Friday, April 30, 2010

Perth

Fri 30 Apr 1784: We went to Perth, now but the shadow of what it was, though it begins to lift up its head. It is certainly the sweetest place in all north Britain, unless perhaps Dundee. I preached in the Tolbooth to a large and well-behaved congregation. Many of them were present again at five in the morning, May 1.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Too much sameness in all the great houses in England

Thu 29 Apr 1779: I preached at Rothwell and Leeds, and on Friday noon, at Harewood. In the afternoon we walked to Mr. Lascelles’s house. It is finely situated on a little eminence, commanding a most delightful prospect, of hill and dale, and wood and water. It is built of a fine white stone, with two grand and beautiful fronts. I was not much struck with anything within. There is too much sameness in all the great houses I have seen in England: two rows of large, square rooms, with costly beds, glasses, chairs, and tables. But here is a profusion of wealth: every pane of glass, we were informed, cost six and twenty shillings. One looking-glass cost five hundred pounds, and one bed, six hundred. The whole floor was just on the plan of Montague House, now the British Museum. The grounds round the house are pleasant indeed, particularly the walks on the riverside and through the woods. But what has the owner thereof save the beholding them with his eyes?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Conversions in Ireland

Wed 28 Apr 1762: The rain kept off the curious hearers, so that we had few in the evening but earnest souls; after sermon we had a love-feast. It was a wonderful time. God poured out his Spirit abundantly. Many were filled with consolation, particularly two who had come from Lisburn, (three-and-twenty Irish miles,) one a lifeless backslider, the other a girl of sixteen, who had been sometime slightly convinced of sin. God restored him to the light of his countenance, and gave her a clear evidence of his love; and indeed in so uncommon a manner, that it seemed her soul was all love. One of our brethren was constrained openly to declare, he believed God had wrought this change in him. I trust he will not lightly cast away the gift which God has given him. In the morning I left them rejoicing and praising God, and rode to Monaghan. The commotions in Munster having now alarmed all Ireland, we had hardly alighted, when some wise persons informed the Provost there were three strange sort of men come to the King’s Arms. So the Provost with his officers came without delay, to secure the north from so imminent a danger. I was just come out, when I was required to return into the house. The Provost asked me many questions, and perhaps the affair might have turned serious, had I not had two letters with me, which I had lately received; one from the Bishop of Londonderry, the other from the Earl of Moira. Upon reading these, he excused himself for the trouble he had given, and wished me a good journey.
Between six and seven I preached at Coot-Hill, and in the morning rode on to Enniskillen; the situation of which is both pleasant and strong, as it is surrounded by a deep and broad river, but fortifications it has none; no, nor so much as an old Castle. The inhabitants glory that they have no Papist in the town.
After riding round, and round, we came in the evening to a lone house called Carrick-a-Beg. It lay in the midst of horrid mountains; and had no very promising appearance. However, it afforded corn for our horses, and potatoes for ourselves. So we made an hearty supper, called in as many as pleased of the family to prayers, and, though we had no fastening either for our door or our windows, slept in peace.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ireland

Tue 27 Apr 1762:I preached in Lurgan at five; in Terryhugan at ten; and at two in the market-house at Rich-Hill. I have rarely seen so serious a congregation at a new place. At six I preached in the new preaching-house at Claumain, the largest in the north of Ireland; and the people were all alive, being stirred up by Mr. Ryan, once an attorney, but now living upon his own estate.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Power of a Praying Mother

Mon 26 Apr 1742: I called on one who was sorrowing as without hope, for her son who was turned again to folly. I advised her to wrestle with God for his soul. And in two days he brought home the wandering sheep, fully convinced of the error of his ways, and determined to choose the better part.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Take off your Hats

