Picture of Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley

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Jan. 1 - Aug. 26, 1751: London to Bristol and the north

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January 1 - April 30, 1751

Tues., .January lst, 1751. I began the new year as usual, with the voice of joy and thanksgiving.

Wed., January 2d. I visited a sick believer, who talked of death as of going to sleep. "When I think of the grave," said she, "I think it is a sweet, soft place; but my spirit shall mount above."

Mr. W——- having always insisted on our sojourning with him a while, when he should have an house of his own, I carried Sally thither, to her two inseparable sisters, Betsy and Peggy.

Fri., January 4th. I spent the evening at Mrs. Colvil's, and left my partner there.

Sun. afternoon, .January 6th. M. C. and Mrs. D. brought her me back. We had the pleasure of frequent visits from them.

Sun., .January 13th. I preached at Hayes church, morning and evening, on, "Come unto me, all that labour," and, "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away," &c. They were patient, at least, of the truth. I rode back to town.

Mon., January 14th. Mr. W.'s three sisters were at our family prayers; in which I was even overwhelmed with their burden, and constrained to warn them with tears and vehement expressions of my fear and sorrow. The arrows of conviction pierced one of their hearts. The others were rather confounded than alarmed.

Sun., January 27th. I preached at the Foundery with great severity.

Wed., January 30th. I got an hour's very useful conversation with Lady Piers.

Sat., February 2d. My brother, returned from Oxford, sent for and told me he was resolved to marry! I was thunderstruck, and could only answer, he had given me the first blow, and his marriage would come like the coup de grace. Trusty lied Pertenet followed, and told me, the person was Mrs. Vazeille! one of whom I had never had the least suspicion. I refused his company to the chapel, and retired to mourn with my faithful Sally. I groaned all the day, and several following ones, under my own and the people's burden. I could eat no pleasant food, nor preach, nor rest, either by night or by day.14

Sun., February 3d. I gave the sacrament, but without power or life. I had no comfort in it, no singing between, no prayer after, it.

Thur., February 7th. My excessive cough helped to pull me down; and then a sore throat. My companion sympathized with me too sensibly.

Thur., February 14th. She was often in great pain, especially to-day. I watched by her in great distress, but could not remove her pain by sharing it. I sent for Mr. Wathen, who prescribed what gave her immediate relief. I gave God, who heareth prayer, the glory.

Sun., February 17th. I dragged myself to the chapel, and spoke on those words, "Thy sun shall no more go down," &c. The whole congregation seemed infected by my sorrow: both under the word, and at the sacrament, we wept and made supplication. It was a blessed mourning to us all.

At the Foundery I heard my brother's apology. Several days afterwards I was one of the last that heard of his unhappy marriage.

Mon., February 18th. I carried Sally out of the confusion to M. Colvil's.

Sun., February 24th. After sacrament, Mr. Blackwell fell upon me in a manner peculiar to himself, dragging me to my dear sister.

Wed., February 27th. My brother came to the chapel-house with his wife. I was glad to see him; saluted her; stayed to hear him preach.

Sat., March 9th. I felt great emotion in the word, both morning and evening.

Fri., March 15th. I called on my sister; kissed and assured her I was perfecfly reconciled to her, and to my brother.

Mon., March 18th. I finished Marcus Anteninus, having learnt from him, I hope, some useful lessons, particularly not to resent, not to revenge myself, not to let my peace lie at the mercy of every injurious person.

Tues., March 19th. I brought my wife and sister together, and took all opportunities of showing the latter my sincere respect and love.

Thur., March 21st. At four in the morning I met the watchman, who told me the first news of the Prince's death.

Mon., March 25th. I visited one on his death-bed, who had been converted from Delsm, and washed in the blood of his Redeemer.

Tues., April 9th. I spent a week with M. Colvil, and Miss Degge, chiefly in reading, singing, and prayer.

Sat., April 13th. I passed the evening with Sally at Mr. Ianson's, and saw the Prince's funeral pass. The house was full of strangers. We joined in many suitable hymns, till near midnight.

Mon., April 15th. I heard Lovybond preach, most miserably. By how many degrees are such Preachers worse than none!

