Picture of Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley

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Sept. 1 - Nov. 6, 1739: Preaching around Bristol and Bath

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September 1 - November 6, 1739

Sat., September 1st. At five I preached for the first time at the Bowling-green, in the heart of the city, and called all the weary and heavy-laden to Christ. None offered to go away, though it rained hard. The power of the Lord was in the midst; which forced one woman to cry out vehemently. I began the Romans at Weaver's-hall. The hearers appeared deeply affected.

Sun., September 2d. There was supposed to be above four thousand at the Bowling-green. My subject was, "To you and to your children is the promise made." Many experienced the great power of truth. I received the sacrament at St. Nicholas; dined at M. N.'S, full of faith and love. I prayed by Mr. Coulston, desirous to be with Christ.

I preached at Rose-green, to near five thousand souls, upon, "God so loved the world." They heard me patiently; and some gladly. I was quite spent by the time I got to Weaver's-hall. The scoffers gave me new life. For two hours I preached the law; and then was fresh for the love-feast. We could not part before eleven.

Mon., September 3d. I had some discourse with a gentleman, who had been offended at the cryings out. My sermon upon the Holy Ghost had been blessed to his conviction, and stripped him of his outside Christianity. I found Weaver's-hall as full as it could hold; and proceeded in Isaiah. I dined with the gentleman above mentioned, and spoke fully and strongly of the things of the kingdom. Then read him my own case. He laid down his arms, confessed he knew nothing yet as he ought to know; and is now looking for that faith which is the gift of God.

I preached at the brick-yard, to upwards of five thousand, from 1 Cor. vi. 9. I marvelled at their taking it so patiently, when I showed them they were all adulterers, thieves, idolaters, &c. Then expounded John L in Gloucester-lane, with demonstration of the Spirit. I spent a delightful hour in prayer with a band; and were all melted into a sense of our deep poverty.

Tues., September 4th. I talked with poor despairing Lucretia. Never did I find greater faith in pleading the promises for any one; yet there was no answer; which convinces me that it is good for the choicest of God's children to receive (and that for a long time) the sentence of death in themselves. I have not found such depth of distress, no, not in Hetty Delamotte.

At four I preached over against the school in Kingswood, to some thousands, (colliers chiefly,) and held out the promises, from Isaiah xxxv.: "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose." I triumphed in God's mercy to these poor outcasts, (for he hath called them a people who were not a people,) and in the accomplishment of that scripture, "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped; then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing; for in the wilderness shall water break out, and streams in the desert." O how gladly do the poor receive the Gospel: We hardly knew how to part.

Just as I began in Weaver's-hall, the devil set up his throat in Benjamin Eutter. I took that occasion to convince the hearers of sin; of the very sin of that poor reprobate. The chapter expounded was Rom. ii. To God be all the glory that I spoke convincingly.

Wed., September 5th. I was much discouraged by a farther discovery of the disorderly walking of some, who have given the adversary occasion to blaspheme, by their rioting and drunkenness. I am a poor creature on such occasions, being soon cast down, as in the case of Shaw and the Prophetess. Yet I went and talked with them. God filled me with such love to their souls, as I have not known before. They could not stand before it. I joined with Oakley and Cennick in prayer for them. M. trembled exceedingly. The others gave us great cause to hope for their recovery. The same power continued with me, at the women's society, whom I reproved, in love and simplicity, for their lightness, dress, self-indulgence. I then exhorted the men to self-denial, and a constant use of the means of means. God greatly enlarged our hearts in prayer.

Thur., September 6th. I had my gentleman (now a little child) to breakfast, and surprised him much by Isaiah's promises. I dined at M. Ayres's, "sick of" desire, if not of "love." I rode with Dashamps, to Publow, where I preached from, "God so loved the world." I spake with great boldness at night on my favourite subject, justification by faith only; and triumphed in the irresistible force of that everlasting truth.

Fri., September 7th. At Weaver's-hall I expounded Isaiah iii., where the Prophet alike condemns notorious profligates, worldly-minded men, and well-dressed ladies. God was with us in our meeting to keep the fast. I went to see one in her last agony, but thoroughly sensible of her dreadful condition; preached Christ to her, and prayed in faith. She showed all imaginable signs of eager desire; and died within an hour. How comfortable is it that I can now hope for her, so often as I have disputed the possibility of a death-bed repentance!

The house and yards of S. England were crowded as usual. The scripture from which I discoursed was John i. God was with my mouth. I preached and prayed believing. I was led to ask a sign of God's universal love. He always answers that prayer. A poor ignorant man stood up, as God's witness, that in Christ he had redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins; that he knew and felt it by such a love to every human soul, as he was hardly able to bear. He spoke with a simplicity which was irresistible. We all confessed that God was with him of a truth. Our prayers were answered on M. Ayres likewise; which she testified before us all.

Sat., September 8th. Two women came to me, who had received the atonement last night, while the man was speaking, and were filled with unknown love to all mankind. We observed the thanksgiving-day at M. England's, and found the benefit of joint prayers and praises. At the bowling-green, I prayed God to direct me what to preach upon, and opened on Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones: "So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and, behold, a slinking!" The breath of God attended his word. A man sunk down under it. A woman screamed for mercy, so as to drown my voice. Never did I see the like power among us. Coming home I met M. Skinner, who told me she had found Christ at the expounding last Monday, and went home full of melting joy and love.

At the room I preached from Rom. iv. God set to his seal. A woman testified she had then received the witnessing Spirit; was sure her sins were forgiven; full of love and joy in the Holy Ghost; knew Christ was hers, and could even, as she said, fly away to heaven. Another declared she had never been able to apply the promises till last night, but then received the power; knew Christ died for her; said, she had laboured many years to justify herself, and warned us earnestly not to do as she had done; not to mingle our own works with the blood of Christ.

Sun., September 9th. At the bowling-green I preached on, "When he is come, he shall convince the world of sin, and of righteousness," &c. The green was quite full. I never spoke more searchingly. I would have passed on to the second office of the Spirit, convincing of righteousness, but was again and again brought back, and constrained to dwell upon the law. As often as I returned, some Pharisees quitted the field; feeling the sharpness of the two-edged sword.