Sun 25 Apr 1742: At five I preached in Ratcliff Square, near Stepney, on, ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ A multitude of them were gathered together before I came home, and filled the street above and below the Foundery. Some who apprehended we should have but homely treatment begged me to go in as soon as possible. But I told them, ‘No. Provide you for yourselves. But I have a message to deliver first.’ I told them, after a few words, ‘Friends, let every man do as he pleases. But it is my manner when I speak of the things of God, or when another does, to uncover my head’; which I accordingly did, and many of them did the same. I then exhorted them to repent and believe the gospel. Not a few of them appeared to be deeply affected. Now, Satan, count thy gains.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Be an Altogether Christian

Sat 24 Apr 1762: I left between thirty and forty members, full of desire, and hope, and earnest resolutions, not to be almost, but altogether, Christians.
About ten I preached at Comber, and then rode to Lisburn, where, in the evening, I had many rich and genteel hearers.

Friday, April 23, 2010

An agreeable hour with Mr. Whitefield

Fri 23 Apr 1742: I spent an agreeable hour with Mr. Whitefield. I believe he is sincere in all he says concerning his earnest desire of joining hand in hand with all that love the Lord Jesus Christ. But if (as some would persuade me) he is not, the loss is all on his own side. I am just as I was. I go on my way, whether he goes with me or stays behind.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Beautiful Countryside

Thu 22 Apr 1784: I preached in the market-house at Cockermouth. In our way thence, we had some of the heaviest rain I have seen in Europe. The Sessions being at Carlisle, I could not have the court-house; but we had a good opportunity in our own house. Friday 23, we travelled through a lovely country to Longtown, the last town in England, and one of the best built in it, for all the houses are new, from one end to the other. The road from hence to Langholm is delightfully pleasant, running mostly by the side of a clear river. But it was past seven before we reached Selkirk.

The Methodist Work Struggles on in Ireland

Wed 21 Apr 1762: I rode to Carrickfergus. The violent rain kept away the delicate and curious hearers. For the sake of these I delayed the morning preaching till a quarter before nine: But it was too early still for a great part of the town, who could not possibly rise before ten. I added a few members to the society, and left them in peace and love.
Where to preach in Belfast I did not know. It was too wet to preach abroad; and a dancing-master was busily employed in the upper part of the market-house; till at twelve the sovereign put him out, by holding his court there. While he was above, I began below, to a very serious and attentive audience. But they were all poor; the rich of Belfast "cared for none of these things."
After dinner we rode to Newtown, and found another poor, shattered society, reduced from fifty to eighteen members, and most of those cold enough. In the evening I preached to a large congregation in the market-house, on, "I will heal their backsliding." God fulfilled his word: Many were healed, and many more deeply wounded

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Our Noisy Neighbours

Tue 20 Apr 1742: Was the day on which our noisy neighbours had agreed to summon all their forces together; a great number of whom came early in the evening, and planted themselves as near the desk as possible. But he that sitteth in heaven laughed them to scorn. The greater part soon vanished away; and to some of the rest I trust his word came with demonstration of his Spirit.

Monday, April 19, 2010

An Amazing Story JW believes is True

Mon 19 Apr 1784: I went on to Ambleside, where, as I was sitting down to supper, I was informed, ‘Notice had been given of my preaching, and that the congregation was waiting.’ I would not disappoint them, but preached immediately on ‘Salvation by faith.’ Among them were a gentleman and his wife, who gave me a very remarkable relation. She said,
She had often heard her mother relate, what an intimate acquaintance had told her, that her husband was concerned in the Rebellion of 1745. He was tried at Carlisle and found guilty. The evening before he was to die, sitting and musing in her chair, she fell fast asleep. She dreamed one came to her and said, ‘Go to such a part of the wall, and among the loose stones you will find a key, which you must carry to your husband.’ She waked but, thinking it a common dream, paid no attention to it. Presently she fell asleep again and dreamed the very same dream. She started up, put on her cloak and hat, and went to that part of the wall, and among the loose stones found a key. Having with some difficulty procured admission into the jail, she gave this to her husband. It opened the door of his cell, as well as the lock of the prison door. So at midnight, he escaped for life.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Backslider Returns

