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lightning, just as a needle does the electrical fire. 9, That the electrical fire, discharged on a rat or a fowl, will kill it instantly: but discharged on one dipped in water, will slide off, and do it no hurt at all. In like manner, the lightning which will kill a man in a moment, will not hurt him, if he be thoroughly wet. What an amazing scene is here opened for after-ages to improve upon !
Wednesday 21, I visited more of the poor sick. The industry of many of them surprised me. Several who were ill able to walk, were, nevertheless, at work: some without any fire (bitterly cold as it was) and some, I doubt, without any food: yet not without that meat which endureth to everlasting life.
Monday 26, I set out in the machine for Bristol; and on Tuesday evening preached at Bath.
Wednesday 28, We rode to Bristol. I now looked over Mr. Prince's Christian History. What an amazing difference is there, in the manner wherein God has carried on his work in England and in America! There, above a hundred of the Established Clergy, men of age and experience, and of the greatest note for sense and learning in those parts, are zealously engaged in the work. Here, almost the whole body of the aged, experienced, learned Clergy, are zealously engaged against it: and few but a handful of raw, young men engaged in it, without name, learning, or eminent sense! And yet by that large number of honourable men, the work seldom flourished above six months at a time, and then followed a lamentable and general decay, before the next revival of it: whereas that which God hath wrought by these despised instruments, has continually increased for fifteen years together: and at whatever time it has declined in any one place, has more eminently flourished in others.
Monday, March 5, I called on Mr. Farley, and saw a plain confutation of that vulgar error, that consumptions are not catching. He caught the consumption from his son, whereby he soon followed him to the grave.
Wednesday 14, I preached at Frome, a dry, barren,
uncomfortable place. The congregation at Shaftsbury in the evening were of a more excellent spirit,
Friday 16, I returned to Bristol, and on Monday 19, set out with my wife for the North. I preached in the evening at Wallbridge, near Stroud; the house being too small, many stood without: but neither before nor after preaching, (much less while I was speaking) did I hear the sound of any voice: no, nor of any foot; in so deep a silence did they both come, hear, and go away.
Tuesday 20, I preached in the Town-hall at Evesham. At the upper end of the room, a large body of people were still and attentive. Mean time, at the lower end, many were walking to and fro, laughing and talking, as if they had been in Westminster-Abbey.
Wednesday 21, After dinner, abundance of rabble gathered near the Town-hall, having procured an engine, which they exercised on all that came in their way. So I gave them the ground, and preached at our own Room, in great quietness.
Thursday 22, I rode to Birmingham. A few poor wretches, I found, had occasioned fresh disturbance here. The chief was Sarah B with whom I talked at large.
Saturday 24, She said, "I am in heaven, in the spirit ; but I can speak in the flesh. I am not that which appears, but that which disappears. I always pray, and yet I never pray. For what can I pray for? I have all." I asked, "Do not you pray for sinners?" She said, "No; I know no sinners, but one. I know but two in the world, God is one, and the devil is the other." I asked, "Did not Adam sin of old? And do not adulterers and murderers sin now." She replied, "No, Adam never sinned. And no man sins now. It is only the devil." And will no man ever be damned?" "No man ever will." "Nor the devil?" "I am "Do you receive the sacraNo; I do not want it." "Is the word of God Yes; the word made flesh: but not the letter. I am in the spirit."
not sure, but I believe not."
Sunday 25, Upon enquiry, I found these wild enthusiasts were six in all, four men and two women. They had first run into the height of Antinomianism, and then were given up to the spirit of pride and blasphemy.
We reached Bilbrook in the evening, and a little before six, on Monday 26, Poole, near Nantwich. I was pretty much tired, but soon recovered my strength, and explained to a serious people, 1 determined not to know any thing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Tuesday 27, We rode to Chester, where we found the scene quite changed, since I was here before. There is now no talk of pulling down houses. The present Mayor, being a man of courage as well as honesty, will suffer no riot of any kind, so that there is peace through all the city.
Wednesday 28, The house was full of serious hearers at five. In the evening some gay young men made a little disturbance; and a large mob was gathered about the door. But in a short time, they dispersed of themselves. However, we thought it best to acquaint the Mayor with what had passed: on which he ordered the City Crier, to go down the next evening and proclaim, that all riots should be severely punished. And promised, if need were, to come down himself, and read the Act of Parliament. But it needed not. After his mind was known, none was so hardy as to make a disturbance.