Sun., April 21st. God was present in the word and sacrament, as in the months that are past, when the candle of the Lord was upon our heads.

Thur., April 25th. Our Lord again confirmed Ms word: "In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer," &c.

Fri., April 26th. After intercession, I met J. Hutchinson, and engaged him for the next day: then laboured to stir him up to do the first works.

Sun., April 28th. I buried our sister Pocock, a silent, secret, unpretending Christian, who died the death, as she lived the life, of the righteous. I strongly warned the bands against sin and apostasy.

Tues., April 30th. I took horse in the afternoon, Mr. Lloyd and Sally in the chaise, and lodged at T. Hardwick's.

May 1 - August 26, 1751

Wed., May 1st. I rode to Lewisham, and thence to the Foundery; went to Bed ill.

Thur., May 2d. I returned to Sally at Brentford.

Fri., May 3d. I set out with her for St. Anne's, but was driven back by the rain.

Sat., May 4th. I carried my companion thither, and rode back to town.

Sun., May ~th. My subject was, "In me ye shall have peace;" and He did even in that hour extend to us peace like a river. In the afternoon I rode to St. Anne's.

Mon., May 6th. Mr. Lloyd paid us a visit. We passed our time no less usefully than agreeably, in reading and singing. He and I witnessed to Mrs. C.'s will.

Wed., May 8th. I set out in a post-chaise for Bristol. I heard, in passing Reading, that our friend Mr. Richards was departed in peace. I lay at Newbury the first night; the second at Calne; and on

Fri., May 10th, I came safe with Sally to Charles-street. Our friends Vigor, Davis, &c., were there to welcome us. We were much drawn out in prayer.

Sun., May 12th, I was, with Sally at Kingswood, greatly quickened by that promise, "The third part I will bring through the fire." In the sacrament we were swallowed up in the spirit of prayer. I met my sister at the Horse fair, and behaved to her as suck. I gave an earnest exhortation to repentance.

Tues., May 14th. I showed her, both at my own house, and the houses of my friends, all the civility in my power.

Fri., May 17th. The congregation was melted into blessed mourning, through the word.

Sun., May 19th. I preached out to a vast multitude on, "Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory ;" was carried out to the unawakened wholly. The Society seemed much alive to God.

Wed., May 22d. I rode with Sally to Wick, and received the never-failing blessing.

Thur., May 23d. Returning by the widow Jones's, I asked her daughter at the door how she was. "Just alive," she answered me, "and no more." I lighted, and prayed over her earnestly with tears, as sent to minister tile last blessing to an old friend, torn from us by false brethren. She was full of hope and love and prayer for me, and of desire to be dissolved. I went on my way rejoicing.

Tues., May 28th. My very good old friend M. Cradock came to see me, with Mr. Motte. We sang, and conversed, and prayed, (particularly for their Lady,) as in the former days.

In the evening, Mrs. Jones, of Fonmon, called, and told me her Ladyship would be very glad to see me.

Thur., May 30th. Sally resolved to bear me company to Newcastle. Daas wrtat bene. I wrote to John Bennet to meet us.

Sat., June lat. In the fear of God, and by the advice of my friends, I went once more to visit L.H. She expressed great kindness toward me, as did all the family; spoke much and well of sufferings, &c. My heart was turned back again, and forgot all that is past. The Spirit of love is a Spirit of prayer, and sealed the reconciliation.

Sun., June 2d. I baptized Sarah and Eliz., a Quaker and a Baptist, before a full congregation. All were moved by the descent of that Spirit: many wept, and trembled, and rejoiced. The persons baptized, most of all.

Mon., June 3d. My wife accepted her Ladyship's invitation, and went with me to see her. We employed an hour or two in very useful conversation, and singing, and prayer. Our old friend appeared as such; seemed taken with Sally, and said, "Mr. Wesley, I will come to see you:" appointed the next day.

Tues., June 4th. Instead of proceeding in Ezekiel, I expounded Heb. x. 38: "Now the just shall live by faith; but if he draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." I saw the reason with Mr. Hall. He came up toward the desk. Mr. Hamilton stopped him. I gave out an hymn. He sang louder than us all. I spoke sharply of his apostasy, and prayed earnestly for him; desired their prayers for me, lest, after preaching to others, I myself also should be a castaway. He walked away, turned back, threatened. The people were all in tears, and agony of prayer.

