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to kindle the same fire in the fleet, which he has already begun to kindle in the army?
Wednesday 16, I had the satisfaction to find an old stouthearted sinner, who had been defying God for nearly fourscore years, now become as a little child, and complaining of his own ignorance and ingratitude to God.
Friday 18, I returned to London. Sunday 20, Mr. Fletcher helped me again. How wonderful are the ways of God! When my bodily strength failed, and none in England were able and willing to assist me, He sent me help from the mountains of Switzerland: And a help meet for me in every respect; where could I have found such another ?
Friday 25, After I had read to a serious Clergyman, the conclusion of "The Doctrine of Original Sin," he moved, that we might spend some time in prayer. And I found great liberty of spirit, in praying for Dr. Taylor, and a strong hope, that God would shew him the truth as it is in Jesus.
About this time, many of the children of God rested from their labours. On Sunday 13, I buried Elizabeth Langdon, who, after severe inward trials, was for several days in great pain, but in great peace. On Sunday 25, I buried Hannah Lee, a pattern of industry, meekness, and patience. And on Sunday 27, I buried Mary Naylor, who for several years was a most eminent pattern of truly Christian courage, plainness of speech, and plainness of apparel. A week before, I had an opportunity of telling her all that was in my heart, concerning her change, (not for the better) in all these particulars. In the beginning of her illness, she was in great darkness and distress of soul: but while prayer was made for her, her bodily pain ceased, and her soul received comfort. And on Monday 21, just at midnight, she quietly fell asleep.
Wednesday 30, I rode to a gentleman's near Beconsfield, and preached at six in the evening, in a large, convenient place, filled with serious hearers, several of whom had come five or six miles. Saturday 31, I was earnestly importuned,
to go over to High Wycombe. I went and preached there at noon, on the Parable of the Sower. Perhaps some of the seed which has been sown here for many years, will, at length, bring forth fruit. At six it seemed as if the whole town of Beconsfield was assembled together. And I bear them witness, they gave earnest heed, high and low, to the things which were spoken. A large number of them were present in the morning. Fair beginnings these! But he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.
In returning to London, I read a Tract on "The Law of Nature," wrote by a Counsellor of Geneva. I am sorry to find Dr. Taylor's poison, spread to the Alps also! and even printed and published at Genoa, without any hinderance or animadversion!
Sunday, April 3, I paid one more visit to Thomas Singleton, an amiable young man, called away at five and twenty, in the dawn of a flourishing business. The next day his spirit returned to God.
On Good-friday, in the evening, at the meeting of the Society, God was eminently present with us. I read over, and enlarged upon Joseph Alleyne's directions for a thorough conversion to God, and desired all, who were able, would meet me on Monday, that we might perform our vows unto the Lord.
Monday 11, At five in the evening, about twelve hundred of the Society met me at Spital-fields. I expected two to help me, but none came. I held out till between seven and eight. I was then scarcely able to walk or speak: but I looked up and received strength. At half an hour after nine, God broke in mightily upon the congregation. Great indeed was our glorying in him we were filled with consolation. And when I returned home between ten and eleven, I was no more tired than at ten in the morning.
Monday 12, I set out at five for Bedford. About seven the rain began. It did not intermit till noon, and was driven upon us by a most furious wind. In the afternoon we had some intervals of fair weather, and before five we reached Bedford. Mr. Parker, now Mayor, received us gladly.
He hath not borne the sword in vain. There is no cursing, or swearing heard in these streets: no work done on the Lord's-day. Indeed there is no open wickedness of any kind now to be seen in Bedford. O what may not one Magistrate do, who has a single eye and a confidence in God! Both in the evening and the following morning, I preached the Law, as well as the Gospel. The next evening I preached on All things are ready: come ye to the marriage. And God eminently confirmed his word. It seemed as if not one would be left behind.
Wednesday 14, We rode to Leicester, where John Brandon has gathered a small Society. I preached at seven. The house (supposed to contain a thousand people) was thoroughly filled. I believe there were forty or fifty soldiers; and all heard, as for life. Thursday 15, being informed the straight road to Birmingham was scarcely passable, we went round by Coventry. Before six we reached Birmingham.
Saturday 16, I spoke to each member of the Society. What havock have the two opposite extremes, Mysticism and Antinomianism made, among this once earnest and simple people! Had it not been good for those men not to have been born, by whom these little ones have been offended ?