Two thousand at Rose-green stood patient in the rain, while I explained how the Spirit convinces of righteousness and of judgment. After sermon, a poor collier afforded me matter of rejoicing (his wife received the atonement some days before). He had been with me before; owned he was the wickedest fellow alive a month ago; but now finds no rest in his flesh by reason of his sin. Observing him much dejected yesterday at the thanksgiving, I asked him if he was sick. "No, no," he answered; "my sickness is of my soul." Here he informed me he had come home with such weight upon him, that he was ready to sink. It continued all night; but joy and deliverance came in the morning. He was lightened of his load, and now declared that he believed in Jesus. The room was excessively crowded. I spoke to their hearts from Rom. v. Two who had been scoffing, desired our prayers for them. For between two and three hours God strengthened me for his work.

Mon., September l0th. At the Hall, while I was expounding Isai. iv., a man perceived his filth purged away by the Spirit of judgment and burning. Sarah Norton, & Presbyterian, followed me home under strong convictions. We prayed and trembled before the face of God. She is not far from the kingdom of heaven. Two simple souls, Mary Fry and Jane Clansy, now informed me, that God filled them on Friday evening with love and joy unspeakable. They expressed so much of it, and have been so tempted since, that I could not doubt of their being accepted.

I conversed and prayed with M. Hooper. I have a good hope that the Sun of righteousness is risen upon her, with healing in his wings.

I preached in the brick-yard, where I think there could not be less than four thousand. It rained hard, yet none stirred. I spoke with great freedom and power. A woman cried out, and dropped down. I spoke to her at M. Norman's, and found she had sunk under the weight of sin.

At Gloucester-lane I discoursed two hours on John ill. A notorious drunkard gave glory to God, declaring he had found mercy last night, through faith in Jesus Christ. This stirred the Pharisee in a woman's soul, and she cried out against him most vehemently. I took and turned her inside out, and showed her her spirit in those who murmured at Christ for receiving sinners. A woman of a broken spirit testified she had found redemption through his blood, when I preached last at Baptist-Mills. We daily discover more and more who are begotten again by the word of God's power, or awakened to a sense of sin, or edified in the faith.

Tues., September 11th. I took horse with Deshamp and Wigginton. The wind and rain almost confounded us. We got to Bradford by noon. Many were gone away, despairing of my coming. However, I found upward of a thousand, whom I called upon to repent, and believe the Gospel. I was forced to exert my voice to the utmost. They appeared much affected; especially a young woman, and a very old man, who wept all the time like children.

We dined at Freshford. In our return, I could scarce sit my horse, the wind and rain were so troublesome. I got, almost senseless, to Bristol; and to the room, but could not stand; yet spoke, I know not how, for an hour, and hastened to bed, utterly exhausted.

The Pharisee, who protested last night against Christ's receiving sinners, sent to-night to desire our prayers, being in an agony of conviction. Some have since informed me, that they observed her turn pale while I spoke. Her soul and body sympathize now. The Lord show himself the Physician of both!

The woman, I have just heard, whose soul and spirit were pierced and divided asunder last Sunday, was a stranger, wholly unawakened till that moment; an opposer, say some, and little better than an atheist. When they rebuked her that she should hold her peace, her answer was," I am not mad, or out of my senses; but I must cry, and I will cry, to Christ for mercy, while I have any breath in me."

Wed., September 12th. I rose half dead with the headache. I breakfasted at Mr. Page's, but could neither lift up my head nor speak. I went to a friend's, where I met poor Mr. W_____n; a sweet youth. I was much concerned for him. I cannot doubt his sincerity, or despair of his return. He was ready to hear, childlike and teachable, convinced of his fall. He thanked, and I believe loves, me. The world have taken the alarm, that he designs to desert them a second time.

This conference abated my headache. Expounding at the Hall gave me more strength. After talking two hours with the poor people that came to me, and preaching at Baptist-Mills, I was perfectly well.

Thur., September 13th. I breakfasted at M. Davis', a genuine child of God, and stayed till noon, transcribing Isaiah. Providence threw me on Mr. W_____n, just as he was leaving Bristol. He cannot long hold out, without an alteration; is himself sensible of it, and that the promises are not fulfilled in him; but trusts they shall before he goes hence. I have great love and faith for him.

Many were convinced at the room this evening, by my exposition of Rom. vii.

Fri., September 14th. I talked with two more women, who lately received peace through my ministry. In the evening, while I was expounding the woman of Samaria Christ called forth two of his witnesses, who declared they now believed, because they had heard him of his own month.

Sat., September 15th. Having been provoked to speak unadvisedly with my lips, I preached on the bowling-green in great weakness, on, "Lazarus, come forth!" I was surprised that any good should be done; but God quickens others by those who are dead themselves. A man came to me, and declared he had now received the Spirit of life. So did a woman at the same time; which she openly confessed at Weaver's-hall. We had great power among us, while I displayed the believer's privileges, from Rom. viii. Another woman then stood forth, and testified, "I have the witness of God's Spirit with my spirit, that I am a child of God." It was a most triumphant night indeed.

Sun., September 16th. I took coach at six with Mr. and Mrs. Wigginton, Lucr. Smith, and M. Grevil, for Hanham-Mount. I expounded the good Samaritan to between three and four thousand, with power. While I was repeating that in Jeremiah, "Is not my word like a fire, saith the Lord, and like an hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces ~" a woman fell down under the stroke of it. I found afterwards, that the Good Samaritan had poured in his oil, and made her whole. Another declared He had then bound up her wounds also. I heard on all sides the Sighing of them that were in captivity, and trust more than I know of were set at liberty; for the Lord was among us of a truth.

I met between thirty and forty colliers with their wives at Mr. Willis's, and administered the sacrament to them; but found no comfort myself, in that or any ordinance. I always find strength for the work of the ministry; but when my work is over, my strength, both bodily and spiritual, leaves me. I can pray for others, not for myself. God by me strengthens the weak hands, and confirms the feeble knees; yet am I myself as a man in whom is no strength. I am weary and faint in my mind, longing continually to be discharged.

