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John Wesley

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1749-50: Wesley and the Soldiers; In Ireland and Wales Again; Wesley Burned in Effigy

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Chapter 8. Wesley and the Soldiers; In Ireland and Wales Again; Wesley Burned in Effigy; Wesley as an Editor

Wesley in Wales


Monday, April 3.—I set out for Ireland. We waited more than four hours at the passage; by which delay, I was forced to disappoint a large congregation at Newport. About three I came to Pedras, near Carphilly. The congregation had waited some hours, I began immediately, wet and weary as I was; and we rejoiced over all our labors.

In the evening and next morning (Tuesday, 4) I preached at Cardiff. Oh, what a fair prospect was here some years ago!. Surely this whole town would have known God, from the least even to the greatest, had it not been for men leaning to their own understanding instead of to "the law and the testimony."

At twelve I preached at Lanmais, to a loving, earnest people, who do not desire to be any wiser than God. In the evening I preached at Fonmon, the next morning at Cowbridge. How is the scene changed since I was here last, amidst the madness of the people and the stone flying on every side! Now all is calm; the whole town is in good humor, and they flock to hear the glad tidings of salvation. In the evening I preached at Lantrissent.

Thursday, 6.—We rode to a hard-named place on the top of a mountain. I scarcely saw any house near: however, a large number of honest, simple people soon came together. But few could understand me, so Henry Lloyd, when I had done, repeated the substance of my sermon in Welsh. The behavior of the people recompensed us for our labor in climbing up to them.

Marries his Brother

About noon we came to Aberdare, just as the bell was ringing for a burial. This had brought a great number together, to whom, after the burial, I preached in the church. We had almost continued rain from Aberdare to the great rough mountain that hangs over the vale of Brecknock; but as soon as we gained the top of this, we left the clouds behind us. We had a mild, fair sunshiny evening the remainder of our journey.

Friday, 7.—We reached Garth. Saturday, 8. I married my brother and Sarah Gwynne. It was a solemn day, such as becomes the dignity of a Christian marriage.

Wednesday, 12.—We came to Holyhead between one and two. But all the ships were on the Irish side. One came in the next day, but could not go out, the wind being quite contrary. In this journey I read over Statius's Thebais . I wonder one man should write so well and so ill. Sometimes he is scarcely inferior to Virgil; sometimes as low as the dullest parts of Ovid .

In the evening I preached on "Be ye also ready" [Matt. 24:44]. The poor people now seemed to be much affected and equally so the next night: so that I was not sorry that the wind was contrary.

Saturday, 15—We went on board; at six, the wind then standing due east. But no sooner were we out of the harbor than it turned southwest and blew a storm. Yet we made forward, and about one o'clock came within two or three leagues of land. The wind then wholly failed; a calm suddenly following a storm produced such a motion as I never felt before. But it was not long before the wind sprang up west, which obliged us to stand away for the Skerries. When we wanted a league of shore it fell calm again, so that there we rolled about till past sunset.

But in the night we got back into Dublin Bay and landed soon after three at Dunleary, about seven English miles from the city. Leaving William Tucker to follow me in a chaise, I walked straight away and came to Skinner's Alley a little before the time of preaching. I preached on "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another" [I John 4:11]. In the afternoon and again in the evening (in our own garden), I preached on "Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" [Heb. 7:25].

On Thursday and Friday I examined the classes and was much comforted among them. I left about four hundred in the society; and, after all the stumbling-blocks laid in the way, I found four hundred and forty-nine.

Monday, 24.—The cold which I had had for some days growing worse and worse, and the swelling which began in my cheek increasing greatly and paining me much, I sent for Dr. Rutty. But, in the meantime, I applied boiled nettles, which took away the pain in a moment. Afterward I used warm treacle, which so abated the swelling that before the doctor came I was almost well. However, he advised me not to go out that day. But I had appointed to read the letters in the evening, I returned home as early as I could and found no inconvenience.

Methodists Lease an Abbey

Friday, May 12.—Before nine we came to Nenagh. I had no design to preach; but one of the dragoons quartered there, would take no denial; so I ordered a chair to be carried out and went to the market place. Presently such a congregation was gathered round me as I had not seen since I left Athlone. To these I spake, as l was able, the whole counsel of God, and then rode cheerfully on to Limerick.

Between six and seven I preached at Mardyke (an open place without the walls) to about two thousand people; not one of whom I observed either to laugh, or to look about, or to mind anything but the sermon.

Some years since, an old abbey here was; rebuilt with a design to have public service therein. But that design failing, only the shell of it was finished. Of this (lying useless) the society has taken a lease. Here I preached in the morning, Saturday, 13, to six or seven hundred people.

