Sunday, July 10, 2011

Preaching to " the crowds of poor wretches"

Sun. 10 July 1743: I preached at eight on Chowdean Fell, on ‘Why will ye die, O house of Israel?’ Ever since I came to Newcastle the first time, my spirit had been moved within me at the crowds of poor wretches who were every Sunday in the afternoon sauntering to and fro, on the Sandhill. I resolved, if possible, to find them a better employ, and as soon as the service at All Saints was over, walked straight from the church to the Sandhill and gave out a verse of a psalm. In a few minutes I had company enough, thousands upon thousands crowding together. But the prince of this world fought with all his might, lest his kingdom should be overthrown. Indeed the very mob of Newcastle, in the height of their rudeness, have commonly some humanity left. I scarce observed that they threw anything at all; neither did I receive the least personal hurt. But they continued thrusting one another to and fro, and making such a noise that my voice could not be heard; so that after spending near an hour in singing and prayer, I thought it best to adjourn to our own house.

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