Sun 18 Apr 1742: In the afternoon one who had tasted the love of God, but had turned again to folly, was deeply convinced, and torn, as it were, in pieces by guilt and remorse and fear. And even after the sermon was ended she continued in the same agony, it seemed both of body and soul. Many of us were then met together in another part of the house; but her cries were so piercing, though at a distance, that I could not pry, nor hardly speak, being quite chilled every time I heard them. I asked whether it were best to bring her in, or send her out of the house. It being the general voice, she was brought in, and we cried to God to heal her backsliding. We soon found we were asking according to his will. He not only had her ‘depart in peace’, but filled many others, till then heavy of heart, with peace and joy in believing.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Savannah

Sat Apr 17 1736: We set out for Savannah, and reached it on Tuesday evening. O blessed place, where, having but one end in view, dissembling and fraud are not; but each of us can pour out his heart without fear into his brother’s bosom!
Not finding as yet any door open for the pursuing our main design, we considered in what manner we might be most useful to the little flock at Savannah. And we agreed: first, to advise the more serious among them to form themselves into a sort of little society, and to meet once or twice a week, in order to reprove, instruct, and exhort one another; second, to select out of these a smaller number for a more intimate union with each other, which might be forwarded, partly by our conversing singly with each, and partly by inviting them all together to our house; and this accordingly we determined to do every Sunday in the afternoon.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Islington

Apr 16 1742: Being Good Friday, I was desired to call on one that was ill at Islington. I found there several of my old acquaintance, who loved me once as the apple of their eye. By staying with them but a little I was clearly convinced that was I to stay but one week among them (unless the providence of God plainly called me so to do), I should be as still as poor Mr. Stonehouse. I felt their words as it were thrilling through my veins. So soft! So pleasing to nature! It seemed our religion was but a heavy, coarse thing; nothing so delicate, so refined as theirs. I wonder any person of taste (that has not faith) can stand before them

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Things that Upset Congregations

Thu 15 Apr 1779: I went to Halifax, where a little thing had lately occasioned great disturbance. An angel blowing a trumpet was placed on the sounding-board over the pulpit. Many were vehemently against this; others as vehemently for it. But a total end was soon put to the contest, for the angel vanished away. The congregations, morning and evening, were very large, and the work of God seems to increase, in depth as well as extent.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

At the Ewood

Wed 14 Apr 1779: After a delightful ride through the mountains, I preached first in Todmorden, and then in Heptonstall Church. I afterwards lodged at the Ewood, which I still love for good Mr. Grimshaw’s sake.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

At Bacup, Padiham and Colne

Tue 13 Apr 1779: I preached at nine to a crowded audience in the new house at Bacup; at one in the shell of the house at Padiham, where there is at length a prospect of peace, after abundance of disturbance caused by one who neither fears God nor reverences man. In the evening, I preached at Colne; but the people were still in such a panic that few durst go into the left-hand gallery.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Miracle and "does it appear that these owed to Jehonadab more than the Methodists owe to John Wesley?"

Mon 12 Apr 1784: I found a lovely congregation at Stockport, much alive to God. So was that at Oldham the next day, which was not perceptibly lessened, though it blew a storm and poured down with rain. Here a young woman of unblameable character (otherwise I should not have given her any credit) gave me a remarkable account. She said, ‘I had totally lost the sight of my right eye, when I dreamed one night that our Saviour appeared to me: that I fell at his feet, and he laid his hand upon my right eye. Immediately I waked and, from that moment, have seen as well with that eye as with the other.’
I applied to a very large congregation the case of the Rechabites (Jer. 35). I asked, (1) does it appear that these owed to Jehonadab more than the Methodists owe to me? (2) Are they as observant of my advices (although both scriptural and rational, to instance only in dress and rising early) as the Rechabites were of his advices (of drinking no wine and living in tents, which had neither Scripture nor Reason to support them)?
I think every member of the society at Bolton does take my advice with respect to other things as well as with respect to dress and rising early, in consequence of which they are continually increasing in number as well as in grace.

