Thursday, September 30, 2010

I will not go to America

Thu 30 Sep 1784: I had a long conversation with John McGeary, one of our American preachers, just come to England. He gave a pleasing account of the work of God there continually increasing, and vehemently importuned me to pay one more visit to America before I die. Nay, I shall pay no more visits to new worlds till I go to the world of spirits.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Children advancing in the faith which works by love

Wed 29 Sep 1773: After preaching at Pensford, I went to Publow, and in the morning spent a little time with the lovely children. Those of them who were lately affected, did not appear to have lost anything of what they had received; and some of them were clearly gaining ground, and advancing in the faith which works by love.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Without discipline, little good can be done among the Methodists

Mon 20 Sep 1784: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I met the classes, but found no increase in the society[Mid-Somer Norton]. No wonder, for discipline had been quite neglected, and without this, little good can be done among the Methodists.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Worship versus Wrestling

Mon 27 Sep 1762: I rode to Mary-Week. It was a kind of fairday; and the people were come far and near for wrestling and other diversions. But they found a better way of employing their time; for young and old flocked to church from all quarters. The next day I preached at Mill-House; on Wednesday, at Collumpton;

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rabble with Gunpowder

Sun 26 Sep 1742: In the evening I rode to Marshfield. The next evening I reached Whitchurch. Tuesday morning I preached at Great Marlow, on the Pharisee and the publican. Many were surprised, and perhaps in some measure convinced (but how short-lived are most of these convictions!), that ’tis very possible a man may be a Pharisee now—yea, though he be not a Methodist.
A little before twelve I came to Windsor. I was soon informed that a large number of the rabble had combined together and declared again and again, there should be no preaching there that day. In order to make all sure they had provided gunpowder enough, and other things, some days before. But Burnham Fair coming between, they agreed to go thither first, and have a little diversion there. Accordingly they went, and bestowed a few of their crackers upon their brother mob at Burnham. But these, not being Methodists, did not take it well, turned upon them, and gave them chase. They took shelter in an house. But that would not serve. For those without soon forced a way in, and seized on as many as they could find, who, upon information made, were sent to jail. The rest run away, so that when I came, none hindered or interrupted. In the evening I came to London; I proposed spending a fortnight there, and then returning to Bristol.
I spent this time partly in speaking severally to all the members of the society, partly in making a full inquiry into those devices of Satan whereof I had scarce ever heard or read before. And I believe they were now thoroughly discovered and brought to nought. O may they never more deceive the hearts of the simple!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Of course the Presbyterians can use our preaching-house

Sat 25 Sep 1790: Mr. Hay, the Presbyterian Minister of Lewensmead meeting, came to desire me to let him have the use of our preaching-house on Sundays, at those hours when we did not use it ourselves, (near ten in the morning and two in the afternoon,) while his House was re-building. To this I willingly consented, and he preached an excellent sermon there the next day at two. I preached at five in the morning; to more than the House would well contain.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Danger of Riches

Fri 24 Sep 1779: James Gerrish, Junior, of Rode near Frome, was for several years zealous for God. But he too grew rich, and grew lukewarm, till he was seized with a consumption. At the approach of death, he was ‘horribly afraid’; he was ‘in the lowest darkness and in the deep’. But he ‘cried unto God in his trouble’ and was ‘delivered out of his distress’. He was filled with peace and joy unspeakable, and so continued till he went to God. His father desired I would preach his funeral sermon, which I accordingly did this day at Rode. I concluded the busy day with a comfortable watch-night at Kingswood.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Make your will before you sleep

Thu 23 Sep 1779: I preached in the afternoon near the Fishponds. The people here had been remarkably dead for many years. But since that saint of God, Bathsheba Hall, with her husband, came among them, a flame is broke out. The people flock together in troops and are athirst for all the promises of God.
In the evening one sat behind me in the pulpit at Bristol who was one of our first masters at Kingswood. A little after he left the school, he likewise left the society. Riches then flowed in upon him; with which, having no relations, Mr. Spencer designed to do much good—after his death. ‘But God said unto him, Thou fool!’ Two hours after, he died intestate and left all his money to—be scrambled for!
Reader! If you have not done it already, make your will before you sleep!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

JW forgot to ask the Great Physician

Wed 22 Sept 1756: I was considering I had not yet asked help of the Great Physician, and I resolved to delay no longer. In that hour I felt a change. I slept sound that night and was well the next day. [See Thurs16 below]
Thu 16 Sep: I walked over to Bishop Bonner’s,1 and preached to a large and serious congregation. I found some faintness, the sun being extremely hot; but more in walking from thence to Westminster, where I preached at seven. In the night my old disorder returned and gradually increased, in spite of all medicines. However, on Sunday and Monday it was so far suspended that I abated nothing of my usual employment.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Detestable practice of cheating the King

Tue 21 Sep 1762: I rode on to Port-Isaac. Here the stewards of the eastern Circuit met. What a change is wrought in one year's time! That detestable practice of cheating the King is no more found in our societies. And since that accursed thing has been put away, the work of God has everywhere increased. This society, in particular, is more than doubled: And they are all alive to God.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tottering over the grave

