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eight on Sunday morning. At two, as soon as we were in the house at Freshford, it poured down with rain: so that after as many as could had crowded in, the rest were constrained to go away. But the rain ceased as soon as we took horse, and we had a pleasant ride to Bristol.
Wednesday 20, I rode over to Bath; but the Room would ill contain the congregation. So I encouraged them in their design of taking a piece of ground, and building without delay. In the evening I preached at Shepton, and several of the rich and honourable took it into their minds to come : but they came too late; for the house was already filled with the poor. Thursday 21, as we rode homeward, we saw a sight indeed a woman in the extremity of pain, roting away piece-meal by the King's-evil, full of sores from head to foot, with several of her bones appearing through the skin and continually praising God with tears of joy, for 66 dealing so mercifully with her."
Sunday 24, The famous Roger Balls had planted himself in Stoke's-Croft before I came. However, as there was a large congregation, I did not think it right to leave them to him, but began as usual, and preached till nearly six o'clock, without paying any regard to him.
Sunday, October 1, I took my leave of the congregation, and of the Children in Kingswood. And God gave us a parting blessing. Monday 2, I preached at Bradford, (noon and night) and met the Stewards of the Wiltshire and Somersetshire Societies. In the evening I baptized a young woman, deeply convinced of sin. We all found the power of God was present to heal, and she herself felt what she had not words to express.
Tuesday 3, One of Warminster, who was at Bristol last week, had desired me to call at his house. I did so this morning, and preached in his yard to a numerous congregation, of saints and sinners, rich and poor, Church-men, Quakers, and Presbyterians, both of the old and new way. Some disturbance was expected; but there was none. The whole assembly behaved well: and instead of curses' or stones, we had many blessings, as we rode through the
town for Salisbury. Wednesday 4, I rested there. Thursday 5, I rode by Redbridge and Fareham to Portsmouth : where at seven I preached in Mr. Whitefield's Tabernacle, to a small, serious congregation.
Friday 6, I designed to go in a wherry to the Isle of Wight but the watermen were so extravagant in their demands, that I changed my mind and went in the hoy. And it was well I did: for the sea was so high, it would not have been easy, for a small boat to keep above water. We landed at two, and walked on, five little miles, to Newport. The neighbouring camp had filled the town with soldiers, the most abandoned wretches whom I ever yet saw. Their whole glorying was in cursing, swearing, drunkenness, and lewdness. How gracious is God, that he does not yet send these monsters to their own place!
At fiye I preached in the Corn-market, and at six in the morning. A few even of the soldiers attended. One of these, Benjamin Lawrence, walked with us to Wottonbridge, where we intended to take boat. He was in St. Philip's Fort, during the whole siege, concerning which I asked him many questions. He said, " 1, Abundance of cattle was left in the fields, till the French (long expected) came and took them. 2, Abundance of wine was left in the town, even more than the French could use. And there was not enough in the Castle, even for the sick men. 3, A large, strong stone house was left standing, within a small distance of the Fort. Behind this the French often formed themselves, particularly before the last assault. 4, This might easily be accounted for. We had few officers of any experience: and the Governor never came out of his house. 5, The French made two general assaults, and were repulsed, and many blown up by our mines. But the mines having never been looked after, till just when we wanted them, most of them were utterly useless; so that only two, out of threescore, did any execution. 6, In their third assault (which they were very hardly persuaded to make) Captain, who commanded the guard of a hundred men, at the Sally-port, ran away before he was attacked,
and the French, having 7, In the morning, our and would have done it
and his men having none to command them, went after. I was left alone, till I retired also: none to oppose them, came in. men were mad to drive them out in an hour, but that they were told, the Fort was given up, and ordered to cease firing. 8, We had at the approach of the enemy, three thousand, eight hundred, and thirtythree effective men. And we had very nearly as many when we surrendered, with plenty of provision and ammunition." O human justice! One great man is shot! and another is made a lord!
