us no more. I was desired by a gentleman of the town to preach in the market place; and there a table was placed for me, but it was in a bad neighborhood; for there was so vehement a stench of stinking fish as was ready to suffocate me, and the people roared like the waves of the sea. But the voice of the Lord was mightier, and in a few minutes the whole multitude was still and seriously attended while I proclaimed |Jesus Christ, made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption| [1 Cor.1:30].

Tuesday, 23. — I began about five, near the same place, and had a great part of the same audience; yet they were not the same. The change might easily be read in their countenance. When we took horse and just faced the sun, it was hard work for man and beast; but about eight the wind shifted, and blowing in our face, kept us cool till we came to Whitby.

In the evening I preached on the top of the hill, to which you ascend by a hundred ninety-one steps. The congregation was exceedingly large, and ninety-nine in a hundred were attentive. When I began, the sun shone full in my face; but he soon clouded and shone no more till I had done.

Wednesday, 24. — l walked round the old Abbey, which, both with regard to its size (being, I judge, a hundred yards long) and the workmanship of it, is one of the finest, if not the finest, ruin in the kingdom. Hence we rode to Robin Hood’s Bay, where I preached at six in the Lower Street, near the quay. In the midst of the sermon a large cat, frightened out of a chamber, leaped down upon a woman’s head, and ran over the heads or shoulders of many more; but none of them moved or cried out any more than if it had been a butterfly.

Thursday, 25. — I had a pleasant ride to Scarborough, the wind tempering the heat of the sun. I had designed to preach abroad in the evening; but the thunder, lightning, and rain prevented. However, I stood on a balcony, and several hundreds of people stood below; and, notwithstanding the heavy rain, would not stir till I concluded.

Friday, July 3. — We returned to York, where I was desired to call upon a poor prisoner in the castle. I had formerly occasion to take notice of a hideous monster, called a chancery bill; I now saw the fellow to it, called a declaration. The plain fact was this: some time since a man who lived near Yarm assisted others in running some brandy. His share was nearly four pounds. After he had wholly left off that bad work and was following his own business, that of a weaver, he was arrested and sent to York gaol; and, not long after, comes down a declaration, |that Jac. Wh — – had landed a vessel laded with brandy and Geneva, at the port of London, and sold them there, whereby he was indebted to his Majesty five hundred and seventy-seven pounds and upwards.| And to tell this worthy story, the lawyer takes up thirteen or fourteen sheets of treble stamped paper.

Chap 206. A Monster Called a Declaration

O England, England! will this reproach never be rolled away from thee? Is there anything like this to be found, either among Papists, Turks, or heathens? In the name of truth, justice, mercy, and common sense I ask, 1) Why do men lie for lying sake? Is it only to keep their hands in? What need else of saying it was the port of London when everyone knew the brandy was landed above three hundred miles from thence? What a monstrous contempt of truth does this show, or rather hatred to it! 2) Where is the justice of swelling four pounds into five hundred and seventy-seven? 3) Where is the common sense of taking up fourteen sheets to tell a story that may be told in ten lines? 4) Where is the mercy of thus grinding the face of the poor? thus sucking the blood of a poor, beggared prisoner? Would not this be execrable villainy if the paper and writing together were only sixpence a sheet, when they have stripped him already of his little all and not left him fourteen groats in the world?

Sunday, 5. — Believing one hindrance of the work of God in York was the neglect of field-preaching, I preached this morning at eight, in an open place near the city walls. Abundance of people ran together, most of whom were deeply attentive. One or two only were angry and threw a few stones; but it was labor lost; for none regarded them.

Sunday, 12. — I had appointed to be at Haworth; but the church would not nearly contain the people who came from all sides. However, Mr. Grimshaw had provided for this by fixing a scaffold on the outside of one of the windows, through which I went after prayers, and the people likewise all went out into the churchyard. The afternoon congregation was larger still. What has God wrought in the midst of those rough mountains!

Chap 207. Some Impudent Women

Monday, 13. — About five I preached at Paddiham, another place eminent for all manner of wickedness. The multitude of people obliged me to stand in the yard of the preaching-house. Over against me, at a little distance, sat some of the most impuident women I ever saw; yet I am not sure that God did not reach their hearts, for


They roar’d, and would have blush’d, if capable of shame.

Friday, 24. — About one I preached at Bramley, where Jonas Rushford, about fourteen years old, gave me the following relation: |About this time last year I was desired by two of our neighbors to go with them to Mr. Crowther’s at Skipton, who would not speak to them, about a man that had been missing twenty days, but bid them bring a boy twelve or thirteen years old. When we came in, he stood reading a book.

Chap 208. Seen in a Looking Glass

He put me into a bed, with a looking glass in my hand, and covered me all over. Then he asked me whom I had a mind to see; and I said, ‘My mother.’ I presently saw her with a lock of wool in her hand, standing just in the place, and the clothes she was in, as she told me afterwards. Then he bid me look again for the man that was missing, who was one of our neighbors. And I looked and saw him riding toward Idle, but he was very drunk; and he stopped at the alehouse and drank two pints more, and he pulled out a guinea to change. Two men stood by, a big man and a little man; and they went on before him, and got two hedge-stakes; and when he came up, on Windle Common, at the top of the hill, they pulled him off his horse, killed him, and threw him into a coalpit. And I saw it all as plain as if I was close to them. And if I saw the men, I should know them again.

|We went back to Bradford that night; and the next day I went with our neighbors and showed them the spot where he was killed, and the pit he was thrown into; and a man went down and brought him up. And it was as I had told them; his handkerchief was tied about his mouth, and fastened behind his neck.|

Is it improbable only, or flatly impossible, when all the circumstances are considered, that this should all be pure fiction? They that can believe this, may believe a man’s getting into a bottle.

Monday, July 27. — l preached at Staincross about eleven; about five, at Barley Hall; the next morning at Sheffield. In the afternoon I rode on to Matlock Bath. The valley which reaches from the town to the bath is pleasant beyond expression. In the bottom of this runs a little river, close to which a mountain rises, almost perpendicular, to an enormous height; part is covered with green, part with ragged and naked rocks. On the other side, the mountain rises gradually with tufts of trees here and there. The brow on both sides is fringed with trees, which seem to answer each other.

Chap 209. Wesley at Matlock Bath and Boston

Many of our friends were come from various parts. At six I preached standing under the hollow of a rock, on one side of a small plain, on the other side of which was a tall mountain. There were many well-dressed hearers, this being the high season; and all of them behaved well. But as I walked back, a gentleman-like man asked me, |Why do you talk thus of faith? Stuff, nonsensel| Upon inquiry, I found he was an eminent deist. What, has the plague crept into the Peak of Derbyshire?

Thursday, August 13. — l took a walk through Boston. I think it is not much smaller than Leeds, but, in general, it is far better built. The church is indeed a fine building. It is larger, loftier, nay, and rather more lightsome, than even St. Peter’s at Norwich; and the steeple is, I suppose, the highest tower in England, nor less remarkable for the architecture than the height.

Saturday, November 14. — l spent an hour with a little company near Grosvenor Square. For many years this has been the darkest, driest spot of all in or near London. But God has now watered the barren wilderness and it has become a fruitful field.

Preaching at Deptford, Welling, and Sevenoaks, in my way, on Thursday, December 3, I came to Shoreham. There I read the celebrated Life of St. Katherine, of Genoa. Mr. Lesley calls one |a devil of a saint|: I am sure this was a fool of a saint; that is, if it was not the folly of her historian, who has aggrandized her into a mere idiot. Indeed we seldom find a saint of God’s making, sainted by the Bishop of Rome.

Friday, 25 (London). — We began, as usual, at four. A few days since, one who lived in known sin, finding heavy conviction broke away and ran out, she knew, not whither. She met one who offered her a shilling a week to come and take care of her child. She went gladly. The woman’s husband hearing her stir between three and four began cursing and swearing bitterly. His wife said, |I wish thou wouldest go with her, and see if anything will do thee good.| He did so. In the first hymn God broke his heart and he was in tears all the rest of the service. How soon did God recompense this poor woman for taking the stranger inl

Chap 210. Preaching by Moonlight

1762. Monday, January 4. — After preaching to a large congregation at Wrestlingworth, we rode on to Harston. I never preached a whole sermon by moonlight before. However, it was a solemn season; a season of holy mourning to some; to others, of joy unspeakable.

Monday, March 29. — I preached about twelve in the new room at Chepstow. One of the congregation was a neighboring clergyman, who had lived in the same staircase with me at Christ Church and was then far more serious than I. Blessed be God, who has looked upon me at last! Now let me redeem the timel

In the afternoon we had such a storm of hail as I scarcely ever saw in my life. The roads likewise were so extremely bad that we did not reach Hereford till past eight. Having been well battered both by hail, rain, and wind, I got to bed as soon as I could, but was wakened many times by the clattering of the curtains. In the morning I found the casement wide open; but I was never the worse. I took horse at six, with William Crane and Francis Walker. The wind was piercing cold, and we had many showers of snow and rain; but the worst was, part of the road was scarcely passable; so that at Church Stretton, one of our horses lay down and would go no farther. However, William Crane and I pushed on, and before seven reached Shrewsbury.

A large company quickly gathered together. Many of them were wild enough, but the far greater part were calm and attentive and came again at five in the morning.

Chap 211. Some Rough Journeys

Wednesday, 31. — Having been invited to preach at Wem, style=|#_ftn32| name=|_ftnref32|> Mrs. Glynne desired she might take me thither in a post chaise; but in little more than an hour we were fast enough; however, the horses pulled till the traces broke. I should then have walked had I been alone, though the mud was deep, and the snow drove impetuously; but I could not leave my friend. So I waited patiently till the man had made shift to rnend the traces; and the horses pulled amain so that with much ado, not long after the time appointed, I came to Wem.

I came, but the person who invited me was gone — gone out of town at four in the morning. I could find no one who seemed either to expect or desire my company. I inquired after the place where Mr. Mather preached; but it was filled with hemp. It remained only to go into the market house, but neither any man, woman, nor child cared to follow us; for the north wind roared so loud on every side and poured in from every quarter. However, before I had done singing, two or three crept in; and after them, two or three hundred; and the power of God was so present among them that I believe many forgot the storm.

The wind grew still higher in the afternoon so that it was difficult to sit our horses; and it blew full in our face, but could not prevent our reaching Chester in the evening. Though the warning was short, the room was full; and full of serious, earnest hearers, many of whom expressed a longing desire of the whole salvation of God. Here I rested on Thursday.

Friday, April 2. — I rode to Parkgate, and found several ships, but the wind was contrary. I preached at five in the small house they have just built; and the hearers were remarkably serious. I gave notice of preaching at five in the morning. But at half-hour after four one brought us word that the wind was come fair, and Captain Jordan would sail in less than an hour. We were soon in the ship, wherein we found about three-score passengers. The sun shone brightly, the wind was moderate, the sea smooth, and we wanted nothing but room to stir ourselves; the cabin being filled with hops, so that we could not get into it but by climbing over them on our hands and knees. In the afternoon we were abreast of Holyhead. But the scene was quickly changed: the wind rose higher and higher and by seven o’clock blew a storm. The sea broke over us continually and sometimes covered the ship, which both pitched and rolled in an uncommon manner. So I was informed; for, being a little sick, I lay down at six, and slept with little intermission, till nearly six in the morning. We were then near Dublin Bay, where we went into a boat which carried us to Dunleary. There we met with a chaise just ready, in which we went to Dublin.

Chap 212. Remarkable Speaking Statue

Monday, April 26. — In the evening I preached to a large congregation in the market house at Lurgan. I now embraced the opportunity which I bad long desired of talking with Mr. Miller, the contriver of that statue which was in Lurgan when I was there before. It was the figure of an old man standing in a case, with a curtain drawn before him, over against a clock which stood on the other side of the room. Every time the clock struck, he opened the door with one hand, drew back the curtain with the other, turned his head, as if looking round on the company, and then said with a clear, loud, articulate voice, |Past one, two, three,| and so on. But so many came to see this (the like of which all allowed was not to be seen in Europe) that Mr. Miller was in danger of being ruined, not having time to attend his own business; so, as none offered to purchase it or reward him for his pains, he took the whole machine in pieces; nor has he any thought of ever making anything of the kind again.

Wednesday, 28. — In the morning I rode to Monaghan. The commotions in Munster having now alarmed all Ireland, we had hardly alighted, when some wise persons informed the provost there were three strange sort of men come to the King’s Arms. So the provost with his officers came without delay to secure the north from so imminent a danger. I had just come out when I was required to return into the house. The provost asked me many questions, and perhaps the affair might have turned serious had I not had two letters with me which I had lately received; one from the Bishop of Londonderry, the other from the Earl of Moira. Upon reading these, he excused himself for the trouble he had given and wished me a good journey.

Between six and seven I preached at Coot Hill, and in the morning rode on to Enniskillin. After riding round and round, we came in the evening to a lone house called Carrick-a-beg. It lay in the midst of horrid mountains; and had no very promising appearance. However, it afforded corn for our horses and potatoes for us. So we made a hearty supper, called in as many as pleased of the family to prayers, and, though we had no fastening either for our doors or our windows, slept in peace.

Chap 213. Wesley and the Oatmeal Sellers

Monday, May 3 (Sligo). — In the evening a company of players began acting in the upper part of the market house, just as we began singing in the lower. The case of these is remarkable. The Presbyterians for a long time had their public worship here; but when the strollers came to town, they were turned out and from that time had no public worship at all. On Tuesday evening the lower part too was occupied by buyers and sellers of oatmeal; but as soon as I began, the people quitted their sacks and listened to business of greater importance.

Sunday, 16. — I had observed to the society last week that I had not seen one congregation ever in Ireland behave so ill at church as that at Athlone, laughing and staring about during the whole service. I had added, |This is your fault; for if you had attended the church, as you ought to have done, your presence and example would not have failed to influence the whole congregation.| And so it appeared; I saw not one today, either laughing, talking, or staring about; but a remarkable seriousness was spread from the one end of the church to the other.

Chap 214. The Irish Whiteboys

Monday, 24. — l went with two friends to see one of the greatest natural wonders in Ireland — Mount Eagle, vulgarly called Crow Patrick. The foot of it is fourteen miles from Castlebar. There we left our horses and procured a guide. It was just twelve when we alighted; the sun was burning hot, and we had not a breath of wind. Part of the ascent was a good deal steeper than an ordinary pair of stairs. About two we gained the top, which is an oval, grassy plain, about a hundred and fifty yards in length and seventy or eighty in breadth. The upper part of the mountain much resembles the Peak of Teneriffe. I think it cannot rise much less than a mile perpendicular from the plain below. There is an immense prospect on one side toward the sea, and on the other over the land. But as most of it is waste and uncultivated, the prospect is not very pleasing.

Monday, June 14. — I rode to Cork. Here I procured an exact account of the late commotions. About the beginning of December last, a few men met by night near Nenagh, in the county of Limerick, and threw down the fences of some commons, which had been lately inclosed. Near the same time the others met in the county of Tipperary, of Waterford, and of Cork. As no one offered to suppress or hinder them, they increased in number continually and called themselves Whiteboys, wearing white cockades and white linen frocks. In February, there were five or six parties of them, two or three hundred men in each, who moved up and down, chiefly in the night; but for what end did not appear. Only they leveled a few fences, dug up some grounds, and hamstrung some cattle, perhaps fifty or sixty in all.

One body of them came into Cloheen, of about five hundred foot and two hundred horse. They moved as exactly as regular troops and appeared to be thoroughly disciplined. They now sent letters to several gentlemen, threatening to pull down their houses. They compelled everyone they met to take an oath to be true to Queen Sive (whatever that meant) and the Whiteboys; not to reveal their secrets; and to join them when called upon. It was supposed that eight or ten thousand were now actually risen, many of them well armed and that a far greater number were ready to rise whenever they should be called upon. Those who refused to swear, they threatened to bury alive. Two or three they did bury up to the neck, and left them; these would quickly have perished had they not been found in time by some traveling by. At length, toward Easter, a body of troops, chiefly light horse, was sent against them. Many were apprehended and committed to gaol; the rest of them disappeared. This is the plain, naked fact, which has been so variously represented.

Chap 215. Whitewashing Kilkenny Marble

Saturday, July 10. — We rode to Kilkenny, one of the pleasantest and the most ancient cities in the kingdom and not inferior to any at all in wickedness, or in hatred to this way. I was therefore glad of a permission to preach in the Town Hall, where a small, serious company attended in the evening. Sunday, 11. I went to the cathedral, one of the best built which I have seen in Ireland.

The pillars are all of black marble; but the late Bishop ordered them to be whitewashed. Indeed, marble is so plentiful near this town that the very streets are paved with it.

Monday, 12. — I went to Dunmore Cave, three or four miles from Kilkenny. It is fully as remarkable as Poole’s Hole, or any other in the Peak. The opening is round, parallel to the horizon and seventy or eighty yards across. In the midst of this there is a kind of arch, twenty or thirty feet high. By this you enter into the first cave, which is nearly round and forty or fifty feet in diarneter. It is encompassed with spar-stones, just like those on the sides of Poole’s Hole. On one side of the cave is a narrow passage which goes under the rock two or three hundred yards; on the other, a hollow which no one has ever been able to find an end of. I suppose this hole too, as well as many others, was formed by the waters of the deluge retreating into the great abyss, with which probably it communicates.

Monday, 26. — In some respects the work of God in Dublin was more remarkable than even that in London.1) It is far greater, in proportion to the time and to the number of people. That society had above seven-and-twenty hundred members; this not a fifth part of the number. Six months after the flame broke out there, we had about thirty witnesses of the great salvation. In Dublin there were about forty in less than four months.2.) The work was more pure. In all this time, while they were mildly and tenderly treated, there were none of them headstrong or unadvisable; none that were wiser than their teachers; none who dreamed of being immortal or infallible or incapable of temptation: in short, no whimsical or enthusiastic persons; all were calm and sober-minded.

Chap 216. Wesley in Cornwall

Friday, August 27. — l set out for the west and having preached at Shepton and Middlesey in the way, came on Saturday to Exeter. When I began the service there, the congregation (beside ourselves) were two women and one man. Before I had done, the room was about half full. This comes of omitting field-preaching.

Sunday, 29. — I preached at eight on Southernay Green, to an extremely quiet congregation. At the cathedral we had a useful sermon, and the whole service was performed with great seriousness and decency. Such an organ I never saw or heard before, so large, beautiful, and so finely toned; and the music of |Glory Be to God in the Highest| I think exceeded the Messiah itself. I was well pleased to partake of the Lord’s supper with my old opponent, Bishop Lavington. Oh, may we sit down together in the kingdom of our Fatherl

At five I went to Southernay Green again and found a multitude of people; but a lewd, profane, drunken vagabond had so stirred up many of the baser sort that there was much noise, hurry, and confusion. While I was preaching, several things were thrown, and much pains taken to overturn the table; and after I concluded, many endeavored to throw me down, but I walked through the midst and left them.

Saturday, September 4. — After preaching in Grampound, I rode on to Truro. I almost expected there would be some disturbance, as it was market day, and I stood in the street at a small distance from the market. But all was quiet. Indeed both persecution and popular tumult seem to be forgotten in Cornwall.

Sunday, 5. — As I was enforcing, in the same place, those solemn words, |God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ| [Gal.6:14], a poor man began to make some tumult; but many cried out, |Constables, take him away.| They did so, and the hurry was over. At one I preached in the main street at Redruth, where rich and poor were equally attentive. The wind was so high at five that I could not stand in the usual place at Gwennap. But at a small distance was a hollow, capable of containing many thousand people. I stood on one side of this amphitheater toward the top, with the people beneath and on all sides, and enlarged on those words in the Gospel for the day (Luke 10:23, 24), |Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see, and which hear the things that ye hear.|

Widnesday, 15. — The more I converse with the believers in Cornwall, the more I am convinced that they have sustained great loss for want of hearing the doctrine of Christian perfection clearly and strongly enforced. I see that wherever this is not done, the believers grow dead and cold. Nor can this be prevented but by keeping up in them an hourly expectation of being perfected in love. I say an hourly expectation; for to expect it at death, or some time hence, is much the same as not expecting it at all.

That detestable practice of cheating the King (smuggling) is no more found in our societies. And since that accursed thing has been put away, the work of God has everywhere increased.

