« AnteriorContinuar »
the skin of their teeth. From the account which each of these likewise gave, it appeared clear to a demonstration, 1, That their elders usurped a more absolute authority over the conscience, than the Bishop of Rome himself does. 2, That to gain and secure this, they use a continued train of guile, fraud, and falsehood of every kind. 3, That they scrape their votaries to the bone, as to their worldly substance, leaving little to any, to some nothing, or less than nothing. 4, That still they are so infatuated as to believe, that their's is the only true Church upon earth.
Tuesday 16, I preached on St. Peter's Green, at seven in the morning, and at five in the evening. It is amazing, that any congregation should be found here, considering what stumbling-blocks have been thrown in their way. Above fourteen years ago, Mr. Mrs, then Curate of St. Paul's, preached the Gospel with general acceptance. A great awakening began, and continually increased, till the poor weathercock turned Bapsist: he then preached the absolute decrees with all his might; but, in a while, the wind changed again : and he turned and sunk into the German whirlpool. How many souls has this unhappy man to answer for ?
Friday 19, I returned to London. Saturday 20, I found myself out of order, but believed it would go off. On Sunday 21, I was considerably worse, but could not think of sparing myself on that day. Monday 22, I rose extremely sick. Yet I determined, if it were possible, to keep my word, and accordingly set out soon after four, for Canterbury. At Welling, I was obliged to stop. After resting an hour, I was much better. But soon after I took horse, my sickness returned, and accompanied me to Brompton, near Chatham. In the evening I preached to a serious congregation, and at five in the morning. We came to Canterbury about one, when I was presently seized with the cold fit of an ague. About twelve I fell fast asleep, and waked well at seven in the morning.
Wednesday 24, I preached in the evening without any inconvenience, and at five in the morning. But about nine
I began shivering again. After the hot fit, I lay in a profuse sweat till eight. I then gradually cooled till I fell asleep, and rested sweetly till the morning.
Friday 26, Being determined to use that interval of health, I procured a chaise, and reached Brompton in the evening I spoke, as I was able, in the evening, and God bore witness to the word of his
grace. Saturday 27, I came to London; having received no hurt, but rather benefit by the journey.
Thursday, November 1, I began visiting the Classes, though I found by the loss of my voice, that my bodily strength was not so far recovered, as I before imagined.
Saturday 3, I read over Andrew Frey's Reasons for leaving the Brethren. Most of what he says, I knew before. Yet I cannot speak of them in the manner which he does : I pity them too much to be bitter against them.
Sunday 4, I rode to Hayes, because I had promised, though I was much out of order. It was with the utmost difficulty that I read prayers, and preached, and administered the sacrament. I went through the evening service with more ease. But at night my strength quite failed. I should have taken some rhubarb the next day, but I had no time; having the Classes to meet from morning to night.
Thursday 8, In the night my disorder returned more violent than it had been since I left Cornwall. I should have taken some ipecacuanha in the morning, but had no time to spare, my business being fixt for every hour, till four in the afternoon: and by that time all my complaints were gone, so that I needed only a little food and rest.
Monday 12, I set out in a chaise for Leigh, having de layed 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 piercingly cold, and blew just in my face, so that the open chaise was no defence, 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.
Monday 19, I returned 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, and 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 not? 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, I must not stay in town a day longer : adding, “ If any thing does thee good, it must be the country air, with rest, asses' milk, and riding daily." So ( not being then able to sit a borse) about noon I took coach for Lewis ham.
In the evening ( not knowing how it might please God VOL. III,
to dispose of me) to prevent vile panegyric, I wrote as follows:
of his Age.
behind him :
Praying, God, be merciful to me, an unprofitable Servant ! He ordered, that this, if any inscription, should be placed on his tomb-stone.
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, mixt 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 in a few days,
and quite disappointed me in my design of going out on Christmas-Day.
Tuesday, January 1, 1754, 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 till nine in the evening, except the time of riding, half an hour for each meal, and the hour between five and six.
Sunday 13, I went in a coach to Bristol, and gave a short exhortation to the Society.
Monday 14, In the evening one or two of our neighbours desired to join in our family prayers... A few more soon made the same request, so that I had a little congregation every night. After a few nights, I began to add a short exhortation, so preparing myself for a larger congregation.
Saturday 19, Mr. B- came with Mr. Mhad been for some time melancholy, even to madness. But by proper application to his mind, as well as body, the disorder sensibly abated in a short time.
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.
Sunday, February 3, I went in a chaise to Kingswood, and administered the sacrament to a small congregation. I expected Mr. M- to assist, but he slipped away and hid himself, till I had done.
Wednesday 13, I was sent for by one of my neighbours, dying of a consumption. She seemed full of good desires. But who does not, when Death stands at the door?