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both the difficult expressions, and the connexion of the whole, better than any other, either ancient or modern writer whom I have seen. He was at Lisbon during the great earthquake, just then sitting in his night gown and slippers. Before he could dress himself, part of the house he was in fell, and blocked him up. By this means his life was saved; for all who had run out, were dashed in pieces by the falling houses.
Thur. 18. Having been importunately pressed thereto, I rode (through a keen east wind) to Chatham. About six in the evening I preached at the barracks, in what they call the church. It is a large room, in which the Chaplain reads prayers, and preaches now and then. It was soon as hot as an oven, through the multitude of people, some hundreds of whom were soldiers; and they were all ear, as Mr. Boston says, scarce allowing themselves to breathe. Even between five and six the next morning, the room was warm enough. I suppose upwards of two hundred soldiers were a part of the audience : many of these are already warring a good warfare, knowing in whom they have believed.
Tues. 23. I rode to Shoreham, and preached, at five, in Mr. P.'s house; but the next day I preached in the church, being St. Matthias's day. I then rode back to a large room, which is taken in Rotherhithe, above three miles from London-Bridge. Although the people were strangely squeezed together, yet they appeared to be all attention; not a cough was to be heard. I strongly exhorted them, to call upon the Lord while he is near. And when I had concluded, no one offered to move, but every one stood still in his place till I had passed through them.
Fri. 26. I translated from the French, one of the most useful Tracts I ever saw, for those who desire to be "fervent in spirit." How little does God regard men's opinions! What a multitude of wrong opinions are embraced by all the members of the Church of Rome! Yet how highly favoured have many of them been! Mon. 29. I dined at Mr. M's. His strangeness is now gone. He has drank of my cup. Reproach has, at length, found out him also. Afterwards I spent an hour at Mr. G's. I can trust myself about once a year in this warm sunshine, but not much oftener, or I should melt away.
Sunday, March 6. In the evening I went to Brentford; and on Tuesday, the 8th, reached Bristol, where I did not find any decay in the work of God, though it did not go on so vigorously as at Kingswood. Here the meetings. for prayer had been exceedingly blessed; some were convinced or converted almost daily; and near seventy new members had been added to the Society, in about three months' time. The school likewise is in a flourishing condition. Several of the children continue serious; and all of them are in better order than they have been for some years.
Mon. 14. I set out on my northern journey, and preached at Stroud in the evening.
Tues. 15. About noon I preached at Painswick, and in the evening at Gloucester. The mob here was for a considerable time both noisy and mischievous; but an honest Magistrate taking the matter in hand, quickly tamed the beasts of the people. So may any Magistrate, if he will; so that wherever a mob continues any time, all they do is to be imputed, not so much to the rabble, as to the Justices.
Wed. 16. About nine I preached at Cheltenham, a quiet, comfortable place; though it would not have been so, if either the Rector or the Anabaptist Minister could have prevented. Both these have blown the trumpet with their might, but the people had no ears to hear. In the afternoon I preached at Upton, and then rode on to Worcester; but the difficulty was, where to preach. No room was large enough to contain the people; and it was too cold for them to stand abroad. At length we went to a friend's, near the town, whose barn was larger than many churches. Here a numerous congregation soon assembled; and again at five, and at ten in the morning. Nothing is wanting here but a commodious house; and will not God provide this also?
In the afternoon we rode to Evesham. As all was hurry and confusion on account of the election, I was glad Mr. D. asked me to preach in his church, where we had a large and exceeding quiet congregation. How long a winter has been at this place! Will not the spring at length return?
Fri. 18. The Vicar of Pebworth had given notice in the church on Sunday, that I was to preach there on Friday; but the 'Squire of the parish said, "It is contrary to the
Canons, (wise 'Squire !) and it shall not be." So I preached about a mile from it, at Broadmarston, by the side of Mr. Eden's house. The congregation was exceeding large, and remarkably attentive. In the morning the chapel (so it anciently was) was well filled at five. The simplicity and earnestness of the people promise a glorious harvest.
Sat. 19. We rode to Birmingham. The tumults which subsisted here so many years, are now wholly suppressed by a resolute Magistrate. After preaching, I was pleased to see a venerable monument of antiquity, George Bridgins, in the one hundred and seventh year of his age. He can still walk to the preaching, and retains his senses and understanding tolerably well; but what a dream will even a life of a hundred years appear to him, the moment he awakes in eternity!
