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“ Must I then leave thee, Paradise ? then leave
These happy shades, and mansions fit for gods ?” Friday 17, I spent an hour pleasantly and profitably at
's. How gracious is God, who still preserves him unconsumed in fire! How plain, that with God all things are possible; he can draw the sting either of wealth or death! Sunday 19, I preached in the afternoon to a huge multitude in the fields, on Now God commandeth all men every where to repent. Monday 27, I rode to Bedford, and about six, preached on St. Peter's-Green. None of the numerous congregation stood with their heads covered, except the Germans. Blessed be God, that I have not so learned Christ ! If they know no better, I cannot help it.
Tuesday 28, I rode on to Mr. Berridge's at Everton, and in the evening went to the Church, but unusually heavy, and hardly expecting to do any good there. I preached on those words in the Second Lesson, We know that we are of God. One sunk down, and another, and another. Some cried aloud in agony of prayer. I would willingly have spent some time in prayer with them : but my voice failed, so that I was obliged to conclude the service, leaving many in the Church crying and praying, but unable either to walk or stand. One young man and one young woman were brought with difficulty to Mr. B.'s house, and continued there in violent agonies both of body and soul. When I came into the room, the woman lay quiet, wrestling with God in silent prayer : but even the bodily convulsions of the young man were amazing. The heavings of his breast were beyond description : I suppose, equal to the throes of a woman in travel. We called upon God, to relieve his soul and body. And both were perfectly healed. He rejoiced in God with joy unspeakable, and felt no pain, or weakness, or weariness. Presently after, the woman also was delivered, and arose rejoicing in God her Saviour.
Wednesday 29, I rode to Lakenheath, and spoke exceedingly plain to an honest, drowsy people. Thursday 30, I preached at the Tabernacle in Norwich, to a large, rude, noisy congregation. I took knowledge, what manner of
teachers they had been accustomed to, and determined to mend them or end them. Accordingly the next evening, after sermon, I reminded them of two things; the one, that it was not decent, to begin talking aloud as soon as service was ended, and hurrying to and fro, as in a bear-garden : the other, that it was a bad custom, to gather into knots just after sermon, and turn a place of worship into a Coffeehouse. I therefore desired, that none would talk under that roof, but go quietly and silently away.' And on Sunday, September 2, I had the pleasure to observe, that all went as quietly away, as if they had been accustomed to it for many years.
Monday 3, I met the Society at five, and explained the nature and use of meeting in a Class. Upon enquiry I found, we have now about five hundred members : but a hundred and fifty of these do not pretend to meet at all. Of those, therefore, I make no account. They hang on but by a single thread.
Tuesday 4, I walked to Hemnal, nine miles from Nor. wich, and preached at one o'clock. The ring-leader of the mob, came with his horn, as usual, before I began : but one quickly catched and threw away his horn, and in a few minutes he was deserted by all his companions, who were seriously and deeply attentive to the great truth, By grace ye are saved, through faith.
Sunday. 9, I met the Society at seven, and told them in plain terms, that they were the most ignorant, self-conceited, self-willed, fickle, untractable, disorderly, disjointed Society, that I knew in the three kingdoms : and God applied'it to their hearts ; - so that many were profited, but I do not find, that one was offended. .
At ten we bad another happy opportunity, and many stubborn hearts were melted down. At two the great congregation met, and the power of God was again present to heal : though not so eminently as at five, while I was describing the peace that passeth all understanding. After preaching I was desired to spend an hour with some whom I supposed to be of our own Society : but I soon found my
mistake ; sensim medios delapsus in hostes. One in particular, warmly told me, "She could not like mine or Mr. Murlin's doctrine : it always threw her into heaviness : but
:: in dear Mr. Cudworth's she could find comfort." I de sired we might pray. God quickly answered for himself. Her heart was broken in pieces. She was - filled with love, and grief, and shame; but could only tell it by her eyes and her tears.
