Picture of Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley

places mentioned

1750: Bristol and London

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January 1 - April 20, 1750

Mon., January 1st, 1750. At four in the morning our room was excessively crowded, while I proclaimed the Gospel year of jubilee. We did not part without a blessing.

Fri., January 12th. I preached (with the old power) on, "Said I not unto thee, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God " Generally, my hands hang down, and I am so feeble in mind, that I cannot speak.

Sun., January 14th. The Spirit helped our infirmity at Kingswood sacrament. A daughter of our brother Grimshaw's was just departed in the Lord; being perfected in a short space.

Wed., January 31st. We were waked at two by a clap of thunder, unusually loud and terrible. My partner was much frightened.

Thur., February 1st. I walked with her to Dr. Middletows. The rain a little quickened our pace.

Sat., February 3d. She miscarried.

Sun., February 4th. I brought my friend Grimshaw home with me, comforted for his happy daughter. I had unlooked-for life in preaching.

Thur., February 8th. There was an earthquake in London.

Tues., February 18th. I preached with a little strength at Bearfield; and the next day with more at Freshford. The spirit of the people helped me. An old lady of four-score received me into her house. We spent the time in prayer and singing. Stephen Naylot, a poor backslider, had another call to repentance, and seemed resolved to close with it. I invited, a night, many burdened souls to Christ, and his healing power was greatly present, and refreshed every weary spirit.

Sun., February 18th. I carried my sister Betsy to Kingswood; where the Lord visited us again, and feasted us at his table.

Mon., February 19th. My wife had recovered strength for her journey. We set out with our sisters Betsy and Peggy; could not reach Newnham passage till past seven. It was then quite dark: the boat on the other side refused to come over. We were got to the edge of the bank, the usual place of embarking, when Providence sent a man to stop us. He informed us that the rains had choked up the river with two banks of sand, and where we were going was all quicksands. We followed him, with great difficulty, to another part of the river. My horse sunk up to the shoulders; but, with a violent plunge, struggled out. The boatmen at last took pity on us; came over, and with much pains carried us into the boat, and landed us safe on the opposite shore.

By Wed. noon, February 21st, God conducted us safe to Ludlow. For the five following days I received fresh strength for the work, and rejoiced in some measure that the Gospel had free course.

Tues., February 27th. I preached in their new room at Evesham; and not without a sensible blessing. I met my brother the next day at Oxford.

Thur., March 1st. I rode to London. Ned Perronet supplied me with a lodging.

Sun., March 4th. I visited old Lydia White, on her death-bed. She accosted me, "Thou blessed of the Lord, art thou come? I did not expect to see my dear Minister till we met in paradise. You and your brother are the instruments of my salvation. I have known the grace of the Lord Jesus long ago: now I am entering into his glory. He has told me so. I am full of his joy now." Her words strengthened my hands, as I found at the chapel, speaking on those words, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation." They sunk into many hearts.

Mon., March 5th. I prayed by my sister Wright, a gracious, tender, trembling soul; a bruised reed, which the Lord will not break.

Fri., March 9th. Many flocked to the morning word; and were yet more stirred up thereby. I have scarce ever seen so many at intercession. At the chapel I preached on the occasion, from Psalm xlvi., with very great awakening power.

Sat., March 10th. I expounded Isai. xxiv., a chapter I had not taken much notice of, till this awful providence explained it: "Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. The foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again."

I prayed by our sister Lewis, quietly expecting her release. I preached at Snowsfields, and urged them to enter into the Rock, now the Lord is risen to shake terribly the.

Sun., March 11th. My spirit and many others' seem revived by the late judgment. The word is with the accustomed power, both at London and Deptford, and wherever I minister it.

Wed., March 14th. I found my sister Wright very near the haven; and again on Sunday the 18th, yet still in darkness, doubts, and fears, against hope believing in hope. I preached to a vast attentive multitude over our brother Hoy's grave. As he lived the life, he died the death, of the righteous. O might my last end be like his!

Wed., March 21st. At four I called on my brother Wright, a few minutes after her spirit was set at liberty. I had sweet fellowship with her in explaining at the chapel those solemn words, "Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended." All present seemed partakers both of my sorrow and my joy.

Mon., March 26th. I followed her to her quiet grave, and wept with them that wept.

Wed., April 4th. I saw several happy souls, in spite of their feeble, sick, or pained bodies. One I visited yesterday, died in the faith soon after.