I spent an hour in prayer with our sisters Pertin, Design, Robertson, T. Hamilton, and Charles Perronet, making particular mention of my brother and L.H. From five to seven, she and her daughters spent the time with us.

Sun., June 9th. At eight in the evening I preached with life and freedom to a great multitude at Point's-Pool.

Mon. afternoon, June 10th. I preached at sister Crockar's, on, "God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you," &c.

Tues., June 11th. Our sister Selby brought me a letter from our brother Pearce, at Bradford, pressing me to bring James Wheatley thither, to answer for some horrible practices of his.

Wed., June 12th. I rode to Bradford; talked with our brother Pearce, then with M. Bradford, and another of the abused persons. I preached on, "Having our conversation honest among the Gentiles."

Thur., June 13th. I preached close and severe warnings. I advised Jo. Hewish to leave off preaching; which he promised to do. I talked with more persons whom James Wheatley had treated in the same vile manner; met the rest at Wick, in all seven. What they told me, they repeated more at large to Sarah Pertin and M. Naylot. I prayed, with strong faith and tears, by our mournful, dying brother Cottel.

I rode to Freshford, and urged them to come boldly to the throne of grace. The Lord was with my mouth.

Fri., June 14th. I kept the hour of intercession at Bristol; bowed down under the mighty hand of God. I carried James Wheatley to my house, and set before him, in tender love and pity, the things which he had done. At first he was stubborn and hard; but relented afterwards, seemed willing to confess; satisfied of my good will.

Sun., June 16th. I baptized a young Quaker at Kingswood; and then we all joined in the Lord's supper. He was mightily present in both sacraments; and afterwards gave me words to shake the souls of those that heard.

Mon., June 17th. Sally set out for Ludlow.

Wed., June 19th. I carried my brother home; offered to join with him heartily and entirely. I consulted what to do with Wheatley.

Thur., June 20th. I got Wheatley again to my house, and talked with him as he was able to bear.

Fri., June 21st. I administered the sacrament to L. H., Sarah Pertin, &e., under a deep and solemn awe of the divine presence.

I found my sister in tears; professed my love, pity, and desire to help her. I heard her complaints of my brother, carried her to my house, where, after supper, she resumed the subject, and went away comforted.

Sat., June 22d. I passed another hour with her, in free, affectionate conference; then with my brother; and then with both together. Our explanation ended in prayer and perfect peace.

Sun., June 23d. L. H., with M. Edwin and M. Knight, desired admittance to our lovefeast. My mouth was opened in exhortation and prayer. Afterwards I introduced my sister to her L____ and the rest, who received her with great friendliness.

Tues., June 25th. My brother and I carried James Wheatley, at his own request, to Bearfield. M. Deverel and S. Bradford proved their charge to his face. He pleaded guilty; yet justified himself. I walked with him apart: he threatened to expose all our Preachers; who, he said, were like himself. I conferred with my brother, and drew up our resolution in writing, that he should not preach. Wheatley absolutely refused to submit. We reasoned with him in vain. He insisted on preaching occasionally in our Societies. I transcribed the declarations taken from their mouths.

Wed., June 26th. With L. H., S. Perrin declared the matter. She much approved of what had been done, strengthened our hands, proposed writing to Wheatley herself. She was quite cordial to advise, and to bear our burden. We were enabled to pray earnestly for the divine direction and blessing.

Thur., June 27th. We talked again with stiff-necked James; but prevailed nothing. He was resolved to preach; neither would he discover which of the Preachers it was whom, he said, he knew to be a gross sinner. I communicated with my brother and sister, at L. H.'s.

Fri., June 28th. James Wheatley having, to screen himself, traduced all the Preachers, we had him face to face with about ten of them together; and T. Maxfield first, then each of the others, asked him, "What sin can you charge me with?" The accuser of the brethren was silent in him, which convinced us of his wilful lying. However, it put my brother arid me upon a resolution of strictly examining into the life and moral behaviour of every Preacher in connexion with us; and the office fell upon me.

