« AnteriorContinuar »
and, (as it is termed ) broke his neck. Just at the instant, a person going by, who understood the case, took hold of him, and pulled it into its place. O mystery of Providence! Why did not this man die, when he was full of humble, holy love? Why did he live, to turn from the holy com mandment which was then written in his heart ?
Saturday 12, I observed a remarkable change in the behaviour of almost all I met. The very rabble were grown civil, scarcely any one now speaking a rude or an angry word.
Sunday 13, I began preaching at seven, and God applied his word to the hearts of the hearers. Tears and groans were on every side, among high and low. God, as it were, bowed the heavens and came down. The flame of love went before him, the rocks were broken in pieces, and the mountains flowed down at his presence.
I had designed to set out for Lincolnshire this morning. But finding that a day of God's power was come, I sent one thither in my place, and after preaching (as I had appointed) at Stanford-bridge, and at Pocklington, returned to York in the evening. Let us work together with him, when and where, and as he pleases!
Every night while I stayed, many of the rich and honourable crowded in among us. And is not God able, even of these stones, to raise up children to Abraham ?
Thursday 17, I preached at Pocklington again, and rode on to Whitgift ferry. It rained a great part of the way, and just as we got upon the water, a furious shower began, which continued above half an hour, while we were striving to get John Haime's horse into the boat. But we were forced after all to leave him behind. We set out from -Whitgift soon after four. But the violent rain which at-tended us till after seven, made the road so dirty and slip
pery, that our horses could very hardly keep their feet: so that it was nine before we reached Epworth.
Sunday 20, We had, as usual, most of the inhabitants of the town, at the Cross in the afternoon. I called after
wards on Mr. M. and his wife, a venerable pair, calmly hastening into eternity. If those in paradise know what passes on earth, I doubt not but my father is rejoicing and praising God, who has in his own manner and time accomplished, what he had so often attempted in vain.
Monday 21, I rode to Sykehouse, and preached about noon, and then went on for Leeds. In the afternoon we called at a house where a company of rough, butcherly men, `exceedingly drunk, were cursing and swearing at an unusual rate. I spoke to them, in spite of German prudence, and they were not only patient, but exceedingly thankful.
Tuesday 22, Most of our Preachers met, and conversed freely together as we did, morning and afternoon, to the end of the week; when our Conference ended with the same blessing as it began. God giving us all to be not only of one heart, but of one judgment.
This week I read over Mr. Rimius's Candid Narrative. It informed me of nothing new. I still think several of the inconsiderable members of that community are upright. But I fear their governors wax worse and worse, having their conscience seared as with a hot iron.
Sunday 27, I was afraid many of the congregation at Birstal would not be able to hear. But my fear was needless. For my voice was so strengthened, that even those who sat in John Nelson's windows, a hundred yards off, could (as they afterwards told me) distinctly hear every word.
Tuesday 29, I preached at Keighley, where the loving spirit, and exemplary behaviour of one young man, has been a mean of convincing almost all the town, except those of his own household.
Wednesday 30, I rode to Haworth, where Mr. Grimshaw read prayers, and I preached to a crowded congregation. But having preached ten or eleven times in three days, besides meeting the Societies, my voice began to fail. Not that I was hoarse at all: but I had not strength to speak. However, it was restored at Heptonstall in the afternoon,
so that the whole congregation could hear. When shall we learn to take thought only for the present hour? Is it not enough, that God gives help when we want it?
Thursday 31, I rode through a delightful Vale to Generalwood, near Todmorden. The Sun was burning hot; but they set up a little tent for me, resembling that I had at Glasgow. The people stood or sat on the grass round about. The afternoon was the hottest I ever remember in England: so that by the time we came to Bolton, I was fit for nothing but to lie down. However, in the evening my strength was renewed, and we rejoiced together in God our Saviour.
Saturday, June 2, Hardly knowing how to give credit, to an odd story which I had heard, That one of our Preachers was accustomed to preach in his sleep, I enquired more particularly concerning it, and received the following account, "On Friday, May 25, about one in the morning, being then fast asleep, he began to speak. There were present in two or three minutes William, Mary, Amelia Shent, John Haime, John Hampson, Jos. Jones, Thomas Mitchell, and Ann Foghill.