Fear filled our chapel, occasioned by a prophecy of the earthquake's return this night. I preached my written sermon on the subject, with great effect, and gave out several suitable hymns. It was a glorious night for the disciples of Jesus.

Thur., April 5th. At four I rose after a night of sound sleep, while my neighbours watched. I sent an account to M. G., as follows :—

"The late earthquake has found me work. Yesterday I saw the Westminster end of the town full of coaches, and crowds flying out of the reach of divine justice, with astonishing precipitation. Their panic was caused by a poor madman's prophecy: last night they were all to be swallowed up. The vulgar were in almost as great consternation as their betters. Most of them watched all night: multitudes in the fields and open places: several in their. Many removed their goods. London looked like a sacked city. A lady, just stepping into her coach to escape, dropped down dead. Many came all night knocking at the Foundery-door, and begging admittance for God's sake. Our poor people were calm and quiet, as at another time."

Sat., April 7th. I visited a dying sister, speechless, yet full of earnest love, as her looks and signs confessed. Among the penitents, our Lord visited us in a spirit of prayer and contrition.

Sun., April 8th. I buried our brother Somerset, who came to the grave as a ripe shock of corn in its season. He has now overtook his companion, and death can no more separate them.

Mon., April 9th. I visited Mrs. C., at St. Anne's-hill; much delighted with the wood, much more with the company. I did not think there was any such creature upon earth, as a girl of twelve years old without guile and without vanity.

Another was gathered into the garner. I buried her earthly part, for a short season.

Sun., April 15th. I met Mr. Salmon's "Foreigner's Companion through the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford," printed 1748, and made the following extract, p. 25 :—

"The times of the day the University go to this church, are ten in the morning, and two in the afternoon, on Sundays and holidays, the sermon usually lasting about half an hour. But when I happened to be at Oxford, in 1742, Mr. Wesley, the Methodist, of Christ-Church, entertained his audience two hours, and, having insulted and abused all degrees, from the highest to the lowest, was in a manner hissed out of the pulpit by the lads."

And high time for them to do so, if the historian said true; but, unfortunately for him, I measured the time by my watch, and it was within the hour: I abused neither high nor low, as my sermon, in print, will prove; neither was I hissed out of the pulpit, or treated with the least incivility, either by young or old.

What then shall I say to my old high-Church friend, whom I once so much admired ! I must rank him among the apocryphal writers, such as the judicious Dr. Mather, the wary Bishop Burnet, and the most modest Mr. Oldmixon.

Fri., April 20th. I found my Sally well among her friends at Ludlow. She rejoiced my heart with her account of M. Leyson, whom she saw triumphant in her last hour. Here is another blessed soul gone to paradise with a good report of us.

I continued ten or eleven days, mostly preaching every night and morning, here or at Leominster. The latter part of the time a prisoner of pain.

May 2 - August 28, 1750

Wed., May 2d. I took horse at three, and came, weary, to Bristol by night. Fri., May 4th. Hearing the Moravians had been soliciting some of our children, I exhorted them, this evening, to "put on the whole armour of God;" and his power was to confirm the souls of the disciples.

Sun., May 6th. The Lord was with us as in the former times, both at the sacrament and while I applied to thousands that word, "Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee."

Sun., May 13th. I baptized Hannah, M. Gibs's maid; and the whole congregation with her were conscious of the descent of the Spirit, who bears witness with the water.

Tues, May 15th. I set out with Mrs. Vazeille, &c., for Ludlow, and the next day saluted our friends there. During our nine days' stay, they showed her all the civility and love that they could show: and she seemed equally pleased with them.

Thur., May 24th. My Sally was so very ill in the evening, that I gave up the hope of her company to town; but the next morning,

Fri., May 25th, she would go, notwithstanding we all dissuaded her. At eight we mounted; had fair weather after last night's excessive rain. She mended every stage. I preached in the evening at Worcester.

Sat., May 26th. Our brother Watson met us with a chaise, and carried Mrs. Vazeille and Sally to M. Keech's in Evesham, by noon. Mr. Waller and I rode by them. I preached with life and liberty.

Sun., May 27th. I accepted the Hayor's offer of the Town-hall. The door was quite open. Many gentry and others listened to the word of life. So again in the evening. I rejoiced with the Society, whose enemies God has made to be at peace with them.

Mon., May 28th. We saw Blenheim in our way to Oxford. Our old friend Mr. Evans received us with his wonted hospitality.

Tues., May 29th. I showed Mr. W. and Mrs. Vazeille the buildings and gardens. I gave the sacrament to H. Neal, a true daughter of affliction, and preached again at night.