About this time I received a remarkable letter from abroad, an extract of which follows:
“ Berlin, August 26, 1759. “GOD has again wrought publicly in this place, in the presence of many thousands of people. A soldier of the King's Guards was sentenced to be hanged, for desertion and theft. He was a wretch abandoned to all manner of wickedness. General Keith was much concemned for his soul. He earnestly desired me to take the charge of it, though we saw no prospect of success. I visited him the day he was condemned, being Thursday. He seemed quite careless and unconcerned. I endeavoured to convince him of sin; but did not perceive any effect. I begged of him not to deceive his own soul, but to consider the condition he was in. On Friday, this began to sink into his heart, and on Saturday, much more. Perceiving this, I much insisted on those words, This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. The effect was astonishing. He laid hold on them by faith, and not only his burden was gone, but he had such experience of the love of Christ, as it is impossible to describe. His peace, triumph, and joy increasing every hour, till the night before his execution : and indeed were never more observable, than when he was brought out of prison. In his way to the place of execution he praised God, for dragging him, as it were, with chains to heaven. “What ! said he, will God, after all my hellish actions, give me eternal life into the bargain ?' The efficacy of the blood and death of Christ being made known to him by the Holy Ghost, he spoke of nothing but his wedding-day,
which was to be this 13th of August. Every one that look- . ed upon
him was struck. Officers and all were moved. Being entered into the ring, I once more prayed with him, and gave him the last blessing. But the very instant he was to be turned off, Colonel H. called out, 'Pardon!' I was thunder-struck, and Mittelstadt protested, it was to him, like a ball shot through his body. He fainted away for some time. Being recovered, his first words were, 'Why was I not rather hanged, or even crucified, than pardoned ? Why am I thus stopped in my course ? I should now have been with Christ!' I was myself more afraid of him now than ever : but the grace of God was strong in his soul ; and ever since it has continued the same. Yesterday I was informed by one who went on purpose to enquire, that his whole employ during his confinement ( which is to continue six months ) is reading, praying, and comforting himself with the blood of Christ.”
Monday 10, We took horse at half an hour after four. Before eight it was as warm as it is usually at Midsummer. And from ten we had the sun in our faces, all the way to Colchester : but we had the wind in our faces too, or the heat would have been insupportable. I was in a fever from the moment I came into the house: but it did not hinder me from preaching on the Green, and afterwards meeting the Society. I then lay down as soon as possible, but could not sleep a quarter of an hour, till between two or three in the morning. I do not know, that I have lost a night's sleep before, sick or well, since I was six years old : but it is all · one; God is able to give strength, either with sleep or without it. I rose at my usual time, and preached at five, without any faintness or drowsiness.
Thursday 13, We set out between four and five, and rode to Dunmow, about four and twenty miles : but here we were at a full stop ; none could direct us any farther. So we were to cross the Country as well as we could, But whenever we were at a loss (eight or ten times ) we niet some one to help us out. So, about half an hour past one, we were come within sixteen miles of Sundon. An honest blunderer
then undertook to direct us a nearer way. By his help we wandered up and down, till our sixteen miles grew into six and twenty. However, we got to Sundon before seven, where a considerable number of people soon met: to whom I explained, ( what they seemed to know very little of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Friday 14, I returned to London. Saturday 15, having left orders for the immediate repairing of West-street Chapel, I went to see what they had done, and saw cause to praise God for this also. The main timbers were so rotten, that in many places one might thrust his fingers into them. So that, probably, had we delayed till Spring, the whole building: must have fallen to the ground.
Monday 17, I went to Canterbury. Two hundred soldiers, I suppose, and a whole row of officers, attended in the evening. Their number was increased the next evening, and all behaved as men fearing God. Wednesday 19, I I preached at Dover, in the new room, which is just finished. Here also the hearers increase, some of whom are convinced, and others comforted daily." Thursday 20, I strongly applied at Canterbury, to the soldiers in particular, He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. The next day, in my return to London, I read Mr. Huygen's “ Conjectures on the Planetary World.” He surprised me' ; I think he clearly proves, that the moon is not habitable : that there are neither
“ Rivers nor mountains on her spotty globe.” That there is no sea, no water on her surface, nor any atmosphere. And hence he very rationally infers, that “neither are any of the secondary planets inhabited.” And who can prove that the primary are? I know, the earth is. Of the rest I know nothing.
Sunday 23, A vast majority of the immense congregation in Moorfields were deeply serious. One such hour might convince any impartial man, of the expediency of fieldpreaching. What building, except St. Paul's Church, would contain such a congregation ? And if it would, what human voice could have reached them there? By repeated