We then went to prayers at the cathedral, an ancient and venerable pile. In the afternoon I walked round the walls of the town, scarcely so large as Newcastle-upon-Tyne. And the fortifications are much in the same repair; very sufficient to keep out the wild Irish.

14.—(Being Whit-Sunday). Our church was more than full in the morning, many being obliged to stand without. I hardly knew how the time went, but continued speaking till near seven o'clock. I went at eleven to the cathedral. I had been informed it was a custom here, for the gentry especially, to laugh and talk all the time of divine service; but I saw nothing of it. The whole congregation, rich and poor, behaved suitably to the occasion.

In the evening I preached to a numerous congregation on "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink" [John 7:37]. We afterward met the society. Six or seven prisoners of hope were set at liberty this day.

Monday, 15.—A company of revelers and dancers had in the afternoon taken possession of the place where I used to preach. Some advised me to go to another place; but I knew it needed not. As soon as ever I came in sight, the holiday mob vanished away.

Wesley and the Soldiers' Class

Wednesday, 17.—I met the class of soldiers, eight of whom were Scotch Highlanders. Most of these were brought up well; but evil communications had corrupted good manners. They all said that from the time they entered into the army they had grown worse and worse. But God had now given them another call, and they knew the day of their visitation.

Monday, 22.—The more I converse with this people, the more I am amazed. That God hath wrought a great work among them is manifest; and yet the main of them, believers and unbelievers, are not able to give a rational account of the plainest principles of religion. It is plain, God begins His work at the heart; then "the inspiration of the highest giveth understanding."

Wednesday, 24.—About eight, several of us took boat for Newtown, six miles from Limerick. After dinner we took boat in order to return. The wind was extremely high. We endeavored to cross over to the leeward side of the river, but it was not possible. The boat, being small and overloaded, was soon deep in water; the more so because it leaked much, and the waves washed over us frequently; and there was no staying to empty it, all our men being obliged to row with all their strength. After they had toiled about an hour, the boat struck upon a rock, the point of which lay just under the water. It had four or five shocks, the wind driving us on before we could get clear. But our men wrought for life, and about six o'clock God brought us safe to Limerick.

A Ridiculous Question

Monday, June 5.—I rode to Blarney, three miles wide of Cork, where many of the society met me. I spent some time with them in exhortation and prayer, and then went on to Rathcormuck.

I was a little surprised at the acuteness of a gentlemen here, who in conversation with Colonel Barry about late occurrences, said he had heard there was a people risen up that placed all religion in wearing long whiskers; and seriously asked whether these were not the same who were called Methodists.

Tuesday, 13—We rode over to Gloster, a beautiful seat built by an Englishman who had scarcely finished his house and laid out his gardens when he was called to his everlasting home, Sir L— P— and his lady dined with us, whether coming by accident or design I know not. About five I preached in the stately saloon to a little company of plain, serious people, the fine ones looking on and some of them seeming to be a little affected. I expounded at Birr about seven, in the strongest manner I could, the story of Dives and Lazarus.

Wednesday, 14.—We designed to dine at Ferbane, about twelve miles from Birr. We stopped at the first inn in the town; but they did not care to entertain heretics; neither did the people at the second inn; I alighted at the third and went in, without asking any questions.

About seven I preached at Athlone. It being the time of the general review, abundance of soldiers and many officers were present. They all behaved with the utmost decency. But a gentleman of the town did not; which had like to cost him dear. Many swords were drawn, but the officers interposed, and it went no farther.

Wednesday, July 19.—I finished the translation of Martin Luther's Life. Doubtless he was a man highly favored of God and a blessed instrument in His hand. But oh! what pity that he had no faithful friend! None that would, at all hazards, rebuke him plainly and sharply, for his rough, untractable spirit, and bitter zeal for opinions, so greatly obstructive of the work of God!

A Rough Voyage

Thursday, 20.—About ten at night we embarked [from Dublin] for Bristol, in a small sloop. I soon fell asleep. When I awakened in the morning, we were many leagues from land, in a rough, pitching sea. Toward evening the wind turned more against us, so that we made little way. About ten we were got between the Bishop and his Clerks (the rocks so called) and the Welsh shore; the wind blew fresh from the south, so that the captain, fearing we should be driven on the rocky coast steered back again to sea. On Saturday morning we made the Bishop and his Clerks again, and beat to and fro all the day. About eight in the evening it blew hard, and we had a rolling sea; notwithstanding which, at four on Sunday morning, we were within sight of Minehead. The greatest part of the day we had a dead calm, but in the evening the wind sprang up and carried us into Kingroad. On Monday morning we landed at the quay in Bristol.