Wed., May 30th. We had a long day's journey to St. Anne's. It was past nine before we got under shelter. Mrs. Rich was there, who, with our old friends, received us gladly.

Thur., May 31st. Hr. W. and Mrs. Vazeille went to town.

Sat., June 2d. We took up our quarters for eight or nine days at Mrs. Vazeille's.

Mon., June 4th. I preached at the chapel with the usual blessing.

Thur., June 7th. I carried Sally to see our old friends at Newington-green. It is remarkable that the first time Mrs. Stotesbury ever saw her, she said within herself, "That person is to be my Minister's wife."

Mon., June 11th. I paid our friends at St. Anne's a short visit, and returned the next day.

Wed., June 13th. I fetched back my hostage from Chertsey.

Mon., June 18th. I called on H. Dewal at Croydon, and drove on to Westerham, where we met an hearty welcome from Hr. Waller's mother and sister Dudley. I walked in Mr. Turner's, and then in General Campbell's, gardens He appeared, carried us into his house, and entertained us with great courtesy.

Tues., June 19th. I rode back to the Foundery, and read the letters.

Thur., June 21st. I took horse at three, and waked them at Westerham. I passed the day with them in the gardens, reading, singing, and conversing.

Fri., June 22d. I met a daughter of my worthy old friend Mr. Erskine, at the Foundery. She was deeply wounded by the sword of the Spirit; confessed she had turned many to Deism, and feared there could be no mercy for her.

Sat., June 23d. A woman whom I baptized perceived her sins to be then washed away. I found much of the spirit of contrition among the penitents.

Sun., June 24th. My text was, "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith the Lord;" and his consolations were not small with us. At the sacrament they abounded. Poor Mrs. C——- told me, she was "in an agony."

I believe God owned me more this day on account of one who, in an abusive letter, had affirmed, that the Lord was departed from me.

Thur., June 28th. I prayed by our faithful brother H——-, just departing in the Lord, and to him.

Fri., June 29th. The scriptures for the day were much blessed to my comfort. My mouth and heart were both opened to preach the word. The presence of the Lord made it a solemn sacrament.

I visited the widow (Hogg) in her affliction, and tried to turn it into the right channel. We continued in watching and prayer till one.

Mon., July 2d. I buried our late brother Hogg, and preached at his grave to a countless multitude on, "These are they that came out of great tribulation," &c.The Lord gave me utterance, and them the hearing ear.

Mon., July 9th. I administered the sacrament to a dying believer, lately called; but now made equal to them that have borne the heat and burden of the day.

Wed., July 1 lth. I preached a written sermon at Spitalfields, on my beloved friend and brother Hogg. The chapel was crowded, and the house of mourning was turned to an house of great rejoicing.

Mon., July 16th. I rode to St. Anne's, and returned in such a storm of thunder, lightning, and rain, as I hardly remember to have seen out of America.

Wed., July 18th. I had the satisfaction of bringing back to Mr. Erskine his formerly disobedient daughter. She fell at his feet. It was a moving interview. All wept. Our heavenly Father heard our prayers.

I preached immediately after, on, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." We had a double blessing and power. Poor Jane Cox said, she was even compelled to receive Christ.

Fri., July 20th. We kept a solemn watchnight at Spitalfields.

Sun., July 22d. After evening service I set out with Robert Windsor; got two or three hours' rest at Mr. Manning's; and,

Mon., July 23d, breakfasted with Mr. Evans in Oxford. I lodged at Worcester; and, by eight on Tues. morning, July 24th, found Sally well at Ludlow. Every evening we retired to pray together; and our Lord's presence made it a little church.

Sat., July 28th. I wrote to M. Gwynne, earnestly beseeching her to do all in her power to reconcile her son and daughter.

Tues., July 31st. The word I preached this day at Leominster was accompanied with the power and blessing of God.

Tues., August 7th. At seven I set out with Sally for Bristol, without the consent of the rest. It rained small rain till we came to Leominster; and so most of the way to Ross.

Wed., August 8th. It rained hard soon after we set out; but quickly gave over. We had a rough, dangerous passage at Frommelow. We dined at Cambridge inn, and had a trying journey, "driven by the wind, and battered by the rain." Sally was frightened with the thunder, which often forced us to trees and huts for shelter. Yet at seven, by the assistance of God, we entered our own house in peace.

Fri., August 10th. Sally accompanied me in my visits to the sick.

Sun., August 12th. The Lord met us, who remembered him in his ways.