People on Fire

Mon 12 Apr 1779: I preached at Bury about one, and in the evening at Rochdale. Now was the day of visitation for this town. The people were all on fire. Never was such a flame kindled here before, chiefly by the prayer-meetings scattered through the town.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Savannah

Sun Apr 11 1736 [Savannah]: I preached at the new storehouse, on the first verse of the Gospel for the day: ‘Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe me?’ There was a large congregation, whom I endeavoured to convince of unbelief, by simply proposing the conditions of salvation as they are laid down in Scripture, and appealing to their own hearts whether they believed they could be saved on no other terms.
In every one of the six following days I had some fresh proofs of the absolute necessity of following that wise advice of the Apostle: ‘Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.’

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Judging nothing before the time

Sat 10 Apr 1790: I crossed over to Northwich, and again found the wisdom of judging nothing before the time. The removal, which I used to ascribe to caprice, I find was the effect of necessity. A wretched man, who had persuaded his father-in-law to give the staff out of his own hands, now abridges him of half his five hundred a year; and has the conscience to take fifty pounds a year out of the remainder, for the board of his son, apprenticed to him. In the evening I preached in the lovely House at Bolton, to one of the loveliest congregations in England; who, by patient continuance in well-doing, have turned scorn and hatred into general esteem and good-will.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Description of Watchnight Service

Fri 9 Apr 1742: We had the first watch-night in London. We commonly choose for this solemn service the Friday night nearest the full moon, either before or after, that those of the congregation who live at a distance may have light to their several homes. The service begins at half an hour past eight, and continues till a little after midnight. We have often found a peculiar blessing at these seasons. There is generally a deep awe upon the congregation, perhaps in some measure owing to the silence of the night; particularly in singing the hymn with which we commonly conclude:
Harken to the solemn voice!
The awful midnight cry!
Waiting souls, rejoice, rejoice,
And feel the Bridegroom nigh.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Holy Week and Easter 1773

Thu 8 Apr 1773: I preached in the Court-House at Molingar in the morning, and in that at Longford in the evening, and again at eight in the morning, (being Good-Friday,) and then went on to Athlone. I believe all the Officers, with a whole army of soldiers, were present in the evening: So were most of them the next. I would fain have preached abroad on Easter-Day, but the rain would not permit. However, the whole congregation in the House behaved with so remarkable a seriousness, that it was good to be there; and I could not be sorry, that we were driven into it.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Liverpool

Wed 7 Apr 1784: I crossed over the water to Liverpool. Here I found a people much alive to God, one case of which was, that they have preaching several mornings in a week and prayer-meetings on the rest, all of which they are careful to attend. On Good Friday, April 9, I went to Warrington. In the morning I read prayers, preached, and administered the Lord’s Supper, to a serious congregation. I preached at five again, and believe few were present, who did not feel that God was there of a truth.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Now as zealous in the works of God as he was once in the works of the devil

Tue 6 April 1779: I went to Mr. Salmon’s at Nantwich, a nephew of Mr. Matthew Salmon who was, fifty years ago, one of our little company at Oxford and was then both in person, in natural temper, and in piety, one of the loveliest young men I knew. Mr. Joseph Salmon was then unborn and was for many years without God in the world. But he is now as zealous in the works of God as he was once in the works of the devil. While I preached it was a season of strong consolation—but one young gentlewoman refused to be comforted. She followed me into Mr. Salmon’s all in tears; but would neither touch meat nor drink. After I had spent a little time in prayer, she broke out into prayer herself. And she did not cease till God turned her sorrow into joy unspeakable.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A large Newfoundland dog and an old raven deeply in love with each other