Tuesday, 25.—I rode over to Kingswood and inquired particularly into the state of our school there. I was concerned to find that several of the rules had been habitually neglected. I judged it necessary, therefore, to lessen the family, suffering none to remain therein who were not clearly satisfied with them and determined to observe them all.

Wednesday, September 6.—I reached Newcastle; and after resting a day, and preaching two evenings and two mornings, with such a blessing as we have not often found, on Friday set out to visit the northern societies. I began with that at Morpeth, where I preached at twelve, on one side of the market place. It was feared the market would draw the people from the sermon; but it was just the contrary: they quitted their stalls, and there was no buying or selling till the sermon was concluded.

At Alnwick likewise I stood in the market place in the evening and exhorted a numerous congregation to be always ready for death, for judgment, for heaven. I felt what I spoke; as I believe did most that were present, both then and in the morning, while I besought them to present themselves, "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God."

Saturday, 9.—I rode slowly forward to Berwick. I was myself much out of order; but I would not lose the opportunity of calling, in the evening, all that were "weary and heavy-laden" to Him who hath said, "I will give you rest."

Tuesday, 26.—I had a solemn and delightful ride to Keswick, having my mind stayed on God.

Wednesday, 27.—I took horse at half an hour past three. There was no moon, or stars, but a thick mist, so that I could see neither road nor anything else; but I went as right as if it had been noon-day. When I drew nigh Penruddock Moor, the mist vanished, the stars appeared, and the morning dawned; so I imagined all the danger was past. But when I was on the middle of the moor, the mist felt again on every side and I quickly lost my way. I lifted up my heart. Immediately it cleared up and I soon recovered the high road. On Alstone Moor I missed my way again, and what, I believe, no stranger has done lately, rode through all the bogs, without any stop, till I came to the vale, and thence to Hinely Hill.

A large congregation met in the evening. I expounded part of the twentieth chapter of the Revelation. But oh, what a time was this! It was as though we were already standing before the great white throne.' God was no less present with us in prayer, when one just by me cried with a loud and bitter cry. I be-sought God to give us a token that all things should work together for good. He did so: He wrote pardon upon her heart, and we all rejoiced unto Him with reverence.

Wednesday, October 18.—I rode, at the desire of John Bennet, to Rochdale, in Lancashire. As soon as ever we entered the town, we found the streets lined on both sides with multitudes of people, shouting, cursing, blaspheming, and gnashing upon us with their teeth. Perceiving it would not be practicable to preach abroad, I went into a large room, open to the street, and called aloud, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts." The Word of God prevailed over the fierceness of man. None opposed or interrupted; and there was a very remarkable change in the behavior of the people, as we afterward went through the town.

Remarkable Scenes at Bolton

We came to Bolton about five in the evening. We had no sooner entered the main street than we perceived the lions at Rochdale were lambs in comparison to those at Bolton. Such rage and bitterness I scarcely ever saw before in any creatures that bore the form of men. They followed us in full cry to the house where we went; and as soon as we had gone in, took possession of all the avenues to it and filled the street from one end to the other.

After some time the waves did not roar quite so loud. Mr. P— thought he might then venture out. They immediately closed in, threw him down and rolled him in the mire; so that when he scrambled from them and got into the house again, one could scarcely tell what or who he was. When the first stone came among us through the window, I expected a shower to follow, and the rather, because they had now procured a bell to call their whole forces together. But they did not design to carry on the attack at a distance: presently one ran up and told us the mob had burst into the house: he added, that they had got J— B— in the midst of them. They had; and he laid hold on the opportunity to tell them of "the terrors of the Lord."

Meantime D— T— engaged another part of them with smoother and softer words. Believing the time was now come, I walked down into the thickest of them. They had now filled all the rooms below. I called for a chair. The winds were hushed, and all was calm and still. My heart was filled with love, my eyes with tears, and my mouth with arguments. They were amazed; they were ashamed; they were melted down; they devoured every word. What a turn was this! Oh, how did God change the counsel of the old Ahithophel into foolishness and bring all the drunkards, swearers, Sabbath-breakers, and mere sinners in the place, to hear of His plenteous redemption!

Thursday, 19.—Abundantly more than the house could contain were present at five in the morning, to whom I was constrained to speak a good deal longer than I am accustomed to do. Perceiving they still wanted to hear, I promised to preach again at nine, in a meadow near the town. Thither they flocked from every side; and I called aloud, "All things are ready; come unto the marriage" [Matt. 22:4]. Oh, how have a few hours changed the scene! We could now walk through every street of the town, and none molested or opened his mouth, unless to thank or bless us.