Monday, October 25. — l preached at one, in the shell of the new house at Shepton Mallet. In digging the foundation they found a quarry of stone, which was more than sufficient for the house.

Thursday, 28. — One who had adorned the gospel in life and in death, having desired that I should preach her funeral sermon, I went with a few friends to the house and sang before the body to the room. I did this the rather to show my approbation of that solemn custom and to encourage others to follow it. As we walked, our company swiftly increased, so that we had a very numerous congregation at the room. And who can tell, but some of these may bless God from it to all eternity?

Chap 217. Wesley's Day of Pentecost

Many years ago my brother frequently said, |Your day of Pentecost is not fully come; but I doubt not it will; and you will then hear of persons sanctified as frequently as you do now of persons justified.| Any unprejudiced reader may observe that it was now fully come. And accordingly we did hear of persons sanctified, in London and most other parts of England, and in Dublin and many other parts of Ireland, as frequently as of persons justified; although instances of the latter were far more frequent than they had been for twenty years before. That many of these did not retain the gift of God is no proof that it was not given them. That many do retain it to this day is matter of praise and thanksgiving. And many of them are gone to Him whom they loved, praising Him with their latest breath; just in the spirit of Ann Steed, the first witness in Bristol of the great salvation; who, being worn out with sickness and racking pain, after she had commended to God all that were round her, lifted up her eyes, cried aloud, |Glory! Hallelujah!| and died.

Chap 218. Wesley in Aberdeen Again

1763. Monday, May 16. — Setting out a month later than usual, I judged it needful to make the more haste; so I took post chaises and by that means easily reached Newcastle on Wednesday, 18. Thence I went on at leisure and came to Edinburgh, on Saturday, 21. The next day I had the satisfaction of spending a little time with Mr. Whitefield. Humanly speaking, he is worn out; but we have to do with Him who hath all power in heaven and earth.

Monday, 23. — I rode to Forfar and on Tuesday, 24, rode on to Aberdeen.

Wednesday, 25. — l inquired into the state of things here. Surely never was there a more open door. The four ministers of Aberdeen, the minister of the adjoining town, and the three ministers of Old Aberdeen, hitherto seem to have no dislike but rather to wish us |good luck in the name of the Lord.| Most of the townspeople as yet seem to wish us well, so that there is no open opposition of any kind. Oh, what spirit ought a preacher to be of that he may be able to bear all this sunshine!

About noon I went to Gordon’s Hospital, built near the town for poor children. It is an exceedingly handsome building and (what is not common) kept exceedingly clean. The gardens are pleasant, well laid out, and in extremely good order; but the old bachelor who founded it has expressly provided that no woman should ever be there.

At seven, the evening being fair and mild, I preached to a multitude of people in the College Close on |Stand in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths| [Jer.6:16]. But the next evening, the weather being raw and cold, I preached in the College Hall. What an amazing willingness to hear runs through this whole kingdom! There want only a few zealous, active laborers, who desire nothing but God, and they might soon carry the gospel through all this country, even as high as the Orkneys.

Chap 219. Plain Dealing in Scotland

Friday, 27. — I set out for Edinburgh again. About one I preached at Brechin. All were deeply attentive. Perhaps a few may not be forgetful hearers. Afterward we rode on to Broughty Castle, two or three miles below Dundee. We were in hopes of passing the river here, though we could not at the town; but we found out horses could not pass till eleven or twelve at night. So we judged it would be best to go over ourselves and leave them behind. In a little time we procured a kind of boat, about half as long as a London wherry, style=|#_ftn35| name=|_ftnref35|> and three or four feet broad. Soon after we had put off, I perceived it leaked on all sides, nor had we anything to lade out the water. When we came toward the middle of the river, which was three miles over, the wind being high, and the water rough, our boatmen seemed a little surprised; but we encouraged them to pull away, and in less than half an hour we landed safe. Our horses were brought after us, and the next day we rode on to Kinghorn Ferry and had a pleasant passage to Leith.

Sunday, 29. — I preached at seven in the High School yard, Edinburgh. It being the time of the General Assembly, which drew together not the ministers only, but abundance of the nobility and gentry, many of both sorts were present; but abundantly more at five in the afternoon. I spake as plainly as ever I did in my life. But I never knew any in Scotland offended at plain dealing. In this respect the North Britons are a pattern to all mankind.

Tuesday, June 7. — There is something remarkable in the manner wherein God revived His work in these parts. A few months ago the generality of people in this circuit were exceedingly lifeless. Samuel Meggot, perceiving this, advised the society at Barnard Castle to observe every Friday with fasting and prayer. The very first Friday they met together, God broke in upon them in a wonderful manner; and His work has been increasing among them ever since. The neighboring societies heard of this, agreed to follow the same rule, and soon experienced the same blessing.

Is not the neglect of this plain duty (I mean fasting, ranked by our Lord with almsgiving and prayer) one general occasion of deadness among Christians? Can anyone willingly neglect it and be guiltless?

Chap 220. The Drunkard's Magnificat

Thursday, 16. — At five in the evening I preached at Dewsbury and on Friday, 17, reached Manchester. Here I received a particular account of a remarkable incident: An eminent drunkard of Congleton used to divert himself, whenever there was preaching there, by standing over against the house, cursing and swearing at the preacher. One evening he had a fancy to step in and hear what the man had to say. He did so: but it made him so uneasy that he could not sleep all night. In the morning he was more uneasy still; he walked in the fields, but all in vain, till it came in his mind to go to one of his merry companions, who was always ready to abuse the Methodists. He told him how he was and asked what he should do. |Do!| said Samuel, |go and join the society. I will; for I was never so uneasy in my life.| They did so without delay. But presently David cried out, |I am sorry I joined; for I shall get drunk again, and they will turn me out.| However, he stood firm for four days; on the fifth, he was persuaded by the old companions to |take one pint,| and then another, and another, till one of them said, |See, here is a Methodist drunk!|

David started up, and knocked him over, chair and all. He then drove the rest out of the house, caught up the landlady, carried her out, threw her into the kennel; went back to the house, broke down the door, threw it into the street, and then ran into the fields, tore his hair, and rolled up and down on the ground. In a day or two was a love-feast; he stole in, getting behind, that none might see him. While Mr. Furze was at prayer, he was seized with a dreadful agony, both of body and mind. This caused many to wrestle with God for him. In a while he sprang up on his feet, stretched out his hands, and cried aloud, |All my sins are forgiven!| At the same instant, one on the other side of the room cried out, |Jesus is mine! And He has taken away all my sins.| This was Samuel H. David burst through the people, caught him in his arms, and said, |Come, let us sing the Virgin Mary’s song; I never could sing it before. ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit doth rejoice in God my Saviour.|’ And their following behavior plainly showed the reality of their profession.

Monday, 20. — I preached at Maxfield about noon. As I had not been well and was not quite recovered, our brethren insisted on sending me in a chaise to Burslem. Between four and five I quitted the chaise and took my horse. Presently after, hearing a cry, I looked back and saw the chaise upside down (the wheel having violently struck against a stone), and well nigh dashed in pieces. About seven I preached to a large congregation at Burslem; these poor potters, four years ago, were as wild and ignorant as any of the colliers in Kingswood. Lord, Thou hast power over Thine own clayl

Wesley Praises Wales

Saturday, August 20 (Brecknock). — We took horse at four and rode through one of the pleasantest countries in the world. When we came to Trecastle, we had ridden fifty miles in Monmouthshire and Brecknockshire; and I will be bold to say, all England does not afford such a line of fifty miles’ length, for fields, meadows, woods, brooks, and gently rising mountains, fruitful to the very top. Carmarthenshire, into which we came soon after, has at least as fruitful a soil; but it is not so pleasant, because it has fewer mountains, though abundance of brooks and rivers. About five I preached on the green at Carmarthen to a large number of deeply attentive people. Here two gentlemen from Pembroke met me, with whom we rode to St. Clare, intending to lodge there. But the inn was quite full so we concluded to try for Larn, though we knew not the way and it was now quite dark. Just then came up an honest man who was riding thither, and we willingly bore him company.

Thursday, 25 — l was more convinced than ever that the preaching like an apostle, without joining together those that are awakened and training them up in the ways of God, is only begetting children for the murderer. How much preaching has there been for these twenty years all over Fembrokeshirel But no regular societies, no discipline, no order or connection; and the consequence is that nine in ten of the once-awakened are now faster asleep than ever.

Friday, 26. — We designed to take horse at four (from Haverfordwest), but the rain poured down so that one could scarcely look out. About six, however, we set out and rode through heavy rain to St. Clare. Having then little hopes of crossing the sands, we determined to go round by Carmarthen; but the hostler told us we might save several miles by going to Llansteffan’s Ferry. We came thither about noon, where a good woman informed us the boat was aground and would not pass till the evening; so we judged it best to go by Carmarthen still. But when we had ridden three or four miles, I recollected that I had heard of a ford which would save us some miles’ riding. We inquired of an old man, who soon mounted his horse, showed us the way, and rode through the river before us.

Soon after, my mare dropped a shoe, which event occasioned so much loss of time that we could not ride the sands, but were obliged to go round through a miserable road to Llanellos. To mend the matter, our guide lost his way, both before we came to Llanellos and after; so that it was as much as we could do to reach Bocher Ferry a little after sunset. Knowing it was impossible then to reach Penreese, as we designed, we went on straight to Swansea.

Chap 221. Methodists and Their Wealth

Saturday, September 17 (Bristol). — I preached on the green at Bedminster. I am apt to think many of the hearers scarcely ever heard a Methodist before, or perhaps any other preacher. What but field-preaching could reach these poor sinners? And are not their souls also precious in the sight of God?

Sunday, 18. — I preached in the morning in Princess Street, to a numerous congregation. Two or three gentlemen, so called, laughed at first; but in a few minutes they were as serious as the rest. On Monday evening I gave our brethren a solemn caution not to |love the world, neither the things of the world.| This will be their grand danger: as they are industrious and frugal, they must needs increase in goods. This appears already: in London, Bristol, and most other trading towns, those who are in business have increased in substance seven-fold, some of them twenty, yea, a hundred-fold. What need, then, have these of the strongest warnings, lest they be entangled therein and perish?

Friday, 23. — l preached at Bath. Riding home we saw a coffin being carried into St. George’s church, with many children attending it. When we came near, we found they were our own children, attending a corpse of one of their school fellows, who had died of the smallpox; and God thereby touched many of their hearts in a manner they never knew before.

Monday 26. — I preached to the prisoners in Newgate, and in the afternoon rode over to Kingswood, where I had a solemn watch night and an opportunity of speaking closely to the children. One is dead, two recovered, seven are ill still; and the hearts of all are like melting wax.

Saturday, October 1. — I returned to London and found our house in ruins, a great part of it being taken down in order to a thorough repair. But as much remained as I wanted: six foot square suffices me by day or by night.

Thursday, December 22. — I spent a little time in a visit to Mr. M — ; twenty years ago, he was a zealous and useful magistrate, now a picture of human nature in disgrace; feeble in body and mind, slow of speech and of understanding. Lord, let me not live to be uselessl

1764. Monday, January 16. — I rode to High Wycombe, and preached to a more numerous and serious congregation than ever I saw there before. Shall there be yet another day of visitation to this careless people?

A large number was present at five in the morning, but my face and gums were so swelled I could hardly speak. After I took horse, they grew worse and worse, till it began to rain. I was then persuaded to put on an oil-case hood, which (the wind being very high) kept rubbing continually on my cheek till both pain and swelling were gone.

Chap 222. A Difficult Crossing

Between twelve and one we crossed Ensham Ferry. The water was like a sea on both sides. I asked the ferryman, |Can we ride the causeway?| He said, |Yes, sir, if you keep in the middle.| But this was the difficulty, as the whole causeway was covered with water to a considerable depth. And this in many parts ran over the causeway with the swiftness and violence of a sluice. Once my mare lost both her forefeet, but she gave a spring, and recovered the causeway; otherwise we must have taken a swim, for the water on either side was ten or twelve feet deep. However, after one or two more plunges, we got through and came safe to Whitney.

Monday, February 6. — I opened the new chapel at Wapping.

Thursday, 16. — I once more took a serious walk through the tombs in Westminster Abbey. What heaps of unmeaning stone and marble! But there was one tomb which showed common sense: that beautiful figure of Mr. Nightingale endeavoring to screen his lovely wife from death. Here indeed the marble seems to speak, and the statues appear only not alive.

Friday, 24. — l returned to London. Wednesday, 29. I heard Judith, an oratorio, performed at the Lock. Some parts of it are exceedingly fine; but there are two things in all modern pieces of music which I could never reconcile to common sense. One is singing the same words ten times over; the other, singing different words by different persons at one and the same time. And this, in the most solemn addresses to God, whether by way of prayer or of thanksgiving. This can never be defended by all the musicians in Europe till reason is quite out of date.

Chap 223. Wesley at Birmingham, Walsal, and Derby

Wednesday, March 21. — We had an exceedingly large congregation at Birmingham, in what was formerly the playhouse. Happy would it be if all the playhouses in the kingdom were converted to so good a use. After service the mob gathered and threw some dirt and stones at those who were going out. But it is probable they will soon be calmed, as some of them are in gaol already. A few endeavored to make a disturbance the next evening during the preaching, but it was lost labor; the congregation would not be diverted from taking earnest heed to the things that were spoken.

Friday, 23. — l rode to Dudley, formerly a den of lions but now as quiet as Bristol. They had just finished their preaching-house, which was thoroughly filled. I saw no trifler, but many in tears.

Monday, 26. — I was desired to preach at Walsal. James Jones was alarmed at the motion, apprehending there would be much disturbance. However, I determined to make the trial. Coming into the house, I met with a token for good. A woman was telling her neighbor why she came: |I had a desire,| said she, |to hear this man; yet I durst not, because I heard so much ill of him; but this morning I dreamed I was praying earnestly, and I heard a voice, saying, ‘See the eighth verse of the first chapter of St. John.’ I waked and got my Bible, and read, ‘He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.’ I got up, and came away with all my heart.|

The house not being capable of containing the people, about seven I began preaching abroad; and there was no opposer, no, nor a trifler to be seen. All present were earnestly attentive. How is Walsal changed! How has God either tamed the wild beasts or chained them up!

Tuesday, 27. — We rode to Derby. Mr. Dobinson believed it would be best for me to preach in the market place, as there seemed to be a general inclination in the town, even among people of fashion, to hear me. He had mentioned it to the mayor, who said he did not apprehend there would be the least disturbance; but if there should be anything of the kind, he would take care to suppress it. A multitude of people were gathered at five and were pretty quiet till I had named my text. Then |the beasts of the people| lifted up their voice, hallooing and shouting on every side. Finding it impossible to be heard, I walked softly away. An innumerable retinue followed me; but only a few pebble stones were thrown, and no one hurt at all. Most of the rabble followed quite to Mr. D — ‘s house; but it seems, without any malice prepense; for they stood stock-still about an hour and then quietly went away.

Saturday, 31 (Rotherham). — An odd circumstance occurred during the morning preaching. It was well that only serious persons were present. An ass walked gravely in at the gate, came up to the door of the house, lifted up his head, and stood stock-still, in a posture of deep attention. Might not |the dumb beast reprove| many who have far less decency and not much more understanding?

Chap 224. No Law for Methodists

At noon I preached (the room being too small to contain the people) in a yard, near the bridge, in Doncaster. The wind was high and exceedingly sharp, and blew all the time on the side of my head. In the afternoon I was seized with a sore throat almost as soon as I came to Epworth; however, I preached, though with some difficulty; but afterward I could hardly speak. Being better the next day, Sunday, April 1, I preached about one at Westwood Side, and soon after four, in the market place at Epworth, to a numerous congregation. At first, indeed, but few could hear; but the more I spoke, the more my voice was strengthened, till toward the close all my pain and weakness were gone, and all could hear distinctly.

Monday, April 2. — I had a day of rest. Tuesday, 3, I preached, about nine, at Scotter, a town six or seven miles east of Epworth, where a sudden flame is broken out, many being convinced of sin almost at once, and many justified. But there were many adversaries stirred up by a bad man who told them, |There is no law for Methodists.| Hence continual riots followed; till, after a while, an upright magistrate took the cause in hand and so managed both the rioters and him who set them at work that they have been quiet as lambs ever since.

Thursday, 5. — About eleven I preached at Elsham. The two persons who are the most zealous and active here are the steward and gardener of a gentleman whom the minister persuaded to turn them off unless they would leave |this way.| He gave them a week to consider of it; at the end of which they calmly answered, |Sir, we choose rather to want bread here than to want ‘a drop of water’ hereafter.| He replied, |Then follow your own conscience, so you do my business as well as formerly.|

Friday, 6. — I preached at Ferry at nine in the morning, and in the evening; and, about noon, in Sir N. H.’s hall at Gainsborough. Almost as soon as I began to speak, a cock began to crow over my head; but he was quickly dislodged, and the whole congregation, rich and poor, were quiet and attentive.

Chap 225. Wesley Unhorsed

Sunday, 8. — I set out for Misterton, though the common road was impassable, being all under water; but we found a way to ride around. I preached at eight, and I saw not one inattentive hearer. In our return, my mare rushing violently through a gate, struck my heel against the gatepost and left me behind her in an instant, laid on my back at full length. She stood still till I rose and mounted again; neither of us was hurt at all.

Tuesday, 10. — The wind abating, we took boat at Barton with two such brutes as I have seldom seen. Their blasphemy and stupid, gross obscenity were beyond all I ever heard. We first spoke to them mildly; but it had no effect. At length we were constrained to rebuke them sharply, and they kept themselves tolerably within bounds till we landed at Hull. I preached at five, two hours sooner than was expected; by this means we had tolerable room for the greatest part of them that came; and I believe not many of them came in vain.

Monday, 16. — At six I began preaching in the street at Thirsk. The congregation was exceedingly large. Just as I named my text, |What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?| a man on horseback, who had stopped to see what was the matter, changed color and trembled. Probably he might have resolved to save his soul had not his drunken companion dragged him away.

Chap 226. Wesley on Holy Island

Monday, May 21. — I took my leave of Newcastle; and about noon preached in the market place at Morpeth. A few of the hearers were a little ludicrous at first, but their mirth was quickly spoiled. In the evening I preached in the Courthouse at AInwick, where I rested the next day. Wednesday, 23. — I rode over the sands to Holy Island, once the famous seat of a bishop, now the residence of a few poor families who live chiefly by fishing. At one side of the town are the ruins of a cathedral, with an adjoining monastery. It appears to have been a lofty and elegant building, the middle aisle being almost entire. I preached in what was once the market place, to almost all the inhabitants of the island, and distributed some little books among them for which they were exceedingly thankful. In the evening I preached at Berwick-upon-Tweed; the next evening at Dunbar; and on Friday, 25, about ten, at Haddington, in Provost D.’s yard, to a very elegant congregation. But I expect little good will be done here, for we begin at the wrong end: religion must not go from the greatest to the least, or the power would appear to be of men.

In the evening I preached at Musselborough and the next, on the Calton Hill at Edinburgh. It being the time of the General Assembly, many of the ministers were there. The wind was high and sharp, and blew away a few delicate ones. But most of the congregation did not stir till I had concluded.

Sunday, 27. — At seven I preached in the High School yard, on the other side of the city. The morning was extremely cold. In the evening it blew a storm. However, having appointed to be on the Calton Hill, I began there, to a huge congregation. At first, the wind was a little troublesome, but I soon forgot it. And so did the people for an hour and a half, in which I fully delivered my own soul.

Chap 227. Wesley at the General Assembly

Monday, 28. — I spent some hours at the General Assembly, composed of about a hundred and fifty ministers. I was surprised to find 1) that anyone was admitted, even lads, twelve or fourteen years old; 2) that the chief speakers were lawyers, six or seven on one side only; 3) that a single question took up the whole time, which, when I went away, seemed to be as far from a conclusion as ever, namely, |Shall Mr. Lindsay be removed to Kilmarnock parish or not?| The argument for it was, |He has a large family, and this living is twice as good as his own.| The argument against it was, |The people are resolved not to hear him and will leave the kirk if he comes.| If then the real point in view had |the greater good of the Church,| been, as their law directs, instead of taking up five hours, the debate might have been determined in five minutes.

