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quiet and comfortable meeting, and there was reason to hope that the word of God sunk into the hearts of many.
Tuesday 29, Having appointed some from Grimsby to meet us this evening at Lincoln, (which we supposed to be within a day's ride) we set out an hour before day; and rode, with only an hour or two's intermission, till above an hour after sunset : but we could reach no farther than Cold. harbour, six miles short of Ancaster. The next morning we rode on to Lincoln, but could hear nothing of our guides : So we determined, after waiting several hours, to make the best of our way to Epworth ; where the next evening I enforced those awful words, What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
I had the satisfaction about this time of an agreeable letter from a gentleman in Ireland. Part of which is subjoined :
REVEREND SIR, « Your favour of the 15th instant I received the 22d. I am more satisfied than ever, that you aim at nothing but what has an immediate tendency to the glory of God, and the salvation of mankind.
“I cannot help thinking that your design considered in this light, allowing even of some mistakes, must be deemed very praise-worthy. As to myself, in particular, I must own it gives me infinite satisfaction, to find that you have spoken to so good an effect in our town and neighbourhood. My Church is more frequented than ever it was; and I have the pleasure of seeing a greater decency, and more of zeal and attention than I could have dared to promise myself: which has also this effect upon me, that I find myself better disposed than ever, to distribute to those who attend my ministry, such food, as may yield them comfort here, and happiness hereafter. I heartily wish this may continue, and that the people may not cool. If so, we may hope to see wickedness generally decline, and virtue and godliness take place. I see this work of your's, through God's blessing, thus successfully carried on, without any ill-will or jealousy, and could wish that all the Clergy were, in that respect, of the same mind with me.
"Your Society here keeps up well; and is, I believe, considerably increased since you left it. I frequently attend the
. preaching; and though I am much reflected on for it, this does not in any-wise discourage me. While I am conscious to myself that I do no harm, I am careless of what men can say
“ Michael Poor, lately a Romanist, who is now of your Society, read his recantation on Sunday last.--Pray let us know, when you or your brother intend for this kingdom and town: for be sure, none wish more sincerely to see and converse with you than I, who am sincerely,
Reverend and dear Sir,
“Your very affectionate brother and servant. "August 29, 1749."
Friday, September 1, I spoke severally with the members of the Society.
Saturday 2, I gathered up a few at Belton, who did once run well, and seemed now resolved, no more to forsake the assembling of themselves together.
Sunday 3, At nine I preached at Misterton to a very large and attentive congregation : between one and two at Overthorp, near Haxey; and at Epworth about five. In the intervals of preaching, I spoke with the members of the Society in each place: most of whom I found either already alive to God, or earnestly panting after him. Monday 4, We rode to Syke-house; and on Tuesday in
; the afternoon reached Osmotherley.
Wednesday 6, I reached Newcastle ; and after resting a day, and preaching two evenings and two mornings, with such a blessing as we have not often found, on Friday set out to visit the northern Societies. I began with that at Morpeth, where I preached at twelve on one side of the marketplace. It was feared the market would draw the people from the sermon, but it was just the contrary: they quitted their stalls, and there was no buying or selling till the sermon was concluded.
At Alnwick likewise, I stood in the market-place in th evening, and exhorted a numerous congregation, to be always ready for Death, for Judgment, for Heaven. I felt what I spoke, as I believe did most that were present, both then and in the morning ; while I besought them to present themselves, a living, holy sacrifice, acceptable to God.
Saturday 9, I rode slowly forward to Berwick. I was myself much out of order. But I would not lose the opportunity, of calling in the evening all that were weary and heavy laden to him who hath said, I will give you rest.
Sunday 10, I preached at eight, and at four in the afternoon; and in the hours between, spoke with the members of the Society. I met them all at seven, and a glorious meeting it was. I forgot all my pain, while we were praising God together; but after they were gone, I yielded to my friends, and determined to give myself a day's rest: So I spent Monday the 11th in writing ; only I could not refrain from meeting the Society in the evening. The next evening God enabled me to speak searching words to an earnestly attentive congregation.