Sat., June 29th. I set out for this purpose, Fr. Walker and S. Pertin accompanying me. I lodged at Ross that night. I overtook Sally the next day at Ludlow, by two; unhurt by the incessant rains.

I preached to as many as the hall and parlour could contain. They seemed increased in earnestness as well as number. I found unexpected life and comfort among them; and the following evening had still more reason to hope, that my past labour has not been in vain.

Fri., July 5th. Between six and seven I set out with S. Pertin, my wife, and sister Beck, and honest Fr. Walker. Coming to Worcester in the afternoon, we heard, the rioters had been at the room on Monday evening, in expectation of me, and made great disturbance. I doubted all along whether I had any business here at this time; yet, at the desire of the poor people, I went to their room at seven. Almost as soon as I began the mob interrupted; but, in spite of their lewd, hellish language, I preached the Gospel, though with much contention. They had power to strike the people as usual; neither did any molest us in our way home.

Sat., July 6th. We were hardly met, when the sons of Belial poured in upon us, some with their faces blacked, some without shirt all in rags. They began to "stand up for the Church," by cursing and swearing, by singing and talking lewdly, and throwing dust and dirt all over us; with which they had filled their pockets, such as had any to fill. I was soon covered from head to foot, and almost blinded. Finding it impossible to be heard, .I only told them I should apply to the Magistrates for redress, and walked up stairs. They pressed after me, but Mr. Walker and the brethren blocked up the stairs, and kept them down. I waited a quarter of an hour; then walked through the midst of them to my lodgings, and thence to the Mayor's.

I spent an hour with him, pleading the poor people's cause. He said, he had never before heard of their being so treated; that is, pelted, beat, and wounded, their house battered, and windows, partitions, locks broke; that none had applied to him for justice, or he should have granted it; that he was well assured of the great mischief the Methodists had done throughout the nation, and the great riches Mr. Whitefield and their other teachers had acquired; that their societies were quite unnecessary, since the Church was sufficient; that he was for having neither Methodist nor Dissenter.

I easily answered all his objections. He treated me with civillty and freedom, and promised, at parting, to do our people justice. Whether he does or not, I have satisfied my own conscience.

At ten we took horse for Tipton-green. Our brother Jones gave me a melancholy account of the Society at Wednesbury, which, from three hundred, is reduced to seventy weak, lifeless members. Those who had borne the burden and heat of the day, and stood like a rock in all the storms of persecution, were removed from their steadfastness, and fallen back into the world, through vain janglings. Well had it been for them if the predestinarians had never come hither.

Sun., July 7th. I preached out to a numerous congregation, whom I could not look upon without tears. My text was Rev. iii. 3: "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent." Out of the abundance of my heart my mouth spake, and called them back to their first love and first works. It was a solemn sea. son of sorrow. The Lord, I trust, knocked at many hearts, which will hear his voice, and open to him again. He stirred up the faithful remnant to pray for their backslidng brethren; and their prayers shall not return empty.

Another hour I employed in earnestly exhorting the Society to repentance.

Mon., July 8th. I preached at five with much freedom, and hope of their recovery. In the afternoon the Curate met me; a well-disposed youth, just come from College; where his Tutor, Mr. Bentham, gave him an early prejudice for true religion. He invited me to his lodgings, joined with us in serious conversation and singing, and seemed ready for all good impressions.

At six I preached, on Bromidge-heath, to a multitude of the poor, who heard me gladly; and knew not when to leave off.

Tues., July 9th. The many hearers at Dudley seemed to drink in every word.

Wed., July 10th. I exhorted them at Wednesbury to "lay aside every weight," &c. I joined with the brethren, in fervent prayer for a general revival.

Thur., July 11th. I examined the classes, and rejoiced to find them all orderly walkers. I received some backsliders upon trial; and prayed by a sick sister, quietly waiting for full redemption.