On Monday and Tuesday I spoke to the members of the society severally. Thursday, 31. — I rode to Dundee, and, about half an hour after six, preached on the side of a meadow near the town. Poor and rich attended. Indeed, there is seldom fear of wanting a congregation in Scotland. But the misfortune is, they know everything; so they learn nothing.

Chap 228. At Inverness

Thursday, June 7. — I rode over to Sir Archibald Grant’s, twelve computed miles from Aberdeen. It is surprising to see how the country between is improved even within these three years. On every side the wild, dreary moors are ploughed up and covered with rising corn. All the ground near Sir Archibald’s, in particular, is as well cultivated as most in England. About seven I preached. The kirk was pretty well filled, though upon short notice. Certainly this is a nation |swift to hear, and slow to speak,| though not |slow to wrath.|

Sunday, 10. — About eight we reached Inverness. I could not preach abroad because of the rain; nor could I hear of any convenient room, so that I was afraid my coming hither would be in vain; all ways seemed to be blocked up. At ten I went to the kirk. After service, Mr. Fraser, one of the ministers, invited us to dinner and then to drink tea. As we were drinking tea, he asked at what hour I would please to preach. I said, |At half-hour past five.| The high kirk was filled in a very short time, and I have seldom found greater liberty of spirit. The other minister came afterward to our inn and showed the most cordial affection. Were it only for this day, I should not have regretted the riding a hundred miles.

Monday, 11. — A gentleman who lives three miles from the town invited me to his house, assuring me the minister of his parish would be glad if I would make use of his kirk; but time would not permit, as I had appointed to be at Aberdeen on Wednesday. All I could do was to preach once more at Inverness. I think the church was fuller now than before; and I could not but observe the remarkable behavior of the whole congregation after service. Neither man, woman, nor child spoke one word all the way down the main street. Indeed the seriousness of the people is the less surprising when it is considered that, for at least a hundred years, this town has had such a succession of pious ministers as very few in Great Britain have known.

After Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen, I think Inverness is the largest town I have seen in Scotland. The main streets are broad and straight; the houses mostly old, but not very bad nor very good. It stands in a pleasant and fruitful country and has all things needful for life and godliness. The people in general speak remarkably good English and are of a friendly courteous behavior.

Chap 229. A Sermon and Congregation to Order

About eleven we took horse. While we were dining at Nairn, the innkeeper said, |Sir, the gentlemen of the town have read the little book you gave me on Saturday, and would be glad if you would please to give them a sermon.| Upon my consenting, the bell was immediately rung, and the congregation was quickly in the kirk. Oh, what a difference is there between South and North Britain! Everyone here at least loves to hear the Word of God, and none takes it into his head to speak one uncivil word to any for endeavoring to save their souls.

Doubting whether Mr. Grant had come home, Mr. Kershaw called at the Grange Green, near Forres, while I rode forward. Mr. Grant soon called me back. I have seldom seen a more agreeable place. The house is an old castle, which stands on a little hill, with a delightful prospect all four ways; and the hospitable master has left nothing undone to make it still more agreeable. He showed us all his improvements, which are very considerable in every branch of husbandry. In his gardens many things were more forward than at Aberdeen, yea, or Newcastle. And how is it that none but one Highland gentleman has discovered that we have a tree in Britain, as easily raised as an ash, the wood of which is fully as fine a red as mahogany, namely, the laburnum? I defy any mahogany to exceed the chairs which he has lately made of this.

Tuesday, 12. — We rode through the pleasant and fertile county of Murray to Elgin. I never suspected before that there was any such country as this near a hundred and fifty miles beyond Edinburgh; a country which is supposed to have generally six weeks more sunshine in a year than any part of Great Britain.

At Elgin are the ruins of a noble cathedral, the largest that I remember to have seen in the kingdom. We rode thence to the Spey, the most rapid river, next the Rhine, that I ever saw. Though the water was not breast-high to our horses, they could very hardly keep their feet. We dined at Keith and rode on to Strathbogie, much improved by the linen manufacture. All the country from Fochabers to Strathbogie has little houses scattered up and down; and not only the valleys, but the mountains themselves, are improved with the utmost care. They want only more trees to make them more pleasant than most of the mountains in England. The whole family at our inn, eleven or twelve in number, gladly joined with us in prayer at night. Indeed, so they did at every inn where we lodged; for among all the sins they have imported from England, the Scots have not yet learned, at least not the common people, to scoff at sacred things.

Wednesday, 13. — We reached Aberdeen about one. Between six and seven, both this evening and the next, I preached in the shell of the new house and found it a time of much consolation. Friday, 15. We set out early and came to Dundee just as the boat was going off. We designed to lodge at the house on the other side, but could not get either eat, drink, or good words; so we were constrained to ride on to Cupar. After traveling nearly ninety miles, I found no weariness at all, neither were our horses hurt. Thou, O Lord, dost save both man and beast!

Chap 230. Wesley and a Scotch Communion

Saturday, 16. — We had a ready passage at Kinghorn, and in the evening I preached on the Calton Hill to a very large congregation; but a still larger assembled at seven on Sunday morning in the High School yard. Being afterward informed that the Lord’s supper was to be administered in the west kirk, I knew not what to do; but at length I judged it best to embrace the opportunity, though I did not admire the manner of administration. After the usual morning service, the minister enumerated several sorts of sinners, whom he forbade to approach. Two long tables were set on the sides of one aisle, covered with tablecloths. On each side of them a bench was placed for the people. Each table held four or five and thirty.

Three ministers sat at the top, behind a cross-table; one of them made a long exhortation, closed with the words of our Lord; and, then, breaking the bread, gave it to him who sat on each side him. A piece of bread was then given to him who sat first on each of the four benches. He broke off a little piece, and gave the bread to the next; so it went on, the deacons giving more when wanted. A cup was then given to the first person on each bench, and so by one to another. The minister continued his exhortation all the time they were receiving; then four verses of the Twenty-second Psalm were sung, while new persons sat down at the tables. A second minister then prayed, consecrated, and exhorted. I was informed the service usually lasted till five in the evening. How much more simple, as well as more solemn, is the service of the Church of England!

The evening congregation on the hill was far the largest I have seen in the kingdom, and the most deeply affected. Many were in tears; more seemed cut to the heart. Surely this time will not soon be forgotten. Will it not appear in the annals of eternity?

Chap 231. Wesley's Likes and Dislikes

Monday, July 2. — I gave a fair hearing to two of our brethren who had proved bankrupts. Such we immediately exclude from our society, unless it plainly appears not to be their own fault. Both these were in a prosperous way till they fell into that wretched trade of bill-broking, wherein no man continues long without being wholly ruined.By this means, not being sufficiently accurate in their accounts, they ran back without being sensible of it. Yet it was quite clear that I — – R — – is an honest man; I would hope the same concerning the other.

Tuesday, 3 (Leeds). — I was reflecting on an odd circumstance, which I cannot account for. I never relish a tune at first hearing, not till I have almost learned to sing it; and as I learn it more perfectly, I gradually lose my relish for it. I observe something similar in poetry; yea, in all the objects of imagination. I seldom relish verses at first hearing; till I have heard them over and over, they give me no pleasure; and they give me next to none when I have heard them a few times more, so as to be quite familiar. Just so a face or a picture, which does not strike me at first, becomes more pleasing as I grow more acquainted with it; but only to a certain point: for when I am too much acquainted, it is no longer pleasing. Oh, how imperfectly do we understand even the machine which we carry about us!

Thursday, 5. — I had the comfort of leaving our brethren at Leeds united in peace and love. About one I preached in a meadow at Wakefield. At first the sun was inconvenient, but it was not many minutes before that inconvenience was removed by the clouds coming between. We had not only a larger, but a far more attentive, congregation than ever was seen here before. One, indeed, a kind of gentleman, was walking away with great unconcern when I spoke aloud. |Does Callio care for none of these things? But where will you go, with the wrath of God on your head and the curse of God on your back?| He stopped short, stood still, and went no farther till the sermon was ended.

Saturday, 14. — In the evening I preached at Liverpool; and the next day, Sunday, 15, the house was full enough. Many of the rich and fashionable were there and behaved with decency. Indeed, I have always observed more courtesy and humanity at Liverpool than at most seaports in England.

Chap 232. She Thought, |I Laugh Prettily|

Monday, 16. — In the evening the house was fuller, if possible, than the night before. I preached on the |one thing needful|; and the rich behaved as seriously as the poor. Only one young gentlewoman (I heard) laughed much. Poor thing! Doubtless she thought, |I laugh prettily.|

Friday, 20. — At noon we made the same shift at Congleton as when I was here last. I stood in the window, having put as many women as it would contain into the house. The rest, with the men, stood below in the meadow; many of the townsmen were wild enough. I have scarcely found such enlargement of heart since I came from Newcastle. The brutes resisted long, but were at length overcome, not above five or six excepted. Surely man shall not long have the upper hand; God will get unto Himself the victory.

It rained all the day till seven in the evening, when I began preaching at Burslem. Even the poor potters here are a more civilized people than the better sort (so called) at Congleton. A few stood with their hats on; but none spoke a word or offered to make the least disturbance.

Saturday, 21. — rode to Bilbrook, near Wolverhampton, and preached between two and three. Thence we went on to Madeley, an exceedingly pleasant village, encompassed with trees and hills. It was a great comfort to me to converse once more with a Methodist of the old stamp, denying himself, taking up his cross, and resolved to be |altogether a Christian.|

Sunday, 22. — At ten Mr. Fletcher read prayers, and I preached on those words in the gospel, |I am the good Shepherd: the good Shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep| [John 10:11]. The church would nothing near contain the congregation; but a window near the pulpit being taken down, those who could not come in stood in the churchyard, and I believe all could hear. The congregation, they said, used to be much smaller in the afternoon than in the morning; but I could not discern the least difference, either in number or seriousness.

I found employment enough for the intermediate hours, in praying with various companies who hung about the house, insatiably hungering and thirsting after the good Word.

Chap 233. An Exhausting Day

Wednesday, 25. — I took horse a little after four and, about two, preached in the market place at Llanidloes, two or three and forty miles from Shrewsbury. At three we rode forward through the mountains to the Fountainhead. I was for lodging there; but Mr. B — being quite unwilling, we mounted again about seven. After having ridden an hour, we found we were quite out of the way, having been wrongly directed at setting out. We were then told to ride over some grounds; but our path soon ended in the edge of a bog. However, we got through to a little house where an honest man, instantly mounting his horse, galloped before us, up hill and down, till he brought us into a road which, he said, led straight to Roes Fair.

We rode on till another met us and said, |No; this is the way to Aberystwith. If you go to Roes Fair, you must turn back and ride down to yonder bridge.| The master of the little house near the bridge then directed us to the next village, where we inquired again (it being past nine), and were once more set exactly wrong. Having wandered an hour upon the mountains, through rocks, and bogs, and precipices, we, with abundance of difficulty, got back to the little house near the bridge. It was in vain to think of rest there, it being full of drunken, roaring miners; besides that, there was but one bed in the house, and neither grass, nor hay, nor corn, to be had. So we hired one of them to walk with us to Roes Fair, though he was miserably drunk till, by falling all his length in a purling stream, he came tolerably to his senses. Between eleven and twelve we came to the inn; but neither here could we get any hay.

When we were in bed, the good hostler and miner thought good to mount our beasts. I believe it was not long before we rose that they put them into the stable. But the mule was cut in several places, and my mare was bleeding like a pig, from a wound behind, two inches deep, made, it seemed, by a stroke with a pitchfork. What to do we could not tell till I remembered I had a letter for one Mr. Nathaniel Williams, whom, upon inquiry, I found to live but a mile off. We walked thither and found |an Israelite indeed,| who gladly received both man and beast.

After I had got a little rest,: Mr. W. desired me to give an exhortation to a few of his neighbors. None was more struck therewith than one of his own family, who before cared for none of these things. He sent a servant with us after dinner to Tregarron from whence we had a plain road to Lampeter.

Friday, 27. — We rode through a lovely vale and over pleasant and fruitful hills to Carmarthen. Thence, after a short bait, we went on to Pembroke and came before I was expected; so I rested that night, having not quite recovered my journey from Shrewsbury to Roes Fair.

Sunday, 29. — The minister of St. Mary’s sent me word he was very willing I should preach in his church; but, before service began, the mayor sent to forbid it; so he preached a very useful sermon himself. The mayor’s behavior so disgusted many of the gentry that they resolved to hear where they could; and accordingly flocked together in the evening from all parts of the town. Perhaps the taking up this cross may profit them more than my sermon in the church would have done.

Chap 234. Seven Hours on Horseback

Monday, 30. — l rode to Haverfordwest; but no notice had been given, nor did any in the town know of my coming. However, after a short time, I walked up toward the castle and began singing a hymn. The people presently ran together from all quarters. They have curiosity at least; and some, I cannot doubt, were moved by a nobler principle. Were zealous and active laborers here, what a harvest might there be, even in this corner of the land! We returned through heavy rain to Pembroke.

Tuesday, 31. — We set out for Glamorganshire and rode up and down steep and stony mountains, for about five hours, to Larn. Having procured a pretty ready passage there, we went on to Lansteffan Ferry, where we were in some danger of being swallowed up in the mud before we could reach the water. Between one and two we reached Kidwelly, having been more than seven hours on horseback, in which time we could have ridden round by Carmarthen with more ease both to man and beast.

I have, therefore, taken my leave of these ferries; considering we save no time by crossing them (not even when we have a ready passage), and so have all the trouble, danger, and expense, clear gains. I wonder that any man of common sense, who has once made the experiment, should ever ride from Pembroke to Swansea any other way than by Carmarthen.

Chap 235. The Ride from Pembroke to Swansea

An honest man at Kidwelly told us there was no difficulty in riding the sands; so we rode on. In ten minutes one overtook us who used to guide persons over them; and it was well he did, or, in all probability, we had been swallowed up. The whole sands are at least ten miles over, with many streams of quicksands intermixed. But our guide was thoroughly acquainted with them and with the road on the other side. By his help, between five and six, we came well tired to Oxwych in Cower.

I had sent two persons on Sunday that they might be there early on Monday, and so sent notice of my coming all over the country; but they came to Oxwych scarcely a quarter of an hour before me. So the poor people had no notice at all, nor was there any to take us in; the person with whom the preacher used to lodge was three miles out of town. After I had stayed a while in the street (for there was no public house), a poor woman gave me house room. Having had nothing since breakfast, I was very willing to eat or drink; but she simply told me that she had nothing in the house but a dram of gin. However, I afterward procured a dish of tea at another house and was much refreshed. About seven I preached to a little company, and again in the morning. They were all attention so that even for the sake of this handful of people I did not regret my labor.

Sunday, November 4. — I proposed to the leaders the assisting the Society for the Reformation of Manners with regard to their heavy debt. One of them asked, |Ought we not to pay our own debt first?| After some consultations, it was agreed to attempt it. The general debt of the society in London, occasioned chiefly by repairing the Foundry and chapels and by building at Wapping and Snowsfields, was about nine hundred pounds. This I laid before the society in the evening and desired them all to set their shoulders to the work, either by a present contribution or by subscribing what they could pay, on the first of January, February or March.

Monday, 5 (London). — My scraps of time this week I employed in setting down my present thoughts upon a single life, which indeed, are just the same they have been these thirty years; and the same they must be, unless I give up my Bible.

Chap 236. Wesley's Experiments with Lions

Monday, December 31. — l thought it would be worth while to make an odd experiment. Remembering how surprisingly fond of music the lion at Edinburgh was, I determined to try whether this was the case with all animals of the same kind. I accordingly went to the Tower with one who plays on the German flute. He began playing near four or five lions; only one of these (the rest not seeming to regard it at all) rose up, came to the front of his den, and seemed to be all attention. Meantime, a tiger in the same den started up, leaped over the lion’s back, turned and ran under his belly, leaped over him again, and so to and fro incessantly. Can we account for this by any principle of mechanism? Can we account for it at all?

Chap 237. Introduction

1765. Tuesday, January 1. — This week I wrote an answer to a warm letter, published in the London Magazine, the author whereof is much displeased that I presume to doubt of the modern astronomy. I cannot help it. Nay, the more I consider, the more my doubts increase so that, at present, I doubt whether any man on earth knows either the distance or magnitude, I will not say of a fixed star, but of Saturn, or Jupiter; yea, of the sun or moon.

Sunday, 20. — I employed all my leisure hours this week in revising my letters and papers. Abundance of them I committed to the flames. Perhaps some of the rest may see the light when I am gone.

Chap 238. Breakfast with Mr. Whitefield

Monday, October 21. — I went in the coach from Bristol to Salisbury, and on Thursday 24, came to London.

Monday, 28. — I breakfasted with Mr. Whitefield, who seemed to be an old, old man, being fairly worn out in his Master’s service, though he has hardly seen fifty years; and yet it pleases God that I, who am now in my sixty-third year, find no disorder, no weakness, no decay, no difference from what I was at five-and-twenty; only that I have fewer teeth and more grey hairs.

Sunday, November 24. — I preached on those words in the lesson for the day, |The Lord our righteousness| [Jer.23:6]. I said not one thing which I have not said at least fifty times within this twelvemonth. Yet it appeared to many entirely new, and they much importuned me to print my sermon, supposing it would stop the mouths of all gainsayers. Alas, for their simplicity! In spite of all I can print, say, or do, will not those who seek occasion of offense find occasion?

Tuesday, December 3. — l rode to Dover and found a little company more united together than they have been for many years. While several of them continued to rob the King, we seemed to be ploughing upon the sand; but since they have cut off the right hand, the Word of God sinks deep into their hearts.

Thursday, 5. — l rode back to Feversham. Here I was quickly informed that the mob and the magistrates had agreed together to drive Methodism, so called, out of the town. After preaching, I told them what we had been constrained to do by the magistrate at Rolvenden; who perhaps would have been richer, by some hundred pounds, had he never meddled with the Methodists; I concluded, |Since we have both God and the law on our side, if we can have peace by fair means, we had much rather; we should be exceedingly glad; but if not, we will have peace.|

Wednesday, 18. — Riding through the Borough, all my mare’s feet flew up, and she fell with my leg under her. A gentleman, stepping out, lifted me up and helped me into his shop. I was exceedingly sick but was presently relieved by a little hartshorn and water. After resting a few minutes, I took a coach; but when I was cold, found myself much worse, being bruised on my right arm, my breast, my knee, leg, and ankle, which swelled exceedingly. However, I went on to Shoreham, where by applying treacle twice a day, all the soreness was removed, and I recovered some strength so as to be able to walk a little on plain ground. The Word of God does at length bear fruit here also, and Mr. P. is comforted over all his trouble. Saturday, 21. Being not yet able to ride, I returned in a chariot to London.

Sunday, 22. — I was ill able to go through the service at West Street; but God provided for this also. Mr. Greaves, being just ordained, came straight to the chapel, and gave me the assistance I wanted.

Thursday, 26. — I should have been glad of a few days’ rest, but it could not be at this busy season. However, being electrified morning and evening, my lameness mended, though but slowly.

1766. Friday, January 31. — Mr- Whitefield called upon me. He breathes nothing but peace and love. Bigotry cannot stand before him but hides its head wherever he comes.

Chap 239. Two Deeds

Wednesday, February 5 (London). — One called upon me who had been cheated out of a large fortune and was now perishing for want of bread. I had a desire to clothe him and send him back to his own country, but was short of money. However, I appointed him to call again in an hour. He did so; but before he came, one from whom I expected nothing less, put twenty guineas into my hand; so I ordered him to be clothed from head to foot and sent him straight away to Dublin.

Monday, April 7. — l preached at Warrington, about noon, to a large congregation, rich and poor, learned and unlearned. I never spoke more plainly; nor have I ever seen a congregation listen with more attention. Thence I rode to Liverpool and thoroughly regulated the society, which had great need of it. Wednesday, 9. I took much pains with a sensible woman who had taken several imprudent steps. But it was labor lost — neither argument nor persuasion made the least impression. Oh, what power less than almighty can convince a thoroughpaced enthusiast!

Thursday, 10. — I looked over the wonderful deed which was lately made here on which I observed 1) it takes up three large skins of parchment and so could not cost less than six guineas; whereas our own deed, transcribed by a friend, would not have cost six shillings; 2) it is verbose beyond all sense and reason, and withal so ambiguously worded that one passage only might find matter for a suit of ten or twelve years in Chancery; 3) it everywhere calls the house a meeting-house, a name which I particularly object to; 4) it leaves no power either to the assistant or me so much as to place or displace a steward; 5) neither I, nor all the Conference, have power to send the same preacher two years together. To crown all, 6) if a preacher is not appointed at the Conference, the trustees and the congregation are to choose one, by most votesl And can anyone wonder I dislike this deed, which tears the Methodist discipline up by the roots?