Sun-Wed 19-22 Sep 1779: The rain would not suffer me to preach abroad. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I examined the society and found a large number had been called home this year. A few are still tottering over the grave; but death hath lost its sting.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wesley Electrocuted

Sun 19 Sep 1773: I thought myself able to speak to the congregation, which I did for half an hour; but afterwards I found a pain in my left side and in my shoulder by turns, exactly as I did at Canterbury twenty years before. In the morning I could scarce lift my hand to my head; but, after being electrified, I was much better; so that I preached with tolerable ease in the evening; and the next evening read the letters, though my voice was weak. From this time I slowly recovered my voice and my strength, and on Sunday preached without any trouble.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It tired but did not hurt me

Sat 18 Sep 1773: I went to Kingswood, and found several of the children still alive to God. I gave them a short exhortation, which tired but did not hurt me.

Friday, September 17, 2010

How strange a providence is this

Fri 17 Sep 1762: At one I preached in Illogan; at six near Redruth, at a gentleman’s house, in a large court, shaded with trees. It was so calm that hardly a leaf moved. Saturday I preached once more in the street at Redruth, and in St. Agnes in the evening. I preached again at eight in the morning, and afterwards heard an excellent sermon at church, preached by the Rector, Mr. Walker, elder brother to the late Mr. Walker of Truro. He likewise gave notice of his design to preach, in the afternoon, a funeral sermon for Mr. Phelps, his late Curate, a man eminently humble, serious, and zealous for God. He was snatched away by a fever three weeks since, as was his predecessor, Mr. Vowler, three or four years before; another upright, zealous servant of God, and indefatigable in his labour. How strange a providence is this! Who can account for it? Did the God of love take them away, that they might not, out of zeal for him, continue to oppose their fellow-labourers in the Gospel?
Mr. Walker gave him his due praise, in a strong and pathetic sermon, well wrote and well pronounced; concluding with, "God grant me, (and I believe you will all join in the petition,) like him to live, like him to die."
Just as the Service was ended, it began to rain. The wind also was exceeding high; this created some difficulty. No house could contain the people, neither could I preach, as before, on the top of the hill. I therefore made a halt at the bottom. The congregation gathered round me in a few minutes. We were tolerably sheltered from the wind, and the rain ceased till I had done. I particularly advised all that feared God to confirm their love to each other, and to prevoke each other, not to doubtful disputations, but to love, and to good works.
The night came on soon after we were on horseback, and we had eight miles to ride. In about half an hour, it was so dark, I could not see my hand, and it rained incessantly. However, a little after eight, God brought us safe to Cubert.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A real monster

Thu 16 Sept 1790: I was desired to see a monster properly speaking. He was as large as the largest lion in the tower, but covered with rough hair, of a brown colour; has the head of a swine, and feet like a mole. It is plain to me, it was begotten between a bear and a wild boar. He lives on fruit and bread, chiefly the latter. The keeper handles him as he pleases, putting his hand in his mouth, and taking hold of his tongue; but he has a horrible roar, between that of a lion and of a bull. At the same time I saw a pelican. Is it not strange that we have no true account or picture of this bird? It is one of the most beautiful in nature; being indeed a large swan, almost twice as big as a tame one; snow-white and elegantly shaped. Only its neck is three quarters of a yard long, and capable of being so distended as to contain two gallons of liquid or solid. She builds her nest in some wood, not far from a river; from which she daily brings a quantity of fish to her young: This she carries in her neck, (the only pouch which she has,) and then divides it among her young; and hence is fabricated the idle tale of her feeding them with her blood.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Methodists MUST preach Christian Perfection

Wed 15 Sep 1762: We had our Quarterly Meeting. The next day I appointed the children to meet. I expected twenty, but I suppose we had fourscore; all of them wanting, many desiring, instruction.
The more I converse with the believers in Cornwall, the more I am convinced that they have sustained great loss for want of hearing the doctrine of Christian Perfection clearly and strongly enforced. I see, wherever this is not done, the believers grow dead and cold. Nor can this be prevented, but by keeping up in them an hourly expectation of being perfected in love. I say an hourly expectation; for to expect it at death, or some time hence, is much the same as not expecting it at all.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Travelling

Tue 14 Sep 1784: I preached at Bath and Bradford-on-Avon; Wednesday 15, at Trowbridge and Frome. Thursday 16, I went to Ditcheat, a village near Castle Cary, where I found a friendly, hospitable family. I preached in the evening to a numerous and earnest congregation. Friday 17, the house would not contain half the people. Hence we passed through a delightful country to the Nunnery, a more elegant trifle, near king Alfred’s Tower, a lofty, triangular building standing the height of the country, on the very spot (as is supposed) where he drew up his army against the Danes. About eleven, I preached at Castle Cary to a quiet and attentive multitude. In the evening, I preached at Shepton Mallet, where the people at length know the day of their visitation.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Neither strength nor authority unless from Holy Scripture

Mon 13 Sept 1736: I began reading, with Mr. Delamotte, Bishop Beveridge’s Pandectae canonum conciliorum. Nothing could so effectually have convinced us that both particular and ‘general councils may err, and have erred’; and that ‘things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority unless they be taken out of Holy Scripture.’