I dined in Darlaston, at our brother Jones's uncle's. The master was gone to his house not made with hands, and left a good report behind him. He was a good and hardy soldier of Jesus Christ, bold to confess Him before men; for whose sake he suffered the loss of all things, and continued faithful unto death. The people are a pattern to the flock: "Meek, simple followers of the Lamb; They live and speak and think the same."

By their patience and steadfastness of faith, they have conquered their fiercest adversaries. God gives them rest, and they walk in his fear and comforts, increasing daily both in grace and number.

I preached to most of the town, and pressed them to "come boldly to the throne of grace." My spirit was greatly assisted by theirs. Those without seemed all given into my hands. The Society was all in a flame of love. They made me full amends for my sorrow at Wednesbury.

Fri., July 12th. I took my leave of them at Wednesbury, exhorting them to "continue in the Apostles' doctrine, and in fellowship," &c. S. Peltin met, and found much grace among, the women. Half a dozen more wandering sheep I gathered in, and restored to their brethren. I preached at Birmingham to several of the better rank, who received the word with a ready mind.

Sat., July 13th. At morning and at noon my mouth was opened to make known the mystery of the Gospel.

Sun., July 14th. I examined the Society, who adorn the Gospel of Christ. I heard a good sermon at church, about using the world as not abusing it; but, alas! It supposed the congregation to be Christians.

I preached at five before brother Bridgin's door. We expected a disturbance; but the power of the Lord was over all.

The cloud stayed on the assembled Society. The word of exhortation went from my heart to theirs. The Spirit helped us to pray, especially for some at Bristol; and our souls were like a watered garden.

Mon., July 15th. At five I took horse with our brother Bridgin, an old disciple past eighty. I lay at Duffield.

Tues., July 16th. At two I rejoiced to meet some of our dear children in Sheffield. I encouraged them by that most glorious promise, "Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him." The door has continued open ever since Mr. Whitefield preached here, and quite removed the prejudices of our first opposers. Some of them were convinced by him, same converted, and added to the church. "He that escapes the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay."

Wed., July 17th. I preached at Rotherham, and met, to my comfort, several solid believers. I talked severally with the growing Society. I returned, and preached in the streets at Sheffield, without life or power, to a wild, tumultuous rabble. I was equally dead at the Society.

Thur., July 18th. I rode toward Barley-hall. I baited three hours at our sister Booth's, and laboured all the time to strip an old, self-righteous Pharisee. At last our Lord got himself the victory. We left her in tears and deep convictions. A greater miracle of grace than the conversion of a thousand harlots!

I dined at Barley-hall with our dear sister Johnson, a widow indeed, and her six sons and daughter, all believers. I had heard at Sheffield, that the Society here was come to nothing. Yet the word was attended with the blessing which never failed me in this place, and I felt the Lord was not departed. I was still more agreeably surprised in examining the Society, to find near seventy earnest souls, most of them believers, and grown in grace. But who can stand before envy? The Preacher that brought up an evil report of them, had it from some of Sheffield, who, through prejudice and jealousy, would always hinder our reaching at this place. How cautious should we be in believing any man! I marvel not now that my mouth was stopped at Sheffield.

Fri., July 19th. I preached once more to this lively, loving people, and left them son'owful, yet rejoicing. We had a pleasant ride to Wakefield, where our brother Johnson received us joyfully. He himself was sick of a fever; but the Lord makes his bed, and he waits upon Him, without trouble, care, or choice.

By five we were welcomed to Leeds by our sister Hutch insert and others. I preached at eight, to many more than the house could hold. The Lord gave us a token for good.

Sat., July 20th. The Leaders informed me that, of the two hundred and fifty members of the Society, every one could challenge the world, "Which of you convinceth me of sin?"

I visited a faithful brother, whose wife and sister were drawing back. We laboured to restore them, in the spirit of meekness, and the Lord added weight to our words. They departed for awhile, we trust, that we might receive them again for ever. At eight I preached the Gospel to a multitude of poor sinners, unfeignedly poor, and hungering after righteousness.

Sun., July 21st. I preached, in the shell of our house, on Zech. iv.: "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation," &c. I rode to Birstal, where John Nelson comforted our hearts with his account of the success of the Gospel in every place where he has been preaching, except Scotland. There he has been beating the air for three weeks, and spending his strength in vain. Twice a day he preached at Musselburgh, to some thousands of mere hearers, without converting one soul.