Is it not strange that any who have the least regard either for me or our discipline should scruple to alter this uncouth deed?

Chap 240. Wesley Covered with Mud

Tuesday, June 24. — Before eight we reached Dumfries and after a short bait pushed on in hopes of reaching Solway Frith before the sea came in. Designing to call at an inn by the frith side, we inquired the way and were directed to leave the main road and go straight to the house which we saw before us. In ten minutes Duncan Wright was embogged; however, the horse plunged on and got through. I was inclined to turn back; but Duncan telling me I needed only go a little to the left, I did so and sank at once to my horse’s shoulders. He sprang up twice, and twice sank again, each time deeper than before. At the third plunge he threw me on one side, and we both made shift to scramble out. I was covered with fine, soft mud from my feet to the crown of my head; yet, blessed be God, not hurt at all. But we could not cross till between seven and eight o’clock. An honest man crossed with us, who went two miles out of his way to guide us over the sands to Skilburness, where we found a little, clean house, and passed a comfortable night.

Saturday, July 19. — I took a view of Beverley minster, such a parish church as has scarcely its fellow in England. It is a most beautiful as well as stately building, both within and without, and is kept more nicely clean than any cathedral which I have seen in the kingdom; but where will it be when the earth is burned up and the elements melt with fervent heat? About one I preached at Pocklington (though my strength was much exhausted), and in the evening at York.

Sunday, 27. — As Baildon church would not nearly contain the congregation, after the prayers were ended, I came out into the churchyard, both morning and afternoon. The wind was extremely high and blew in my face all the time; yet, I believe, all the people could hear. At Bradford there was so huge a multitude and the rain so damped my voice that many in the skirts of the congregation could not hear distinctly. They have just built a preaching-house, fifty-four feet square, the largest octagon we have in England; and it is the first of the kind where the roof is built with common sense, rising only a third of its breadth; yet it is as firm as any in England, nor does it at all hurt the walls. Why then does any roof rise higher? Only through want of skill, or want of honesty, in the builder.

Tuesday, 29. — In the evening I preached near the preaching-house at Paddiham and strongly insisted on communion with God as the only religion that would avail us. At the close of the sermon came Mr. M. His long, white beard showed that his present disorder was of some continuance. In all other respects, he was quite sensible; but he told me with much concern, |You can have no place in heaven without a beard! Therefore, I beg, let yours grow immediately.

Chap 241. Wesley Secures Justice for Methodists

Saturday, August 30. — We rode to Stallbridge, long the seat of war, by a senseless, insolent mob encouraged by their betters, so called to outrage their quiet neighbors. For what? Why, they were mad: they were Methodists. So, to bring them to their senses, they would beat their brains out. They broke their windows, leaving not one whole pane with glass, spoiled their goods, and assaulted their persons with dirt, rotten eggs, and stones whenever they appeared in the street. But no magistrate, though they applied to several, would show them either mercy or justice. At length they wrote to me. I ordered a lawyer to write to the rioters. He did so, but they set him at naught. We then moved the Court of King’s bench. By various artifices, they got the trial put off, from one assizes to another, for eighteen months. But it fell so much the heavier on themselves, when they were found guilty; and, from that time, finding there is law for Methodists, they have suffered them to be at peace.

I preached near the main street, without the least disturbance, to a large and attentive congregation. Thence we rode on to Axminster, but were thoroughly wet before we came thither. The rain obliged me to preach within at six; but at seven on Sunday morning, I cried in the market place, |The kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel| [Mark 1:15].

In the evening I preached in the street at Ashburton. Many behaved with decency; but the rest, with such stupid rudeness as I have not seen, for a long time, in any part of England.

Monday, September 1. — I came to Plymouth Dock, where, after heavy storms, there is now a calm. The house, notwithstanding the new galleries, was extremely crowded in the evening. I strongly exhorted the backsliders to return to God; and I believe many received |the word of exhortation.|

Tuesday, 7. — Being invited to preach in the Tabernacle at Plymouth, I began about two in the afternoon. In the evening I was offered the use of Mr. Whitefield’s room at the dock; but, large as it is, it would not contain the congregation. At the close of the sermon, a large stone was thrown in at one of the windows, which came just behind me and fell at my feet, the best place that could have been found. So no one was hurt or frightened, not many knowing anything of the matter.

Chap 242. Gwennap's Famous Amphitheater

Sunday, 7. — At eight I preached in Mousehole, a large village southwest from Newlyn. Thence I went to Buryan church, and, as soon as the service was ended, preached near the churchyard to a numerous congregation. Just after I began, I saw a gentleman before me, shaking his whip and vehemently striving to say something. But he was abundantly too warm to say anything intelligibly. So, after walking a while to and fro, he wisely took horse and rode away.

Friday, 12. — I rode to St. Hilary and in the evening preached near the new house on |Awake, thou that steepest| [Eph.5:14]. In returning to my lodging, it being dark, my horse was just stepping into a tinpit when an honest man caught him by the bridle and turned his head the other way.

Sunday, 14. — l preached in St. Agnes at eight. The congregation in Redruth, at one, was the largest I ever had seen there; but small, compared to that which assembled at five, in the natural amphitheater at Gwennap; far the finest I know in the kingdom. It is a round, green hollow, gently shelving down, about fifty feet deep; but I suppose it is two hundred across one way, and near three hundred the other. I believe there were fully twenty thousand people; and, the evening being calm, all could hear.

Monday, 15. — l preached at Cubert and next morning rode on to St. CoIumb. Being desired to break the ice here, I began preaching, without delay, in a gentleman’s yard adjoining to the main street. I chose this, as neither too public nor too private. I fear the greater part of the audience understood full little of what they heard. However, they behaved with seriousness and good manners.

Hence I rode to Port Isaac, now one of the liveliest places in Cornwall. The weather being uncertain, I preached near the house. But there was no rain while I preached, except the gracious rain which God sent upon His inheritance.

Here Mr. Buckingham met me, who, for fear of offending the bishop, broke off all commerce with the Methodists. He had no sooner done this than the bishop rewarded him by turning him out of his curacy; had he continued to walk in Christian simplicity, he would probably have had it to this day.

Wednesday, 17. — I twice stopped a violent bleeding from a cut by applying a brier leaf. The room at Launceston would not nearly contain the congregation in the evening, to whom I strongly applied the case of the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda: Many were much affected: but, oh, how few are willing to be made wholel

Chap 243. Wesley on a Country Life

Monday, November 3. — I rode to Brentford from London, where all was quiet, both in the congregation and the society. Tuesday, 4. I preached af Brentford, Battersea, Deptford and Welling, and examined the several societies. Wednesday, 5. I rode by Shoreham to Sevenoaks. In the little journeys which I have lately taken, have thought much on the huge encomiums which have been for many ages bestowed on a country life. How have all the learn world cried out,


O fortunate nimium, sua si bona norint,


But, after all, what a flat contradiction is this to universal experience! See that little house, under the wood, by the riverside! There is rural life in perfection. How happy then is the farmer that lives there? Let us take a detail of his happiness. He rises with, or before, the sun, calls his servants, looks to his swine and cows, then to his stables and barns. He sees to the ploughing and sowing his ground, in winter or in spring. In summer and autumn he hurries and sweats among his mowers and reapers. And where is his happiness in the meantime? Which of these employments do we envy? Or do we envy the delicate repast that succeeds, which the poet so languishes for?


O quindo faba, Pythagorm cognate, simulque

Uncta satis pingui ponentur oluscula lardo!


|Oh, the happiness of eating beans well greased with fat bacon! Nay, and cabbage, tool| — Was Horace in his senses when he talked thus, or the servile herd of his imitators? Our eyes and ears may convince us there is not a less happy body of men in all England than the country farmers. In general their life is supremely dull; and it is usually unhappy too. For of all people in the kingdom they are most discontented, seldom satisfied either with God or man.

Chap 244. Wesley and the Character of a Methodist

1767. Thursday, March 5. — l at length obliged Dr. D. by entering into the lists with him. The letter I wrote (though not published till two or three weeks after) was as follows:

|To the Editor of Lloyd’s Evening Post.

|Sir, — Many times the publisher of the Christian Magazine has attacked me without fear or wit; and hereby he has convinced his impartial readers of one thing at least — that (as the vulgar say) his fingers itch to be at me; that he has a passionate desire to measure swords with me. But I have other work upon my hands: I can employ the short remainder of my life to better purpose.

|The occasion of his late attack is this: Five or six and thirty years ago, I much admired the character of a perfect Christian drawn by Clemens Alexandrinus. Five or six and twenty years ago, a thought came into my mind of drawing such a character myself, only in a more scriptural manner and mostly in the very words of Scripture: this I entitled, ‘The Character of a Methodist,’ believing that curiosity would incite more persons to read it, and also that some prejudice might thereby be removed from candid men. But that none might imagine I intended a panegyric either on myself or my friends, I guarded against this in the very title page, saying both in the name of myself and them, ‘Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect.’ To the same effect I speak in the conclusion, ‘These are the same principles and practices of our sect; these are the marks of a true Methodist’; that is, a true Christian, as I immediately after explain myself: ‘by these alone do those who are in derision so called desire to be distinguished from other men.’ (P. ii.) ‘By these marks do we labor to distinguish ourselves from those whose minds or lives are not according to the gospel of Christ.’ (P.12.)

|Upon this Rusticulus, or Dr. Dodd, says, ‘A Methodist, according to Mr. Wesley, is one who is perfect, and sinneth not in thought, word, or deed.’

|Sir, have me excused. This is not ‘according to Mr. Wesley.’ I have told all the world I am not perfect; and yet you allow me to be a Methodist. I tell you flatly, I have not attained the character I draw. Will you pin it upon me in spite of my teeth?

|’But Mr. Wesley says, the other Methodists have.’ I say no such thing. What I say, after having given a scriptural account of a perfect Christian, is this: ‘By these marks the Methodists desire to be distinguished from other men; by these we labor to distinguish ourselves.’ And do not you yourself desire and labor after the very same thing?

|But you insist, ‘Mr. Wesley affirms the Methodists (that is, all Methodists) to be perfectly holy and righteous.’ Where do I affirm this? Not in the tract before us. In the front of this I affirm just the contrary; and that I affirm it anywhere else is more than I know. Be pleased, Sir, to point out the place: till this is done, all you add (bitterly enough) is mere brutum fulmen; and the Methodists (so called) may still declare (without any impeachment of their sincerity) that they do not come to the holy table ‘trusting in their own righteousness, but in God’s manifold and great mercies.’ I am, Sir,


|John Wesley.|

Chap 245. The Sexton's Strange Apparition

Saturday, August 1. — Before I left Glasgow I heard so strange an account that I desired to hear it from the person himself. He was a sexton and yet for many years had little troubled himself about religion. I set down his words and leave every man to form his own judgment upon them: |Sixteen weeks ago, I was walking, an hour before sunset, behind the high kirk; and, looking on one side, I saw one close to me who looked in my face and asked me how I did. I answered, ‘Pretty well.’ He said, ‘You have had many troubles; but how have you improved them?’ He then told me all that ever I did; yea, and the thoughts that had been in my heart; adding, ‘Be ready for my second coming’; and he was gone I knew not how. I trembled all over, and had no strength in me; but sank down to the ground. From that time I groaned continually under the load of sin, till at the Lord’s supper it was all taken away.|

Friday, September 25. — l was desired to preach at Freshford; but the people durst not come to the house because of the smallpox, of which Joseph Allen, |an Israelite indeed,| had died the day before. So they placed a table near the churchyard. But I had no sooner begun to speak than the bells began to ring, by the procurement of a neighboring gentleman. However, it was labor lost; for my voice prevailed, and the people heard me distinctly. Nay, a person extremely deaf, who had not been able to hear a sermon for several years, told his neighbors, with great joy that he had heard and understood all, from the beginning to the end.

Chap 246. Queer Houses at Sheerness

Monday, November 23. — I went to Canterbury. Here I met with the Life of Mahomet, written, I suppose, by the Count de Boulanvilliers. Whoever the author is, he is a very pert, shallow, self-conceited coxcomb, remarkable for nothing but his immense assurance and thorough contempt of Christianity. And the book is a dull, ill-digested romance, supported by no authorities at all; whereas Dean Prideaux (a writer of ten times his sense) cites his authorities for everything he advances.

In the afternoon I rode to Dover; but the gentleman I was to lodge with was gone a long journey. He went to bed well, but dead in the morning: such a vapor is life! At six I preached, but the house would by no means contain the congregation. Most of the officers of the garrison were there. I have not found so much life here for some years.

Sunday, December 13. — Today I found a little soreness on the edge of my tongue, which the next day spread to my gums, then to my lips, which inflamed, swelled, and, the skin bursting, bled considerably. Afterward, the roof of my mouth was extremely sore so that I could chew nothing. To this was added a continual spitting. I knew a little rest would cure all. But this was not to be had; for I had appointed to be at Sheerness on Wednesday, the sixteenth. Accordingly, I took horse between five and six and came thither between five and six in the evening.

At half an hour after six, I began reading prayers (the governor of the fort having given me the use of the chapel), and afterward preached, though not without difficulty, to a large and serious congregation. The next evening it was considerably increased, so that the chapel was as hot as an oven. In coming out, the air, being exceedingly sharp, quite took away my voice, so that I knew not how I should be able the next day to read prayers or preach to so large a congregation. But in the afternoon the governor cut the knot, sending word that I must preach in the chapel no more. A room being offered, which held full as many people as I was able to preach to, we had a comfortable hour; and many seemed resolved to |seek the Lord while he may be found.|

Such a town as many of these live in is scarcely to be found again in England. In the dock adjoining the fort there are six old men-of-war. These are divided into small tenements, forty, fifty, or sixty in a ship, with little chimneys and windows; and each of these contains a family. In one of them, where we called, a man and his wife, and six little children lived. And yet all the ship was sweet and tolerably clean; sweeter than most sailing ships I have been in. Saturday, 19. I returned to London.

Chap 247. Wesley in the Marshalsea Prison

1768. Saturday, January 2. — I called on a poor man in the Marshalsea, whose case appeared to be uncommon. He is by birth a Dutchman, a chemist by profession. Being but half-employed at home, he was advised to come to London, where he doubted not of having full employment. He was recommended to a countryman of his to lodge, who after six weeks arrested him for much more than he owed, and hurried him away to prison, having a wife near her time, without money, friend, or a word of English to speak. I wrote the case to Mr. T — , who immediately gave fifteen pounds; by means of which, with a little addition, he was set at liberty and put in a way of living. But I never saw him since, and for good reason: for he could now live without me.

Monday, 4. — At my leisure hours this week, I read Dr. Priestley’s ingenious book on electricity. He seems to have accurately collected and well digested all that is known on that curious subject. But how little is that all! Indeed the use of it we know; at least, in some good degree. We know it is a thousand medicines in one: in particular, that it is the most efficacious medicine in nervous disorders of every kind which has ever yet been discovered. But if we aim at theory, we know nothing. We are soon


Lost and bewilder’d in the fruitless search.

Monday, 11. — This week I spent my scraps of time in reading Mr. Wodrow’s History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland. It would transcend belief but that the vouchers are too authentic to admit of any exception. Oh, what a blessed Governor was that good-natured man, so called, King Charles the Second! Bloody Queen Mary was a lamb, a mere dove, in comparison to him!

Monday, February 8. — I met with a surprising poem, entitled, Choheleth; or, the Preacher. It is a paraphrase, in tolerable verse, on the Book of Ecclesiastes. I really think the author of it (a Turkey Merchant) understands both the difficult expressions and the connection of the whole better than any other either ancient or modern writer whom I have seen. He was at Lisbon during the great earthquake, just then sitting in his nightgown and slippers. Before he could dress himself, part of the house he was in fell and blocked him up. By this means his life was saved, for all who had run out were dashed in pieces by the falling houses.

Chap 248. Wesley Travels North

Monday, March 14. — l set out on my northern journey, and preached at Stroud in the evening. Tuesday, 15. About noon I preached at Painswick and in the evening at Gloucester. The mob here was for a considerable time both noisy and mischievous. But an honest magistrate, taking the matter in hand, quickly tamed the beasts of the people. So may any magistrate, if he will; so that wherever a mob continues any time, all they do is to be imputed not so much to the rabble as to the justices.

Wednesday, 16. — About nine I preached at Cheltenham — a quiet, comfortable place; though it would not have been so, if either the rector or the Anabaptist minister could have prevented it. Both these have blown the trumpet with their might; but the people had no ears to hear. In the afternoon I preached at Upton and then rode on to Worcester. But the difficulty was where to preach. No room was large enough to contain the people, and it was too cold for them to stand abroad. At length we went to a friend’s, near the town whose barn was larger than many churches. Here a numerous congregation soon assembled, and again at five and at ten in the morning. Nothing is wanting here but a commodious house; and will not God provide this also?

Friday, 18. — The vicar of Pebworth had given notice in the church on Sunday that I was to preach there on Friday. But the squire of the parish said, |It is contrary to the canons (wise squire!) and it shall not be.| So I preached about a mile from it, at Broadmarston, by the side of Mr. Eden’s house. The congregation was exceedingly large and remarkably attentive. In the morning, the chapel (so it anciently was) was well filled at five. The simplicity and earnestness of the people promise a glorious harvest.

Saturday, 19. — We rode to Birmingham. The tumults which subsisted here so many years are now wholly suppressed by a resolute magistrate. After preaching, I was pleased to see a venerable monument of antiquity, George Bridgins, in the one hundred and seventh year of his age. He can still walk to the preaching and retains his senses and understanding tolerably well. But what a dream will even a life of a hundred years appear to him the moment he awakes in eternity!

Chap 249. Preaching in a North Wind

Sunday, 20. — About one I preached on West Bromwich heath; in the evening, near the preaching-house in Wednesbury. The north wind cut like a razor; but the congregation, and I as well, had something else to think of.

Tuesday, 22. — I read over a small book, Poems, by Miss Whately, a farmer’s daughter. She had little advantage from education, but an astonishing genius. Some of her elegies I think quite equal to Mr. Gray’s. If she had had proper helps for a few years, I question whether she would not have excelled any female poet that ever yet appeared in England.

Wednesday, 30. — l rode to a little town called New Mills, in the High Peak of Derbyshire. I preached at noon in their large new chapel, which (in consideration that preaching-houses have need of air) has a casement in every window, three inches square! That is the custom of the country!

Chap 250. Wesley Instructs Parents

In the evening and the following morning I brought strange things to the ears of many in Manchester, concerning the government of their families and the education of their children. But some still made that very silly answer, |Oh, he has no children of his own!| Neither had St. Paul, nor (that we know) any of the apostles. What then? Were they therefore unable to instruct parents? Not so. They were able to instruct everyone that had a soul to be saved.

Wednesday, April 6. — About eleven I preached at Wigan in a place near the middle of the town which I suppose was formerly a playhouse. It was very full and very warm. Most of the congregation were wild as wild might be; yet none made the least disturbance. Afterward, as I walked down the street, they stared sufficiently; but none said an uncivil word.

In the evening we had a huge congregation at Liverpool; but some pretty, gay, fluttering things did not behave with so much good manners as the mob at Wigan. The congregations in general were quite well behaved, as well as large, both morning and evening; and I found the society both more numerous and more lively than ever it was before.

Monday, 11. — I rode to Bolton; on Wednesday, to Kendal. Seceders and mongrel Methodists have so surfeited the people here that there is small prospect of doing good; however, I once more |cast| my |bread upon the waters| and left the event to God.

Thursday, 14. — I rode on, through continued rain, to Ambleside. It cleared up before we came to Keswick, and we set out thence in a fair day; but on the mountains the storm met us again and beat on us so impetuously that our horses could scarcely turn their faces against it. However, we made shift to reach Cockermouth; but there was no room for preaching, the town being in an uproar through the election for members of Parliament; so, after drying ourselves, we thought it best to go on to Whitehaven.

Chap 251. Wesley and Mary Queen of Scots

Tuesday, 26. — I came to Aberdeen.