I did not expect the mob at Nantwich (whither I was now much pressed to go) would be so quiet as that at Ches ter. We were saluted with curses and hard names, as soon as we entered the town. But from the time I alighted from my horse, I heard no one give us an ill word. And I had as quiet and attentive an audience, as we used to have at Bristol, while I exhorted the wicked to forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.
Saturday 31, I preached at Boothbank, where I met Mr. C, (late) gardiner to the Earl of W. Surely it cannot be! Is it possible, the Earl should turn off, an honest, diligent, well-tried servant, who had been in the fa
mily above fifty years, for no other fault than "hearing the Methodists!"
In the evening I preached at Manchester, and on Monday, April 2, at Davy-holme. Here I found (what I had never heard of in England) a whole clan of infidel peasants. A neighbouring ale-housekeeper drinks, and laughs, and argues into Deism, all the ploughmen and dairy-men he can light on. But no mob rises against him. And reason good. Satan is not divided against himself.
Wednesday 4, I made an end of examining the Society at Manchester, among whom were seventeen of the dragoons. It is remarkable that these were in the same regiment with John Haime in Flanders. But they utterly despised both him and his Master, till they removed to Manchester. Here it was, that one and another dropped in, he scarcely knew why, to hear the preaching. And they now are a pattern of all seriousness, zeal, and all holy conversation.
Thursday 5, I rode to Bolton, and found the Society just double to what it was when I was here last. And they are increased in grace, no less than in number, walking closely with God, lovingly and circumspectly with one another, and wisely toward those that are without.
Saturday 7, I rode to Chipping. Sunday 8, as soon as we came into the isle of the Church, from the vestry, a man (since dead) thrust himself between Mr. Milner and me, and said, "You shall not go into the pulpit." I told him, "I am only going into the desk." He said, "But you shall not go there neither," and pushed me back by main strength. Eight or ten noisy men joined with him quickly, and set themselves in battle array. Fearing some might take fire on the other side, I desired Mr. Milner to begin the service. After prayers (for he had no sermon with him) great part of the congregation followed us to the Vicarage. They came thither again after the evening service; and God made them large amends for their little disappointment in the morning. Monday 9, Mr. Milner rode with us to Kendal. preached there in a large convenient room; (the weather not
allowing me to preach abroad) where Mr. Ingham's Society used to meet. I was a little disgusted at their manner of coming in and sitting down, without any pretence to any previous prayer or ejaculation; as well as at their sitting during the hymn, which indeed not one (though they knew the tune) sung with me. But it was far otherwise after sermon for God spake in his word. At the second hymn every person stood up, and most of them sang very audibly; and the greatest part of the Society followed us to our Inn. Nor did they leave us, till we went to rest.
Tuesday 10, We breakfasted at Ambleside, where our landlord appeared quite open to conviction. We spoke plainly to him, prayed with, and left him full of desire and thankfulness. Soon after we lost our way, in a vehement shower of snow, but recovered it in about an hour, and got over the mountains safe.. The woman of the house where we dined, seemed to be one that feared God greatly. Yet when I spake of being saved by faith, she appeared to be utterly astonished.. About six, after several heavy showers, we came, moderately weary, to Whitehaven.
Wednesday 11, Upon examining the Society I found that the love of many was waxed cold. Nevertheless, I found a considerable number, who appeared to be growing in grace. But surely here, above any other place in England, God hath chosen the poor of this world. In comparison of these, the Society at Newcastle are a rich and elegant people. It is enough, that they are rich in faith, and in the labour of love.
Saturday 14, As we rode to Clifton, John Hampson and I could not but observe a little circumstance. A black hail cloud was driven full upon us, by a strong north-east wind; till being just over us, it parted asunder, and fell on the right and left, leaving us untouched. We observed it the more, because three several storms, one after another, went by in the same manner.
Sunday 15, I preached in the afternoon at Cockermouth, to well nigh all the inhabitants of the town. Intending to go from thence into Scotland, I inquired concerning the road,