Mon 5 Apr 1790: Calling at Altringham, I was desired to speak a few words to the people in the new chapel; but almost as soon as I got thither, the House was filled; and soon after, more than filled. So I preached on 1 Pet. i. 3; and many praised God with joyful lips. About twelve I preached in the chapel at Northwich, to a large and very lively congregation, and, in the evening, met once more with our old affectionate friends at Chester. I have never seen this chapel more crowded than to-night; but still it could not near contain the congregation. Both this and the following evening, I was greatly assisted to declare the power of Christ's resurrection; and to exhort all that were risen with him to set their affections on the things above. Here I met with one of the most extraordinary phenomena that I ever saw, or heard of:—Mr. Sellers has in his yard a large Newfoundland dog, and an old raven. These have fallen deeply in love with each other, and never desire to be apart. The bird has learned the bark of the dog, so that few can distinguish them. She is inconsolable when he goes out; and, if he stays out a day or two, she will get up all the bones and scraps she can, and hoard them up for him till he comes back.

Northwich

Mon 5 Apr 1779: I preached at Northwich. I used to go from hence to Little Leigh. But since Mr. Barker is gone hence that place knows us no more. I cannot but wonder at the infatuation of men that really love and fear God, and yet leave great part of, if not all, their substance to men that neither love nor fear him! Surely if I did little good with my money while I lived, I would at least do good with it when I could live no longer.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Day

Apr 4 1779: Easter Day, was a solemn festival. In the afternoon, I preached at Oldham, to such a congregation as I have not seen since I was at the Cornish amphitheatre. And all, beside a few giddy children, were seriously attentive.

Easter in Oldham

Apr 4 1779: Easter Day, was a solemn festival. In the afternoon, I preached at Oldham, to such a congregation as I have not seen since I was at the Cornish amphitheatre. And all, beside a few giddy children, were seriously attentive.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Methodist work in Ireland