Wesley at Dudley and Birmingham

On Tuesday, 24, about noon, we came to Dudley. At one I went to the market place, and proclaimed the name of the Lord to a huge, unwieldly,16 noisy multitude; the greater part of them seemed in no wise to know "wherefore they were come together." I continued speaking about half an hour, and many grew serious and attentive, till some of Satan's servants pressed in, raging and blaspheming, and throwing whatever came to hand. I then retired to the house from which I came. The multitude poured after and covered over with dirt many that were near me; but I had only a few specks. I preached in Wednesbury at four, to a nobler people, and was greatly comforted among them; so I was likewise in the morning, Wednesday, 25. How does a praying congregation strengthen the preacher.

After preaching again at one, I rode to Birmingham. This had been long a dry, uncomfortable place; so I expected little good here. But I was happily disappointed. Such a congregation I never saw there before: not a scoffer, nor a trifler, not an inattentive person (so far as I could discern) among them; and seldom have I known so deep, solemn a sense of the power, and presence, and love of God. The same blessing we had at the meeting of the society, and again at the morning preaching. Will then God at length cause even this barren wilderness to blossom and bud as the rose?

Wesley in Wales


Sunday, January 28.—I read prayers (in London), and Mr. Whitefield preached. How wise is God in giving different talents to different preachers! Even the little improprieties both of his language and manner were a means of profiting many, who would not have been touched by a more correct discourse, or a more calm and regular manner of speaking.

Tuesday, March 6 (Bristol).—I began writing a short French grammar. We observed Wednesday, 7, as a day of fasting and prayer.

Sunday, 11.—I should willingly have spent more time in Bristol, finding more and more proofs that God was reviving His work; but the accounts I received from Ireland made me think it my duty to be there as soon as possible; so, on Monday 19, I set out with Christopher Hopper for the New Passage. When we came there, the wind was high and almost full against us: nevertheless we crossed in less than two hours and reached Cardiff before night, where I preached at seven and found much refreshment.

Tuesday, 20.—Expecting to preach at Aberdare, sixteen Welsh miles from Cardiff, I rode thither over the mountains. But we found no notice had been given; so, after resting an hour, we set out for Brecknock. The rain did not intermit at all till we came within sight of it. Twice my horse fell down and threw me over his head, but without any hurt either to man or beast.

Wednesday, 21.—We rode to Builth, where we found notice had been given that Howell Harris would preach at noon. By this means a large congregation was assembled; but Howell did not come: so, at their request, I preached. Between four and five Mr. Phillips set out with us for Royader. I was much out of order in the morning; however, I held out to Llanidoes and then lay down. After an hour's sleep I was much better and rode on to Machynlleth.

About an hour and a half before we came to Dolgelly, the heavy rain began. We were on the brow of the hill, so we took all that came, our horses being able to go but half a foot-pace. But we had amends made us at our inn: John Lewis and all his house gladly joined with us in prayer; and all we spoke to appeared willing to hear and to receive the truth in love.

Friday, 23.—Before we looked out, we heard the roaring of the wind and the beating of the rain. We took horse at five. It rained incessantly all the way we rode. And when we came on the great mountain, four miles from the town (by which time I was wet from my neck to my waist), it was with great difficulty I could avoid being borne over my mare's head, the wind being ready to carry us all away: nevertheless, about ten we came safe to Dannabull, praising Him who saves both man and beast.

Our horses being well tired and ourselves thoroughly wet, we rested the remainder of the day; the rather,17 because several of the family understood English—an uncommon thing in these parts. We spoke closely to these, and they appeared much affected, particularly when we all joined in prayer.

Waiting for the Irish Boat

Saturday, 24.—We set out at five, and at six came to the sands. But the tide was in, so that we could not pass: so I sat down in a little cottage for three or four hours and translated Aldrich's Logic. About ten we passed, and before five came to Baldon Ferry, and found the boat ready for us; but the boatmen desired us to stay a while, saying, the wind was too high and the tide too strong. The secret was that they stayed for more passengers; and it was well they did: for while we were walking to and fro, Mr. Jenkin Morgan came; at whose house, nearly halfway between the ferry and Holyhead, I had lodged three years before. The night soon came on, but our guide, knowing all the country, brought us safe to his own door.

Sunday, 25.—I preached at Howell Thomas', in Trefollwin parish, to a small, earnest congregation.

