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We dined at Mr. P.'s. A young married woman was there, who was lately a zealous Papist, and had converted several Protestant hereticks to the Romish faith : but setting on some of the Methodists, they converted her; at least, convinced her of the great truths of the Gospel. Immediately her relations, her husband in particular, renounced her : but she was moved by none of these things, desiring nothing on earth but to experience the faith which once she persecuted. In the evening I was sent for by one, who had reasoned himself out of all his Christianity, and was now in doubt, whether the soul would survive the body. Surely even speculative faith is the gift of God: nor without him, can we hold even this fast.
Saturday 14, J. R. came from Cork, and brought us a farther account of what had been transacted there. From the beginning of February to the end of it, King Nicholas had reigned. How he still used his power, may appear from two or three instances.
William Jewel, Clothier, of Shanaon Church-lane, deposes, That Nicholas Butler, with a riotous mob, several times assaulted this deponent's house : That particularly on February 23, he came thither with a large mob: That several of the rioters entered the house, and swore, The first who resisted, they would blow his brains out: That the deponent's wife, endeavouring to stop them, was assaulted and beaten by the said Butler; who then ordered his men to break the windows, which they did, with stones of a considerable weight.
Mary Philips, of St. Peter's Church-lane, deposes, That on February 26, about seven in the evening, N. B. came to her house with a large mob, and asked where her husband was : That as soon as she appeared, he first abused her in the grossest terms, and then struck her.on the head, so that it stunned her; and she verily believes, had not some within thrust to, and fastened the door, she should have been murdered on the spot.
Elizabeth Gardelet, wife of Joseph Gardelet, Corporal in Colonel Pawlet's regiment, Captain Charlton's company,
deposes, That on February 28, as she was going out of her lodgings, being big with child, she was met by Butler and his mob: That Butler, without any manner of provocation, immediately fell upon her, striking her with both his fists on the side of her head, which beat her head against the wall: That she endeavoured to escape from him, but he pursued her, and struck her several times in the face: That she ran into the school-yard "for shelter ; but he followed, caught hold of her, saying, “You whore, you stand on consecrated ground,” and threw her with such force across the lane, that she was driven against the opposite wall: That when she bad recovered herself a little, she made the best of the way to her lodging; but he still pursued her, and overtook her, as she was going up the stairs : That he struck her with his fist on the stomach, which stroke knocked her down backward : That, falling with the small of her back on the edge of one of the stairs, she was not able to rise again : That her pains immediately came upon her, and about two in the morning she miscarried.
These, with several more depositions to the same effect, were at the lent assizes laid before the Grand Jury: yet they did not find any of these bills ! But they found one against Daniel Sullivan, (no preacher, but an hearer of Mr. Wesley) who, when Butler and his mob were discharging a shower of stones upon him, put them all in bodily fear, by discharging a pistol, without any ball, over their heads. If any man wrote this story to England in a quite different manner, and fixed it on a young Methodist preacher, let him be ashamed.
Several of the persons presented as vagabonds in autumn, appeared at these assizes. But none appearing against them, they were acquitted, with honour to themselves, and shame to their persecutors; who, by bringing the matter to a judi. cial determination, plainly shewed, “There is law even for Methodists ;” and gave his Majesty's Judge a fair occasion
; to declare the utter illegality of all riots, and the inexcusableness of tolerating (much more causing ) them on any pretence whatsoever.
Easter-day, April 15, I preached morning and evening; but my voice was so weak, it could scarcely be heard. Wednesday 18, one, who upon her turning to God, had been turned out of doors, and disowned by all her relations, ( very good Protestants !) was received into the house of God, not made with hands. We rejoiced over her in the evening with exceeding joy. Happy they, who lose all, and gain Christ.
Thursday 19, I rode with J. R. through a heavy rain to Eden-derry. The congregation was much larger than I expected; and both in the evening and the morning we praised God with joyful lips,
Friday 20, I rode to Portarlington, on a very bad horse, and was glad of a little rest. Sunday 22, I preached at eight: at Closeland about two; and between five and six at Portarlington, to almost all the gentry in the town, on Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. Monday 23, I preached at Closeland again, and the next morning spoke severally with the members of the Society, increased both in number and in the grace of God,
Wednesday 25, I dined at Mr. K.'s, who had lived utterly without God, for about seventy years : but God had now made both him, and most of his household, partakers of like precious faith. When I first came into the house, he was in an agony of pain, from a hurt of about forty-five years standing. I advised to apply hot nettles: the pain presently ceased, and he arose and praised God.