Friday, APRIL 2 1762. I rode to Parkgate, and found several ships; but the wind was contrary. I preached at five in the small House they have just built; and the hearers were remarkably serious. I gave notice of preaching at five in the morning. But at half-hour after four one brought us word that the wind was come fair, and Captain Jordan would sail in less than an hour. We were soon in the ship, wherein we found about threescore passengers. The sun shone bright, the wind was moderate, the sea smooth, and we wanted nothing but room to stir ourselves; the cabin being filled with hops, so that we could not get into it but by climbing over them on our hands and knees. In the afternoon we were abreast of Holyhead. But the scene was quickly changed: The wind rose higher and higher, and by seven o’clock blew a storm. The sea broke over us continually, and sometimes covered the ship, which both pitched and rolled in an uncommon manner. So I was informed; for, being a little sick, I lay down at six, and slept, with little intermission, till near six in the morning. We were then near Dublin Bay, where we went into a boat, which carried us to Dunleary. There we met with a chaise just ready, in which we went to Dublin.
I found much liberty of spirit in the evening while I was enforcing, "Now is the day of salvation." The congregation was uncommonly large in the morning, and seemed to be much alive. Many children, I find, are "brought to the birth:" And shall there not be strength to bring forth?
It was at this time that Mr. Grimshaw fell asleep. He was born September 3, 1708, at Brindle, six miles south of Preston, in Lancashire, and educated at the schools of Blackburn and Heskin, in the same county. Even then the thoughts of death and judgment made some impression upon him. At eighteen he was admitted at Christ's College, in Cambridge. Here bad example so carried him away, that for more than two years he seemed utterly to have lost all sense of seriousness; which did not revive till the day he was ordained Deacon, in the year 1731. On that day he was much affected with the sense of the importance of the ministerial office; and this was increased by his conversing with some at Rochdale, who met once a week to read, and sing, and pray. But on his removal to Todmorden soon after, he quite dropped his pious acquaintance, conformed to the world, followed all its diversions, and contented himself with "doing his duty" on Sundays.
But about the year 1734, he began to think seriously again. He left off all his diversions; he began to catechise the young people, to preach the absolute necessity of a devout life, and to visit his people, not in order to be merry with them as before, but to press them to seek the salvation of their souls.
At this period also he began himself to pray in secret four times a day; and the God of all grace, who prepared his heart to pray, soon gave the answer to his prayer; not, indeed, as he expected: Not in joy or peace; but by bringing upon him very strong and painful convictions of his own guilt, and helplessness, and misery; by discovering to him what he did not suspect before, that his heart was deceitful and desperately wicked; and, what was more afflicting still, that all his duties and labours could not procure him pardon, or gain him a title to eternal life. In this trouble he continued more than three years, not acquainting any one with the distress he suffered, till one day, (in 1742,) being in the utmost agony of mind, there was clearly represented to him, Jesus Christ pleading for him with God the Father, and gaining a free pardon for him. In that moment all his fears vanished away, and he was filled with joy unspeakable. "I was now," says he, "willing to renounce myself, and to embrace Christ for my all in all. O what light and comfort did I enjoy in my own soul, and what a taste of the pardoning love of God!"
All this time he was an entire stranger to the people called Methodists, whom afterwards he thought it his duty to countenance, and to labour with them in his neighbourhood. He was an entire stranger also to all their writings, till he came to Haworth, May 26, of this year. And the good effects of his preaching soon became visible: Many of his flock were brought into deep concern for salvation, were in a little time after filled with peace and joy through believing; and (as in ancient times) the whole congregation have been often seen in tears on account of their provocations against God, and under a sense of his goodness in yet sparing them.
His lively manner of representing the truths of God could not fail of being much talked of, and bringing many hundreds out of curiosity to Haworth church; who received so much benefit by what they heard, that, when the novelty was long over, the church continued to be full of people, many of whom came from far, and this for twenty years together.
Mr. Grimshaw was now too happy himself, in the knowledge of Christ, to rest satisfied without taking every method he thought likely to spread the knowledge of his God and Saviour. And as the very indigent constantly made their want of better clothes to appear in, an excuse for not going to church in the day-time, he contrived, for them chiefly, a lecture on Sunday evenings; though he had preached twice in the day before. God was pleased to give great success to these attempts, which animated him still more to spend and be spent for Christ. So the next year he began a method, which was continued by him for ever after, of preaching in each of the four hamlets he had under his care three times every month. By this means the old and infirm, who could not attend the church, had the truth of God brought to their houses; and many, who were so profane as to make the distance from the house of God a reason for scarce ever coming to it, were allured to hear. By this time the great labour with which he instructed his own people, the holiness of his conversation, and the benefit which very many from the neighbouring parishes had obtained by attending his ministry, concurred to bring upon him many earnest entreaties to come to their houses, who lived in neighbouring parishes, and expound the word of God to souls as ignorant as they had been themselves. This request he did not dare to refuse: So that while he provided abundantly for his own flock, he annually found opportunity of preaching near three hundred times to congregations in other parts.