The wind being contrary I accepted the invitation of an honest exciseman (Mr. Holloway) to stay at his house till it should change. Here I was in a little, quiet, solitary spot, where no human voice was heard but those of the family. On Tuesday I desired Mr. Hopper to ride over to Holyhead and inquire concerning our passage. He brought word that we might probably pass in a day or two; so on Wednesday we both went thither. Here we overtook John Jane, who had set out on foot from Bristol with three shillings in his pocket. Six nights out of the seven since he set out, he had been entertained by utter strangers. He went by us we could not tell how, and reached Holyhead on Sunday, with one penny left.

By him we sent back our horses to Mr. Morgan's. I had a large congregation in the evening. It almost grieved me that I could give them but one sermon, now they were at length willing to hear. About eleven we were called to go on board, the wind being quite fair; and so it continued till we were just out of the harbor. It then turned west and blew a storm. There was neither moon nor stars, but rain and wind enough, so that I was soon tired of staying on deck. But we met another storm below: for who should be there but the famous Mr. Gr—, of Carnarvonshire a clumsy, overgrown, hard-faced man; his countenance I could only compare to that (which I saw in Drury Lane thirty years ago) of one of the ruffians in Macbeth. I was going to lie down when he tumbled in and poured out such a volley of ribaldry, obscenity, and blasphemy, every second or third word being an oath, as was scarcely ever heard at Billingsgate. Finding there was no room for me to speak, I retired into my cabin and left him to Mr. Hopper. Soon after, one or two of his own company interposed and carried him back to his cabin.

Thursday, 29.—We wrought our way four or five leagues toward Ireland, but were driven back in the afternoon to the very mouth of the harbor. Nevertheless, the wind shifting one or two points, we ventured out again; and by midnight we had gotten about half seas over. But the wind then turning full against us and blowing hard, we were driven back again and were glad, about nine, to get into the bay once more.

In the evening I was surprised to see, instead of some poor, plain people, a. room full of men, daubed with gold and silver. That I might not go out of their depth, I began expounding the story of Dives and Lazarus. It was more applicable than I was aware, several of them (as I afterward learned) being eminently wicked men. I delivered my own soul; but they could in nowise bear it. One and another walked away, murmuring sorely. Four stayed till I drew to a close; they then put on their hats and began talking to one another. I mildly reproved them, on which they rose up and went away, railing and blaspheming. I had then a comfortable hour with a company of plain, honest Welshmen.

"Where Is the Parson?"

In the night there was a vehement storm. Blessed be God that we were safe on shore! Saturday, 31. I determined to wait one week longer and, if we could not sail then, to go and wait for a ship at Bristol. At seven in the evening, just as I was going down to preach, I heard a huge noise and took knowledge of the rabble of gentlemen. They had now strengthened themselves with drink and numbers and placed Captain Gr— (as they called him) at their head. He soon burst open both the outward and inner door, struck old Robert Griffith, our landlord, several times, kicked his wife, and, with twenty full-mouthed oaths and curses, demanded, "Where is the parson?" Robert Griffith came up and desired me to go into another room, where he locked me in. The captain followed him quickly, broke open one or two doors, and got on a chair to look on the top of a bed: but his foot slipping (as he was not a man made for climbing), he fell down backward all his length. He rose leisurely, turned about, and with his troop, walked away.

I then went down to a small company of the poor people and spent half an hour with them in prayer. About nine, as we were preparing to go to bed, the house was beset again. The captain burst in first. Robert Griffith's daughter was standing in the passage with a pail of water, with which (whether with design or in her fright, I know not) she covered him from head to foot. He cried as well as he could, "Murder! Murder!" and stood very still for some moments. In the meantime Robert Griffith stepped by him and locked the door. Finding himself alone, he began to change his voice and cry, "Let me out! Let me out!" Upon his giving his word and honor that none of the rest should come in, they opened the door, and all went away together.

Wesley Interviews Mrs. Pilkington

Thursday, April 12 (Dublin).—I breakfasted with one of the society and found she had a lodger I little thought of. It was the famous Mrs. Pilkington, who soon made an excuse for following me upstairs. I talked with her seriously about an hour; we then sang "Happy Magdalene." She appeared to be exceedingly struck how long the impression may last, God knows.

Sunday, May 20 (Cork).—Understanding the usual place of preaching would by no means contain those who desired to hear, about eight I went to Hammond's Marsh. The congregation was large and deeply attentive. A few of the rabble gathered at a distance; but by little and little they drew near and mixed with the congregation; I have seldom seen a more quiet and orderly assembly at any church in England or Ireland.