Here I found a society truly alive, knit together in peace and love. The congregations were large both morning and evening, and, as usual, deeply attentive. But a company of strolling players, who have at length found place here also, stole away the gay part of the hearers. Poor Scotland! Poor Aberdeen! This only was wanting to make them as completely irreligious as England.

Friday, 29. — I read over an extremely sensible book, but one that surprised me much; it is An inquiry into the Proofs of the Charges commonly advanced against Mary Queen of Scots. By means of original papers, he has made it more clear than one would imagine it possible at this distance: 1) that she was altogether innocent of the murder of Lord Darnley, and no way privy to it; 2) that she married Lord Bothwell (then nearly seventy years old, herself but four-and-twenty) from the pressing instance of the nobility in a body, who at the same time assured her he was innocent of the King’s murder; 3) that Murray, Morton, and Lethington themselves contrived that murder in order to charge it upon her, as well as forged those vile letters and sonnets which, they palmed upon the world for hers.

|But how then can we account for the quite contrary story, which has been almost universally received?| Most easily. It was penned and published in French, English, and Latin (by Queen Elizabeth’s order) by George Buchanan, who was secretary to Lord Murray, and in Queen Elizabeth’s pay; so he was sure to throw dirt enough. Nor was she at liberty to answer for herself. |But what then was Queen Elizabeth?| As just and merciful as Nero and as good a Christian as Mohammed.

Sunday, May 1. — I preached at seven in the new room; in the afternoon at the College kirk, in Old Aberdeen. At six, knowing our house could not contain the congregation, I preached in the castle gate, on the paved stones. A large number of people were all attention; but there were many rude, stupid creatures round about them who knew as little of reason as of religion; I never saw such brutes in Scotland before. One of them threw a potato, which fell on my arm; I turned to them, and some were ashamed.

Chap 252. Wesley at Scoon and Holyrood

Monday, 2. — I set out early from Aberdeen and about noon preached in Brechin. After sermon, the provost desired to see me and said, |Sir, my son had epileptic fits from his infancy; Dr. Ogylvie prescribed for him many times and at length told me he could do no more. I desired Mr. Blair last Monday to speak to you. On Tuesday morning my son said to his mother that he had just been dreaming that his fits were gone and he was perfectly well. Soon after I gave him the drops you advised; he is perfectly well and has not had one fit since.

Thursday, 5. — We rode through the pleasant and fruitful Carse of Gowry, a plain, fifteen or sixteen miles long, between the river Tay and the mountains, very thickly inhabited, to Perth. In the afternoon we walked over to the royal palace at Scoon. It is a large old house, delightfully situated, but swiftly running to ruin. Yet there are a few good pictures and some fine tapestry left, in what they call the Queen’s and the King’s chambers. And what is far more curious, there is a bed and a set of hangings in the (once) royal apartment, which was wrought by poor Queen Mary while she was imprisoned in the Castle of Lochlevin. It is some of the finest needlework I have ever seen, and plainly shows both her exquisite skill and unwearied industry.

Saturday, 14. — l walked once more through Holyrood House, a noble pile of building; but the greatest part of it left to itself and so (like the palace at Scone) swiftly running to ruin. The tapestry is dirty and quite faded; the fine ceilings dropping down; many of the pictures in the gallery are torn or cut through. This was the work of good General Hawley’s soldiers (like General, like men!), who, after running away from the Scots at Falkirk, revenged themselves on the harmless canvasl

Sunday, 15. — At eight I preached in the High School yard, and I believe not a few of the hearers were cut to the heart. Between twelve and one a far larger congregation assembled on the Castle Hill. I believe my voice commanded them all while I opened and enforced those awful words, |I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God| [Rev.20:12]. In the evening our house was sufficiently crowded, even with the rich and honorable. |Who hath warned| these |to flee from the wrath to come?| [Matt.3:7]. Oh, may they at length awake and |arise from the dead!

Chap 253. Wesley's Old Schoolfellow

Wednesday, June 1. — Many of the militia were present at Barnard Castle in the evening and behaved with decency. I was well pleased to lodge at a gentleman’s, an old schoolfellow, half a mile from the town. What a dream are the fifty or sixty years that have slipped away since we were at the Charterhouse!

Thursday, 2. — I preached at noon at a farmer’s house, near Brough in Westmoreland. The sun was hot enough, but some shady trees covered both me and most of the congregation. A little bird perched on one of them and sang, without intermission, from the beginning of the service unto the end. Many of the people came from far, but I believe none of them regretted their labor.

Friday, 3. — In running down one of the mountains yesterday, I got a sprain in my thigh. It was worse today, but as I rode to Barnard Castle, the sun shone so hot upon it that before I came to the town it was quite well. In the evening the commanding officer gave orders there should be no exercise that all the Durham militia (what a contrast!) might be at liberty to attend the preaching. Accordingly, we had a little army of officers as well as soldiers, and all behaved well. A large number of them were present at five in the morning.

Tuesday, 7. — l went down by water to South Shields and preached at noon to far more than could hear. We went, after dinner, to Tynemouth Castle, a magnificent heap of ruins. Within the walls are the remains of a very large church, which seems to have been of exquisite workmanship. The stones are joined by so strong a cement that, but for Cromwell’s cannon, they might have stood a thousand years.

Chap 254. Wesley's Wife Ill

Sunday, August 14. — Hearing my wife was dangerously ill, I took chaise immediately and reached the Foundry before one in the morning. Finding the fever was turned and the danger over, about two I set out again, and in the afternoon came (not at all tired) to Bristol.

Wednesday, September 7 (Penzance). — After the early preaching, the select society met; such a company of lively believers, full of faith and love, I never found in this county before. This, and the three following days, I preached at as many places as I could, though I was at first in doubt whether I could preach eight days together, mostly in the open air, three or four times a day. But my strength was as my work; I hardly felt any weariness, first or last.

Sunday, 11. — About nine I preached at St. Agnes and again between one and two. At first I took my old stand at Gwennap, in the natural amphitheater. I suppose no human voice could have commanded such an audience on plain ground; but the ground rising all around gave me such an advantage that I believe all could hear distinctly.

Monday, 12. — I preached about noon at Callistick and in the evening at Kerley. It rained all the time; but that did not divert the attention of a large congregation. At noon, Tuesday, 13, I preached in Truro and in the evening at Mevagissey. It was a season of solemn joy; I have not often found the like. Surely God’s thoughts are not as our thoughts! Can any good be done at Mevagissey?

Friday, 16. — I rode, through heavy rain to Polperro. Here the room over which we were to lodge being filled with pilchards and conger-eels, the perfume was too potent for me; I was not sorry when one of our friends invited me to lodge at her house. Soon after I began to preach, heavy rain began; yet none went away till the whole service was ended.

Saturday, 17. — When we came to Crimble Passage, we were at a full stop. The boatmen told us the storm was so high that it was not possible to pass; however, at length we persuaded them to venture out, and we did not ship one sea till we got over.

Sunday, 18. — Our room at the Dock contained the morning congregation tolerably well. Between one and two I began preaching on the quay in Plymouth. Notwithstanding the rain, abundance of people stood to hear. But one silly man talked without ceasing, till I desired the people to open to the right and left, and let me look him in the face. They did so. He pulled off his hat and quietly went away.

Chap 255. Wesley and Seaport Towns

Wednesday, November 30. — l rode to Dover and came in just before a violent storm began. It did not hinder the people. Many were obliged to go away after the house was filled. What a desire to hear runs through all the seaport towns wherever we come! Surely God is besieging this nation and attacking it at all the entrances!

Wednesday, December 14. — l saw the Westminster scholars act the Adelphi of Terence, an entertainment not unworthy of a Christian. Oh, how do these heathens shame us! Their very comedies contain both excellent sense, the liveliest pictures of men and manner, and so fine strokes of genuine morality as are seldom found in the writings of Christians.

Chap 256. Introduction

1769. Monday, January 9. — I spent a comfortable and profitable hour with Mr. Whitefield, in calling to mind the former times and the manner wherein God prepared us for a work which it had not then entered into our hearts to conceive.

Friday, February 17 (Yarmouth). — I abridged Dr. Watts’s pretty Treatise on the Passions. His hundred and seventy-seven pages will make a useful tract of four-and-twenty. Why do persons who treat the same subjects with me, write so much larger books? Of many reasons, is not this the chief — we do not write with the same view? Their principal end is to get money; my only one, to do good.

Monday, 27 (London. ) — I had one more agreeable conversation with my old friend and fellow laborer, George Whitefield. His soul appeared to be vigorous still, but his body was sinking apace; unless God interposes, he must soon finish his labors.

Chap 257. Wesley's Land-shark

Thursday, March 30 (Dublin). — I was summoned to the Court of Conscience by a poor creature who fed my horses three or four times while I was on board. For this service he demanded ten shillings. I gave him half a crown. When I informed the Court of this, he was sharply reproved. Let all beware of these land-sharks on our seacoasts! — My scraps of time this week, I employed in reading the account of Commodore Byron. I never before read of any who endured such hardships and survived them. Surely no novel in the world can be more affecting, or more surprising, than this history.

Wednesday, April 19 (Armagh). — We took horse about ten, being desired to call at Kinnard (ten or eleven miles out of the way), where a little society had been lately formed who were much alive to God. At the town-end, I was met by a messenger from Archdeacon C — e who desired I would take a bed with him; and soon after by another who told me the Archdeacon desired I would alight at his door. I did so and found an old friend whom I had not seen for four or five and thirty years.

Chap 258. Wesley Opens a New Church

He received me with the most cordial affection and, after a time, said, |We have been building a new church, which my neighbors expected me to open; but if you please to do it, it will be as well.| Hearing the bell, the people flocked together from all parts of the town, and |received the word with all readiness of mind.| I saw the hand of God was in this, for the strengthening of this loving people.

Hence we rode through a pleasant country to Charlemount, where I preached to a very large and serious congregation. [We were gathered] near the fort, which has a ditch round it, with some face of a fortification; it probably (according to custom) costs the Government a thousand a year for not three farthings’ service!

Thursday, 20. — I went on to Castle Caulfield and preached on the green adjoining to the castle, to a plain, serious people, who still retain all their earnestness and simplicity. Thence I rode to Cookstown, a town consisting of one street about a mile long, running directly through a bog. I preached to most of the inhabitants of the town; and so the next day, morning and evening. Many |received the word with gladness.| Perhaps they will not all be stony-ground hearers.

We took the new road to Dungiven. But it was hard work.


Nigh founder’d, on we fated.

Treading the crude consistence.

We were nearly five hours going fourteen miles, partly on horseback, partly on foot. We had, as usual, a full house at Londonderry in the evening and again at eight on Sunday morning. In the afternoon we had a brilliant congregation. But such a sight gives me no great pleasure, as I have very little hope of doing them good; only with God all things are possible.| Both this evening and the next I spoke exceedingly plain to the members of the society. In no other place in Ireland have more pains been taken by the most able of our preachers. And to how little purpose! Bands they have none: four-and-forty persons in society! The greater part of these heartless and cold. The audience in general dead as stones. However, we are to deliver our message; and let our Lord do as seemeth Hirn good.

Chap 259. A Forsaken Beauty

Thursday, May 25. — l rode to Bandon. In the evening we were obliged to be in the house; but the next, Friday, 26, I stood in the main street, and cried to a numerous congregation, |Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole of man| [Eccles.12:13). Afterward I visited one that a year or two ago was in high life, an eminent beauty, adored by her husband, admired and caressed by some of the first men in the nation. She was now without husband, without friend, without fortune, confined to her bed, in constant pain, and in black despair, believing herself forsaken of God and possessed by a legion of devils! Yet I found great liberty in praying for her and a strong hope that she will die in peace.

Tuesday, June 37. — [From a letter |to a pious and sensible woman|] |By Christian perfection, I mean 1) loving God with all our heart. Do you object to this? I mean 2) a heart and life all devoted to God. Do you desire less? I mean 3) regaining the whole image of God. What objection to this? I mean 4) having all the mind that was in Christ. Is this going too far? I mean 5) walking uniformly as Christ walked. And this surely no Christian will object to. If anyone means anything more or anything else by perfection, I have no concern with it. But if this is wrong, yet what need of this heat about it, this violence, I had almost said, fury of opposition, carried so far as even not to lay out anything with this man, or that woman, who professes it?|

Monday, July 3. — l rode to Coolylough (where was the quarterly meeting) and preached at eleven and in the evening. While we were singing, I was surprised to see the horses from all parts of the ground gathering about us. Is it true then that horses, as well as lions and tigers have an ear for music?

Sunday, 30. — At five I preached at Leeds; and on Monday, 31, prepared all things for the ensuing Conference. Tuesday, August 1, it began; and a more loving one we never had. On Thursday I mentioned the case of our brethren at New York, who had built the first Methodist preaching-house in America and were in great want of money and much more of preachers. Two of our preachers, Richard Boardman and Joseph Pillmoor, willingly offered themselves for the service; by whom we determined to send them fifty pounds, as a token of our brotherly love.

Chap 260. Wesley at the Countess of Huntingdon's

Wednesday, August 23. — l went on to Trevecka. Here we found a concourse of people from all parts, come to celebrate the Countess of Huntingdon’s birthday and the anniversary of her school, which was opened on the twenty-fourth of August, last year. I preached in the evening to as many as her chapel could well contain; which is extremely neat, or rather, elegant; as are the dining room, the school, and all the house. About nine Howell Harris desired me to give a short exhortation to his family. I did so; and then went back to my Lady’s and laid me down in peace.

Thursday, 24. — I administered the Lord’s supper to the family. At ten the public service began. Mr. Fletcher preached an exceedingly lively sermon in the court, the chapel being far too small. After him, Mr. William Williams preached in Welsh, till between one and two o’clock. At two we dined. Meantime, a large number of people had baskets of bread and meat carried to them in the court. At three I took my turn there, then Mr. Fletcher, and about five the congregation was dismissed. Between seven and eight the love-feast began at which I believe many were comforted. In the evening several of us retired into the neighboring wood, which is exceedingly pleasantly laid out in walks. One of these leads to a little mount, raised in the midst of a meadow, and commanding a delightful prospect. This is Howell Harris’s work, who has likewise greatly enlarged and beautified his house; with the gardens, orchards, walks, and pieces of water that surround it, it is a kind of little paradise.

Friday, 25. — We rode through a lovely country to Chepstow. I had designed to go straight on, but yielded to the importunity of our friends to stay and preach in the evening. Meantime, I took a walk through Mr. Morris’s woods. There is scarcely anything like them in the kingdom. They stand on the top and down the side of a steep mountain, hanging in a semicircular form over the river. Through these woods abundance of serpentine walks are cut, wherein many seats and alcoves are placed; most of them command a surprising prospect of rocks and fields on the other side of the river. And must all these be burned up? What will become of us then, if we set our hearts upon them?

Chap 261. The Gentleman with Rotten Eggs

Friday, September 8. — I preached about nine at Taunton and then rode on to Bridgewater. This afternoon I went to the top of Brent Hill. I know not that I ever before saw such a prospect. Westward one may see to the mouth of the Bristol Channel; and the three other ways, as far as the eye can reach. And most of the land which you see is well cultivated, well wooded, and well watered; the globe of earth, in its present condition, can hardly afford a more pleasing scene.

Tuesday, 19. — Between twelve and one, I preached at Freshford; on White’s Hill, near Bradford, in the evening. By this means many had an opportunity of hearing who would not have come to the room. I had designed to preach there again the next evening, but a gentleman in the town desired me to preach at his door. The beasts of the people were tolerably quiet till I had nearly finished my sermon. They then lifted up their voices, especially one, called a gentleman, who had filled his pocket with rotten eggs. But, a young man coming unawares clapped his hands on each side and mashed them all at once. In an instant he was perfume all over, though it was not so sweet as balsam.

Tuesday, October 24. — l preached at Alston, in a large maltroom, where one side of my head was very warm, through the crowd of people, the other very cold, having an open window at my ear. Between six and seven I preached at Northampton; and it was an awful season.

This evening there was such an aurora borealis as I never saw before; the colors, both the white, the flame color, and the scarlet, were exceedingly strong and beautiful. But they were awful too, and an abundance of people were frightened into many good resolutions.

Chap 262. Wesley on Geology and Rousseau

Tuesday, December 26. — I read the letters from our preachers in America informing us that God had begun a glorious work there; that both in New York and Philadelphia multitudes flock to hear and behave with the deepest seriousness; and that the society in each place already contains above a hundred members.

Friday, 29, we observed as a day of fasting and prayer, partly on account of the confused state of public affairs, partly as preparatory to the solemn engagement which we were about to renew.

1770. Monday, January 1. — About eighteen hundred of us met together; it was a most solemn season. As we did openly avouch the Lord to be our God, so did He avouch us to be His people [see Deut.26.17, 18].

Wednesday, 17. — In a little journey which I took into Bedfordshire, I finished Dr. Burnet’s Theory of the Earth. He is doubtless one of the first-rate writers, both as to sense and style; his language is remarkably clear, unaffected, nervous, and elegant. And as to his theory, none can deny that it is ingenious and consistent with itself. And it is highly probable 1) that the earth arose out of the chaos in some such manner as he describes; 2) that the antediluvian earth was without high or abrupt mountains, and without sea, being one uniform crust, enclosing the great abyss; 3) that the flood was caused by the breaking of this crust and its sinking into the abyss of waters; and 4) that the present state of the earth, both internal and external, shows it to be the ruins of the former earth. This is the substance of his two former books, and thus far I can go with him.

I have no objection to the substance of his third book upon the general conflagration, but think it one of the noblest tracts which is extant in our language. And I do not much object to the fourth, concerning the new heavens and the new earth. The substance of it is highly probable.

Saturday, February 3, and at my leisure moments on several of the following days, I read with much expectation a celebrated book — Rousseau upon Education. But how was I disappointed! Sure a more consummate coxcomb never saw the sun! How amazingly full of himself! Whatever he speaks, he pronounces as an oracle. But many of his oracles are as palpably false, as that |young children never love old people.| No! Do they never love grandfathers and grandmothers? Frequently more than they do their own parents. Indeed, they love all that love them and that with more warmth and sincerity than when they come to riper years.

But I object to his temper, more than to his judgment: he is a mere misanthrope; a cynic all over. So indeed is his brother-infidel, Voltaire, and well-nigh as great a coxcomb. But he hides both his doggedness and vanity a little better; whereas here it stares us in the face continually.

As to his book, it is whimsical to the last degree, grounded neither upon reason nor experience. To cite particular passages would be endless; but anyone may observe concerning the whole that the advices which are good are trite and common, only disguised under new expressions. And those which are new, which are really his own, are lighter than vanity itself. Such discoveries I always expect from those who are too wise to believe their Bibles.

Chap 263. Swedenborg an Entertaining Madman

Wednesday, 28. — I sat down to read and seriously consider some of the writing of Baron Swedenborg. I began with huge prejudice in his favor, knowing him to be a pious man, one of a strong understanding, of much learning, and one who thoroughly believed himself. But I could not hold out long. Any one of his visions puts his real character out of doubt. He is one of the most ingenious, lively, entertaining madmen that ever set pen to paper. But his waking dreams are so wild, so far remote both from Scripture and common sense, that one might as easily swallow the stories of |Tom Thumb,| or |Jack the Giant-Killer.|

Monday, March 5. — l came to Newbury, where I had been much importuned to preach. But where? The Dissenters would not permit me to preach in their meeting-house. Some were then desirous to hire the old playhouse, but the good mayor would not suffer it to be so profaned! So I made use of a workshop — a large, commodious place. But it would by no means contain the congregation. All that could hear behaved well, and I was in hopes God would have a people in this place also. The next evening I preached at Bristol, and spent the rest of the week there.

Chap 264. Wesley and His Horses

Wednesday, 21. — In the following days I went on slowly, through Staffordshire and Cheshire to Manchester. In this journey, as well as in many others, I observed a mistake that almost universally prevails; I desire all travelers to take good notice of it, for it may save them both from trouble and danger. Nearly thirty years ago I was thinking, |How is it that no horse ever stumbles while I am reading?| (History, poetry, and philosophy I commonly read on horseback, having other employment at other times.) No account can possibly be given but this: because then I throw the reins on his neck. I then set myself to observe; and I aver, that in riding above a hundred thousand miles, I scarcely ever remember any horse (except, two, that would fall head over heels anyway) to fall or make a considerable stumble while I rode with a slack rein. To fancy, therefore, that a tight rein prevents stumbling is a capital blunder. I have repeated the trial more frequently than most men in the kingdom can do. A slack rein will prevent stumbling if anything will. But in some horses nothing can.

