Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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

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