In the afternoon I rode to Dudley, where the work of God increases greatly, notwithstanding the immense scandal which has been given, by those who once rejoiced in the love of God. One of these has lately killed his own child, by a blow upon the head. After preaching I talked with M. B., who has been long a mother in Israel. "I was under strong convictions, (said she) when twelve or thirteen years old, and soon after found peace with God. But I lost it by degrees, and then contented myself with living a quiet, harmless life, till Mr. Charles Wesley came to Wednesbury, in the year 1742. Soon after this my convictions returned, though not with terror, as before, but with strong hope, and in a little time, I recovered peace and joy in believing. This I never lost since, but for 48 hours (by speaking angrily to my child.) Not long after Mr. Jones
talked particularly with me, about the wickedness of my heart. I went home in great trouble, which did not cease, till one day, sitting in my house, I heard a voice say, in my inmost soul, Be ye holy; for I am holy.' From that hour, for a year and a quarter, (though I never lost my peace) I did nothing but long, and weep, and pray, for inward holiness. I was then sitting one day, Aug. 23, 1744, about eight in the morning, musing and praying as usual, when I seemed to hear a loud voice, saying at once to my heart, and to my outward ears, This day shall salvation come to this house.' I ran up stairs, and presently the power of God came upon me, so that I shook all over like a leaf. Then a voice said, 'This day is salvation come to this house.' At the instant I felt an entire change. I was full of love, and full of God. I had the witness in myself, that he had made an end of sin, and taken my whole heart for ever. And from that moment, I have never lost the witness, nor felt any thing in my heart but pure love."
Sunday 17, The rain constrained me to preach within at eight, though the house would ill contain the congregation: but we prayed, that God, if he saw good, would stay the bottles of heaven, for the sake of that at Wednesbury. And before we came thither, the rain stayed, so that I proclaimed Christ crucified, in the open air, to such a congregation as no house could have contained. At five I preached to a still larger congregation, on He that believeth shall be saved. As soon as I had done, the rain returned, and continued great part of the night.
Monday 18, In the evening I preached at Bilbrook, to an earnest congregation, and joined twenty of them in a Society; one of whom had Christ clearly revealed to him, thirty years ago: but he could find none who understood what he said, till the Methodists, (so called) came. clave to them immediately, rejoicing with them and over them, who were partakers of like precious faith.
Tuesday 19, Between Nantwich and Poole, a thick, black cloud came across us, out of which issued such a violent wind, as was ready to bear us off our horses; but in five
minutes time, the wind fell, and the cloud bore clear away. Wednesday 20, the congregation at Chester in the evening was as quiet and serious as that at the Foundery: and the Society was nearly a third part larger than when I was here in Autumn. Thursday 21, I rode to Liverpool, where I found about half of those I left in the Society. James S―――― had swept away the rest, in order to which he had told lies innumerable. But none who make lies their refuge will prosper. A little while and his building will moulder away. Sunday 24, we had two very useful sermons at St. Thothe one, on counting the cost, before we the other, on Be ye angry, and sin not. And both of them were exactly suitable to the present case
mas's Church begin to build
of many in the congregation.
The upper part of the high blown down in the late storm.
spire of the Church was The stones being bound to
gether by strong iron-cramps, hung waving in the air for some time: then they broke through roof, pews, gallery, and pavement, and made a deep dint in the ground.
Monday 25, I walked to the Infirmary, standing on a hill, at the north end of the town. The Seamen's Hospital is joined to it, on each side, by semi-circular piazzas. All is extremely clean and neat, at least equal to any thing in London. The old seamen have a smaller or larger allowance, according to their families. So that nothing is wanting to make their lives easy and comfortable-but the love of God. I afterwards spent an hour with Mr. Peter Whitefield, a man of strong understanding and various learning. His dissertation in defence of the Hebrew points, (which he sent me the next morning) is far more satisfactory than any thing which I ever heard or read upon the subject.
Thursday 28, I talked with one, who by the advice of his pastor, had very calmly and deliberately beat his wife with a large stick, till she was black and blue, almost from head to foot. And he insisted, "It was his duty so to do, because she was surly and ill-natured. And that he was full of faith all the time he was doing it, and had been so ever since!"