To-day I found power to pray for myself; confessed it good for me to be in desertion, and asked God to give me (if it was not tempting him) a sign from his word. The answer was from Isaiah liv. 7: "For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer."

At two I preached in the bowling-green, to (by computation) six thousand people. Before I began, and after, the enemy raged exceedingly. A troop of his children, soldiers and polite gentlemen, had taken possession of a corner of the green, and roared like their brethren the two Gergesenes, before the devils were sent into the civiler swine. They provoked the spirit of jealousy to lift up a standard against them. I never felt such a power before, and proraised the people that they should feel it too; for I saw God had a great work to do among us by Satan's opposition. I lifted up my voice like a trumpet, and in a few minute, drove him out of the field. For above an hour I preached the Gospel with extraordinary power, from blind Bartlmeus, and am confident it could not fall to the ground.

Men., September 17th. This morning a woman received pardon through the word. The rain ceased as I began, and began again as I left off.

I expounded the prodigal son near the brick-yard. Many, I hope, saw themselves. They come to me daily, who have found Christ, or rather are found by him, so that I lose count of them.

This afternoon I conferred with Thomas Tucker and Eliz. Shirdock, both clearly justified. Matthew Davis, a notorious drunkard, &c., till last Saturday was se'nnight, came then to the green, and was justified in a moment. John Lewis was filled with joy last night. Prudence Nichols knows that her Redeemer liveth. Several who had lost their peace, are daily brought out of darkness; as was a woman this evening at Gloucester-lane. Another, while I was discoursing from John v., received forgiveness, and testified it before us all. I did expect great things; for I was utterly exhausted before I began. "When I am weak, then I am strong,"—for others, not myself. After preaching, the messenger of Satan came. He seldom fails me after success; but God, I know, will avenge me of mine adversary.

Tues., September 18th. I gave the sacrament to a dying woman, who triumphed over death, disarmed of his sting. I preached to above two thousand over against the school-house, and pressed them to come to Christ weary and heavy-laden. I finished Rom. viii. at Weaver's-hall, which is always crowded within and without. Mr. Rutter attempted to raise a disturbance; but none regarded him. Mrs. Labu followed me to M. Grevil's, with a young gen- tlewoman, to whom the word had come with power. Upon Mr. Oakley's speaking to her the first serious word she had ever heard, she asked if the gentleman was not crazy. But now in the same hour God slew and revived her. She felt and made confession of her faith, being full of astonishment and love.

Wed., September 19th. I breakfasted at M. Labu's. The roaring lion had tried to tear her to pieces, setting before her her sin (harmlessness) in all its aggravations, and persuading her she was lost, were it only for her telling me her sins were forgiven. She raised the family, not daring to be alone, and continued all night offering up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears, to Him that was able to save. Toward morning she was heard in that she feared; fell into a slumber, and waked in perfect peace. I spent an hour with her. She could do nothing but cry, and wonder, and rejoice.

At the Hall a poor man bore a noble testimony, that God had shed abroad his love in his heart last night, so that "I waked," said he, "this morning full of heaven." Another in the afternoon, formerly a Papist, declared himself set at liberty, after he had been hearing me expound. Ann Bladworth likewise informs me, that site has clear and strong evidence of her acceptance, ever since Sunday night.

I preached at Baptist-Mills, on, "The Son of man hath power to forgive sins upon earth." I found Him with my mouth, and knew he would set to his seal: had great power in preaching, and greater in prayer. A woman sunk down with groaning that could not be uttered. I had not time to stay with her, but hastened to pray by Sally Murray, who lay a-dying and triumphing over death. I felt her spirit, and longed to be in her place.

Weak, spiritless, dead, among the men-bands, I wanted to get away without speaking or praying, because they were all as dead, it seemed, as I. I was overruled to stay and pray, and had the spirit of prayer as never before. We were all in a flame; I prayed again and again, not knowing how to part.

Thur., September 20th. I was glad to be interrupted by Anne Clayton, who tells me, that on Tuesday night after expounding, she had had Jesus Christ evidently set forth before her eyes (of faith), as crucified. This lasted from ten to twelve. At the same time, she saw herself inconceivably vile, and was filled with love and confidence in let Saviour. In that evening it was, that a man declared he had been seeking righteousness fourteen years, as it were by the works of the law, but never attained to it; and was now in despair of ever attaining it, unless by faith. One of the bands testified, "I feel the Spirit of Christ in me, continually springing up into everlasting life."

At the Hall I explained Rom. ix. Through mercy, we could none of us see aught of the "horrible decree" there; but only his justice in rejecting them who had first rejected Him. Christ the Saviour of all men was in the midst of us. Two of his witnesses set to their seal, having received forgiveness yesterday at the Mills.

Fri., September 21st. I appointed any who had been reconciled through my ministry, to call upon me after expounding. Among others, there came Daniel Morris, a gross sinner, till God awakened him by George Whitefield. On Saturday in the bowling-green, faith came by hearing. "I was filled with joy," said he, "above what tongue can express; went home leaping and rejoicing. I know my sins are forgiven. I hate them worse than death. I love every man, and particularly those who make a scoff at me."

Anne Cole declares, that, Monday was seven-night, at Mrs. England's, she was filled at once with inexpressible peace and comfort; "so that now I know I am forgiven; all my doubts and fears are vanished; and I could rejoice to die this moment."

John Quick was set at liberty from sin, after many years of Egyptian bondage.

Eliz. Parsons, while I was preaching at Baptist-Mills that forgiveness is a present grace, experienced it such. "You said we must have our sins forgiven here, or not at all; upon which, I thought I have not forgiveness now, but believe God can, and will, give it me. Immediately I was as sure God had pardoned me, as if he himself had spoken it to me; and have, ever since, been full of a comfort and peace which I never knew before."

Virtuous Whetman, long dead in sin, has now, she tells me, a full confidence that Christ died for her; and finds her whole dependence is on Him.

J. T. in a flood of tears informed me, Christ showed himself her Saviour at that word, "The harlots and publicans go into the kingdom of heaven before you." Such was she till last night: but she is washed, but she is justified! and loves much, because much is forgiven her.