Wednesday, April 25. — Taking horse at five, we rode to Dunkeld, the first considerable town in the Highlands. We were agreeably surprised: a pleasanter situation cannot be easily imagined. Afterward we went some miles on a smooth, delightful road, hanging over the river Tay; and then went on, winding through the mountains, to the Castle of Blair. The mountains, for the next twenty miles, were much higher and covered with snow. In the evening we came to Dalwhinny, the dearest inn I have met with in North Britain. In the morning we were informed that so much snow had fallen in the night that we could get no farther. And indeed, three young women, attempting to cross the mountain to Blair, were swallowed up in the snow. However, we resolved, with God’s help, to go as far as we could. But, about noon, we were at a full stop; the snow, driving together on the top of the mountain, had quite blocked up the road. We dismounted and, striking out of the road warily, sometimes to the left, sometimes to the right, with many stumbles but no hurt, we got on to Dalmagarry and before sunset to Inverness.

Friday, 27. — I breakfasted with the senior minister, Mr. McKenzie, a: pious and friendly man. At six in the evening I began preaching in the church and with very uncommon liberty of spirit. At seven in the morning I preached in the library, a large commodious room; but it would not contain the congregation; many were constrained to go away. Afterward I rode over to Fort George, a very regular fortification, capable of containing four thousand men. As I was just taking horse, the commanding officer sent word that I was welcome to preach. But it was a little too late: I had then but just time to ride back to Inverness.

Chap 265. Wesley at Nairn, Elgin, and Aberdeen

Monday, 30. — We set out in a fine morning. A little before we reached Nairn, we were met by a messenger from the minister, Mr. Dunbar; he desired that I would breakfast with him and give them a sermon in his church. Afterward we hastened to Elgin, through a pleasant and well-cultivated country. When we set out from hence, the rain began and poured down till we came to the Spey, the most impetuous river I ever saw. Finding the large boat was in no haste to move, I stepped into a small one, just going off. It whirled us over the stream almost in a minute. I waited at the inn at Fochabers (dark and dirty enough in all reason), till our friends overtook me with the horses. The outside of the inn at Keith was of the same hue, and promised us no great things. But we were agreeably disappointed. We found plenty of everything and so dried ourselves at leisure.

Sunday, May 6. — I preached in the college kirk at Old Aberdeen, to a very serious (though mostly genteel) congregation. In the evening I preached at our own room and early in the morning took my leave of this loving people. We came to Montrose about noon. I had designed to preach there but found no notice had been given. However, I went down to the green and sang a hymn. People presently flocked from all parts, and God gave me great freedom of speech; I hope we did not meet in vain.

At seven in the evening I preached at Arbroath, properly Aberbrothwick. The whole town seems moved: the congregation was the largest I have seen since we left Inverness. And the society, though but of nine months’ standing, is the largest in the kingdom, next that of Aberdeen.

Tuesday, 8. — I took a view of the small remains of the abbey. I know nothing like it in all North Britain. I paced it and found it a hundred yards long. The breadth is proportionable. Part of the west end, which is still standing, shows it was fully as high as Westminster Abbey. The south end of the cross aisle likewise is standing, near the top of which is a large circular window. The zealous Reformers, they told us, burnt this down. God deliver us from reforming mobs!

I have seen no town in Scotland which increases so fast, or which is built with so much common sense, as this. Two entirely new streets and part of a third have been built within these two years. They run parallel with each other and have a row of gardens between them. So that every house has a garden, and thus both health and convenience are consulted.

Chap 266. Where Are the Highlands?

Monday, 14. — After ten years’ inquiry, I have learned what are the Highlands of Scotland. Some told me, |The Highlands begin when you cross the Tay|; others, |when you cross the North Esk|; and others, |when you cross the river Spey.| But all of them missed the mark. The truth of the matter is, the Highlands are bounded by no river at all, but by carns, or heaps of stones laid in a row, southwest and northeast, from sea to sea. These formerly divided the kingdom of the Picts from that of the Caledonians, which included all the country north of the carns; several whereof are still remaining. It takes in Argyleshire, most of Perthshire, Murrayshire, with all the northwest counties. This is called the Highlands because a considerable part of it (though not the whole) is mountainous. But it is not more mountainous than North Wales, nor than many parts of England and Ireland; nor do I believe it has any mountain higher than Snowdon Hill, or the Skiddaw in Cumberland. Talking Erse [Gaelic], therefore, is not the thing that distinguishes these from the Lowlands. Neither is this or that river; both the Tay, the Esk, and the Spey running through the Highlands, not south of them.

Friday, 18. — We rode over to the Earl of Haddington’s seat, finely situated between two woods. The house is exceedingly large and pleasant, commanding a wide prospect both ways; and the Earl is cutting walks through the woods, smoothing the ground and much enlarging and beautifying his garden. Yet he is to diel In the evening, I trust God broke some of the stony hearts of Dunbar. A little increase here is in the society likewise, and all the members walk unblamably.

Chap 267. Wesley and the Turnpikes

Friday, June 15. — l was agreeably surprised to find the whole road from Thirsk to Stokesley, which used to be extremely bad, better than most turnpikes. The gentlemen had exerted themselves and raised money enough to mend it effectually. So they have done for several hundred miles in Scotland, and throughout all Connaught in Ireland; and so they undoubtedly might do throughout all England, without saddling the poor people with the vile imposition of turnpikes forever.

In the aftemoon we come to Whitby. Having preached thrice a day for five days, I was willing to preach in the house; but notice had been given of my preaching in the market place; so I began at six, to a large congregation most of them deeply attentive.

Sunday, 17. — We had a poor sermon at church. However, I went again in the afternoon, remembering the words of Mr. Philip Henry, |If the preacher does not know his duty, I bless God that I know mine.|

Thursday, 28. — I can hardly believe that I am this day entered into the sixty-eighth year of my age. How marvelous are the ways of God! How has He kept me even from a child! From ten to thirteen or fourteen, I had little but bread to eat, and not great plenty of that. I believe this was so far from hurting me that it laid the foundation of lasting health. When I grew up, in consequence of reading Dr. Cheyne, I chose to eat sparingly and to drink water. This was another great means of continuing my health til I was about seven-and-twenty. I then began spitting of blood, which continued several years. A warm climate cured this. I was afterward brought to the brink of death by a fever; but it left me healthier than before. Eleven years after, I was in the third stage of a consumption; in three months it pleased God to remove this also. Since that time I have known neither pain nor sickness, and am now healthier than I was forty years ago. This hath God wrought!

Chap 268. Wesley in St. Albans Abbey

Monday, July 30. — l preached at Bingham, ten miles from Nottingham. I really admired the exquisite stupidity of the people. They gaped and stared while I was speaking of death and judgment, as if they had never heard of such things before. And they were not helped by two surly, ill-mannered clergymen, who seemed to be just as wise as themselves. The congregation at Houghton in the evening was more noble, behaving with the utmost decency.

Tuesday, 31. — At nine I preached in the market place at Loughborough, to almost as large a congregation as at Nottingham and equally attentive. Thence I rode to Markfield. Notwithstanding the harvest, the church was quickly filled. And great was our rejoicing in our great High Priest, through whom we |came boldly to the throne of grace.| In the evening I preached in the Castle Yard at Leicester, to a multitude of awakened and unawakened. One feeble attempt was made to disturb them. A man was sent to cry fresh salmon at a little distance; but he might as well have spared the pains, for none took the least notice of him.

Wednesday, August 1. — I rode to Northampton. It being still extremely hot, I determined not to be cooped up, but took my stand on the side of the common, and cried aloud to a large multitude of rich and poor, |Acquaint thyself now with him, and be at peace| [Job 27:21].

Thursday, 2. — Some friends from London met us at St. Albans. Before dinner we took a walk in the abbey, one of the most ancient buildings in the kingdom, nearly a thousand years old; and one of the largest, being five hundred and sixty feet in length (considerably more than Westminster Abbey), and broad and high in proportion. Near the east end is the tomb and vault of good Duke Humphrey. Some now living remember since his body was entire. style=|#_ftn42| name=|_ftnref42|> But after the coffin was opened, so many were curious to taste the liquor in which it was preserved that in a little time the corpse was left bare, and then soon moldered away. A few bones are now all that remain. How little is the spirit concerned at this!

Chap 269. Wesley and the Druid Monuments

Tuesday, 21. — I rode on to Tiverton, and thence through Launceston, Camelford, Port Isaac, Cubert, St. Agnes, and Redruth, to St. Ives. Here God has made all our enemies to be at peace with us, so that I might have preached in any part of the town. But I rather chose a meadow, where such as would might sit down, either on the grass or on the hedges — so the Cornish term their broad stone walls, which are usually covered with grass. Here I enforced, |Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.|

Saturday, September 1. — I took a walk to the top of that celebrated hill, Carn Brae. Here are many monuments of remote antiquity, scarcely to be found in any other part of Europe: Druid altars of enormous size, being only huge rocks, strangely suspended one upon the other; and rock basins, followed on the surface of the rock, it is supposed, to contain the holy water. It is probable these are at least coeval with Pompey’s theater, if not with the pyramids of Egypt. And what are they the better for this? Of what consequence is it either to the dead or the living whether they have withstood the wastes of time for three thousand or three hundred years?

Chap 270. Congregation of 20,000

Sunday, 2. — At five in the evening I preached in the natural amphitheater at Gwennap. The people covered a circle of nearly fourscore yards diameter and could not be fewer than twenty thousand. Yet, upon inquiry, I found they could all hear distinctly, it being a calm, still evening.

After visiting Medros, Plymouth, and Collumpton, I came on Friday, 7, to Taunton. Presently, after preaching, I took horse. The rain obliged us to make haste; but in a while the saddle came over his neck, and then turned under his belly. I had then only to throw myself off, or I would have fallen under him. I was a little bruised, but soon mounted again and rode to Lymphsham, and the next day to Bristol.

Sunday, 9. — My voice was weak when I preached at Princes Street in the morning. It was stronger at two in the afternoon, while I was preaching under the sycamore tree in Kingswood; and strongest of all at five in the evening, when we assembled near King’s Square in Bristol.

Thursday, October 11. — About eleven I preached at Winchester, to a genteel and yet serious congregation. I was a little tired before I came to Portsmouth, but the congregation soon made me forget my weariness. Indeed the people in general here are more noble than most in the south of England. They receive the Word of God |with all readiness of mind,| and showed civility, at least, to all that preach it.

Chap 271. Fire at Portsmouth Dock

Friday, 12. — I walked round the Dock, which is much larger than any in England. The late fire began in a place where no one comes, just at low water, and at a time when all were fast asleep. None can doubt its being done by design. It spread with such amazing violence, among tow, and cordage, and dry wood, that none could come near without the utmost danger. Nor was anything expected, but the whole dock would be consumed, if not the town also. But this God would not permit. It stopped on one side, close to the commissioner’s house; and just as it was seizing the town on the other side, the wind changed and drove it back. Afterward the fury of it was checked by water, by sand, and by pulling down some buildings. And yet it was fully five weeks before it was wholly put out.

Chap 272. Wesley Preaches Whitefield's Funeral Sermon

Saturday, November 10. — I returned to London, and had the melancholy news of Mr. Whitefield’s death confirmed by his executors, who desired me to preach his funeral sermon on Sunday, the eighteenth. In order to write this, I retired to Lewisham on Monday; and on Sunday following, went to the chapel in Tottenham Court Road. An immense multitude was gathered together from all corners of the town. I was at first afraid that a great part of the congregation would not be able to hear; but it pleased God so to strengthen my voice that even those at the door heard distinctly. It was an awful season: all were still as night; most appeared to be deeply affected; and an impression was made on many, which one would hope will not speedily be effaced.

The time appointed for my beginning at the Tabernacle was half-hour after five; but it was quite filled at three, so I began at four. At first the noise was exceedingly great; but it ceased when I began to speak; and my voice was again so strengthened that all who were within could hear, unless an accidental noise hindered here or there for a few moments. Oh, that all may hear the voice of Him with whom are the issues of life and death; and who so loudly, by this unexpected stroke, calls all His children to love one another!

Friday, 23. — Being desired by the trustees of the tabernacle at Greenwich to preach Mr. Whitefield’s funeral sermon there, I went over today for that purpose; but neither would this house contain the congregation. Those who could not get in made some noise at first, but in a little while all were silent. Here, likewise, I trust God has given a blow to that bigotry which had prevailed for many years.

Monday, December 3. — l took a little journey into Kent. In the evening I preached at Chatham, in the new house, which was sufficiently crowded with attentive hearers.

Tuesday, 4. — l preached at Canterbury.

Wednesday, 5. — We went to Dover where, with some difficulty, we climbed to the top of Shakespeare’s cliff. It is exceedingly high and commands a vast prospect both by sea and land; but it is nothing so terrible in itself as it is in his description. I preached to a very serious congregation in the evening as well as in the morning. The same, likewise, we observed at Canterbury; so that I hope to see good days here also.

Friday, 7. — l preached in Feversham at nine and in the evening at Chatham. So we go through water and firel And all is well, so we are doing or suffering the will of our Lotd!

Wednesday, 19. — About noon I preached at Dorking. The hearers were many and seemed all attention. About a hundred attended at Ryegate in the evening, and between twenty and thirty in the morning; dull indeed as stones.

Chap 273. Introduction

1771. Wednesday, January 2. — I preached in the evening, at Deptford, a kind of funeral sermon for Mr. Whitefield. In every place I wish to show all possible respect to the memory of that great and good man.

Wednesday, 23. — For what cause I know not to this day, — -[Wesley’s wife] set out for Newcastle, purposing |never to return.| Non cam reliqui: non dimisi: non revocabo — [l did not desert her: I did not send her away: I will not recall her.]

Friday, 25. — I revised and transcribed my will, declaring as simply, as plainly, and as briefly as I could, nothing more nor nothing else, but |what I would have done with the worldly goods which I leave behind me.|

Thursday, Feb.14. — l went through both the upper and lower rooms of the London workhouse. It contains about a hundred children, who are in as good order as any private family. And the whole house is as clean, from top to bottom, as any gentleman’s needs be. And why is not every workhouse in London, yea, through the kingdom, in the same order? Purely for want either of sense, or of honesty and activity, in them that superintend it.

Monday, 25. — I showed a friend, coming out of the country, the tombs in Westminster Abbey. The two with which I still think none of the others worthy to be compared are that of Mrs. Nightingale, and that of the Admiral rising out of his tomb at the resurrection. But the vile flattery inscribed on many of them reminded me of that just reflection:


If on the sculptured marble you rely,

Pity that worth like his should ever die.

If credit to the real life you give,

Pity a wretch like him should ever live!

Chap 274. The Earl of Desmond's Castle

Wednesday, May 22 (Ireland). — After preaching at Balligarane, I rode to Ashkayton. There are no ruins, I believe, in the kingdom of Ireland, to be compared to these. The old Earl of Desmond’s Castle is very large, and has been exceedingly strong. Not far from this, and formerly communicating with it by a gallery, is his great hall, or banqueting room. The walls are still firm and entire; and these with the fine carvings of the windowframes (all of polished marble) give some idea of what it was once. Its last master lived like a prince for many years and rebelled over and over against Queen Elizabeth. After his last rebellion, his army being totally routed, he fled into the woods with two or three hundred men. But the pursuit was so hot that these were soon scattered from him, and he crept alone into a small cabin. He was sitting there when a soldier came in and struck him. He rose and said, |I am the Earl of Desmond.| The wretch, rejoicing that he had found so great a prize, cut off his head at once. Queen Elizabeth and King James allowed a pension to his relict for many years. I have seen a striking picture of her, in her widow’s weeds, said to be taken when she was a hundred and forty years old.

At a small distance from the castle stands the old abbey, the finest ruin of the kind in the kingdom. Not only the walls of the church and many of the apartments but the whole cloisters are entire. They are built of black marble exquisitely polished and vaulted over with the same. So that they are as firm now as when they were built, perhaps seven or eight hundred years ago; and, if not purposely destroyed (as most of the ancient buildings in Ireland have been), may last these thousand years. But add these to the years they have stood already and what is it to eternity? A moment!

Monday, June 24. — This day I entered the sixty-ninth year of my age. I am still a wonder to myself. My voice and strength are the same as at nine-and-twenty. This also hath God wrought.

Chap 275. Wesley in Winchester Cathedral

Tuesday, October 1. — I went on to Salisbury. Wednesday, 2. I preached at Whitchurch; Thursday, 3, at Winchester. I now found time to take a view of the cathedral. Here the sight of that bad Cardinal’s tomb, whom the sculptor has placed in a posture of prayer, brought to my mind those fine lines of Shakespeare, which he put into the mouth of King Henry the Sixth:


Lord Cardinal,

If thou hast any Hope of heaven’s grace,

Give us a sign. He dies, and makes no sign.

On Thursday and Friday evening I preached at Portsmouth Common. Saturday, 5. I set out at two. About ten some of our London friends met me at Cobbam, with whom I took a walk in the neighboring gardens, inexpressibly pleasant through the variety of hills and dales and the admirable contrivance of the whole. And now, after spending his life in bringing it to perfection, the grey-headed owner advertises it to be sold! Is there anything under the sun that can satisfy a spirit made for God?

Wednesday, 16. — I preached at South Lye. Here it was that I preached my first sermon, six-and-forty years ago. One man was in my present audience who heard it. Most of the rest are gone to their long home.

Wednesday, 30. — l walked over to Winchelsea from Rye, said to have been once a large city with abundance of trade and of inhabitants, the sea washing the foot of the hill on which it stands. The situation is exceedingly bold, the hill being high and steep on all sides. But the town is shrunk almost into nothing, and the seven churches into half a one. I preached at eleven in the new square to a considerable number of serious people; and at Rye in the evening where were many that are |not far from the kingdom of God.|

Tuesday, November 5. — In our way to Bury we called at Felsham, near which is the seat of the late Mr. Reynolds. The house is, I think, the best contrived and the most beautiful I ever saw. It has four fronts, and five rooms on a floor, elegantly, though not sumptuously, furnished. At a small distance stands a delightful grove. On every side of this, the poor rich man, who had no hope beyond the grave, placed seats, to enjoy life as long as he could. But being resolved none of his family should be |put into the ground,| he built a structure in the midst of the grove, vaulted above and beneath, with niches for coffins, strong enough to stand for ages. In one of these he had soon the satisfaction of laying the remains of his only child; and two years after, those of his wife. After two years more, in the year 1759, having eaten, and drunk, and forgotten God for eighty-four years, he went himself to give an account of his stewardship.

Chap 276. Wesley at Windsor Park

Friday, 29. — We viewed the improvements of that active and useful man, the late Duke of Cumberland. The most remarkable work is the triangular tower which he built on the edge of Windsor Park. It is surrounded with shrubberies and woods, having some straight, some serpentine, walks in them, and commands a beautiful prospect all three ways: a very extensive one to the southwest. In the lower part is an alcove which must be extremely pleasant in a summer evening. There is a little circular projection at each corner, one of which is filled by a geometrical staircase; the other two contain little apartments, one of which is a study. I was agreeably surprised to find many of the books not only religious, but admirably well chosen. Perhaps the great man spent many hours here, with only Him that seeth in secret; and who can say how deep that change went, which was so discernible in the latter part of his life?

Hence we went to Mr. Bateman’s house, the oddest I ever saw with my eyes. Everything breathes antiquity; scarcely a bedstead is to be seen that is not a hundred and fifty years old; and everything is quite out of the common way: he scorns to have anything like his neighbors. For six hours, I suppose, these elegant oddities would much delight a curious man; but after six months they would probably give him no more pleasure than a collection of feathers.

Monday, December 16. — I rode to Dorking, where were many a people; but none were cut to the heart. Tuesday, 17. I went on to Ryegate-place. In King Henry the Fourth’s time, this was an eminent monastery. At the dissolution of monasteries, it fell into the hands of the great spoiler, Henry the Eighth. Queen Elizabeth, pleased with the situation, chose it for one of her palaces. The gentleman who possesses it now has entirely changed the form of it, pulling down whole piles of ancient building and greatly altering what remains. Yet, after all that is taken away, it still looks more like a palace than a private house. The staircase is of the same model with that at Hampton Court; one would scarcely know which is the original. The chimney-piece in the hall is probably one of the most curious pieces of woodwork now in the kingdom. But how long? How many of its once bustling inhabitants are already under the earth! And how little a time will it be before the house itself, yea the earth shall be burned up!