'He first exhorted the congregation, To sing with the spirit and the understanding also, and gave them directions how to do it. He then gave out that hymn, line by line,
Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove,
With all thy quickning powers,'
pitching the tune, and singing it to the end. He added an exhortation, To take heed how they heard. Then he named his text, 1 John v. 19, We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. He divided his discourse into six parts, undertaking to shew, 1, That all true believers are of God: 2, That they know they are of God: 3, That the world lieth in wickedness. 4, That every individual who is of the world, is in this condition. 5, The dreadful end of such. with an exhor
He, 6, closed
tation to those who were of God, and those who were
of the world.
"After he had gone through two or three heads, he broke off, and began to speak to a clergyman, who came in and interrupted him. He disputed with him for some time, leaving him space to propose his objections, and then answering them one by one. Afterwards he desired the congregation, now the disturber was gone, to return thanks to God, and so gave out and sung
• Praise God from whom pure blessings flow.'
"When he had done preaching, he desired the Society to meet to whom he first gave out a hymn, as before, and then exhorted them to love one another. 1, Because they had one Creator, Preserver, and Father: 2, Because they had all one Redeemer : 3, Because they had all one Sanctifier: 4, Because they were walking in one way of holiness. and, 5, Because they were all going to one heaven.
"Having sung a parting verse, he said, (as shaking each by the hand,) 'Good night, brother; good night, sister.' This lasted till about a quarter after two, he being fast asleep all the time. In the morning he knew nothing of all this, having, as he apprehended, slept from night to morning, without dreaming at all." By what principles of philosophy can we account for this?
Monday 4, I rode from Manchester to Chelmerton in the Peak, where I preached in a little meadow, and reached Sheffield in the evening.
Tuesday 5, I rode over to Jonathan Booth's at Woodsets, whose daughter had been ill in a very uncommon The account her parents gave of it was as
follows. "About the middle of December, 1752, Elizabeth Booth, junior, near ten years old, began to complain of a pain in her breast, which continued three days.
a moment, without any provocation,
On the fourth day, in
she began to be in a
vehement rage, reviling her mother, and throwing at the
maid what came next to hand.
This fit continued near an
hour. Then in an instant she was quite calm.
morning she fell into a fit of another kind, being stretched out, and stiff as a dead carcase. Thus she lay about an hour. In the afternoon she was suddenly seized with violent involuntary laughter and she had some or other of these fits several times a day, for about a month. In the intervals of them she was in great heaviness of soul, and continually crying for mercy: till one Saturday, as she lay stretched out: on the bed, she broke out, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." Her faith and love increased from that time: but so did the violence of her fits also: and often while she was rejoicing and praising God, she would cry out, O Lord!' and losing her senses at once, lie as dead, or laugh violently, or rave and blaspheme.
"In the middle of February she grew more outrageous than ever. She frequently strove to throw herself into the fire, or out of the window. Often she attempted to tear the Bible, cursing it in the bitterest manner. And many times she uttered oaths and blasphemies, too horrid to be repeated. Next to the Bible, her greatest rage was against the Methodists, Mr. W. in particular. She frequently told us where he was, and what he was then doing: adding,' He will be here soon:' And at another time, 'Now he is galloping down the lane, and two men with him.' In the intervals of her fits she was unusually stupid and moped, as if void of common understanding: And yet sometimes broke out into vehement prayer, to the amazement of all that heard.
"Sometimes she would strip herself stark naked, and run up and down the house, screaming and crying, 'Save me, save me. He will tear me in pieces.' At other times she cryed out,' He is tearing off my breasts; he is pouring melted lead down my throat. Now I suffer what the martyrs suffered. But I have not the martyrs faith.'
"She frequently spoke as if she was another person, saying to her father, This girl is not thine, but mine. I have got possession of her, and I will keep her:' with many expressions of the same kind.'
"She often seemed to be in a trance, and said she saw many visions: Sometimes of heaven or hell, or judgment;