Richard Bourn, while I was speaking last Friday of the brazen serpent, looked up to the Antitype, and was healed. The devil raged exceedingly, and tore him with temptations; till Jesus about midnight got himself the victory, and filled his soul with love. All he desires now is, to be with Christ.

Fri., September 21st. We had much of God with us in our general intercession. From Gloucester-lane I went to M. Labu, and met with J. Wildair's sermon. While we were reading the blind man's protestation against colours, that is, the natural man's against any sensible operations of the Holy Ghost, Miss Godly, a girl of fifteen, helped us to a most convincing answer. She burst into tears, fell back in her chair, and discovered the strongest emotions of soul; but such as might well proceed from the God of order. I thought it was the accuser of the brethren troubled her; inquired, but could get no answer. We were greatly assisted in prayer for her. She took no notice till about half an hour after; when she waked as out of a pleasant dream, and asked, "Where am I? where have I been?" I returned her question, "Where have you been?" and she answered with loving simplicity, "In heaven, I think." Her every word, and sigh, and tear, evidenced the truth of what she told me, that it was grievous to her, after such communion with God, to find she must continue longer in the body.

Sat., September 22d. M. Esther Brook called, and told me, she had been awakened (as others who now believe) by George Whitefield's ministry; convinced of sin by Mr. Bray's; set st liberty under mine. That she believed, in general, while I repeated those words, "The promise is to all that are afar off;" and had them strongly applied, while hearing me at Baptist-Mills. In a moment she was assured that all her sins were forgiven; and filled with such joy, that she could scarce live under it. It quite overpowered her body for two days. "But now, methinks," said she, "all the Scripture was written for me." I asked, whether she was afraid to die. A visible joy in her face gave me the answer, which her tongue confirmed. Was I in her state, I should desire nothing so much as death.

In the afternoon I spoke a word of caution to one who seems strong in the faith, and begins to be lifted up; the sure effect of her growing acquaintance with some of Calvin's followers.

In the bowling-green I showed the nature and life of faith from Gal. ii. 20; and then justification by faith alone, at the Hall. Two Clergymen were present. I proved from Scripture and our own Church, that all were Papists, Pharisees, Antichrists, and accursed, who brought any other doctrine. Some of my hearers were forced to turn their backs.

Sun., September 28d. I took coach for Hanham. A genteel Quaker was one of the company. Going and coming I laboured to convince her of sin; and spoke more closely than ever I did in my life; yet without convincing. Such power belongeth unto God.

I discoursed from 2 Cot. v. to four thousand sinners; then gave the sacrament at Mr. Willis's. Among the communicants was Susanna Milsore, who has been oppressed by the devil. I prayed with a dying man, beyond Hanham. He was overjoyed to see me; had been awakened by field-preaching, but not yet found mercy. I left him patiently expecting it.

I missed hearing a railing sermon at St. James's. Notwithstanding all opposition, we ride on because of the word of truth. So I found it at the bowling-green, where I preached from Isai. lxi.: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek," &c. Near six thousand heard me, quietly at least. I spoke with uncommon power, especially to the unawakened.

Romans xi. led me unawares to speak of final perseverance, whereby some, I would hope, were cut off from their vain-confidence.

Mon., September 24th. I was carried out at Weaver's-hall to speak of the blind guides, from Isai. xxix. Several followed me home; particularly Charles Nichols and Betty Brown, who were fully satisfied, at the Hall on Thursday night, of their pardon. So was Joseph Mountstevins, at the bowling-green yesterday: confident, had he died before, he must have gone to hell; but that he should be saved, was he to die now.

Margaret Evans, in heaviness, next to despair, found the comfort at eleven on Friday. The word applied was, "O Lord, our God, other lords besides thee have had dominion over us; but by thee only will we make mention of thy name." The burden, she said, went off in a moment, and she has been full of joy ever since.

Sarah Rutter now informs me, that she first found power to believe while I was explaining Rom. v. I prayed, in my way to the brickyard, with a poor dying drunkard, who was glad to say, "Blessed is he that cometh in the mine of the Lord." Whether I did not come too late, God only knows. I cried from Isai. Iv., "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters!" Between two and three thousand attended. I found great freedom in speaking to them, who are altogether such as I was. I had a weary walk to Nicholas-street Society; and thence to Mrs. England's, where I discoursed for two hours on John vii.

Here Susanna Milsore made open confession of the faith, which had come to her by hearing yesterday. Her soul is delivered out of the snare of the fowler. God hath avenged her of her adversary; and she now treads upon serpents and scorpions.

Tues., September 25th. I preached at Bradford to about two thousand. For an hour and a half I described their state by nature and grace, in the man that fell among thieves, &e. I did not spare them that were whole, and had no need of a physician. They bore it surprisingly. I received invitations to several neighbouring towns. May I never run before God's call, or stay one moment after it!

I dined at a carnal Quaker's, who pleaded for a moderate pursuit of riches, &c. I was grieved to find no more of the spirit of religion among those who ought to have the most of it. But the desire of other things disproves their pretensions to the Spirit. "He that drinketh of this water shall thirst no more."

We baited at a good Dissenter's, near Bath, who seems to have the root of the matter in him. It was near eight before I reached the Hall. The chapter in course was Rom. xii.; but I could not press particular duties, till they had the foundation; and therefore exhorted them to get forgiveness before they could perform the least part of the law. The brethren I besought to present their bodies a living sacrifice; and pointed out the particular acts of this devotion.

Wed., September 26th. I received much light and strength to expound Isai. xxx. A woman sank down in deep distress. Several who wait for faith were affected greatly. From one to three, more came than I was able to talk with; all seeking what many have found. In particular, Anne Spartin was filled with joy in believing, while we were at prayers last Monday. So was Mrs. Williams, in going home from church. Susanna Trapman likewise sees her interest in the blood of Jesus. Elizabeth Parsons, whom the evil spirit has often torn, is sensible now, that he is cast out. It is observable of the two last, that they have never been baptized. I now require no farther proof that one may be an inward Christian without baptism. They are both desirous of it; and who can forbid water?