Thursday 26, I examined the Class of children, many of whom are rejoicing in God. I then sought after some of the sheep that were lost, and left all I spoke with, determined to return. About noon I read the letters, and in the afternoon rode cheerfully to Mountmellick. I found the Society here much increased in grace, and yet lessened in number : a case which I scarcely remember to have met with before, in all England and Ireland.
Sunday 29, I preached at eight, at two, and at five, when some of our most vehement opposers were present, and by
their seriousness and attention, gave us reason to hope, they will oppose no more.
Monday 30, I baptized a man and woman, (late Quakers) as I had done another the night before. Afterwards I visited the sick. The first we went to, had been a Papist, but was cast out for hearing us. While we were at prayer, she cried bitterly after God, refusing to be comforted: nor did she cease, till he revealed his Son in her heart, which she could not but declare to all that were in the house. About one I administered the Lord's Supper to a sick person, with a few of our brethren and sisters. Being straitened for time, I used no extemporary prayer at all : yet the power of God was so unusually present, during the whole time, that several knew not how to contain themselves, being quite overwhelmed with joy and love.
Thence we rode to Tullamore. It being the fair-day, many were tolerably drunk. When I began to preach, they made a little disturbance for a while; but the bulk of the audience were deeply attentive.
Tuesday, May 1, I found many of the first were become last, being returned as a dog to the vomit. In the evening my hoarseness (contracted in Dublin) was so increased, that I doubt few of the congregation could hear. In meeting the Society, I reproved them sharply for their lukewarmness and covetousness. In that hour the spirit of contrition came down, and all of them seemed broken in pieces. At the same time my voice was restored in a moment, so that I could once more sing praise to God.
Wednesday 2, I rode to Tyrrel's-pass, and found more than double the congregation which I had there last year. The next day, when I spoke to those of the Society severally, I had still greater cause to rejoice; finding a great part of them walking in the light, and praising God all the day long. Friday 4, I preached about noon at Cooly-lough, and about six, in the market-house at Athlone. Sunday 6, I addressed myself in the morning to the Back
, sliders, from How shall I give thee up, Ephraim. At one,
to the unawakened, from What is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? In the evening I preached to a far larger congregation, on the Connaught side of the river. In the midst of the sermon, a man with a fine curvetting horse drew off a large part of the audience. I paused a little, and then raising my voice, said, If there are any more of you, who think it is of more concern to see a dancing horse, than to hear the Gospel of Christ, pray go after them. They took the reproof. The greater part came back directly, and gave double attention.
Monday 7, When I met the Society in the evening, one who had been always afraid of exposing herself, was struck so that she could not help crying out aloud, being in strong agonies both of soul and body. Indeed her case was quite peculiar. She felt no fear of hell, but an inexpressible sense of the sufferings of Christ, accompanied with sharp bodily pain, as if she had literally suffered with him. We continued in prayer till twelve o'clock, and left her patiently waiting for salvation.
Tuesday 8, I dined at Mr. T.'s. Two other Clergymen were present, and Mr. H., member of parliament for the county. We soon fell upon Justification and Inspiration, and after a free conversation seemed nearly of one mind.
Thursday 10, I read the letters. A famous drunkard and swearer, stood as long as he could, and then fell down upon his knees before the whole congregation. All appeared to be much moved. It was with difficulty I broke from them about noon, and rode to Ahaskra; where I preached in the
, evening to an exceedingly serious congregation, on Seek ye the Lord, while he may be found.
Friday 11, I talked largely with the two Miss M.'s. The elder, I found, had once known the love of God, but not kept it long, and seemed to be now earnestly mourning after it. The younger had never left her first love; and in the midst of great bodily weakness, had no fear of death, but a desire to depart, and to be with Christ.
Saturday 12, I rode to Mr. Simpson's, near Oatfield; and