Mon., August 13th. I met my sister Hall in the church-yard, and carried her to the room. I had begun preaching, when Mr. Hall walked up the room, and through the desk, and carried her off with him. I was somewhat disturbed; yet went on.

Wed., August 15th. He came up again, calling me by my name. I fled, and he pursued; but could not find me in my lurking-place.

Tues., August 28th. Many rejoiced in hope, our Lord applying that precious promise, "I will allure her, and will bring her into the wilderness, and will speak comfortably unto her."

September 1 - December 28, 1750

Sat., September 1st. I finished Rapin's history, which has cured me, in some degree, of the prejudices of education.

Sun., September 2d. I baptized Hannah Skinner. He remembered His promise, "Lo, I am with you."

Tues., September 4th. I carried Sally to Mr. Haynes. I preached with an enlarged heart, as I always do at Wick.

Wed., September 5th. My worthy friend Mr. Evans looked upon us in his return to Oxford.

Sun., September 9th. I proclaimed, to a great multitude in the orchard, "Christ the way, the truth, and the life;" and left, I humbly hope, a blessing behind me.

Mon., September 10th. I set out with Sally, and parted; she for Ludlow, I for London; where I arrived on Wednesday morning.

Thur., September 18th. I met my brother and the Stewards.

Fri., September 14th. I met James Hervey at the Tabernacle, and in the fellowship of the Spirit of love.

Sun., September 16th. A great number of communicants perceived the Lord present. He gave us his blessing at our lovefeast also. I was restless all night, through a boil rising on my neck.

Mon., September 17th. I rose at two, and set out for the north. Beyond Islington my mare threw and fell upon me. I held on as far as St. Alban's, and was then forced to lie down; yet could not sleep, day or night.

Tues. afternoon, September 18th. With much difficulty I got back to London.

Fri., September 28th. I continued in great pain for several days, till the boil broke.

I passed three days at Newington-green, and found benefit by my physic and fresh air. Mr. Waller and his sisters frequently called, and rejoiced with the church in our house.

Sun., October 7th. I got out to the chapel on this and every Lord's day; the rest of the month confined to the house mostly. Dr. Wathen attended me constantly, till both my neck and swollen hand were quite well.

Mon., October 29th. I set out with Mr. Waller and Bridgin; slept the first night at Oxford, the second at Moreton.

Wed., October 31st. By ten I came to Evesham, and had great comfort in praying over our sick brother Watson. I lodged at Worcester, and was refreshed with the little handful at sister Blackmore's.

Thur., November 1st. I preached in Ludlow, where I stayed the whole month, exercised by severe and unexpected trials. One night (November 28th) Mr. W——- fell into convulsions, through the distractions of his mind. I was on the point of following him. Betsy and Juggy fainted away. Confusion reigned throughout the family.

Sat., December 1st. I rode out with Miss Becky, to meet Mrs. Allen and M. Dudley, and brought them to Ludlow.

Sun., December 2d. I encouraged a poor girl to seek for her cure from Him who had wounded her. She has the outward mark too; being daily threatened to be turned out of doors by her master, a great swearer, and strict Churchman; a constant communicant, and habitual drunkard.

Tues., December 4th. Mr. W.'s wedding-day. How unlike my own! I rose, after a sleepless night, in the spirit of heaviness. I prayed for them and with them. Soon after eight they were married;

"And 't was my ministry to deal the blow!"

Fri., December 7th. I left the house of woe, and the next day rejoiced to find myself among my friends at Bristol.

Sun., December 9th. I visited my sick friends; four of them in the triumph of faith. Sister Page was almost overpowered: she had desired to live only to see me. She began recovering from our praying together.

The Society seemed filled with consolation. It was a glorious time, and made me forget my late sorrows and sufferings.

Mon., December 10th. I visited our sister Arnett, aged eighty-six, just ripe for glory; and a child of brother Waleam's, departing in the spirit of praise and love.

Sun., December 16th. Two went home from the word justified.

Sun., December 23d. I gave a close exhortation to the Society, which seemed to sink into every heart.

Tues., Christmas-day. I rejoiced from four to six, with as many as our room could contain; then rode to Newbury with T. Hamilton. Eating immediately, he fainted away. I found myself a-going, and prevented it by a vomit.

Thur., December 27th. I did not reach the Foundery till eleven. I found Sally at Mrs. Allen's.

Fri., December 28th. I officiated at Spitalfields chapel, One received forgiveness with the sacrament.

Charles Wesley, The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1849)

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