I preached at one, to a different kind of people. Such a sight have I not seen for many months. They filled the valley and side of the hill, "as grasshoppers for multitude." Yet my voice reached the most distant, as I perceived by their bowing at the holy Name. Not one appeared unconcerned. I directed them to "the Lamb of God that taketh away the Sin of the world." God gave me the voice of a trumpet, and sent the word home to many hearts.

After evening service I met them again, but much increased, and lifted up my voice to comfort them by the precious promises; which were then fulfilled in many. The eyes of the blind were opened, the ears of the deaf unstopped, the lame men leaped like harts, and the tongue of the dumb sang.

The Society, collected from all parts, filled their new room; whom I earnestly exhorted to walk as becometh the Gospel.

Tues., July 23d. I showed the believers at Leeds how they ought to walk, from, "Ye are the salt of the earth," &c. In the evening I preached repentance and forgiveness, in the name of Jesus, to a mixed multitude of rich and poor.

I visited a sick sister, destitute of all things, yet triumphing over want, sickness, death.

Wed., July 24th. I preached at Woodhouse, faint and ill, as before a fever. So I told Sally, yet strove to hold up till I had wrote, with many tears, to my dear J. Hutchinson. At eight the fever came.

Thur., July 25th. I was carried to Miss Norton's, who quitted her house for us and Sarah Perrin.

Fri., July 26th. John Nelson assured me, that above seventy had died in triumph, out of Birstal Society only.

Sun., July 28th. My fever increasing, I judged it incumbent on me to leave my thoughts concerning the work and instruments, and began dictating to Sarah Pertin the following letter.15

Mon., July 29th. Dr. Milner constantly attended me. I had some discourse with Paul Greenwood, an Israelite indeed; glad to work with his hands, as well as to preach.

Thur., August 1st. M. Polier, a Minister from Switzerland, was brought to me by my Doctor. He inquired thoroughly into our affairs. I told him all I knew of the Methodists, with which he appeared fully satisfied. He seemed a man of learning and piety. In the evening we were strangely drawn out in prayer for him.

Fri., August 2d. I had missed my fit through taking the bark.

Sat., August 3d. I was enabled to ride out, and to confer with the Preachers and others.

Sun., August 4th. I found my strength sensibly increase in the fresh air. I spent an hour with the women Leaders, and appointed them to meet as a band.

Mon., August 5th. I went to the room, that I might hear with my own ears one, of whom many strange things had been told me. But such a Preacher have I never heard, and hope I never shall again. It was beyond description. I cannot say he preached false doctrine, or true, or any doctrine at all, but pure, unmixed nonsense. Not one sentence did he utter that could do the least good to any one soul. Now and then a text of Scripture, or a verse quotation, was dragged in by head and shoulders. I could scarce refrain from stopping him. He set my blood a galloping, and threw me into such a sweat, that I expected the fever to follow. Some begged me to step into the desk, and speak a few words to tile poor dissatisfied hearers. I did so, taking no notice of Michael Fenwick.

I talked closely with him, utterly averse to working, and told him plainly he should either labour wish his hands, or preach no more. He hardly complied, though he confessed it was his ruin, his having been taken off his business. I answered I would repair the supposed injury, by setting him up again in his shop. Thomas Colbeck brought Eleazer Webster to me. I spoke in vain to a self-hardened slave of sin, and silenced him.

Tues., August 6th. I prayed with tile Society, in solemn fear of God present. It seemed as if He spoke with an articulate voice, "Return unto me, and I will return unto you." My faith was greatly strengthened for the work. The manner and instruments of carrying it on I leave entirely to God.

Wed., August 7th. I took horse for Newcastle with Sally, Sarah Perrin, Miss Norton, and William Shent. We could get no farther than Toplift: found an aged woman reading Kempis; asked her the foundation of her hope. She simply answered, "A good life." I endeavoured to teach her better, and preached Christ the Atonement, as the only Foundation.. She received my saying with tears of joy. We joined in fervent prayer for her. All the family seemed much affected. I found myself refreshed in body as well as soul, and easily rode on to Sandhutton.