Sun. 20. About one I preached on West-BromwichHeath; in the evening near the preaching-house in Wednesbury. The north wind cut like a razor; but the congregation, as well as me, had something else to think
Tues. 22. I read over a small book, "Poems by Miss Whately," a farmer's daughter. She had little advantage from education, but an astonishing genius. Some of her Elegies I think quite equal to Mr. Gray's. If she had had proper helps for a few years, I question whether she would not have excelled any female Poet that ever yet appeared in England.
Wed. 23. After preaching at several other places, I rode on to Wolverhampton. Here too all was quiet. Only those who could not get into the house made a little noise for a time; and some hundreds attended me to my lodging, but it was with no other intent than to
Thur. 24. I rode to Newcastle-under-Lyne, (a river so called,) one of the prettiest towns in England. Many here already know themselves; not a few know Christ. The largeness of the congregation constrained me, though it was very cold, to preach in the open air, on, God commandeth all men, every where, to repent. I scarce ever saw a more attentive, or better behaved congregation. Fri. 25. I turned aside a little to Burslem, and preached in the new house. That at Congleton is about the same
size, but better contrived, and better finished. We had an elegant congregation at Congleton, yet earnestly attentive. It seems the behaviour of the Society in this town has convinced all the people in it but the Curate, who still refuses to give the Sacrament to any that will not promise to hear these Preachers no more.
Sat. 26. We rode to Macclesfield.
Sun. 27. At eleven, one of the Ministers preached a useful sermon, as did the other in the afternoon. At five in the evening we had thousands upon thousands; and ail were serious, while I enforced, "Now is the day of salvation!
Mon. 28. I met the Stewards of the several Societies at Manchester. The times of outward distress are now God has given us plenty of all things; it remains only to give ourselves up to Him, who giveth us all things richly to enjoy.'
Tues. 29. I preached in Stockport at noon, and Manchester in the evening.
Wed. 30. I rode to a little town, called New-Mills, in the High Peak of Derbyshire. I preached at noon, in their large, new chapel, which (in consideration that preaching-houses have need of air) has a casement, in every window, three inches square! That is the custom of the country.
In the evening and the following morning, I brought strange things to the ears of many in Manchester, concerning the government of their families, and the education of their children; but some still made that very silly answer, "O, he has no children of his own." Neither had St. Paul, nor (that we know) any of the Apostles. What then? Were they, therefore, unable to instruct parents? Not so. They were able to instruct every one that had a soul to be saved.
Saturday, April 2. I preached at Little-Leigh: and in the evening at Chester. At eight in the morning, (Easterday,) I took my old stand, in the little square at St. Martin's Ash. The people were as quiet as in the house. While I stayed here, I corrected Miss Gilbert's Journal, a master-piece in its kind. What a prodigy of a child! Soon ripe, and soon gone!
Tues. 5. About noon I preached at Warrington; I am afraid not to the taste of some of my hearers, as my subject led me to speak strongly and explicitly on the
Godhead of Christ.
But that I cannot help; for on this
I must insist, as the foundation of all our hope.
Wed. 6. About eleven I preached at Wigan, in a place near the middle of the town, which I suppose was formerly a playhouse. It was very full, and very warm. Most of
the congregation were wild as wild might be; yet none made the least disturbance. Afterwards, as I walked down the street, they stared sufficiently, but none said an uncivil word.
In the evening we had a huge congregation at Liverpool; but some pretty, gay, fluttering things did not behave with so much good manners as the mob at Wigan. The congregations, in general, were quite well-behaved, as well as large, both morning and evening; and I found the Society both more numerous and more lively than ever it was before.
Sun. 10. I rode to Prescot, eight miles from Liverpool, and came thither just as the church began. The Vicar preached an excellent sermon, on, "Whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” After service, many followed me to a vacant place, where we were tolerably sheltered from the cold wind. Fifty or sixty of our Liverpool friends also were there, who had walked over. And God made it both a solemn and a comfortable opportunity to many souls.
Mon. 11. I rode to Bolton; on Wednesday to Kendal. Seceders and mongrel Methodists have so surfeited the people here, that there is small prospect of doing good; however, I once more cast my bread upon the waters,"
and left the event to God.
Thur. 14. I rode on, through continued rain, to Ambleside. It cleared up before we came to Keswick, and we set out thence in a fair day; but on the mountains the storm met us again, which beat on us so impetuously, that our horses could scarce turn their faces against it. However, we made shift to reach Cockermouth; but there was no room for preaching, the town being in an uproar through the election for Members of Parliament; so after drying ourselves, we thought it best to go on to Whitehaven.
I found the Society here more alive to God than it had been for several years; and God has chosen the weak to make them strong; the change has been wrought