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into the pulpit with the words in my mouth, and with the weight and importance of them in my heart. Wherever I cast my eye, I thought I saw 'my brother, my sister, and my mother. The ordinance of the sacred supper, which I afterwards administered, was attended with some favorable tokens, that he, who graciously appointed it, was present. I proceeded to move conscientiously in the circuit, and to divide to each department of the household of faith, their portion of meat in due season.
A proper regard was paid to the favorite object, itineracy, which I had been given to understand, must on no consideration be dropped, and that the brethren in Glocestershire might come into my district, I readily went into theirs'. But I soon found the ordination had given umbrage, and though, I endeavored to explain the design of it to be as a fence against intrusion into the ministry, as of long establishment, in the christian church, attended with evident marks of divine approbation, and suited to the well organization of christian society; it was considered in a different light, rather subversive of the spirit of godliness, than conducive to real good. One of the preachers was a baptist, and he kad privately diffused his notions, with some success; a consequent, was, that my baptizing
infants, though I performed the ordinance with great tenderness to those of opposite sentiment, gave offence, and the offended absconded from mý ministry. Without assigning the reason, they first deserted the ordinance of the Lord's supper, and afterwards the preaching. How many are there, who over-heated with party, zeal, omit to cultivate the meekness and gentleness of Christ, and deny to others the claim they make for themselves the claim of private judgment: and instead of living in the exercise of christian charity, are cherishing animosity. Such persons read their bible with a blind par: tiality, and they are not to be won by the most courteous deportment. It gives them a kind of diabolical pleasure to know, that they grieve the spirit of the man against whom they set themselves.-In hopes that I might see better days, I continued to bear with their weakness who were reprehensible, giving place to the services of
brethren, to whom my oppo. nents were more partial.
At Castle-combe and Chippenham, I met with more civility, but little disposition to render my life comfortable, or to conform to the order I endeavored to establish among them. At Rodborough, Dursley, Wotton-underedge, and Frampton, in Glocestershire, my visits were acceptable and useful. Every one of these places, was a field for much action. In each place, I administered the ordinance of the Lord's supper, as often as the several societies judged it necessary, or found it convenient to receive it. I grasped at retirement as I could catch it, but was often intruded upon, and the nature of my studies being discovered, subjected me to much reflection. I should have been much more acceptable to some descriptions of our friends, if instead of endeavoring to acquaint myself with science and language, I had indulged long conversation upon what amounted to nothing, and instead of spending a few minutes, had wasted many hours. I now and then, but seldom, saw London, and always had access to the tabernacle pulpit when there; nor was the tabernacle pulpit at Bristol, shut against me, but no invitations were given to me, as to others, to supply it. As often as possible I returned to my little apartment, at Christianmalford, but while, notwithstanding the hard measures I received from some of its leading members, I enjoyed it in preference to every place upon the globe, it was not possible for want of subsistence that I should continue there, more than a few days at a time, and then my
congregations. The male-contents continued to stand aloof, and I felt it very unpleasant to labor under the disesteem of a people, who had received the fullest proof of my attachment to them.
Though I had been often grieved and was much neglected, by several of the leading people in the methodist congregations, my affections were far from being alienated. My method of preaching was found fault with, as too orderly and exact; yet it always was attended by audiences respectable for number. Could I have moved regularly and have commanded necessary retirement, I might have put up with a variety of inconveniences; but I often took very long and unnecessary journeys, and the plans, usually settled at Rodborough, on the first Wednesday in the month, were often innovated. I was now entered into the thirtyfourth year of my age, and while on a review of the last twelve years, I had reason to be thankful for an evidence of God's gracious acceptance of my very imperfect services, and for the instances I met with of their having been useful, I had cause to be humble, and could not help feeling myself shocked on conviction, that I had, though unavoidably, neglected necessary pursuits. I considered that I was now in
the meridian of life. My confidence in my present connexions began to weaken, and Į felt much inclined if Providence should admit, to become a resident minister.
On conversing with Mr. Sloper, of Devizes, with whom I had commenced a very steady friendship, which had stood with increasing affection, for more than three years, he referred me to Marlborough, and encouraged me to make it an object of attention. I was struck with it, as being contiguous to my friends, with whom, potwithstanding hard measures received, I wished to continue in the bonds of friendship, and judged, it would be a situation favorable to frequent interviews. Accordingly I made myself acquainted with the people, preached probationary sermons, and being accepted by the universal consent of the people, I commenced the relation of pastor to the church, which had been organized by the judicious direction of one of the senior professors, who had seen religion in that town pass under various revolutions.
As soon as I could see the probability of my being connected with the congregation at Marlborough, I communicated my intention of withdrawing from Christian-malford, and its con