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We could not but observe, that although the sky appeared continually between the clouds which drove to and fro, yet the sun scarcely shone upon us for six minutes together, from six in the morning to six in the evening. Soon after six I preached at Launceston, and met the Society.
Thursday 5, At noon I preached at the Town-hall, to a very wild, yet civil congregation. At two, the Stewards, not only from the upper part of Cornwall, but several from the western Societies met, At six I preached in the Town. hall again : and for the sake of this hour only, (had no other end been answered) I should have thought all the labour of my journey well bestowed.
Friday 6, I rode to Plymouth-dock, and preached in the Room lately built: but though it was three or four times as large as the old, it would not contain the congregation. Is the time come, when even this barren soil shall bring forth fruits of righteousness , ?
Saturday 7, I set out at three, reached Collumpton by six in the evening; and after half an hour's rest, was enabled to preach in the little meadow, without any faintness or weariness.
Sunday 8, In the evening I preached at Tiverton, in the garden which adjoins to the Preaching-house : it was a refreshing season.
Monday 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. Gwas, 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 labourers gladly followed. So the whole device of Satan fell to the ground ; and the word of God grew and prevailed.
Tuesday 10, I rode to Dr. Robertson's at Pitcomb; and after spending a few agreeable and useful hours in that delightful recess, went forward, about four miles, to Westcomb. I preached on a green place in the town about eight in the morning, to a deeply attentive congregation ; and came in the afternoon to Bristol, at least as well as when I set out.
Tuesday 17, I rode to Trowbridge, where one who found peace with God, while he was a soldier in Flanders, and has been much prospered in business since his discharge, has built a preaching-house at his own expense. He had a great desire, that I should be the first who preached in it, but before I had finished the hymn, it was so crowded, and consequently so hot, that I was obliged to go out and stand at the door : there was a multitude of hearers, rich and poor. () that they may not all hear in vain !
Friday 27, I thought I had strength enough to keep a Watch-night, which I had not done for above eleven months. But though I broke off at eleven, I almost lost my voice : and the next evening at Weaver's-hall, it entirely failed, so that I had much difficulty to conclude my
Monday 30, I preached at Coleford, our other Kingswood, where also the lions are become lambs. On Tuesday, we went on to Salisbury.
Wednesday, October 2, I walked to Old Sarum, which in spite of common sense, without house or inhabitant, still sends two members to 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 corn-field; 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, (who 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 sung. 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 catched 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 af 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.
Saturday 12, I administered the sacrament to RA- Some years ago he found peace with God, and was freed at once, without any human means, from a distemper naturally incurable. But after three years, on his falling back into the world, it returned more violently than ever; and will probably now be cured no more but by the universal remedy-death.
Saturday 26, Mr. Gilbert Tennent, of New-England, called upon me, and informed me of his design, now ready to be executed, of founding an American college for Protestants of every denomination. An admirable design, if it will bring Protestants of every denomination to bear with one another.
Monday 28, I delivered my own soul, by one more conversation with Sir
: The substance of which I wrote to him the next day in the following Letter. SIR,
October 28, 1754. 66 Whether I see you any more in this life or no, I rejoice that I have seen you, this once; and that God enabled you to bear with patience, what I spoke in the simplicity of my heart.
" The substance of what I took the liberty to mention to you this morning was : . You are on the borders of the 'grave, as well as I : Shortly we must both appear before
God. When it seemed to me some months since, that my life was near an end, I was troubled that I had not dealt plainly with you. This you will permit me to do now, without any reserve, in the fear, and in the presence of God.
" I reverence you for your office as a magistrate : I believe you to be a honest, upright man ; I love you for having protected an innocent people from their cruel and lawless oppressors.
But so much the more am I obliged to say (though I judge not; God is the judge ) I fear you are covetous; that you love the world. And if you do, as sure as the word of God is true, you are not in a state of salyation, 66 The substance of your answer was,
That many people exhort others to charity, from self-interest : That men of fortune must mind their fortune : That you cannot go about to look for poor people : That when you have seen them yourself, and relieved them, they were scarcely ever satisfied : That many make an ill use of what you give them: That you cannot trust the account people give of themselves by letters : That nevertheless you do give to private persons by the hands of Colonel Hudson and others : That you have also given to several hospitals, a hundred pounds at a time: But that you must support your family : That the Lowther family has continued above 400 years : That you are for great things; for public charities, and for saving the nation from ruin : And that others may think as they please ; but this is your way of thinking, and has been for many years.'
“ To this I replied, 1, Sir, I have no self-interest in this matter; I consult your interest, not my own: I want nothing from you; I desire nothing from you : I expect nothing from you. But I am concerned for your immortal spirit, which must so soon launch into eternity. 2, It is true men of fortune must mind their fortune; but they must not love the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 3, It is true, likewise, you cannot go about to look for poor people : but you may
be sufficiently informed of them by those that can. 4, And if some of these are never satisfied, this is no reason for not relieving others. 5, Suppose too, that some make an ill use of what you give, the loss falls on their own heads. You will not lose your reward for their fault. What you laid out, God will pay you again. 6, Yet, certainly you do well to have all the assurance you can, that those to whom you give, are likely to make a good use of it: and therefore to expect a stronger recommendation of them than their own, whether by letter or otherwise. 7, I rejoice that you have given to many by so worthy a man as Colonel Hudson, whose word is certainly a sufficient recommendation. 8, I rejoice likewise that you have given some hundreds of pounds to the hospitals, and wish it had been ten thousand. 9, To the support of the family I did not object; but begged leave to ask, whether this could not be done, without giving ten thousand a year to one who had as much already? And whether you could answer this to God, in the day wherein he shall judge the world? 10, I likewise granted, that the family had continued above 400 years; but observed meantime, that God regarded it not one jot the more for this : And that 400 or 1000 years are but a moment compared to eternity. 11, I observed likewise, that great things may be done, and little things not left undone. 12, And that if this, or any other way of thinking, be according to Scripture, then it is sound and good : Whereas, if it be contrary to Scripture, it is not good, and the longer we are in it, so much the worse.
“ Upon the whole, I must once more earnestly intreat you to consider yourself, and God, and eternity. As to yourself, you are not the proprietor of any thing : No, not of one shilling in the world. You are only a steward of what another intrusts you with, to be laid out not according to your will, but his. And what would you think of your steward, if he laid out what is called your money, according to his own will and pleasure. 2, Is not God the sole proprietor of all things ? And are you not to give an account to him for every part of his goods ? And, O! how