Abraham Staples informs me, that on Saturday was three weeks, while I was preaching, "Lazarus, come forth," he was called out of his natural state, and raised to the life of faith. "I felt," said he, "that my sins were forgiven, by A peace and warmth within me, which have continued ever since." "Then you know," said I, "that the Spirit of God is a Spirit of burning?" "Yes," he answered, "and a Spirit of shaking too; for he turns me upside down. I am full of joy and life, and could be always a-preying; should be glad to die this moment. What knowledge I have, I have given me of God; for I am no scholar; I can neither write nor read."

Sarah Pearce declares, she received the first comfort in hearing Rom. v. explained. She was then justified; but did not draw nigh in full assurance of faith, till last night. Every word I spoke came with power. She had the witness of her own spirit or conscience, that all the marks I mentioned were in her; and the Spirit of God came in with his testimony, and put it beyond the possibility of a doubt. Some of her words were, "I was once extremely bigoted against my brethren the Dissenters; but am now enlarged toward them, and all mankind, in an inexpressible manner. I do not depend upon a start of comfort; but find it increase ever since it began. I perceive a great change in myself; and expect a greater. I feel a divine attraction in my soul. I was once so afraid of death, that I durst not sleep; but now I do not fear it at all. I desire nothing upon earth. I dread nothing but sin. God suffers me to be strongly tempted; but I know, when he gives faith, he will try it."

See here the true assurance of faith! How consistent an humble, not doubting, a filial, not servile, fear of offending! I desire not such an assurance as blots out those scriptures, "Be not high-minded, but fear;" "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling," &c. God keep me in continual fear, lest, by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away.

At the Mills I preached upon, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so," &c. I spoke plainly to the women-bands of their unadvisableness, want of love, and bearing one another's burdens. We found an immediate effect in the enlargement of our hearts. Some were convinced that they had thought too highly of themselves; and that their first love, like their first joy, was only a foretaste of that temper which continually rules in a new heart.

Thur., September 27th. Returning from early prayers, I met Sarah Puttam, the person that had been so wounded yesterday at the Hall. She informed me, that Christ did then break off her yoke, and she felt herself at liberty from sin and sorrow. Soon after news was brought me, that the man I had prayed by beyond Hanham, was now in the full triumph of faith. On Sunday he desired longer life; but now he only longs, with an holy impatience, to depart and be with the Lord, which is far better.

I gave offence at the Hall, by pressing the doctrine of non-resistance, from Rom. xil. What will they say to me to-morrow, when I come to the xiiith

Fri., September 28th. Christianity flourishes under the cross. None who follow after Christ want that badge of discipleship. Wives and children are beaten, and turned out of doors; and the persecutors are the complainers. It is always the lamb that troubles the water. Every Sunday damnation is denounced against all that hear us Papists, us Jesuits, us seducers, us bringers in of the Pretender. The Clergy murmur aloud at the number of communicants, and threaten to repel them; yet will not the world bear that we should talk of persecution. No; for the world is Christian now, and the offence of the cross ceased. Alas! What would they farther? Some lose their bread, some their habitations; one suffers stripes, another confinement; and yet we must not call this persecution. Doubtless they will find some other name for it, when they do God service by killing us.

To-day Ms. Hanney was with me. While she continued a drunkard, a swearer, and company-keeper, it was very well; she and her father agreed entirely. But from the time of her turning to God, he has used her most inhumanly. Yesterday he beat her, and drove her out of doors, following her with imprecations and threatenings to murder her, if ever she returned. When she was cast out, Jesus found her, and said unto her by his Spirit, "Be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee." She continued all the night in joy unspeakable, and can now with confidence call God her Father.

I preached at the Fish-ponds, on, "To as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God."

Sat., September 29th. I breakfasted with six or eight awakened sinners, who are hourly waiting for the consolation of Israel. I prayed by a dying woman, and cut off her confidence in the flesh. As sure as I ask the question, "Why do you hope to be saved?" I receive that woeful answer," Because I have done no harm," or," Because I have used my endeavours." This comes of our telling the people, "God, upon your sincere endeavours, will accept you." There were several present, whom I stripped of their filthy rags, and sent naked to Christ.

At noon Jane Clancy gave me an account of her faith. It came as I was asking at Baptist-mills, "If Christ was now present, and said to you, 'Believest thou that I am able to do this, to forgive sins upon earth?' would you say, ' Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief." The word was applied in that moment. "I went home," said she, "justified; in such peace, and joy, and love, as cannot be described; and I am still sure that the Son of God loved me, and gave himself for me."

At the bowling-green I explained the first words that presented: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Afterwards I enforced obedience to the powers that be, from Rom. xiii.; and showed the scandalous inconsistency of your high-Churchmen, who disclaim resistance, and yet practise it; continually speaking evil of dignities, nay, of the ruler of the people, as well as of those who are put in authority under him. Fewer than I expected were offended at me.

Sun., September 30th. I found my usual congregation at Hanham; and showed them their Saviour, from Isai. liii. Many tears of love or desire were shed. At the Hall I expounded "the woman taken in adultery." Some, convicted by their own conscience, went out.

Mon., October lat. I expounded Isai. xxxv. with great freedom and power. In the hours of conference, the following persons declared to me their faith in Him who justifies the ungodly :-

Mary Brown, took with strong trembling last night at the Hall, was there set at liberty, both from fear and guilt. "I love all mankind," she said, (the best proof of faith,) "and could die for my worst enemy." Sarah Gough found the power of God present to heal her, while I repeated, last Sunday night, "He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted."

Sarah Norton was strongly tempted not to tell me, that, on Wednesday in the Hall, she received forgiveness. I was bidding them "wait for the promise of the Father." She replied within herself, "Well, I will wait ;" and was immediately struck to the heart, and filled with joy unspeakable. This was greatly increased at the sacrament.

The same good work was wrought in W. Spenser, on Saturday night, after hearing the word. He is now sure that his sins are blotted out; for the times of refreshment are come.

Eleanor Kitchinor, weak in faith before, received the full assurance last night.