We were no sooner in the house, than it began to pour down, and continued raining till we set out next morning.

Thur., August 8th. We rested at Durham.

Fri., August 9th. By noon our travels ended at Newcastle. My companions are better both in mind and body for their long journey.

I preached, but very feebly, on, "The third part I will bring through the fire." Preaching, I perceive, is not now my principal business. God knoweth my heart, and all its burdens. O that he would take the matter into his own hand, though he lay me aside as a broken vessel!

Sun., August 11th. I felt the fever hanging about me all day, notwithstanding the bark which I continue taking. The Society appeared lively and solid. I vehemently exhorted them to watch and pray, as well for the labourers as themselves, that none of us might bring a reproach upon the Gospel.

Mon., August 12th. I had much discourse with a brother from Scotland, who has preached there many weeks, and not converted one soul. "You may just as well preach to the stones," he added, "as to the Scots." Yet, to keep my brother's word, I sent William Shent to Musselburgh. Before he went he gave me this memorable account of their late trial at Leeds :—

"At Whitecoat-hill, three miles from Leeds, a few weeks since, as our brother Maskew was preaching, a mob arose, broke the windows and doors, and struck the Constable, Jacob Hawley, a brother. On this we indicted them for an assault; and the ringleader of the mob, John Hillingworth, indicted our brother the Constable, and got persons to swear the Constable struck him. The Grand Jury threw out our indictment, and found that against us. So we stood trial with them on Monday, July 15th, 1751, and the Recorder, Richard Wilson, Esq., gave it in our favour, with the rest of the court. But the foreman of the jury, Matthew Priestly, with two others, Richard Cloudsley and Jabez Bunnil, would not agree with the rest, being our avowed enemies; the foreman Mr, Murgatroyd's great friend and champion against the Methodists.

"However, the Recorder gave strict order to a guard of constables to watch the jury, that they should have neither meat, drink, candles, nor tobacco, till they were agreed in their verdict. They were kept prisoners all that night and the next day, till five in the afternoon, when one of the jury said, he would die before he would give it against us. Then he spoke closely to the foreman concerning his prejudice against the Methodists, till at last he condescended to refer it to one man. Him the other charged to speak as he would answer it to God in the day of judgment. The man turned pale, and trembled, and desired another might decide it. Another, (Jo. Hardwick,) being called on, immediately decided it in fayour of the Methodists. After the trial, Sir Henry Ibison, one of the Justices, called a brother, and said, 'You see God never forsakes a righteous man: take care you never forsake Him.'

"While the trial lasted, hundreds of our enemies were waiting for the event, who showed by their fierceness what they designed, had we lost our cause. They intended to begin with pulling down our house: but thanks be to God, who hath not delivered us over as a prey into their teeth.

"The Judge of the court was Richard Wilson, Esq., Recorder of Leeds: the Justices, J. Frith, Mayor, Alderman Micklethwait, Alderman Denison, Alderman Sawyer, A. Smith, A. Brooks: Jury, Matthew Priestly, Richard Cloudsley, Jabez Bunnil, H. Briscoe, W. Wormill, Richard Cockell, Joseph Naylot, Joseph Inkersley, George Dixon, Richard Sharp, W. Upton, and Joseph Hardwick. Four witnesses against, six for, us."

Tues., August 13th. I rode with my little family to Sunderland. I examined the Society of about a hundred, most of whom received the atonement in meeting their classes; an argument for such meetings that I cannot get over. At seven I preached in a large convenient room, filled with attentive souls, on whom I called, "Behold the Lamb of God," &c. For an hour and a half my strength held out.

