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godhead of Christ. Yet upon farther consideration, I judged it best to drop the controversy. It is enough that I have delivered my own soul: If they scorn, they alone shall bear it.
Sunday, 10, I preached to a huge multitude in Moorfields, on Why will ye die, O house of Israel? It is field-preaching which does the execution still. For usefulness there is none comparable to it.
Monday 11, I went to Leigh. Where we dined, a poor woman came to the door, with two little children. They seemed to be half starved, as well as their mother, who was also shivering with an ague. She was extremely thankful for a little food, aud still more so for a few pills, which seldom fail to cure that disorder.
In this little journey I read over a curiosity indeed, a French heroic poem, Voltaire's Henriade. He is a very lively writer, of a fine imagination; and allowed, I suppose, by all competent judges, to be a perfect master of the French Language and by him I was more than ever convinced, that the French is the poorest, meanest language in Europe: that it is no more comparable to the German or Spanish, than a bag-pipe is to an organ: and that with regard to poetry in particular, considering the incorrigible uncouthness of their measure, and their always writing in rhyme, (to say nothing of their vile double rhymes, nay and frequent false rhymes) it is as impossible to write a fine poem in French, as to make fine music upon a Jew's harp.
Saturday 16, I baptized Hannah C, late a Quaker. God, as usual, bore witness to his ordinance. A solemn awe spread over the whole congregation, and many could not refrain from tears.
Wednesday 20, I received the following letter:
66 REV. SIR,
"THE glory of God and the good of mankind are the motives that induce me to write the following.—As it is our duty to do all we can to make all around us happy, I think there is one thing which may be done to promote so
blessed an end, which will, at the same time, be very advantageous to them that practise it, namely, To efface all the obscene words which are written on houses, doors, or walls, by evil-minded men, This which I recommend to others I constantly practise myself: and if ever I omit doing it, I am severely checked, unless I can produce some good reason for that omission. I do it with a sponge, which for that purpose I carry in my pocket. The advantages I reap from hence are, 1, Peace of conscience in doing my duty : 2, It helps me to conquer the fear of man, which is one of my greatest trials: 3, It is matter of joy, that I can do any the least service to any one. And as all persons, especially the young, are liable to temptations to impurity, I cannot do too much to remove such temptations either from myself or others. Perhaps too, when the unhappy writers pass by, and see their bad labours soon effaced, they may be dis couraged from pursuing so shameful a work, yea, and brought to a better mind.
"Perhaps in some places it might not be amiss, in the room of what is effaced, to write some serious sentence, or short text of Scripture. And wherever we do this, would it not be well to lift up our hearts to God, in behalf of those sinners, in this or the like manner, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge: Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.'"
Monday 25, I began reading that excellent book, The Gospel-Glass, to the morning congregation: a method which I find more profitable for instruction in righteousness, than any other manner of preaching.
Tuesday 26, I began reading over with the preachers that were in town, Mr. Pike's Philosophia Sacra. It contains the marrow of Mr. Hutchinson's Philosophy clearly and modestly proposed: but upon a close examination, I found the proofs were grievously defective. I shall never receive Mr. Hu's creed, unless ipse dixit pass for evidence.
Saturday 30, I yielded to importunity, and spent an hour with poor Mr. V Mr. V, who was awakened and found
in attending our preaching, and soon after turned Quaker. I did wonder at it once, but I do not now. One so full of himself might turn Papist or Mahometan.
Monday, November 1, was a day of triumphant joy, as All-saints day generally is. How superstitious are they who scruple giving God solemn thanks for the lives and deaths of his saints!
Tusday 9, Having procured an apparatus on purpose, I ordered several persons to be electrified, who were ill of various disorders: some of whom found an immediate, some a gradual cure. From this time I appointed, first, some hours in every week, and afterwards an hour in every day, wherein any that desired it, might try the virtue of this surprising medicine. Two or three years after, our patients were so numerous, that we were obliged to divide them: so part were electrified in Southwark, part at the Foundery; others near St. Paul's, and the rest near the Seven-dials: the same method we have taken ever since. And to this day, while hundreds, perhaps thousands, have received unspeakable good, I have not known one man, woman, or child, who has received any hurt thereby. So that when I hear any talk of the danger of being electrified, (especially if they are medical men who talk so) I cannot but impute it to great want either of sense or honesty.