And for a course of fifteen years, or upwards, he used to preach every week, fifteen, twenty, and sometimes thirty times, beside visiting the sick, and other occasional duties of his function. It is not easy to ascribe such unwearied diligence, chiefly among the poor, to any motive but the real one. He thought he would never keep silence, while he could speak to the honour of that God who had done so much for his soul. And while he saw sinners perishing for lack of knowledge, and no one breaking to them the bread of life, he was constrained, notwithstanding the reluctance he felt within, to give up his name to still greater reproach, as well as all his time and strength, to the work of the ministry.
During this intense application to what was the delight of his heart, God was exceeding favourable to him. In sixteen years he was only once suspended from his labour by sickness; though he dared all weathers, upon the bleak mountains, and used his body with less compassion than a merciful man would use his beast. His soul at various times enjoyed large manifestations of God’s love; and he drank deep into his Spirit. His cup ran over; and at some seasons his faith was so strong, and his hope so abundant, that higher degrees of spiritual delight would have overpowered his mortal frame.
In this manner Mr. Grimshaw employed all his powers and talents, even to his last illness; and his labours were not in vain in the Lord. He saw an effectual change take place in many of his flock; and a restraint from the commission of sin brought upon the parish in general. He saw the name of Jesus exalted, and many souls happy in the knowledge of him, and walking as became the Gospel. Happy he was himself, in being kept by the power of God, unblamable in his conversation: Happy in being beloved, in several of the last years of his life, by every one in his parish; who, whether they would be persuaded by him to forsake the evil of their ways, or no, had no doubt that Mr. Grimshaw was their cordial friend. Hence, at his departure a general concern was visible through his parish. Hence his body was interred with what is more ennobling than all the pomp of a royal funeral: For he was followed to the grave by a great multitiude, with affectionate sighs, and many tears; who cannot still hear his much-loved name, without weeping for the guide of their souls, to whom each of them was dear as children to their father.
His behaviour, throughout his last sickness, was of a piece with the last twenty years of his life: From the very first attack of his fever, he welcomed its approach. His intimate knowledge of Christ abolished all the reluctance nature feels to a dissolution; and, triumphing in Him, who is the resurrection and the life, he departed, April the 7th, in the fifty fifth year of his age, and the twenty-first of his eminent usefulness.
It may not be unacceptable to subjoin here one of his plain, rough letters, to the society in London:—
"Haworth, January 9, 1760.
"MY DEAR BRETHREN,
"GRACE, mercy, and peace, be to you from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus. It is well with four sorts of people, that you have had, or now have, to do with. It is well with those of you in Christ who are gone to God: It is well with those of you in Christ who are not gone to God: It is well with those who earnestly long to be in Christ, that they may go to God: It is well with those who neither desire to be in Christ, nor to go to God. And it is only bad with such who, being out of Christ, are gone to the devil. These it is best to let alone, and say no more about them.
"But, to be sure, it is well with the other four. It is well with those of you who, being in Christ, are gone to God. You Ministers and members of Christ have no more doubt or pain about them. They are now, and for ever, out of the reach of the world, flesh, and devil. They are gone 'where the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary are at rest.’ They are sweetly reposed in Abraham's bosom. They dwell in His presence who hath redeemed them; where ’there is fulness of joy, and pleasures for evermore.' They are waiting the joyful morning of the resurrection, when their vile bodies shall be made like unto his glorious body, shall be re-united to their souls, shall receive the joyful sentence, and inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world.
"It is well also with those of you who are in Christ, though not gone to God. You live next door to them. Heaven is begun with you too. The kingdom of God is within you. You feel it. This is a kingdom of righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. It is begun in grace, and shall terminate in glory. Yea, it is ’Christ within you, the hope of glory.' Christ the rock, the foundation, laid in your hearts. Hope in the middle, and glory at the top. Christ, hope, glory; Christ, hope, glory. You are washed in the blood of the Lamb, justified, sanctified, and shall shortly be glorified. Yea, your lives are already ’hid with Christ in God.' You have your conversation already in heaven. Already you ’sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.' What heavenly sentences are these! What can come nearer Paradise? Bless the Lord, O ye happy souls, and let all that is within you bless his holy name. Sing unto the Lord so long as you live, and praise your God while you have your being. And how long will that be? Through the endless ages of a glorious eternity.
