Thursday, September 22, 2011

Stop! say the Quakers

Thursday 22 Sept 1743: As we were riding through a village called Sticklepath, one stopped me in the street and asked abruptly, ‘Is not thy name John Wesley?’ Immediately two or three more came up and told me I must stop there. I did so, and before we had spoke many words our souls took acquaintance with each other. I found they were called Quakers; but that hurt not me, seeing the love of God was in their hearts.
In the evening I came to Exeter and preached in the Castle; and again at five in the morning to such a people as I have rarely seen, void both of anger, fear, and love.
We went by Axminster at the request of a few there that feared God, and had joined themselves together some years since. I exhorted them so to seek after the power as not to despise the form of godliness, and then rode on to Taunton, where we were gladly received by a little company of our brethren from Bristol.
I had designed to preach in the yard of our inn, but before I had named my text, having uttered only two words, ‘Jesus Christ’, a tradesman of the town (who it seems was mayor elect) made so much noise and uproar that we thought it best to give him the ground. But many of the people followed me up into a large room, where I preached unto them Jesus. The next evening, Saturday 24, we arrived safe at Bristol.

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