Wed., August 14th. At nine I set out, and, in half an hour's riding, overtook a woman and girl leading an horse. She begged us to help them up, and forward them on their way. We did so; but the horse turned with them again, and rode back toward Sunderland. We had the riders to pick up again, and remount. Their horse we put between us; but he broke through a gap, and galloped back. When he had shook them off, he stood still. I bade my companion take up the girl behind him, hoping the horse would carry the woman alone; but in vain, though we all beat the poor beast to drive him on: he kicked and flounced, till he had dismissed his rider. I then said, "Surely, good woman, God withstands you. You are going somewhere contrary to His will. I can compare your horse to nothing but Balaam's ass. What can be the meaning of it?" She answered, "Sir, I will tell you all; for there must be something extraordinary in the great pains you have taken for me. That child I had by a gentleman, who promised me marriage, but since married another, because richer than me. I am going to try if he will do anything for the child and me: but I fear it is not pleasing to God." I asked what she had to live upon. She told me she was married to a blacksmith, had a child by him, and it was but low with them. I advised her to take God's warning, and utterly renounce the first wicked man; to spend the rest of her days in repentance, and working out her salvation; gave her something, and recommended her to a sister in Sunderland. She seemed overwhelmed with joy and gratitude, mounted with her child, and the horse carried them quietly home.

Fri., August 16th. I heard J. J., the drummer, again, and liked him worse than at first. He might perhaps have done good among the soldiers; but to leave his calling, and set up for an Itinerant, was, in my judgment, a step contrary to the design of God, as well as to his own and the church's interest.

At seven I walked toward Ewe's Bourn to meet the classes; but my strength totally failed me by the time I got to Sandgate; where I rested at a brother's, till I had recovered strength to return.

At three I was sent for by the jailer's wife to a poor wretch under sentence of death, for murdering his own daughter of fourteen. Never have I spoke to a more hardened, ignorant, stupid sinner. He utterly denied the fact. I prayed for him, but with little hope.

After preaching at the Orphan-House, I commended him to the prayers of the congregation; and we found free access to the throne.

At my next visit I perceived little change in him; only he suffered me to speak, and said nothing of his innocency.

Sun., August 18th. I heard Jonathan Reeves at Sheephill, and added a few words in confirmation of his. I returned to Newcastle comforted.

I preached in great weakness. At our love-feast the spirit of supplication was given, and the poor murderer brought to our remembrance. I have not been more refreshed for this many a day.

Tues., August 20th. I preached in the prison, on, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law," &c. Still I could not discern any signs of true repentance in the poor man, though he is to die to-morrow. He persists in his innocence, but confesses he deserves far worse punishment at the hands of God. I prayed over him with tears, and told him our next meeting would be at the judgment-seat.

I was ready to wonder why Providence had directed me to him, and engaged his people to pray for him; when one informed me that, while I was earnestly praying for him in the congregation, a woman had received forgiveness. Many other good ends may be answered, which we do not know; at least our prayer shall turn again into our own bosom. At night I was drawn out again in prayer for him, and continued instant therein for half an hour. The people were deeply affected. It is impossible for so many prayers to be lost.

Wed., August 21st. The first news I heard this morning from Jonathan Reeves was, that he had been, with J. Dowries and others, visiting the poor malefactor, and they verily believed he had found mercy. He told them his heart was so light, he could not express it, and he was not in the least afraid to die. Two days before, Jonathan Reeves had talked an hour and an half with him, and put him in great fear; but now he appeared quite calm and resigned, and so continued to the last moment.

I took horse at nine for Horsley, leaving Jonathan to attend the execution, and bring us word. He overtook us in the afternoon with the same account of his convert, who showed all the marks of repentance and faith in death.

I passed the afternoon with Mr. Caw, a young Minister from Scotland, and our brother and sister Ord from Hexham. I preached at seven, quite overcome with the heat. By noon I returned to Newcastle.

Fri., August 23d. I spake with our brother Allen, an Exhorter, whom one would fain have persuaded to forsake his business. I persuaded him to continue in it.

Sat., August 24th. At one I set out with Sally, Sarah Perrin, Miss Norton, &c. I preached, at Durham, repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus.

Sun., August 25th. We communicated at the Abbey. I preached in a yard, to many quiet hearers, "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world," &c.: enlarged much at the Society.

Mon., August 26th. We lodged at Thirsk.


14 For an account of the probable reasons for Mr. Charles Wesley's opposition to his brother's marriage, the reader is referred to The Life of the Rev. Charles Wesley , vol. i., pp. 565—569.

15 This letter was not preserved in the manuscript.

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

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