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Preached under the shade of trees which I planted about forty years ago.

Sun 12 Sep 1784: Dr. Coke read prayers and I preached in the New Room. Afterward, I hastened to Kingswood and preached under the shade of that double row of trees which I planted about forty years ago. How little did any one then think that they would answer such an intention! The sun shone as hot as it used to do even in Georgia. But his rays could not pierce our canopy. And our Lord meantime shone upon many souls and refreshed them that were weary.

There is altogether a fault in this matter

Sun 12 Sep 1790: I intended to preach abroad; but the weather would not permit. Monday, 13, and the three following days, I met the classes of the society, which contains nine hundred and forty-four members. Still I complain of false musters. It was told in London that this society contained above a thousand members; and yet it falls so far short of a thousand. There is altogether a fault in this matter.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hearts were broken in pieces

Sat 11 Sep 1762: I preached at one on the cliff, near Penzance, and in the evening at Newlyn. Sunday, 12. At eight God was in the midst, and many hearts were broken in pieces. Between one and two I preached at Sancreet, where I never was before. Abundance of strangers came from every side; and I believe not many went empty away. Hence we rode to St. Just, where I spent two comfortable nights, the congregations being very large, evening and morning.

Friday, September 10, 2010

St. Hilary-Downs

Fri 10 Sep 1762: I preached on St. Hilary-Downs, to a congregation gathered from all parts. Abundance of them were athirst for God: And he did not deceive their hope. The cry of the mourners went up before him, and he sent down an answer of peace.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

An invective against my brother and me

Thu 9 Sep 1790: I read over the experience of Joseph Humphrys; the first Lay Preacher that assisted me in England, in the year 1738. From his own mouth I learn, that he was perfected in love, and so continued for at least a twelvemonth. Afterwards he turned Calvinist, and joined Mr. Whitefield, and published an invective against my brother and me in the newspaper. In a while he renounced Mr. Whitefield, and was ordained a Presbyterian Minister. At last he received Episcopal ordination. He then scoffed at inward religion; and when reminded of his own experience, replied, "That was one of the foolish things which I wrote in the time of my madness!"

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Toronto blessing in 1784

Wed 8 Sep 1784: I preached at Kendleshire, where I do not remember to have been for near forty years. On the two following days, I preached at Clutton and Coleford. After preaching to an earnest congregation at Coleford, I met the society. They contained themselves pretty well during the exhortation, but when I began to pray, the flame broke out. Many cried aloud, many sunk to the ground, many trembled exceedingly, but all seemed to be quite athirst for God and penetrated by the presence of his power.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A sinner gladly received us

Tue 7 Sep 1762: I preached at Porkellis about one o’clock. Thence I rode on to Mullion, near the Lizard-Point. A man who was a sinner gladly received us; for he knew God had received him; having been deeply convinced of sin the last time I preached near Helstone, and not long after filled with peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
A flame was kindled almost as soon as I began to speak, which increased more and more, all the time I was preaching, as well as during the meeting of the society. How tender are the hearts of this people! Such is the advantage of true Christian simplicity!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The power of God was mightily present

Mon 6 Sep 1790: This evening the congregation was almost as large as it was the night before; and the power of God was mightily present: And so it was on Tuesday and Wednesday evening at Bristol.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

That vile custom

Sun 5 Sep 1790: At ten we had a numerous congregation, and more communicants than ever I saw here before. This day I cut off that vile custom, I know not when or how it began, of preaching three times a day by the same Preacher, to the same congregation; enough to weary out both the bodies and minds of the speaker, as well as his hearers. Surely God is returning to this society! They are now in earnest to make their calling and election sure.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A serious, but small congregation

Sat 4 Sep 1790: I went on to Bath, and preached in the evening to a serious, but small congregation, for want of notice.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself

Fri 3 Sep 1784: I preached at Guinea Street, and the Word of God was with power, in consequence of which there was a large congregation at five in the morning, although they had not been accustomed before to any service at that hour. Saturday 4 in the evening, I preached at Bath. Sunday 5, I read prayers, preached, and administered the Sacrament to a large congregation. But it was larger in the afternoon, and largest of all in the evening when I opened and applied, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ And many were laid in the balance and found wanting, even of those who had often appealed to this very rule.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Skidaway

Thursday September 2 1736: I set out in a sloop, and about ten on Sunday morning came to Skidaway; which (after reading prayers and preaching to a small congregation) I left, and came to Savannah in the evening.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mrs. Scudamore

Wed 1 Sep 1790: I returned to Bristol; and, it being the first day of the fair, I spoke strongly from the words of Solomon, "Buy the truth, and sell it not." In the two following days, I corrected and abridged the account of that excellent woman, Mrs. Scudamore; a burning and shining light, till the Mystics persuaded her to put her light under a bushel: So that for above two years she renounced all conversation with even her pious friends! How does this agree with Scripture? "All my delight is in the saints that are on the earth, and with them that excel in virtue!" How far was the experience of Jane Cooper, or Elizabeth Harper, preferable to that of such a solitary!