Saturday, 21. — I met an old friend, James Hutton, whom I had not seen for five-and-twenty years. I felt this made no difference; my heart was quite open; his seemed to be the same; and we conversed just as we did in 1738, when we met in Fetter Lane.

Monday, 23, and so all the following days when I was not particularly engaged, I spent an hour in the morning with our preachers, as I used to do with my pupils at Oxford. Wednesday, 25. I preached early at the Foundry; morning and afternoon, at the chapel. In returning thence at night, a coach ran full against my chaise, and broke one of the shafts and the traces in pieces. I was thankful that this was all; that neither man nor beast received the least hurt.

Monday, 30. — At my brother’s request, I sat again for my picture. This melancholy employment always reminds me of that natural reflection —


Behold, what frailty we in man may see

His shadow is less given to change than he.

1772. — Tuesday, January 14. — l spent an agreeable hour with Dr. S — , the oldest acquaintance I now have. He is the greatest genius in little things that ever fell under my notice. Almost everything about him is of his own invention, either in whole or in part. Even his firescreen, his lamps of various sorts, his inkhorn, his very save-all. I really believe, were he seriously to set about it, he could invent the best mousetrap that ever was in the world.

Chap 277. Wesley as Art Critic

Thursday, 16. — I set out for Luton. The snow lay so deep on the road that it was not without much difficulty and some danger that we at last reached the town. I was offered the use of the church. The frost was exceedingly sharp, and the glass was taken out of the windows. However, for the sake of the people, I accepted the offer, though I might just as well have preached in the open air. I suppose four times as many people were present as would have been at the room; and about a hundred in the morning. So I did not repent of my journey through the snow.

Friday, February 7. — l called on a friend at Hampton Court, who went with me through the house. It struck me more than anything of the kind I have seen in England, more than Blenheim House itself. One great difference is, everything there appears designedly grand and splendid; here everything is quite, as it were, natural, and one thinks it cannot be otherwise. If the expression may be allowed, there is a kind of stiffness runs through the one, and an easiness through the other. Of pictures I do not pretend to be a judge; but there is one, by Paul Rubens, which particularly struck me, both with the design and the execution of it. It is Zacharias and Elisabeth, with John the Baptist, two or three years old, coming to visit Mary, and our Lord sitting upon her knee. The passions are surprisingly expressed, even in the children; but I could not see either the decency or common sense of painting them stark naked. Nothing can defend or excuse this; it is shockingly absurd, even an Indian being the judge. I allow, a man who paints thus may have a good hand but certainly no brains.

Chap 278. Wesley on A Sentimental Journey

Tuesday, 11. — I casually took a volume of what is called, A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy. Sentimental! what is that? It is not English: he might as well say continental. It is not sense. It conveys no determinate idea, yet one fool makes many. And this nonsensical word (who would believe it?) has becomes a fashionable onel However, the book agrees full well with the title; for one is as queer as the other. For oddity, uncouthness, and unlikeness to all the world beside, I suppose, the writer is without a rival.

Wednesday, 12. — In returning, I read a very different book, published by an honest Quaker, on that execrable sum of all villanies, commonly called the slave trade. I read of nothing like it in the heathen world, whether ancient or modern; and it infinitely exceeds, in every instance of barbarity, whatever Christian slaves suffer in Mohammedan countries.

Friday, 14. — I began to execute a design, which had long been in my thoughts, to print as accurate an edition of my works, as a bookseller would do. Surely I ought to be as exact for God’s sake, as he would be for money.

Monday, 17. — One gave me a very remarkable account: A gay young woman lately came up to London. Curiosity led her to hear a sermon, which cut her to the heart. One standing by observed how she was affected and took occasion to talk with her. She lamented that she should hear no more such serrnons, as she was to go into the country the next day; but she begged her new acquaintance to write to her there, which she promised to do. In the country her convictions so increased that she resolved to put an end to her own life. With this design she was going upstairs, when her father called her and gave her a letter from London. It was from her new acquaintance, who told her, |Christ is just ready to receive you: now is the day of salvation.| She cried out, |It is, it is! Christ is mine!| and was filled with joy unspeakable. She begged her father to give her pen, ink, and paper that she might answer her friend immediately. She told her what God had done for her soul, and added, |We have no time to lose! The Lord is at hand! Now, even now, we are stepping into eternity.| She directed her letter, dropped down, and died.

Chap 279. Wesley and the Boarding School

Friday, 21. — I met several of my friends, who had begun a subscription to prevent my riding on horseback, which I cannot do quite so well, since a hurt which I got some months ago. If they continue it, well, if not, I shall have strength according to my need.

Monday, April 6 (Manchester). — In the afternoon I drank tea at Am. O. But how was I shocked! The children that used to cling about me and drink in every word had been at a boarding school. There they had unlearned all religion and even seriousness and had learned pride vanity, affectation, and whatever could guard them against the knowledge and love of God. Methodist parents who would send your girls headlong to hell, send them to a fashionable boarding school!

Tuesday, 14. — l set out for Carlisle. A great part of the road was miserably bad. However, we reached it in the afternoon and found a small company of plain, loving people. The place where they had appointed me to preach was out of the gate; yet it was tolerably filled with attentive hearers. Afterward, inquiring for the Glasgow road, I found it was not much round to go by Edinburgh; so I chose that road and went five miles forward this evening, to one of our friends’ houses. Here we had a hearty welcome, under a lowly roof, with sweet and quiet rest.

Wednesday, 15. — Though it was a lone house, we had a large congregation at five in the morning. Afterward we rode for upwards of twenty miles, through a most delightful country, the fruitful mountains rising on either hand, and the clear stream running beneath. In the afternoon we had a furious storm of rain and snow; however, we reached Selkirk safe. Here I observed a little piece of stateliness which was quite new to me: the maid came in, and said, |Sir, the lord of the stable waits to know if he should feed your horses.| We call him ostler in England. After supper all the family seemed glad to join with us in prayer.

Thursday, 16. — We went on through the mountains, covered with snow, to Edinburgh.

Saturday, 18. — I set out for Glasgow. One would rather have imagined it was the middle of January than the middle of April. The snow covered the mountains on either hand, and the frost was exceedingly sharp; so I preached within, both this evening and on Sunday morning. But in the evening the multitude constrained me to stand in the street. My text was, |What God has cleansed, that call not thou common| [Acts 10:15]. Hence I took occasion to fall upon their miserable bigotry for opinions and modes of worship. Many seemed to be not a little convinced; but how long will the impression continue?

Chap 280. Wesley at Greenock and Glasgow

Monday, 20. — I went on to Greenock, a seaport town, twenty miles west of Glasgow. It is built very much like Plymouth Dock, and has a safe and spacious harbor. The trade and inhabitants, and consequently the houses, are increasing swiftly; and so is cursing, swearing, drunkenness, Sabbath-breaking, and all manner of wickedness. Our room is about thrice as large as that at Glasgow; but it would not near contain thecongregation. I spoke exceedingly plain, and not without hope that we may see some fruit, even among this hardhearted generation.

Tuesday, 21. — The house was very full in the morning, and they showed an excellent spirit. After I had spoken a few words on the head, everyone stood up at the singing. In the afternoon I preached at Port Glasgow, a large town two miles east of Greenock. Many gay people were there, careless enough; but the greater part seemed to hear with understanding. In the evening I preached at Greenock; God gave them a loud call, whither they will hear or whether they will forbear.

Wednesday, 22. — About eight I preached once more in the Masons’ Lodge, at Port Glasgow. The house was crowded greatly; and I suppose all the gentry of the town were part of the congregation. Resolving not to shoot over their heads, as I had done the day before, I spoke strongly of death and judgment, heaven and hell. This they seemed to comprehend; and there was no more laughing among them, or talking with each other; but all were quietly and deeply attentive.

In the evening, when I began at Glasgow, the congregation being but small, I chose a subject fit for experienced Christians; but soon after, a heap of fine gay people came in; yet I could not decently break off what I was about, though they gaped and stared abundantly. I could only give a short exhortation in the close, more suited to their capacity.

Chap 281. Wesley Receives the Freedom of Perth

Tuesday, 28 (Dunkeld). — We, walked through the Duke of Athol’s gardens, in which was one thing I never saw before — a summerhouse in the middle of a greenhouse, by means of which one might in the depth of winter enjoy the warmth of May, and sit surrounded with greens and flowers on every side.

In the evening I preached oncemore at Perth, to a large and serious congregation. Afterward they did me an honor I never thought of — presented me with the freedom of the city.

In my way to Perth, I read over the first volume of Dr. Robertson’s History of Charles the Fifth. I know not when I have been so disappointed. It might as well be called the History of Alexander the Great. Here is a quarto volume of eight or ten shillings’ price, containing dry, verbose dissertations on feudal government, the substance of all which might be comprised in half a sheet of paper! But |Charles the Fifth!| Where is Charles the Fifth?


Leave off thy reflections, and give us thy tale!

Wednesday, 29. — I went on to Brechin and preached in the town hall to a congregation of all sorts, Seceders, Glassites, Non-jurors, and whatnot. Oh, what excuse have ministers in Scotland for not declaring the whole counsel of God, where the bulk of the people not only endure, but love plain dealingl

Friday and Saturday. — I rested at Aberdeen. Sunday, May 3. — l went in the morning to the English church. Here, likewise, I could not but admire the exemplary decency of the congregation. This was the more remarkable, because so miserable a reader I never heard before. Listening with all attention, I understood but one single word, Balak, in the first lesson; and one more, begat, was all I could possibly distinguish in the second. Is there no man of spirit belonging to this congregation? Why is such a burlesque upon public worship suffered? Would it not be far better to pay this gentleman for doing nothing, than for doing mischief and for bringing a scandal upon religion?

About three I preached at the College kirk in the Old Town to a large congregation, rich and poor; at six, in our own house, on the narrow way. I spoke exceedingly plainly, both this evening and the next; yet none were offended. What encouragement has every preacher in this country |by manifestation of the truth| to |commend| himself |to every man’s conscience in the sight of God!|

Tuesday, 5. — In the evening I preached in the new house at Arbroath (properly Aberbrotheek). In this town there is a change indeed! It was wicked to a proverb: remarkable for Sabbath-breaking, cursing, swearing, drunkenness, and a general contempt of religion. But it is not so now. Open wickedness disappears; no oaths are heard, no drunkenness seen in the streets. And many have not only ceased from evil and learned to do well, but are witnesses of the inward kingdom of God, |righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.|

Wednesday, 6. — The magistrates here also did me the honor of presenting me with the freedom of their corporation. I value it as a token of their respect, though I shall hardly make any further use of it.

Chap 282. Wesley Visits the Bass Rock

Wednesday, 20. — In the evening I preached at Dunbar. Thursday, 21. I went to the Bass, seven miles from it, which, in the horrid reign of Charles the Second, was the prison of those venerable men who suffered the loss of all things for a good conscience. It is a high rock surrounded by the sea, two or three miles in circumference, and about two miles from the shore. The strong east wind made the water so rough that the boat could hardly live; and when we came to the only landing-place (the other sides being quite perpendicular), it was with much difficulty that we got up, climbing on our hands and knees. The castle, as one may judge by what remains, was utterly inaccessible. The walls of the chapel and of the Governor’s house are tolerably entire. The garden walls are still seen near the top of the rock, with the well in the midst of it. And round the walls there are spots of grass that feed eighteen or twenty sheep.

But the proper natives of the island are Solund geese, a bird about the size of a Muscovy duck, which breed by thousands, from generation to generation, on the sides of the rock. It is peculiar to these that they lay but one egg, which they do not sit upon at all,but keep it under one foot (as we saw with our eyes), till it is hatched.

How many prayers did the holy men confined here offer up, in that evil day! And how many thanksgivings should we return, for all the liberty, civil and religious, which we enjoy!

At our return, we walked over the ruins of Tantallon Castle, once the seat of the great Earls of Douglas. The front walls (it was foursquare) are still standing, and by their vast height and huge thickness give us a little idea of what it once was. Such is human greatness!

Friday, 22. — We took a view of the famous Roman camp, lying on a mountain two or three miles from the town. It is encompassed with two broad and deep ditches and is not easy of approach on any side. Here lay General Lesley with his army, while Cromwell was starving below. He had no way to escape; but the enthusiastic fury of the Scots delivered him. When they marched into the valley to swallow him up, he mowed them down like grass.

Saturday, 23. — l went on to Alnwick and preached in the town hall. What a difference between an English and a Scotch congregation! These judge themselves rather than the preacher; and their aim is not only to know but to love and obey.

Chap 283. Through the Dales

Monday, June 1. — I began a little tour through the Dales. About nine, I preached at Kiphill; at one, at Wolsingham. Here we began to trace the revival of the work of God; and here began the horrid mountains we had to climb over. However, before six, we reached Barnard Castle. I preached at the end of the preaching-house to a large congregation of established Christians. At five in the morning, the house was nearly full of persons ripe for the height and depth of the gospel.

Tuesday, 2. — We rode to New Orygan in Teesdale. The people were deeply attentive; but, I think, not deeply affected. From the top of the next enormous mountain, we had a view of Weardale. It is a lovely prospect. The green gently rising meadows and fields on both sides of the little river, clear as crystal, were sprinkled over with innumerable little houses; three in four of which (if not nine. in ten) are sprung up since the Methodists came hither. Since that time, the beasts are turned into men, and the wilderness in a fruitful field.

Thursday, 4. — At five I took my leave of this blessed peopIe. I was a little surprised, in looking attentively upon them, to observe so beautiful faces as I never saw before in one congregation; many of the children in particular, twelve or fourteen of whom (chiefly boys) sat full in my view. But I allow, much more might be owing to grace than nature, to the heaven within, that shone outward.

Chap 284. Field-preaching as Wesley's Cross

Friday, August 21. — I preached again about eight, and then rode back to Harford. After dinner we hastened to the Passage; but the watermen were not in haste to fetch us over; so I sat down on a convenient stone, and finished the little tract I had in hand. However, I got to Pembroke in time and preached in the town hall, where we had a solemn and comfortable opportunity.

Sunday, September 6. — I preached on the quay, at Kingswood, and near King’s Square. To this day field-preaching is a cross to me. But I know my commission and see no other way of |preaching the gospel to every creature.|

Wednesday, October 14. — A book was given me to write on, The Works of Mr. Thomson, of whose poetical abilities I had always had a low opinion; but looking into one of his tragedies, |Edward and Eleonora,| I was agreeably surprised. The sentiments are just and noble; the diction strong, smooth, and elegant; and the plot conducted with the utmost art and wrought off in a most surprising manner. It is quite his masterpiece, and I really think might vie with any modern performance of the kind.

Chap 285. Good or Bad Spirits?

Saturday, 31. — A young man of good sense and an unblamable character gave me a strange account of what (he said) had happened to himself and three other persons in the same house. As they all feared God, I thought the matter deserved a further examination. So in the afternoon I talked largely with them all. The sum of their account was this: |Nearly two years ago, Martin S — and William J — saw, in dream, two or three times repeated to each of them, a person who told them there was a large treasure hid in such a spot, three miles from Norwich, consisting of money and plate, buried in a chest, between six and eight feet deep. They did not much regard this, till each of them, when they were broad awake, saw an elderly man and woman standing by their bedside, who told them the same thing, and bade them go and dig it up, between eight and twelve at night. Soon after, they went; but, being afraid, took a third man with them. They began digging at eight, and after they had dug six feet, saw the top of a coffer, or chest. But presently it sank down into the earth; and there appeared over the place a large globe of bright fire, which, after some time, rose higher and higher, till it was quite out of sight. Not long after, the man and woman appeared again, and said, ‘You spoiled all, by bringing that man with you.’ From this time, both they and Sarah and Mary J — , who live in the same house with them, have heard, several times in a week delightful music, for a quarter of an hour at a time. They often hear it before those persons appear; often when they do not appear.| They asked me whether they were good or bad spirits; but I could not resolve them.

Chap286. A Remarkable Dream

Tuesday, November 17. — One was relating a remarkable story, which I thought worthy to be remembered. Two years ago, a gentleman of large fortune in Kent dreamed that he was walking through the churchyard and saw a new monument with the following inscription:

Here lieth the Body




He told his friends in the morning and was much affected; but the impression soon wore off. But on that day he did depart, and a stone was erected with that very inscription.

A gentlewoman present added an account equally surprising which she received from the person’s own mouth:

|Mrs. B — , when about fourteen years of age, being at a boarding school a mile or two from her father’s, dreamed she was on the top of the church steeple, when a man came up and threw her down to the roof of the church. Yet she seemed not much hurt, till he came to her again and threw her to the bottom. She thought she looked hard at him, and said, ‘Now you have hurt me sadly, but I shall hurt you worse’; and waked. A week after, she was to go to her father’s. She set out early in the morning. At the entrance of a little wood, she stopped and doubted whether she should not go round, instead of through it. But, knowing no reason, she went straight through till she came to the other side. Just as she was going over the style, a man pulled her back by the hair. She immediately knew it was the same man whom she had seen in her dream. She fell on her knees, and begged him, ‘For God’s sake, do not hurt me any more.’ He put his hands round her neck and squeezed her so that she instantly lost her senses. He then stripped her, carried her a little way, and threw her into a ditch.

|Meantime, her father’s servant coming back to the school, and hearing she was gone without him, walked back. Coming to the style, he heard several groans and, looking about, saw many drops of blood. He traced them to the ditch, whence the groans came. He lifted her up, not knowing her at all, as her face was covered with blood, carried her to a neighboring house; running to the village, he quickly brought a surgeon. She was just alive; but her throat was much hurt, so that she could not speak at all.

|Just then a young man of the village was missing. Search being made, he was apprehended in an alehouse two miles off. He had all her clothes with him in a bag, which, he said, he found. It was three months before she was able to go abroad. He was arraigned at the Assizes. She knew him perfectly and swore to the man. He was condemned, and soon after executed.|

Wednesday, December 2. — I preached at the new preaching-house, in the parish of Bromley. In speaking severally to the members of the society, I was surprised at the openness and artlessness of the people. Such I should never have expected to find within ten miles of London.

Chap 287. Wesley's Letters and Friends

1773. Friday, January 1. — We (as usual) solemnly renewed our covenant with God.

Monday, 4. — I began revising my letters and papers. One of them was written above a hundred and fifty years ago (in 1619), I suppose, by my grandfather’s father, to her he was to marry in a few days. Several were written by my brothers and me when at school, many while we were at the University, abundantly testifying (if it be worth knowing) what was our aim from our youth up.

Thursday, 7. — l called where a child was dying of the smallpox and rescued her from death and the doctors; they were giving her saffron, etc., to drive them out! Can anyone be so ignorant still?

We observed Friday, 8, as a day of fasting and prayer, on account of the general want of trade and scarcity of provisions. The next week I made an end of revising my letters; and from those I had both written and received, I could not but make one remark — that for above these forty years, of all the friends who were once the most closely united and afterwards separated from me, every one had separated himself! He left me, not I him. And from both mine and their own letters, the steps whereby they did this are clear and undeniable.

Wednesday, February 24. — A very remarkable paragraph was published in one of the Edinburgh papers:

|We learn from the Rosses, in the county of Donegal, in Ireland, that a Danish man-of-war, called the North Crown, commanded by the Baron D’Ulfeld, arrived off those islands, from a voyage of discovery toward the Pole. They sailed from Bornholme, in Norway the first of June, 1769, with stores for eighteen months, and some able astronomers, landscape painters, and every apparatus suitable to the design; and steering N by E half E, for thirty- seven days, with a fair wind and open sea, discovered a large rocky island, which having doubled, they proceeded WNW, till the seventeenth of September, when they found themselves in a strong current, between two high lands, seemingly about ten leagues distant, which carried them at a prodigious rate for three days when, to their great joy, they saw the mainland of America that lies between the most westerly part of the settlements on Hudson’s River and California. Here they anchored in a fine cove and found abundance of wild deer and buffaloes, with which they victualed; and sailing southward, in three months got into the Pacific Ocean, and returned by the Straits of Le Maine and the West India Islands. They have brought many curiosities, particularly a prodigious bird, called a contor [condor], or contose, about six feet in height, of the eagle kind, whose wings, expanded, measure twenty-two feet four inches. After bartering some skins with the country people, for meal, rum, and other necessaries, they sailed for Bremen, to wait the thaw, previous to their return to Copenhagen.

|February 24, 1773.|

If this account is true, one would hope not only the King of Denmark will avail himself of so important a discovery.

