Wednesday, October 26, 2011

An amazing conversion and a sad death

Wed 26 Oct 1743: I enlarged upon those deep words, ‘Repent, and believe the gospel.’ When I had done a man stood forth in the midst, one who had exceedingly troubled his brethren, vehemently maintaining (for the plague had spread hither also) that they ought not to pray, to sing, to communicate, to search the Scriptures, or to trouble themselves about works, but only to believe and ‘be still’, and said with a loud voice, ‘Mr. Wesley! Let me speak a few words. Is it not said, “A certain man had two sons. And he said unto the younger, Go and work in my vineyard. And he answered, I will not; but afterwards he repented and went”? I am he. I said yesterday, “I will not go to hear him; I will have nothing to do with him.” But I repent. Here is my hand. By the grace of God, I will not leave you as long as I live.’
William Blow, Mrs. S., and I set out at six. During our whole journey to Newcastle I scarce observed her to laugh or even smile once. Nor did she ever complain of anything, or appear moved in the least with those trying circumstances which many times occurred in our way. A steady seriousness or sadness rather appeared in her whole behaviour and conversation, as became one that felt the burden of sin and was groaning after salvation. In the same spirit, by all I could observe or learn, she continued during her stay at Newcastle. Not long after her husband removed from thence, and wrote to her to follow him. She set out in a ship bound for Hull. A storm met them by the way. The ship sprung a leak. But though it was near the shore, on which many people flocked together, yet the sea ran so exceeding high that it was impossible to make any help. Mrs. S. was seen standing on the deck as the ship gradually sunk; and afterwards hanging by her hands on the ropes, till the masts likewise disappeared. Even then for some moments they could observe her, floating upon the waves, till her clothes, which buoyed her up, being thoroughly wet, she sunk–I trust into the ocean of God’s mercy.

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