Judith Williams (of whose being justified I heard last week) sends me word that her faith increases daily. Returning from the Hall in deep distress, God had opened her eye of faith to discern her Saviour.

Many find power to believe, either in or soon after hearing. So it was with Joseph Black. On Friday night in bed, he was suddenly taken ill; lost all strength; lay speechless. Soon after he found the power of God overshadow him, and a warmth and life spreading through soul and body. He revived in both, and was endued with power to apply Christ to himself in particular. Satan strove hard to hinder Francis Hud from coming to inform me, that he had been my constant hearer, and had always applied what I said of sinners to himself. "I saw," said he, "that I was in a damnable state, till I had forgiveness of sins, but was sure I should have it. The devil was very busy with me, especially in prayer. I told him, ' Satan, I am thy slave now; but thou canst not hold me long. Christ will soon come and deliver me.' He did come in my sleep. I was sure it was Christ himself. I waked in great triumph, knowing the devil's power was at an end. Since then I have been happy indeed."

In the afternoon I went out into the lanes and streets of the city, to call men in to the "great supper." (Luke xiv.) The power of the Lord accompanied me. So again at Gloucester-lane, while I discoursed on "the man born blind." (John ix.) Three Pharisees lay concealed at an house adjoining; and they could not have come at a more convenient season. God was with my mouth. They could not stand it, but made their escape in the middle of my discourse. The sincere were strengthened and comforted, as several testified at that time.

Tues., October 2d. I dined at George the collier's, an happy soul; as full of joy and love as he can contain. I hope one day to be like him. I exhorted the colliers, by the example of the Syro-Phenician woman, to pray always, till their requests are granted.

Wed., October 3d. Sarah Townsend informed me, that, on Sunday evening, while we were singing, "Come to judgment, come away," she found and felt in herself that she durst come; the Spirit in that instant sealing her pardon upon her heart. She was filled all night with joy unspeakable.

Another testified that, at Kingswood yesterday, she caught hold of that word, "Be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee ;" and knows she has apprehended Him, of whom she was first apprehended.

Sarah Stevens, aged seventy-three, confesses that a fortnight ago, she was first convinced of sin by my ministry, having been till then, as she and the world thought, a very good Christian. I have hardly known a soul under stronger convictions. Her expressions are full of self-abhorrence. She truly renounces her own, and hungers and thirsts after Christ's, righteousness. We prayed, and she received great comfort; whether THE comfort, God will soon discover.

I look upon this instance as a peculiar blessing to me; for I had scarce any faith for old people; they are so strong in self-righteousness, so intrenched in their own works, so hardened by the abuse of means. Surely the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, if they can pull down such strong-holds.

I preached again from "the woman of Canaan" with double power. I prayed by a dying man; found him leaning on the broken reed of his own endeavours. I showed him that they could not bear his weight, but he must fall with violence into hell, unless he found a better support. I left him desirous to stay his soul on the Rock of Ages.

Fri., October 5th. I had been often hindered from seeing Mrs. Granil, the woman that cried out so vehemently in the bowling-green, He that letteth to-day was taken out of the way, and she came to me. She has had no rest for these three weeks; can neither eat nor drink as usual; believes Christ is able to deliver her. We betook ourselves to prayer; and she screamed out as before. I broke off, and let her pray; for I never heard any pray like her. We laid open the promises, sang, and prayed for her till the Comforter came. She now knows that her Redeemer liveth. She came afterwards to return me thanks for her deliverance through my ministry. Lord, not unto me!

The quickening Spirit was with us at Gloucester-lane, while I was discoursing on Lazarus raised. Two women experienced Christ to be the resurrection and the life. There was a great shaking among the dry bones, and they that had life before, now had it more abundantly.

Sat., October 6th. Averel Spenser, one that received faith last night, came to-day, and declared it. While she was seeking Christ, she had several assurances in prayer, that she should shortly find him. Last night she was pierced through with the sword of the Spirit, and ascertained Of her pardon, beyond the possibility of a doubt. Peace, joy, and love flowed in upon her soul. She is of that simple, unopposing temper, which yields the freest passage to the grace of God.

My subject at the bowling-green was, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake." Great need there is to prepare them for the gathering storm. Already it is come to that, that except a man forsake all that he hath, (life only excepted,) he cannot be Christ's disciple.

Sun., October 7th. I declared the covenant of grace at Hanham. I never fail of finding power among the colliers. I received the sacrament at St. Philip's. I first earnestly asked that God would not send me empty away. I returned to my pew, and was immediately overpowered, in a manner inexpressible, not with the very thing, but with the strongest assurance that I should receive all I wait for. God mollified my hardness, and I abhorred myself before him, as in dust and ashes. I asked, with all submission, some token from his word. I hardly remember to have read the passage: it came with power, and abased me to nothing: "Thou art my battle-axe, and weapons of war; for in thee will I break in pieces the nations; and with thee," &c.

I described the new creature at the bowling-green. Many, as they told me afterwards, were then stripped of Shelf vain religion. I received still greater strength at night to expound Isai. xliii. Our souls did magnify the Lord, and our spirits rejoiced in God our Saviour.

Mon., October 8th. We found him applying his own promises, which we really believe belong to us, though delivered to the Jews some thousand years ago.

Sarah Stevens now finds they were made to her. She tells me, the moment she rose from prayer last Wednesday, She felt her weight lessened, and, before she got to the door, entirely removed. At seventy-three she is indeed converted, and become a little child; full as she can be of peace, and love, and joy. She feels the Spirit of God within her; embraces Christ with the arms of faith; and cries out with old Simeon, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation."

Edward Hud testifies his faith in Christ, which came by hearing last week.

Mary Taylor witnesses the same good confession; and Mary Haman. The latter was justified in private prayer. I called on the dying man, with whom I prayed last night. I found him a new creature. He told me, he now tasted the peace I spoke of, the joy and comfort of a living faith. I asked whether he was still afraid to die. "No, no," he replied; "I desire to die; I want to get away." "Why, do you love Jesus Christ?" "Yes, dearly," said he with his voice and looks. I left him ready for the Bridegroom, and published the word of reconciliation at the brick-yard. God in Christ was with us of a truth. I never spoke more clearly. The same power was in the Society. Mr. Williams, of Kidderminster, was much edified among us. He followed a letter he wrote, inviting me thither. Of what denomination he is, I know not; nor is it material: for he has the mind which was in Jesus. I met my brother, just returned from London.