I came to Liverpool on Saturday, March 20.

Monday, 27. — The captain was in haste to get my chaise on board. About eleven we went on board ourselves, and before one, we ran on a sand bank. So, the ship being fast, we went ashore again.

Tuesday, 23. — We embarked again on board the Freemason, with six other cabin passengers, four gentlemen, and two gentlewomen, one of whom was daily afraid of falling in labor. This gave me several opportunities of talking closely and of praying with her and her companion. We did not come abreast of Holyhead till Thursday morning. We had then a strong gale and a rolling sea. Most of the passengers were sick enough, but it did not affect me at all. In the evening the gentlemen desired I would pray with them, so we concluded the day in a solemn and comfortable manner.

Chap 288. Wesley and His Chaise

Friday, 26. — We landed at Dunleary, and hired a coach to Dublin.

On Monday and Tuesday I examined the society, a little lessened, but now well united together. I was a little surprised to find the Commissioners of the Customs would not permit my chaise to be landed because, they said, the captain of a packet-boat had no right to bring over goods. Poor pretense! However, I was more obliged to them than I then knew; for had it come on shore, it would have been utterly spoiled.

Monday, April 5. — Having hired such a chaise as I could, I drove to Edinderry.

Monday, 12. — I preached at Ballinasloe and Aghrim. Tuesday, 13. — As I went into Eyre Court, the street was full of people, who gave us a loud huzza when we passed through the market place. I preached in the open air, to a multitude of people, all civil and most of them serious. A great awakening has been in this town lately; and many of the most notorious and profligate sinners are entirely changed and are happy witnesses of the gospel salvation.

Chap 289. Incidents in Ireland

Wednesday, 21. — Some applied to the Quakers at Enniscorthy, for the use of their meeting-house. They refused: so I stood at Hugh McLaughlin’s door, and both those within and without could hear. I was in doubt which way to take from hence, one of my chaise-horses being much tired, till a gentleman of Ballyrane, near Wexford, told me, if I would preach at his house the next evening, he would meet me on the road with a fresh horse. So I complied, though it was some miles out of the way. Accordingly, he met us on Thursday, 22, six or seven miles from Enniscorthy. But we found his mare would not draw at all; so we were forced to go on as we could. I preached in the evening at Ballyrane, to a deeply serious congregation. Early in the morning we set out and at two in the afternoon came to Ballibac Ferry.

A troop of sailors ran down to the shore to see the chaise put into the boat. I was walking at a small distance when I beard them cry out, |Avast! Avast! The coach is overset into the river.| I thought, |However, it is well my bags are on shore; so my papers are not spoiled.| In less than an hour they fished up the chaise and got it safe into the boat. As it would not hold us all, I got in myself, leaving the horses to come after. At half-hour after three I came to Passage. Finding no postchaise could be had, and having no time to spare, I walked on (six or seven miles) to Waterford, and began preaching without delay, on, |My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.|

Sunday, 25. — Word being brought me that the Mayor was willing I should preach in the bowling green, I went thither in the evening. A huge multitude was quickly gathered together. I preached on, |I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God.| Some attempted to disturb, but without success; the bulk of the congregation were deeply attentive. But as I was drawing to a conclusion, some of the Papists set on their work in earnest. They knocked down John Christian, with two or three more who had endeavored to quiet them; and then began to roar like the waves of the sea; but hitherto could they come and no farther. Some gentlemen, who stood near me, rushed into the midst of them; and, after bestowing some heavy blows, seized the ringleader and delivered him to the constable; and one of them undertook to conduct me home. So few received any hurt but the rioters themselves; which, I trust, will make them more peaceable for the time to come.

Chap 290. A Neglected School

Thursday, May 13. — We went on, through a most dreary country, to Galway; where, at the late survey, there were twenty thousand Papists and five hundred Protestants. But which of them are Christians, have the mind that was in Christ, and walk as He walked? And without this, how little does it avail, whether they are called Protestants or Papists! At six I preached in the court- house, to a large congregation, who all behaved well.

Friday, 14 — In the evening I preached at Ballinrobe; and on Saturday went on to Castlebar. Entering the town, I was struck with the sight of the Charter school; — no gate to the courtyard, a large chasm in the wall, heaps of rubbish before the house door, broken windows in abundance, the whole a picture of slothfulness, nastiness, and desolation!

I did not dream there were any inhabitants, till, the next day, I saw about forty boys and girls walking from church. As I was just behind them, I could not but observe 1) that there was neither master nor mistress, though, it seems, they were both well; 2) that both boys and girls were completely dirty; 3) that none of them seemed to have any garters on, their stockings hanging about their heels; 4) that in the heels, even of many of the girls’ stockings, were holes larger than a crown-piece. I gave a plain account of these things to the trustees of the Charter school in Dublin, whether they are altered or no, I cannot tell.

Chap 291. Mobbed by Masons

Monday, 24. — About noon I preached at Tonnylommon.

One of my horses having a shoe loose, I borrowed Mr. Watson’s horse and left him with the chaise. When we came near Enniskillen, I desired two only to ride with me, and the rest of our friends to keep at a distance. Some masons were at work on the first bridge, who gave us some coarse words. We had abundance more as we rode through the town; but soldiers being in the street and taking knowledge of me in a respectful manner the mob shrank back. An hour after, Mr. Watson came in the chaise. Before he came to the bridge many ran together and began to throw whatever came next to hand. The bridge itself they had blocked up with large stones so that a carriage could not pass; but an old man cried out, |Is this the way you use strangers?| and rolled away the stones. The mob quickly rewarded him by plastering him over with mortar from head to foot. They then fell upon the carriage, which they cut with stones in several places, and well nigh covered with dirt and mortar. From one end of the town to the other, the stones flew thick about the coachman’s head. Some of them were two or three pounds’ weight, which they threw with all their might. If but one of them had struck him, it would have effectually prevented him from driving any farther; and, then, doubtless, they would have given an account of the chaise and horses.

I preached at Sydore in the evening and morning, and then set out for Roosky. The road lay not far from Enniskillen. When we came pretty near the town, both men and women saluted us, first with bad words and then with dirt and stones. My horses soon left them behind, but not till they had broken one of the windows, the glass of which came pouring in upon me; but did me no further hurt.

About an hour after, John Smith came to Enniskillen. The masons on the bridge preparing for battle, he was afraid his horse would leap with him into the river; and therefore chose to alight. Immediately they poured in upon him a whole shower of dirt and stones. However, he made his way through the town, though pretty much daubed and bruised.

Wednesday, 26. — We set out at half-hour past two, and reached Omagh a little before eleven. Finding I could not reach Ding Bridge by two o’clock in the chaise, I rode forward with all the speed I could; but the horse dropping a shoe, I was so retarded that I did not reach the place till between three and four. I found the minister and the people waiting; but the church would not nearly contain them, so I preached near it to a mixed multitude of rich and poor, churchmen, Papists, and Presbyterians. l was a little weary and faint when I came, the sun having shone exceedingly hot; but the number and behavior of the congregation made me forget my own weariness.

Having a good horse, I rode to the place where I was to lodge (two miles off) in about an hour. After tea they told me another congregation was waiting, so I began preaching without delay. I warned them of the madness which was spreading among them, namely, leaving the church. Most of them. I believe, will take the advice; I hope all that are of our society.

Chap 292. Wesley at Derry and Armagh

Thursday, 27. — l went on to Londonderry. Friday, 28. I was invited to see the bishop’s palace (a grand and beautiful structure) and his garden, newly laid and exceedingly pleasant. Here I innocently gave some offense to the gardener by mentioning the English of a Greek word. But he set us right, warmly assuring us that the English name of the flower is not Crane’s bill, but Geranium!

Saturday, 29. — We walked out to one of the pleasantest spots which I have seen in the kingdom. It is a garden laid out on the steep side of a hill, one shady walk of which, in particular, commands all the vale and the hill beyond. The owner finished his walks and died.

Saturday, June 5. Armagh. — I walked over the fine improvements which the Primate has made near his lodge. The ground is hardly two miles round, but it is laid out to the best advantage. Part is garden, part meadow, part planted with shrubs or trees of various kinds. The house is built of fine white stone and is fit for a nobleman. He intends to carry away a bog which lies behind it and have a large piece of water in its place. He intends also to improve the town greatly and to execute many other grand designs; I doubt too many even for a Primate of Ireland who is above seventy years old!

Chap 293. The Speaking Statue Again

Monday, 14. — After preaching at Lurgan, I inquired of Mr. Miller whether he had any thoughts of perfecting his speaking statue, which had so long lain by. He said he had altered his design; that he intended, if he had life and health, to make two which would not only speak, but sing hymns alternately with an articulate voice; that he had made a trial and it answered well. But he could not tell when he should finish it, as he had much business of other kinds and could give only his leisure hours to this. How amazing is it that no man of fortune enables him to give all his time to the work!

I preached in the evening at Lisburn. All the time I could spare here was taken up by poor patients. I generally asked, |What remedies have you used?| and was not a little surprised. What has fashion to do with physic? Why (in Ireland, at least), almost as much as with headdress. Blisters for anything or nothing were all the fashion when I was in Ireland last. Now the grand fashionable medicine for twenty diseases (who would imagine it?) is mercury sublimate! Why is it not a halter or a pistol? They would cure a little more speedily.

Tuesday, 15. — When I came to Belfast, I learned the real cause of the late insurrections in this neighborhood. Lord Donegal, the proprietor of almost the whole country, came hither to give his tenants new leases. But when they came, they found two merchants of the town had taken their farms over their heads; multitudes of them, with their wives and children, were turned out to the wide world. It is no wonder that, as their lives were now bitter to them, they should fly out as they did. It is rather a wonder that they did not go much farther. And if they had, who would have been most in fault? Those who were without home, without money, without food for themselves and families, or those who drove them to this extremity?

Chap 294. The Earthquake at Madeley

Monday, July 5. — About eleven we crossed Dublin Bar, and were at Hoy lake the next afternoon. This was the first night I ever lay awake in my life, though I was at ease in body and mind. I believe few can say this: in seventy years I never lost one night’s sleep!

I went, by moderate stages, from Liverpool to Madeley where I arrived on Friday, 9. The next morning we went to see the effects of the late earthquake; such it undoubtedly was. On Monday, 27, at four in the morning, a rumbling noise was heard, accompanied with sudden gusts of wind and wavings of the ground. Presently the earthquake followed, which shook only the farmer’s house and removed it entire about a yard, but carried the barn about fifteen yards and then swallowed it up in a vast chasm. It tore the ground into numberless chasms, large and small; in the large, threw up mounts, fifteen or twenty feet high; it carried a hedge, with two oaks, above forty feet, and left them in their natural position. It then moved under the bed of the river; which, making more resistance, received a ruder shock, being shattered in pieces, and heaved up about thirty feet from its foundations. By throwing this and many oaks into its channel, the Severn was quite stopped up and constrained to flow backward, till, with incredible fury, it wrought itself a new channel. Such a scene of desolation I never saw. Will none tremble when God thus terribly shakes the earth?

Monday, August 16. — In the evening I preached at St. Austle; Tuesday, 17, in the coinage hall at Truro; at six, in the main street at Helstone. How changed is this town since a Methodist preacher could not ride through it without hazard of his lifel

Chap 295. A Man of Seventy Preaches to 30,000 People

Saturday, 21. — I preached in Illogan and at Redruth; Sunday, 22, in St. Agnes church town, at eight; about one at Redruth; and at five, in the amphitheater at Gwennap. The people both filled it and covered the ground round about to a considerable distance. Supposing the space to be fourscore yards square and to contain five persons in a square yard, there must be above two and thirty thousand people, the largest assembly I ever preached to. Yet I found, upon inquiry, all could hear even to the skirts of the congregation! Perhaps the first time that a man of seventy had been heard by thirty thousand persons at once!

Monday, September 13. — My cold remaining, I was ill able to speak. In the evening I was much worse, my palate and throat being greatly inflamed. However, I preached as I could; but I could then go no farther. I could swallow neither liquids nor solids, and the windpipe seemed nearly closed. I lay down at my usual time, but the defluxion of rheum was so uninterrupted that I slept not a minute till nearly three in the morning. On the following nine days I grew better.

Sunday, 19. — I thought myself able to speak to the congregation, which I did for half an hour; but afterwards I found a pain in my left side and in my shoulder by turns, exactly as I did at Canterbury twenty years before. In the morning I could scarcely lift my hand to my head; but after being electrified I was much better, so that I preached with tolerable ease in the evening; and the next evening read the letters, though my voice was weak. From this time I slowly recovered my voice and my strength, and on Sunday preached without any trouble.

Monday, October 4. — I went, by Shepton Mallet, to Shaftesbury, and on Tuesday to Salisbury. Wednesday, 6. Taking chaise at two in the morning, in the evening I came well to London. The rest of the week I made what inquiry I could into the state of my accounts. Some confusion had arisen from the sudden death of my bookkeeper; but it was less than might have been expected.

Chap 296. A Monster Elm

Monday, 11, and the following days, I took a little tour through Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. Between Northampton and Towcester we met with a great natural curiosity, the largest elm I ever saw; it was twenty-eight feet in circumference, six feet more than that which was some years ago in Magdalen College walks at Oxford.

Chap 297. Introduction

1774. Monday, January 24. — I was desired by Mrs. Wright, of New York, to let her take my effigy in waxwork. She has that of Mr. Whitefield and many others; but none of them, I think, comes up to a well-drawn picture.

Friday, May 20. — I rode over to Mr. Fraser’s, at Monedie, whose mother-in-law was to be buried that day. Oh, what a difference is there between the English and the Scotch method of burial! The English does honor to human nature, and even to the poor remains that were once a temple of the Holy Ghost! But when I see in Scotland a coffin put into the earth and covered up without a word spoken, it reminds me of what was spoken concerning Jehoiakim, |He shall be buried with the burial of an ass!|

Chap 298. Wesley Arrested in Edinburgh

Wednesday, June 1. — I went to Edinburgh, and the next day examined the society one by one. I was agreeably surprised. They have fairly profited since I was here last. Such a number of persons having sound Christian experience I never found in this society before. I preached in the evening to a very elegant congregation, and yet with great enlargement of heart.

Saturday, 4. — l found uncommon liberty at Edinburgh in applying Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones. As I was walking home, two men followed me, one of whom said, |Sir, you are my prisoner. I have a warrant from the Sheriff to carry you to the Tolbooth.| At first I thought he jested; but finding the thing was serious, I desired one or two of our friends to go up with me. When we were safe lodged in a house adjoining to the Tolbooth, I desired the officer to let me see his warrant. I found the prosecutor was one George Sutherland, once a member of the society. He had deposed, |That Hugh Saunderson, one of John Wesley’s preachers, had taken from his wife one hundred pounds in money and upwards of thirty pounds in goods; and had, besides that, terrified her into madness; so that, through the want of her help and the loss of business, he was damaged five hundred pounds.|

Before the Sheriff, Archibald Cockburn, Esq., he had deposed, |That the said John Wesley and Hugh Saunderson, to evade her pursuit, were preparing to fly the country; and therefore he desired his warrant to search for, seize, and incarcerate them in the Tolbooth, till they should find security for their appearance.| To this request the Sheriff had assented and given his warrant for that purpose.

But why does he incarcerate John Wesley? Nothing is laid against him, less or more. Hugh Saunderson preaches in connection with him. What then? Was not the Sheriff strangely overseen?

Mr. Sutherland furiously insisted that the officer should carry us to the Tolbooth without delay. However, hewaited till two or three of our friends came and gave a bond for our appearance on the twenty-fourth instant. Mr. S. did appear, the cause was heard, and the prosecutor fined one thousand pounds.

Chap 299. Wesley's Terrible Ride

Sunday, 5. — About eight I preached at Ormiston, twelve miles from Edinburgh. The house being small, I stood in the street and proclaimed |the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.| The congregation behaved with the utmost decency. So did that on the Castle Hill in Edinburgh at noon; though I strongly insisted, that God |now commandeth all men everywhere to repent| [Acts 17:30]. In the evening the house was thoroughly filled, and many seemed deeply affected. I do not wonder that Satan, had it been in his power, would have had me otherwise employed this day.

Monday, 20. — About nine I set out from Sunderland for Horsley, with Mr. Hopper and Mr. Smith. I took Mrs. Smith and her two little girls in the chaise with me. About two miles from the town, just on the brow of the hill, on a sudden both the horses set out, without any visible cause, and flew down the hill like an arrow out of a bow. In a minute John fell off the coachbox. The horses then went on full speed, sometimes to the edge of the ditch on the right, sometimes on the left. A cart came up against them: they avoided it as exactly as if the man had been on the box. A narrow bridge was at the foot of the hill. They went directly over the middle of it. They ran up the next hill with the same speed, many persons meeting us, but getting out of the way. Near the top of the hill was a gate which led into a farmer’s yard. It stood open. They turned short and ran through it, without touching the gate on one side or the post on the other.

I thought, |However, the gate which is on the other side of the yard and is shut, will stop them|: but they rushed through it as if it had been a cobweb and galloped on through the cornfield. The little girls cried out, |Grandpapa, save us!| I told them, |Nothing will hurt you; do not be afraid|; feeling no more fear or care (blessed be God!) than if I had been sitting in my study. The horses ran on till they came to the edge of a steep precipice. Just then Mr. Smith, who could not overtake us before, galloped in between. They stopped in a moment. Had they gone on ever so little, he and we must have gone down together!

I am persuaded both evil and good angels had a large share in this transaction: how large we do not know now, but we shall know hereafter.

Tuesday, 28. — This being my birthday, the first day of my seventy-second year, I was considering how is it that I find just the same strength as I did thirty years ago? That my sight is considerably better now and my nerves firmer than they were then? That I have none of the infirmities of old age and have lost several I had in my youth? The grand cause is the good pleasure of God who doeth whatsoever pleaseth Him. The chief means are: 1) my constantly rising at four, for about fifty years; 2) my generally preaching at five in the morning, one of the most healthy exercises in the world; 3) my never traveling less, by sea or land, than four thousand five hundred miles in a year.

Chap 300. A Collier's Remarkable Escape

Saturday, July 30. — I went to Madeley and in the evening preached under a sycamore tree, in Madeley Wood, to a large congregation, a good part of them colliers, who drank in every word. Surely never were places more alike than Madeley Wood, Gateshead Fell, and Kingswood.

Sunday, 31. — The church could not contain the congregations either morning or afternoon; but in the evening I preached to a still larger congregation at Broseley, equally attentive. I now learned the particulars of a remarkable story, which I had heard imperfectly before: Sometime since, one of the colliers here, coming home at night, dropped into a coalpit twenty-four yards deep. He called aloud for help, but none heard all that night and all the following day. The second night, being weak and faint, he fell asleep and dreamed that his wife, who had been sometime dead, came to him and greatly comforted him. In the morning, a gentleman going a-hunting, a hare started up just before the hounds, ran straight to the mouth of the pit, and was gone; no man could tell how. The hunters searched all around the pit till they heard a voice from the bottom. They quickly procured proper help and drew up the man unhurt.

Tuesday, August 2. — I preached at ten in the town hall at Evesham and rode on to Broadmarston.

Thursday, 4. — l crossed over to Tewkesbury and preached at noon in a meadow near the town, under a tall oak. I went thence to Cheltenham. As it was the high season for drinking the waters, the town was full of gentry: so I preached near the market place in the evening, to the largest congregation that was ever seen there. Some of the footmen at first made a little disturbance; but I turned to them, and they stood reproved.

Saturday, 6. — I walked from Newport to Berkeley Castle. It is a beautiful, though very ancient, building; and every part of it kept in good repair, except the lumber room and the chapel; the latter of which, having been of no use for many years, is now dirty enough. I particularly admired the fine situation and the garden on the top of the house. In one corner of the castle is the room where poor Richard II was murdered. His effigy is still preserved, said to be taken before his death. If he was like this, he had an open, manly countenance, though with a cast of melancholy. In the afternoon we went on to Bristol.