We hired a small fishing-boat at Wotton-bridge,. there being scarcely any wind; but it increased more and more, when we were on the sea, which was seven miles over. Our cock-boat danced on the waves, and must have sunk, if one large wave had come over her: but God suffered it not. We landed in two hours, and walked away to Gosport. Sunday 8, the wind and rain drove us into the Tabernacle. In the afternoon I preached in the main-street at Fareham, A wild multitude was present: yet a few only mocked; the greater part were soon deeply attentive. Monday 9, I set out for Sussex, and in the evening reached Rottingdean, a village four miles east of Bright-helmstone. The next day we rode over the Downs to Rye, lying on the top of a round, fruitful hill. I preached at seven to a crowded audience, with great enlargement of spirit.
Wednesday 11, I rode to Rolvenden, about ten miles from Rye, and preached at five to a large, serious congregation. A few drunkards stood in the road at some distance, and took some pains to divert their attention but it was labour lost. Thursday 12, it was a rainy morning, so that the house contained the congregation. Many of them were in tears, being deeply convinced, that they were as yet without God in the world. About one I preached at Northjam. The house was stowed as full as possible, but still many were constrained to stand without, though it rained much. About five in the evening I preached again at Rye.
Friday 13, In the evening, we had a solemn season. After I had concluded my sermon, I read over the Rules of the Society, in the open congregation. The number of those who came at five in the morning, shewed that God had touched many hearts. On Saturday evening, many were obliged to stand without, though the wind was high and extremely cold.
Sunday 15, After preaching at eight, I rode again to Northjam, and preached in Mr. Stonestreet's orchard, to far the largest congregation I had seen in Sussex. One of Rye, in our return thither, gave us a remarkable account : "Mr., one most eminent for profaneness, drunkenness, and all manner of wickedness, when you met the Society on Thursday evening at your lodgings, was curious to listen at the window. The next day he surprised his company, by crying out, I am the greatest sinner on the whole earth.' On Friday evening he was wounded more deeply still, and was at the preaching at five in the morning." Surely, thus far God has helped him: but, a thousand to one, he will return as a dog to his vomit.
Monday 16, I rode to Canterbury: as we came into the City, a stone flew out of the pavement, and struck my mare upon the leg with such violence, that she dropped down at once. I kept my seat, till, in struggling to arise, she fell again, and rolled over me. When she arose, I endeavoured to rise too, but found I had no use of my right leg or thigh. But a honest barber came out, lifted me up, and helped me into his shop. Feeling myself very sick, I desired a glass of cold water, which instantly gave me ease. Tuesday 17, I found reason to rejoice over this little flock, now free from all divisions and offences. And on Saturday I cheerfully returned to London, after an absence of nearly eight months
Here I rested four days: and on Wednesday 25, went partly by coach, partly on horseback, to Malden. Friday 27, I rode on, through an extremely pleasant and fruitful Country to Colchester. I have seen very few such towns in England. It lies on the ridge of a hill, with other hills on
each side which run parellel with it, at a small distance. The two main streets, one running East and West, the other North and South, are quite straight, the whole length of the town, and full as broad as Cheapside. I preached at four in St. John's Green, at the side of a high, old wall, (a place that seemed to be made on purpose) to an extremely attentive audience: and again at eight in the morning on Saturday 28, and at four in the afternoon. In the
hours between, I took the opportunity of speaking to the members of the Society. In three months here are joined together, a hundred and twenty persons. A few of these know in whom they have believed: and many are sensible of their wants.
Sunday 29, At eight the congregation was very large : and I believe God made his word quick and powerful. At four in the afternoon we had a Moorfields congregation. Many of the baser sort stood at a distance: but they made no disturbance, knowing the magistrates are determined to suffer no riot at Colchester.
Monday 30, Though I was not quite recovered from the lameness, occasioned by the fall of my horse, I made shift to ride to Norwich; where, on the following days, I had the satisfaction to observe, that the Society was not lessened, as I had feared, but rather increased since I left them and there is a probability they will increase still, as they are far more established in grace.
Friday, November 3, James Wheatley called upon me, and offered me the Tabernacle: but whether to accept the offer or not, I cannot tell. This must be maturely considered. I found all this week great liberty of spirit; and the congregations were large and attentive. It seems the time is come when our labour, even at Norwich, will not be in vain.
Sunday 5, We went to St. Peter's Church, the Lord'sSupper being administered there: I scarcely ever remember to have seen a more beautiful Parish Church; the more so, because its beauty results not from foreign ornaments, but from the very form and structure of it. It is very large