In the afternoon, a report being spread abroad that the mayor designed to hinder my preaching on the Marsh in the evening, I desired Mr. Skelton and Mr. Jones to wait upon him and inquire concerning it. Mr. Skelton asked if my preaching there would be disagreeable to him, adding, "Sir, if it would, Mr. Wesley will not do it." He replied warmly, "Sir, I'll have no mobbing." Mr. Skelton replied, "Sir, there was none this morning." He answered, "There was. Are there not churches and meetinghouses enough? I will have no more mobs or riots." Mr. Skelton replied, "Sir, neither Mr. Wesley nor they that heard him made either mobs or riots." He replied plainly, "I will have no more preaching; and if Mr. Wesley attempts to preach, I am prepared for him."

I began preaching in our own house soon after five. Mr. Mayor meantime was walking in the 'Change, and giving orders to the town drummers and to his sergeants—doubtless to go down and keep the peace! They accordingly came down to the house, with an innumerable mob attending them. They continued drumming, and I continued preaching till I had finished my discourse. When I came out, the mob immediately closed me in. Observing one of the sergeants standing by, I desired him to keep the King's peace; but he replied, "Sir, I have no orders to do that." As soon as I came into the street, the rabble threw whatever came to hand; but all went by me or flew over my head; nor do I remember that one thing touched me. I walked on straight through the midst of the rabble, looking every man before me in the face; and they opened on the right and left, till I came near Dant's Bridge. A large party had taken possession of this, one of whom was bawling out, "Now, hey for the Romans!" When I came up, they likewise shrank back, and I walked through them to Mr. Jenkins's house; but a Papist stood just within the door and endeavored to hinder my going till one of the mob (I suppose aiming at me, but missing) knocked her down flat. I then went in, and God restrained the wild beasts so that not one attempted to follow me.

But many of the congregation were more roughly handled, particularly Mr. Jones, who was covered with dirt and escaped with his life almost by miracle. The main body of the mob then went to the house, brought out all the seats and benches, tore up the floor, the door, the frames of the windows, and whatever of woodwork remained; part, of which they carried off for their own use, and the rest they burned in the open street.

Finding there was no probability of their dispersing, I sent to Alderman Pembrock, who immediately desired Mr. Alderman Windthrop, his nephew, to go down to Mr. Jenkins, with whom I walked up the street, none giving me an unkind or disrespectful word.

Wesley Burned in Effigy

Monday, 21.—I rode on to Bandon. From three in the afternoon till past seven, the mob of Cork marched in grand procession and then burned me in effigy near Dant's Bridge.

Wednesday, 23.—The mob was still patrolling the streets, abusing all that were called Methodists and threatening to murder them and pull down their houses, if they did not leave this way.

Thursday, 24.—They again assaulted Mr. Stockdale's house, broke down the boards he had nailed up against the windows, destroyed what little remained of the windowframes and shutters, and damaged a considerable part of his goods.

Friday, 25.—One Roger O'Ferrall fixed up an advertisement at the public Exchange, that he was ready to head any mob, in order to pull down any house that should dare to harbor a swaddler. (A name given to Mr. Cennick first by a popish priest, who heard him speak of a child wrapped in swaddling clothes and probably did not know the expression was in the Bible, a book he was not much acquainted with.)

At this time God gave us great peace at Bandon, notwithstanding the unwearied labors, both public and private, of good Dr. B —, to stir up the people. But, Saturday, 26, many were under great apprehensions of what was to be done in the evening. I began preaching in the main street at the usual hour, but to more than twice the usual congregation. After I had spoken about a quarter of an hour, a clergyman, who had planted himself near me with a very large stick in his hand, according to agreement opened the scene. (Indeed his friends assured me he was in drink, or he would not have done it.) But, before he had uttered many words, two or three resolute women, by main strength, pulled him into a house; and, after expostulating a little, sent him away through the garden.

The next champion that appeared was one Mr. M—, a young gentleman of the town. He was attended by two others with pistols in their hands. But his triumph too was but short; some of the people quickly bore him away, though with much gentleness and civility.

The third came on with greater fury; but he was encountered by a butcher of the town (not one of the Methodists), who used him as he would an ox, bestowing one or two hearty blows upon his head. This cooled his courage, especially as none took his part. So I quietly finished my discourse.

Visits to Kinsale and Cork

Monday, 28.—I rode to Kinsale, one of the pleasantest towns which I have seen in Ireland. At seven I preached at the Exchange, to a few gentry, many poor people, and abundance of soldiers. All behaved like men that feared God. After sermon came one from Cork and informed us Mr. W— had preached both morning and afternoon under the wall of the barracks; that the town drummers came, but the soldiers assured them if they went to beat there they would be all cut in pieces; that then the mayor came himself at the head of his mob, but could make no considerable disturbance; that he went and talked to the commanding officer, but with so little success that the colonel came out and declared to the mob they must make no riot there. Here is a turn of affairs worthy of God! Doth He not rule in heaven and earth?