Friday 12, I read over Leusden's Dissertation, in de fence of the Hebrew Points, and was fully convinced, there is, at least, as much to be said, on this as on the other side of the question. But how is it that men are so positive on both sides, while demonstration is to be had on neither ? Certainly to be peremptory and dogmatical can never be so inexcusable, as in a point so doubtful as this!
Monday 22, I read with the preachers this week, the Glasgow Abridgment of Mr. Hutchinson's Works: wherein the Abridgers have expressed with surprising exactness, not only his sense, but his very spirit: but in truth I cannot admire either. Nay, I admire his hypothesis less and less ;, as I see the whole is unsupported by Scripture; very ingenious, but quite precarious.
Wednesday December 1, One or two remarkable letters were put into my hands. Part of the first ran thus:
"Blessed be God, who desireth not the death of a sinner! It pleased him, not to cut off my son in his sins. He gave him time to repent, and not only so, but a heart to repent. He shewed him his lost estate by nature, and that unless he was reconciled to God by his Son, and washed in his blood from all his sins, he could never be saved. After he was condemned at York, for a robbery on the highway, I attended him in the condemned room. And, blessed be God, he enabled me to preach the everlasting Gospel to him. It was on Saturday he was condemned. It was on the Saturday following the Lord touched his heart. He then began to wrestle with God in prayer, and left not off till Sunday in the afternoon, when God, who is rich in mercy, applied the blood of his Son, and convinced him, he had forgiven him all his sins. He felt his soul at peace with God, and longed to depart and to be with Christ. The following week his peace increased daily, till on Saturday, the day he was to die, he came out of the condemned room, clothed in his shroud, and went into the cart. As he went on, the cheerfulness and composure of his countenance were amazing to all the spectators. At the place of execution, after he had spent some time in prayer, he rose up, took a cheerful leave of his friends, and said, Glory be to God for free grace.' His last words were, Lord Jesus, receive my soul.' "Part of the other letter wrote by himself to his wife, was as follows:
"Righteous is the Lord, and just are his judgments! His hand of justice cuts my life short, but his hand of mercy saves my soul. You, for one, are a witness of the course of life I led. Were it in my power I would gladly make amends to you and every one else that I have wronged. But seeing it is not, I hope that God and you, and every one else, will accept of my willing mind. In a few hours now I shall be delivered out of this miserable world. But glory be to God, he has given repentance and remission of sins
to me, the worst of sinners. He has taken away the sting of death, and I am prepared to meet my God. Let my example encourage every sinner, to forsake sin and come to God, through Jesus Christ. As a dying man I give you this advice. Give yourself wholly up to God. Pray to him and never rest, till you have secured an interest in the Blood of Christ. Live in his fear, and you, (as well as I) shall die in his favour. So no more from,
Monday 6, I began reading to our preachers the late Bishop of Cork's excellent Treatise on Human Understanding: In most points far clearer and more judicious than Mr. Locke's, as well as designed to advance, a better
Friday 10, A person who was dying of a cancer in her breast, and deeply convinced of sin, sent a post-chaise, in which I went to her at Epsom. I left her on Saturday morning, in strong hope, she should not go hence, till her eyes had seen his salvation.
In my fragments of time, in the following week, I read Mr. Hanway's accurate history of Shah Nadir, commonly called Kouli Khan: A scourge of God indeed! A prodigy of valour and conduct, but an unparalleled monster of rapine and crucity. Alexander the Great, yea, Nero or Domitian, was an innocent in comparison of him.
Sunday 26, I buried the remains of Joseph Yarner, an Israelite indeed. The peace which filled his heart during his last hours, gave such a bloom to his very countenance, as remained after death, to the surprise of all, who remembered the cloud that used to hang upon it.
Monday, January 3, 1757, I visited a poor dying backslider, full of good resolutions. But who can tell, when these imply a real change of heart? And when they do not, when they spring from fear only, what will they avail before God?
Monday 10, I walked to Bishop Bonner's with Mr. D lately entered at Cambridge, full of good resolutions.