Tues., October 9th. I received a letter from Holt, deterring me from coming again to Bearfield; upon which invitation I set out with my brother this morning. We called at Mr. Cottie's, and heard the people were much exasperated against me, it being everywhere reported that I am (quem minus credere?) a strong Predestinarian. Much pains had been taken to represent me as such. We judged this a call for me to declare myself, if the weavers, who were to rise, would suffer me.

We found about two thousand waiting. I let my brother pray, and then began abruptly, "If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" God opened my mouth so as seldom before. I felt what I spoke, while offering Christ to all: in much love I besought the Dissenters not to lose their charity for me because I was of opinion God would have all men to be saved. For an hour and a half, I strongly called all sinners to the Saviour of the world. My strength do I ascribe unto him. No one opened his mouth against me. The devil fled before us; and I believe he will no more slander me with being a Predestinarian.

A Dissenting Minister, who before clave to us, came to where we dined, and asked me, with much passion, how I durst have the impudence to speak against the Dissenters. I felt no emotion but pity and love. My brother was like-minded. We took no notice of his hard speeches, but tried to pacify, and left him somewhat calmer. 0 that God would always give us that meekness which his cause deserves!

Thur., October 11th. I expounded the prodigal son among our colliers. Many a one, if not most of them, is ready to say, "I will arise, and go to my Father." At six I began John i., at the widow Jones's. It was the first time of my preaching by night in the open air. The yard contained about four hundred. The house was likewise full. Great power was in the midst. Satan blasphemed without, but durst not venture his children too near the Gospel, when I offered Christ Jesus to them. The enemy hurried them away; and all we could do was to pray for them.

Sat., October 13th. I waited with my brother upon a Minister, about baptizing some of his parish. He complained heavily of the multitude of our communicants, and produced the canon against strangers. He could not admit that as a reason for their coming to his church, that they had no sacrament at their own. I offered my assistance to lessen his trouble; but he declined it. "There were a hundred of new communicants," he told us," last Sunday; and I am credibly informed, some of them came out of spite to me."

We bless God for this cause of offence, and pray it may never be removed.

Sun., October 14th. I took horse for Bradford, the Minister having offered me his pulpit. But yesterday his heart failed; he feared his church would be pulled down; he feared the Bishop would be displeased. I went to church, and thence to the Common, where I preached forgiveness of sins to many serious hearers. In the evening I returned to Bristol.

Mon., October 15th. My brother being gone to Wales, I expounded at eleven, and was, with others, quite melted down; especially in prayer. At the brick-yard I discoursed on Matt. xi. 5: "The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk," &c. In the midst of my discourse, Satan lift up his voice in his own children; which increased my boldness. I told the people, Christ had a work to do, and they should find it so. The sons of Belial soon quitted the field; but the power of the Lord continued with us. One man received a large increase of faith, and confessed it before many witnesses.

I prayed by a poor old woman, departing in the Lord. At the Society I met Mrs. Thomas, who testified her having received forgiveness while I spake to the rioters.

I dined at Rider's, a collier. Eliz. Hawkins here told me, that she received the blessing under the word, some weeks since; but quickly lost it. While we were praying, our brother Rider found an unknown warmth and comfort. I told him, if it was the work of God begun, God Would shine upon it, and clearly convince him of righteousness.

In the school-house I preached the promise of the Comforter. A woman fell to the ground with strong crying and tears. Eliz. Hawkins received her faith, and rejoiced in the light of God's countenance.

In explaining Iaaa. 1., I laid open the self-deceit of some, who rested short of the promises, because they had a liking to the word, or me. Many were alarmed, and stirred up to a restless pursuit of Christ.

Wed., October 17th. Eliz. Field was with me, declaring she first found power to believe and love on Monday night, while I spoke from John xiii., of our Lord's humility. "I was immediately lightened," she said; "assured my sins were forgiven; and so full of joy, that I was ready to faint under it."

Mary Branker bore a like testimony, that she was then filled with unknown power and comfort.

Thur., October 18th. I would have visited the poor dying woman to-day, but the Churchwarden, Mr. Every, had been with her, and with threatenings declared, if ever I came near her again, he would turn her out into the street, sick or well.

I received notice from Mrs. Stonehouse, that her husband was ill of the small-pox, and could not look after my affair with Goter; that I must come, or send the writ, or be non-suited. I thought it too late, as the writ must be returned Oct. 20th; and rested quite content.*

Fri., October 19th. Mrs. Chad informs me, she received remission of sins some time ago, in Iaaa. xlii.; and has had continual joy ever since. Many were comforted at the Hall, by Iaaa. liii.

Abigail Savage says, she found the comfort yesterday. She had been long in darkness, and could not lay hold on Christ; but is now fully persuaded of her redemption, and could not believe otherwise, if she would.

I read part of Mr. Law on Regeneration to our Society. How promising the beginning! how lame the conclusion! Sensi hominem! Christianity, he rightly tells us, is a recovery of the divine image; and a Christian is a fallen spirit restored, and re-instated in paradise; a living mirror of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. After this, he supposes it possible for him to be insensible of such a change; to be happy and holy, translated into Eden, renewed in the likeness of God, one with Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and yet not know it. Nay, we are not to expect, or hid others expect, any such consciousness, if we listen to one who too plainly demonstrates, by this wretched inconsistency, that his knowledge of the new birth is mostly in theory.

At Mr. Labu's I met Miss Jeffreys, the Quaker, whom I had so laboured to convince of sin. I did not perceive any impression my words made at the time; but now, it seems, they sunk deep. An horrible dread has overwhelmed her. Her flesh trembles for fear of God; and she is afraid of His judgments. She sees herself far worse than I described her; and thought, at my last expounding, she was every moment sinking into hell.