Wednesday, 30.—I rode to Cork. By talking with Captain —, I found there was no depending on the good offices of the colonel. He had told the captain with great openness, "If Mr. Wesley preached in the barracks, and the mob were to come and break the windows, I might have a long bill from the barrack-master." Break the windows! Nay, it is well if they had not broken the bones of all the soldiers.

A little before five I walked towards the barracks. The boys quickly gathered, and were more and more turbulent. But in a moment all was quiet. This, I afterward found, was owing to Mr. W—, who snatched a stick out of man's hand, and brandished it over his head, on which the whole troop valiantly ran away.

When we came over the south bridge, a large mob gathered; but before they were well formed we reached the barrack gate; at a small distance from which I stood and cried, "Let the wicked forsake his way." The congregation of serious people was large; the mob stood about a hundred yards off. I was a little surprised to observe that almost all the soldiers kept together in a body near the gate, and I knew not but the report might be true that, on a signal given, they were all to retire into the barracks; but they never stirred until I had done. As we walked away, one or two of them followed us. Their numbers increased until we had seven or eight before and a whole troop of them behind; between whom I walked, through an immense mob, to Alderman Pembrock's door.

At an Irish Funeral

Thursday, 31.—I rode to Rathcormuck. There being a great burying in the afternoon to which people came from all parts, Mr. Lloyd read part of the burial service in the church; after which I preached on "The end of all things is at hand." I was exceedingly shocked at (what I had only heard of before) the Irish howl which followed. It was not a song, as I supposed, but a dismal, inarticulate yell, set up at the grave by four shrill-voiced women who (we understood) were hired for that purpose. But I saw not one that shed a tear; for that, it seems, was not in their bargain.

Wednesday, June 13.—I rode to Shronill again; and in the morning, Thursday, 14, to Clonmell. After an hours rest we set forward, but were obliged to stop in the afternoon sooner than we designed, by my horse having a shoe loose. The poor man, at whose house we called, was not only patient of exhortation but exceedingly thankful for it. We afterward missed our way, so that it was nearly eight o'clock before we got over the ferry, a mile short of Waterford.

At the ferry was a lad who asked my name. When he heard it, he cried out, "O sir, you have no business here; you have nothing to do at Waterford. Butler has been gathering mobs there all this week; and they set upon us so that we cannot walk the streets. But if you will stay at that little house, I will go and bring B. McCullock to you.

We stayed some time, and then thought it best to go a little on our way toward Portarlington. But the ferryman would not come over; so that, after waiting till we were weary, we made our way through some grounds and over the mountain into the Carrick road; and went on about five miles to a village where we found a quiet house. Sufficient for this day was the labor thereof. We were on horseback, with but an hour or two's intermission, from five in the morning, till within a quarter of eleven at night.

Friday, 15.—About two in the morning I heard people making a great noise and calling me by my name. They were some of our friends from Waterford, who informed us that, upon the lad's coming in, sixteen or eighteen of them came out to conduct me into the town. Not finding me, they returned; but the mob met them by the way and pelted them with dirt and stones to their own doors.

We set out at four and reached Kilkenny, about twenty-five old Irish miles, about noon. This is by far the most pleasant, as well as most fruitful country, which I have seen in all Ireland. Our way after dinner lay by Dunmore, the seat of the late Duke of Ormond. We rode through the park for about two miles, by the side of which the river runs. I never saw either in England, Holland, or Germany, so delightful a place. The walks, each consisting of four rows of ashes, the tufts of trees sprinkled up and down, interspersed with the smoothest and greenest lawns, are beautiful beyond description. And what hath the owner thereof, the Earl of Arran? Not even the beholding it with his eyes.

Wesley Rides Ninety Miles

My horse tired in the afternoon; so I left him behind and borrowed that of my companion. I came to Aymo about eleven and would very willingly have passed the rest of the night there; but the good woman of the inn was not minded that I should. For some time she would not answer: at last she opened the door just wide enough to let out four dogs upon me. So I rode on to Ballybrittas, expecting a rough salute here too from a large dog which used to be in the yard. But he never stirred till the hostler waked and came out. About twelve I laid me down. I think this was the longest day's journey I ever rode; being fifty old Irish, that is, about ninety English miles.

Thursday, 21.—I returned to Closeland and preached in the evening to a little, earnest company. Oh, who should drag me into a great city, if I did not know there is another world! How gladly could I spend the remainder of a busy life in solitude and retirement!

Thursday, September 6.—I rode to Salisbury and preached at Winterburn in the evening; the next, at Reading; and, on Saturday, 8, came to London.

