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Thursday 11, I rode to Pill, and preached to a large and attentive congregation. A great part of them were sea-faring men. In the middle of my discourse, a pressgang landed from a man-of-war, and came up to the place : But after they had listened awhile, they went quietly by, and molested no body.
Monday 15, I rode to the Old Passage: but finding we could not pass, went to Purton, which we reached about four in the afternoon. But we were no nearer still : For the boat-men lived on the other side, and the wind was so high, we could not possibly make them hear. However we determined to wait a while: 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.
Tuesday 16, Examining the little Society, I found them grievously harrassed by disputatious Baptists on one side, and Quakers on the other. And hereby five or six persons have been confused: but the rest cleave so much the closer together. Nor does it appear, that there is now one trifler, much less a disorderly walker among them.
Wednesday 17, I learned the particulars of that surprising storm, which was here the year before last. It began near Cheltenham, on June 14, 1754, and passed on over Coleford, in a line about three miles broad It was rain mixed with hail. The hail broke all the windows it had access to, stripped all the trees both of fruit and leaves, and destroyed every green thing. Many of the stones were as large as hen-eggs; some were fourteen or fifteen inches round. The rain occasioned such a torrent of water in the street, as bore away man and beast. A mile or two farther it joined with the waters of a mill-dam, which it broke down, and carried away several houses. How frequent would accidents of this kind be, if chance, not God, governed the world. ?
Thursday 18, We rode through hard rain to Brecknock, and came just at the hour appointed for preaching. The Town-hall, in which I was desired to preach, is a large and commodious place; and the whole congregation (one
poor gentleman excepted) behaved with seriousness and decency.
Friday 19, I rode over to Howell Harris, at Trevecka, tho' not knowing how to get any further. But he helped us out of our difficulties; offering to send one with us, who would shew 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 : and they all appeared to be serious and attentive. Perhaps one or two may lay it to heart.
Sunday 21, I delayed preaching till nine, for the sake of the tender and delicate ones. At two we had nearly the whole town, and God reserved the great blessing for the last. Afterwards we rode to Trevecka : but our guide was ill. So in the morning we set out without him.
Before I talked with him myself, I wondered H. Harris did not go out and preach as usual. But he now informed me, he preached till he could preach no longer, his constitution being entirely broken. While he was thus confined, he was pressed in spirit, to build a large house, though he knew not why or for whom. But as soon as it was built, men, women, and children, without bis seeking, came to it from all parts of Wales. And except in the case of the Orphan-house at Halle, I never heard of so many signal interpositions of divine Providence.
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 covering both hills and vales. As we could see no path, it was not with
out 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, till about nine the snow fell faster than ever. hour, it changed into hail, which, as we rode over the mountains, drove violently in our faces. About twelve this turned into bard rain, followed by an impetuous wind. However, we pushed on thro' all, and before sun-set came to Dolgelly.
Here we found every thing we wanted, except sleep, of which we were deprived by a company of drunken, roaring sea-captains, who kept possession of the room beneath us, till between two and three in the morning. So that 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 mean came in good time to Caernarvon.
Here we passed a quiet and comfortable night, and took horse about six in the morning. Supposing, after we had rode 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 mean time 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 Church-yard, 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 wind fell, the sky cleared up, the boat came over without delay, and soon landed us in Anglesea. On our way to Holyhead, one met and informed us, the Packet sailed the night before.
JOHN WESLEY'S JOURNAL. 233 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 the seas 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.
Sunday 27, About nine in the morning, I spent some time with a few serious people, and gave notice of preaching at four in the afternoon, as soon as the evening service was ended. It began soon after three : ten minutes before four, Mr. E. began catechising the children in Welsh. I stayed till after five. As there was no sign of his conclud. ing, I then went home, and found the people waiting ; to whom I expounded those solemn words, Watch and pray always, that ye may be counted worthy to escape all these things which are coming upon the earth.
Monday 29, We left the harbour 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 Hoath, 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 31, 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 be, ing swallowed up in the sea : every one being absolutely as, sured, 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 gui
nea, but he could not give it; so I borrowed some silver of my companion.
The next evening, a young gentleman came from Mr. Smith, 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.
Saturday 4, I went to the College Chapel, at which about forty persons were present. Dr. K. preached a plain, practical sermon, after which the sacrament was administered. I never saw so much decency at any Chapel in Oxford, no, not even at Lincoln-College. Scarcely any person stirred, or coughed, or spit, from the beginning to the end of the service.
In the evening our house was crowded above and below : yet many were obliged to stand without. The whole congregation appeared stayed and solid. Do even the people of Dublin know the day of their visitation ?
Monday 5, Enquiring for one whom I saw three or four days ago in the height of a violent pleurisy, I found he was perfectly recovered, and returned into the country. A brimstone-plaister, in a few minutes, took away both the pain and the fever. 0, why will Physicians play with the lives of their patients ! Do not others (as well as old Dr. Cockburn) know, that “no end is answered by bleeding in a pleurisy, which may not be much better answered with
To-night the sleepers here began to open their eyes,
it being rumoured, that an express was come to the Lord Lieutenant, to inform him, “ The French were hastening their preparations, being determined to land in Ireland.” And so they will—if God give them leave : but he has the reins in his own hand.
Tuesday 6, One was informing me of an eminent instance of the power of faith. . “ Many years ago," said she, “I fell and sprained my ankle, so that I never expected it would be quite well. Seven years since last September, I was coming home from the preaching in a very dark night, and stumbling over a piece of wood, fell with the whole weight of my body upon my lame foot. I thought, 'O Lord,