Sat., October 20th. I preached at Bradford in the Town-hall, with little power or effect. Sun., October 21st. At the Common, in the morning, I described the new creature to above fifteen hundred; and in the afternoon, to thrice that number, I preached the word of reconciliation. The/all followed me with their prayers. I trust my labour among them hath not been in vain.

Thur., October 25th. I called on one, who did run well, but is turned out of the way by an unbelieving parent. "Woe unto the world because of offences l" Woe unto the man by whom the offence comes! It were better that a millstone were tied about his neck, and he east into the depth of the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones who believe in Jesus.

Fri., October 26th. I baptized Mr. Wigginton in the river by Baptist-Mills; and went on my way rejoicing to French-Hay.

The rain did not lessen our usual congregation at the fish-ponds; to whom I spoke from Rev. li. 10: "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer. Behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison," &c.

Sat., October 27th. I preached at the green, on the strong man armed; and disturbed him in his palace.

I pressed the use of means, as means, from Isai. lviii., which is full of promises to those that walk in the ordinances with a sincere heart. I took occasion to show the degeneracy of our modern Pharisees. Their predecessors fasted twice a week; but these maintain their character for holiness at a cheaper rate. In reverence to the Church, some keep their public day on Friday. None of them regard it, though enjoined, as a fast. As to prayer and sacrament, their neglect is equally notorious. And yet these men cry out, "The Church, the Church!" when they will not hear the Church themselves; but despise her authority, trample upon her orders, teach contrary to her Articles and Homilies, and break her Canons, every man of them, who of late pretend to press their observance.

Sun., October 28th. From Isaiah lvii. 15, "For thus saith the high and lofty One," &c., I spoke closely to the unawakened, and comfortably to the mourners.

In the hard rain I preached at the bowling-green, from, "Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness."

Mon., October 29th. I expounded, with extraordinary assistance, Isaiah lix., that dreadful description of national sin and punishment. While I was speaking, war with Spain was proclaimed, which made us take the more notice of those words: "According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay; fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence. So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun: when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him."

Tues., October 30th. My brother preached his farewell sermon to the sorrowful colliers. I wrote as follows to the Bishop of Bristol:

"MY Lord,—Several persons, both Quakers and Baptists, have applied to me for baptism. Their names are, W. Crease, Mary Crease, Mary Gregory, Rebecca Diekenson, Anne Spanin, Eliz. Mills, Ellz. Parsons. It has pleased God to make me instrumental in their conviction. This has given them such a prejudice for me, that they desire to be received into the Church by my ministry. They choose likewise to be baptized by immersion; and have engaged me to give your Lordship notice, as the Church requires."

Today I talked with several who have lately found rest to their souls; particularly Joanna Nichols, justified on Sunday, in hearing the word. It was then she first said, "I have redemption in his blood." Jane Connor, at Baptist-Mills, found the power of the Lord present to heal her. Jane Parker experienced the same, while we were singing. Mary Connor on Thursday night recovered that unspeakable peace which she first received some weeks ago, but lost, by keeping it to herself. John Hooper, at Baptist-ills, saw with the eye of faith our Lord as interceding for him with his Father. The word by which faith came was, "Behold, I have graven thee on the palms of my hands."

While my brother was praying among the bands, one attempted to run out. We stopped and found her in an angry despair, refusing to ask for mercy: we continued instant in prayer for her: God was with us of a truth. Several cried out under strong convictions; others were tilled with peace and joy in believing.

A few stayed behind the rest, to comfort our despairing sister. God had hid his face from her, and she went on frowardly in the way of her own heart. Inordinate affection is the strong man's armour; and any unmortified desire, which a man allows himself in, will effectually drive and keep Christ out of the heart.

Thur., November lst. I met Miss Burdock at Mr. Wigginton's, full of good desires, but kept down by the fear of man. I told her plainly she would never find peace, till she was deeply convinced of her having denied her Master.

She now no longer justified herself, but confessed she had loved father and mother more than Christ. I saw her in the toils, earnest for deliverance, but almost despairing. God enlarged my heart in prayer for her. She went away sorrowful, yet not without hope.

Fri., November 2d. Our thanksgiving notes multiply greatly.

I received a summons from Oxford, to respond in divinity disputations; which, with other concurrent providences, is a plain call to that place.

Sat., November 3d. I spent an hour with many of the Society, in attempts to thank God for all, and especially his late, mercies. I administered the sacrament at M. Williams's: began preaching with much reluctance on, "Fight the good fight of faith." The Lord was with my mouth, when he had opened it. I trust many found he was.

Sun., November 4th. I preached in Kingswood on Isaiah xlii. 1: "Behold my servant, whom I uphold," &e. We found that Spirit was put upon Him for us. Seldom have I perceived a greater power amongst us.

I gave the sacrament to one whom I had left waiting for Christ. She was now full of His Spirit, ready for the Bridegroom. No cloud interposed between her Beloved and her; only the thin veil of flesh and blood, which was well-nigh rent asunder. What would I give to be on that death-bed!

I met Miss Burdock once more with her sister, and spent two hours in awakening and exhorting them. I doubt not but they will yet break through the host of the Philistines, and draw water out of the well of Bethlehem. I expounded the parable of the sower; and in the evening our Lord's divine prayer, John xvil. Many, I trust, found him then interceding for them.

Mon., November 5th. I met some of the bands at our sister Linford's. In prayer one received forgiveness. We had a greater blessing at the Hall than ever before. I summed up all I had said, either to publicans or Pharisees, to the comfort or discomfort of every one present.

I spent the time of conference with the candidates for baptism. All seem prepared for that holy ordinance.

In the Brick-yard I discoursed on the woman with the issue of blood. God magnified his strength in my weakness. Several cried out they were healed! Virtue was gone out of Him. They heard his voice, "Thy faith hath made thee whole: go in peace."

Many had fellowship with Christ in his sufferings, while I spoke of them in the words of St. John. He melted us into tears of love. I knew not how to leave them, so many testified that they then tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come.

Tues., November 6th. I was called to a woman at Bedminster. I have seldom seen a soul more deeply plunged in the spirit of bondage, or under stronger pangs of the new birth. She received immediate relief in prayer; and came at noon to tell me that her yoke was wholly broken off.

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

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