O my dear brothers and sisters, this is my hope, and this is my purpose. But to whom and to what are we indebted for all this, and infinitely more than all the tongues and hearts of men or angels can tell or conceive? To our Redeemer only, and to his merits. Christ within us is Jesus to us. We were poor, lost, helpless sinners, ’aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,' and ’children of wrath;' but Jesus lived, and Jesus died, the just for the unjust, to bring us to the enjoyment of it.
"And what does all this require at our hands? Why, infinitely more than we can render him to all eternity. However, let us praise and glorify God in the best manner, and with the best member that we have. Let us do it constantly, cordially, cheerfully, so long as we live; and then, no doubt, we shall do it in heaven for ever.
"Keep close, I beseech you, to every means of grace. Strive to walk in all the ordinances and commandments of God blameless, ’giving all diligence to make your calling and election sure: Add to your faith virtue; to virtue knowledge; to knowledge temperance; to temperance patience; to patience godliness; to godliness brotherly kindness; to brotherly kindness charity.'—For ’if these things,' says St. Peter, ’be in you, and abound, they make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.' Thus you will give the best token of your thankfulness to him for what he hath done for your souls; and you shall, not long hence, in heaven sing his praise with your happy brethren, gone thither before you.
"It is well, likewise, with all those of you who do truly desire to be in Christ, that you may go to God. Surely he owns you; your desires are from him; you shall enjoy his favour. By and by you shall have peace with him through our Lord Jesus Christ. Go forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed ye by the Shepherd’s tents. Be constant in every means of grace. He will be found of them that diligently seek him. 'Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.’ Though your sins be never so many, never so monstrous, all shall be forgiven. He will have mercy upon you, and will abundantly pardon. For where sin hath abounded, grace doth much more abound. He who hath begun this good work in you will accomplish it to your eternal good, and his eternal glory. Therefore, doubt not, fear not. A broken and a contrite heart God will not despise. The deeper is your sorrow, the nearer is your joy. Your extremity is God's opportunity. It is usually darkest before day-break. You shall shortly find pardon, peace, and plenteous redemption, and at last rejoice in the common and glorious salvation of his saints.
"And, lastly, it is well for you, who neither truly desire to be in Christ, nor to go to God; for it is well for you that you are out of hell: It is well your day of grace is not utterly past. Behold, now is your accepted time; behold, now is the day of your salvation! O that you may employ the remainder of it in working out your salvation with fear and trembling! Now is faith to be had, saving faith; now you may be washed from all your sins in the Redeemer’s blood, justified, sanctified, and prepared for heaven. Take, I beseech you, the time while the time is: You have now the means of grace to use; the ordinances of God to enjoy; his word to read and hear; his Ministers to instruct you; and his members to converse with. You know not what a day may bring forth: You may die suddenly. As death leaves you, judgment will find you: And if you die as you are, out of Christ, void of true faith, unregenerate, unsanctified, snares, fire and brimstone, storm and tempest, God will rain upon you, (Psalm xi. 6,) as your eternal, intolerable portion to drink.
"Suffer me, therefore, thus far, one and all of you. God's glory and your everlasting welfare is all I aim at. What I look for in return from you is, I confess, much more than I deserve, your prayers. Pray for me, and I will pray for you, who am
Your affectionate brother,
"W. GRIMSHAW."

Friday, April 2, 2010

Holy Week and Good Friday

Tue 30 Mar to Good Friday 2 Apr 1790: I went on to Macclesfield, and preached to a crowded audience, both this and the following night. On Thursday morning one of my horses died. I judged it best to leave the other till I could procure another, and took post-chaises to Stockport. A large congregation was ready at six in the evening. In the morning, on Good-Friday, we went on to Oldham. The new House would in nowise contain the congregation; but I preached to as many as it would contain, on 1 Cor. vi. 19; and at Manchester in the evening, Saturday, APRIL 3, on Heb. iv. 14.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Poor William Hamilton

Thu Apr 1 1779: About one, I preached at New Mills, in Derbyshire. A commodious preaching-house, lately built, has proved a blessing to the whole country. They flock together from every quarter and are thankful both to God and man. In the evening, I preached at Stockport, where I received a strange account of poor William Hamilton, who left us to join the Quakers and is as miserable as he can live, afraid to see any man lest he should kill him. O what a poor exchange has this unhappy man made!