Here I had the following account from one of our preachers:

John Jane was never well after walking from Epworth to Hainton, on an exceedingly hot day, which exertion threw him into a fever. But he was in great peace and love, even to those who greatly wanted love to18 him. He was some time at Alice Shadforth's house, with whom he daily talked of the things of God. He was never without the love of God, spent much time in private prayer, and joined likewise with her in prayer several times in a day. On Friday, August 24, growing, as she thought stronger in body, he sat in the evening by the fireside: about six he fetched a deep sigh and never spoke more. He was alive till the same hour on Saturday; at which, without any struggle, or any sign of pain, with a smile on his face, he passed away. His last words were, 'I find the love of God in Christ Jesus.'

He Left One Shilling and Fourpence

All his clothes, linen and woolen, stockings, hat, and wig, are not thought sufficient to answer his funeral expenses, which amount to one pound seventeen shilling and fourpence." Enough for any unmarried preacher of the gospel to leave to his executors.

Monday, 17.—My brother set out for the north but returned the next day, much out of order. How little do we know the counsels of God! But we know they are all wise and gracious.

Wednesday, 19.—When l came home in the evening, I found my brother abundantly worse. He had had no sleep for several nights; and expected none, unless from opiates. I went down to our brethren below, and we made our request known to God. When I went up again he was in a sound sleep, which continued till the morning.

Friday, 21.—We had a watch night at Spitalfields. I often wonder at the peculiar providence of God on these occasions. I do not know that in so many years one person has ever been hurt, either in London, Bristol, or Dublin, in going so late in the night to and from all parts of the town.

Sunday, 23.—My brother being not yet able to assist, I had more employment today than I expected. In the morning I read prayers, preached, and administered the sacrament to a Iarge congregation in Spitalfields. The service at West Street continued from nine till one. At five I called the sinners in Moorfields to repentance. And when I had finished my work found more liveliness and strength than I did at six in the morning.

Wesley as Editor

Monday, 24.—I left London and, the next morning, called at what is styled the Halfway House. Quickly after, as a young man was (riding by the door, both horse and man tumbled over each other. As soon as he got up, he began cursing his horse. I spoke a few words, and he was calm. He told me, he did fear God once, but for some time past he had cared for nothing. He went away full of good resolutions. God bring them to good effect!

I reached Kingswood in the evening; and the next day selected passages of Milton for the eldest children to transcribe and repeat weekly.

Thursday, 27.—I went into the school and heard half the children their lessons and then selected passages of the Moral and Sacred Poems. Friday, 28. I heard the other half of the children. Saturday, 29. I was with them from four to five in the morning. I spent most of the day in revising Kennet's Antiquities , and marking what was worth reading in the school.

Wednesday, October 3.—I revised, for the use of the children, Archbishop Potter's Grecian Antiquities, a dry, dull, heavy book. Thursday, 4. I revised Mr. Lewis's Hebrew Antiquities, something more entertaining than the other and abundantly more instructive.

Saturday, 6.—I nearly finished the abridgement of Dr. Cave's Primitive Christianity, a book written with as much learning and as Little judgment as any I remember to have read in my whole life; serving the ancient Christians just as Xenophon did Socrates; relating every weak thing they ever said or did.

Thursday, 11.—I prepared a short History of England for the use of the children; and on Friday and Saturday a short Roman History, as an introduction to the Latin historians.

Monday, 15.—I read over Mr. Holmes's Latin Grammar and extracted from it what was needful to perfect our own.

In Canterbury Cathedral

Monday, December 3.—I rode to Canterbury and preached on Revelation 20. A few turbulent people made a little noise, as I found it was their custom to do. Perceiving more of them were gathered the next night, I turned and spoke to them at large. They appeared to be not a little confounded and went away as quiet as lambs.

Wednesday, 5.—I walked over the cathedral and surveyed the monuments of the ancient men of renown. One would think such a sight should strike an utter damp upon human vanity. What are the great, the fair, the valiant now? the matchless warrior—the puissant monarch?

An heap of dust is all remains of thee!
'Tis, all thou art, and all the proud shall be.

Monday, 10.—I rode to Leigh, in Essex, where I found a little company seeking God and endeavored to encourage them in "provoking one another to love and good works."

Monday, 17.—I set upon cleansing Augeas's stable; upon purging that huge work, Mr. Fox's Acts and Monuments, from all the trash which that honest, injudicious writer has heaped together and mingled with those venerable records, which are worthy to be had in everlasting remembrance.

16 Correct to the text.

17 Correct to the text.

18 Correct to the text.

John Wesley, The Journal of John Wesley (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2000) Conversion to HTML and placename mark-up by Humphrey Southall, 2009.

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