Wednesday 13, After preaching at five, I visited many, both of the sick and well : particularly, Robert Sutty, the first instrument, in God's hand, of awakening many in this place, who till then slept in sin. But, O! how changed! He seemed stripped both of his gifts and graces, and forsaken both of God and man. I had a delightful opportunity in the evening, of describing and comforting the broken in heart.
Thursday 14, Immediately after preaching, I took horse, and rode in a rough, stormy day to Alnwick. But before noon, it cleared up; so that I stood once more in the marketplace, and called all to come boldly to the throne of grace. Hence I rode to Alemouth, and laboured to awaken a stupid, drowsy people, by preaching both in the evening and the next morning, in the most convincing manner I could. For the present, they seemed to be deeply affected : God grant it may continue !
Friday 15, I offered the redemption, which is in Jesus, to a more lively congregation at Widdrington. Saturday 16, I preached in Morpeth at noon; in Placey about five; and then rode on to Newcastle.
Sunday 17, I preached morning and evening in the Castle-garth; and on Wednesday the 20th set out for the western Societies. In the evening at Hineley-hill, our hearts were all melted down, in considering our great High-Priest ; who, though he is gone into the heavens, is still sensibly touched with the feeling of our infirmities. A deep sense of his love constrained many to call upon him with strong cries and tears; and many others, though not in words, yet with groanings that could not be uttered.
Thursday 21, Moved by the pressing instances of Mr. Cownley, and convinced the providence of God called me thither, I left all my company, but Mr. Perronet, at Hineleyhill, and set out for Whitehaven. The next day I preached there in the market-place to a multitude of people, on Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. I saw they were moved, and resolved to improve the opportunity : So after preaching, I desired those who determined to serve God, to meet me apart from the great congregation. To these I explained the design, nature, and use of Christian Societies. Abundance were present again at five in the morning, though we had no room but the market-place. At three in the afternoon I preached at Hensingham, a large colliery, about a mile from the town. The eagerness of the people put me in mind of the early days at Kingswood. O why should we not be always what we were once? Why should any leave their first love ? At six I preached again in Whitehaven, on Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden: and at eight endeavoured to mould as many as desired it, into a regular Society.
Sunday 24, I began examining them one by one. At eight I preached at the Gins, another village, full of colliers, about half a mile from the town. The congregation was very large, and deeply attentive. Between one and two I preached again at Hensingham, tó as many as my voice could command, on Repent ye, and believe the Gospel. Thence I hastened to Church ; and in the midst of the service I felt a sudden stroke. Immediately a shivering ran through me, and in a few minutes I was in a fever. I thought of taking
a vomit immediately, and going to bed; but when I came from Church, hearing there was a vast congregation in the market-place; I could not send them empty away. And while I was speaking to them, God remembered me, and strengthened me, both in soul and body.
Reflecting on the manner of God's working here, I could not but make the following remark : The work in Whitehaven resembles that at Athlone, more than does any other which I have seen in England. It runs with a swift and a wide stream ; but it does not go deep. A considerable part of the town seems moved, but extremely few are awakened : and scarcely three have found a sense of the pardoning love of God, from the time of the first preaching to this day.
Monday 25, Mr. Cownly returned to Newcastle. Both at the morning and evening preaching many seemed greatly affected; as also on Tuesday morning: but it soon died away, and they did not feel the power of God, unto salvation.
Tuesday 26, Having appointed, before I left Hineley-hill, to preach there again on Wednesday evening ; I set out about two in the afternoon, though extremely weak, having had a flux for some days. But God renewed my strength, so that I felt less pain and weariness every hour. I had a solemn and delightful ride to Keswick, having my mind stayed on God.
Wednesday 27, I took horse at half an hour past three. There was no moon, or stars, but a thick mist, so that I could see neither road nor any thing else; but I went as right as if it had been noon-day. When I drew nigh Penruddock-moor, the mist vanished.; the stars appeared, and the morning dawned ; so I imagined all the danger was past. But when I was on the middle of the moor, the mist fell again on every side, and I quickly lost my way. I lifted up my heart. Immediately it cleared up, and I soon recovered the high-road. On Alstone-moor I missed my way again, and what I believe no stranger has done lately, rode through all the
bogs without any stop, till I came to the Vale, and thence to Hineley-hill.