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night, about one, he came in, but, on my taking up the Bible, went away. A month after, he came about eleven. I said, 'Lord bless me, what has brought you here again?' He said, 'Mr. Hugill1 has done nothing but wrote one letter; you must write or go to Durham again it may be decided in a few days.' I asked, Why do not you go to my aunts, who keep me out of it?' He answered, I have no power to go to them; and they cannot bear it. If I could I would go to them, were it only to warn them :2 for I doubt where I am, I shall get too many to bear me company.' He added, 'Take care :3 there is mischief laid in Peggy's 4 hands; she will strive to meet you coming from your Class. I do not speak to hinder you from going to it, but that you may be cautious. Let some one go with you, and come back with you; though whether you will escape or no, I cannot tell.' I said, She can do no more than God will let her.' He answered, 'We have all too little to do with him: mention that word no more. As soon as this is decided, meet me at Boyldon-Hill,5 between twelve and one at night.' I said, 'That is a lone place for a woman to go to at that time of night. I am willing to meet you at the BallastHills, or in the Church-yard.' He said, 'That will not do; but what are you afraid of?' I answered, 'I am not afraid of you, but of rude men.' He said, 'I will
set you safe, both thither and back again.' I asked, May I not bring a Minister with me?' He replied, 'Are you thereabouts? I will not be seen by any but you. You have plagued me sore enough already if you bring any with you, take what follows.
20. From this time he appeared every night, between eleven and two. If I put out the fire and candle, in hopes I should not see him, it did not avail; for as soon as he came, all the room was light, but with a dismal light, like that of flaming brimstone; but whenever I took up the Bible, or kneeled down, yea, or prayed in my heart, he was gone.
21. On Thursday, May 12th, he came about eleven,
1 So he had observed him narrowly, though unseen.
2 Is not this like the concern of Dives for his five brethren ?-Luke xvi .28.
3 Here at least he shows some remains of real affection.
4 Her aunt.
5 About half a mile from the town.
6 No! Not though she knew him to be a damned spirit.
as I was sitting by the fire. I asked, 'In God's name, what do you want?' He said, 'You must either go or write to Durham. I cannot stay from you till this is decided,1 and I cannot stay where I am. '2 When he went away, I fell into a violent passion of crying, seeing no end of my trouble. In this agony I continued till after one, and then fell into a fit. About two I came to myself, and saw, standing at the bed-side, one in a white robe, which reached down to his feet. I cried, In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost-' He said, 'The Lord is with you; I am come to comfort you. What cause have you to complain and murmur thus? Why do you mourn thus for your friends? Pray for them, and leave them to God. Arise and pray. I said, 'I can pray none.' He said, 'But God will help you; only keep close to God; you are backward likewise in praying with others, and afraid to receive the Lord's Supper. Break through that backwardness and that fear. The Lord bless you, and be ever with you!' As he went away, I heard many voices singing Hallelujah, with such melody as I never heard before. All my trouble was gone, and I wanted nothing but to fly away with them.
"22. Saturday, 28. About twelve, my grandfather stood at the bedside. I said, 'In God's name, what do you want?' He said, 'You do not make an end of this thing; get it decided as soon as possible. My coming is as uneasy to myself as it can be to you.' Before he came there was a strong smell of burning, and the room was full of smoke, which got into my eyes, and almost blinded me for some time after.
23. Wednesday, June 21. About sunset, I was coming up stairs, at Mrs. Knot's, and I saw him coming toward me out of the opposite room. He went close by me on the stairhead. Before I saw him, I smelt a strong smell of burning, and so did Miss Hosmer. It got into my throat, and almost stifled me. I sat down, and fainted
24. On Friday, July 3d, I was sitting at dinner, when I thought I heard one come along the passage. I looked about, and saw my aunt, Margaret Scot, of Newcastle, standing at my back. On Saturday I had a letter, inform
1 Why not? Who can tell?
And where canst thou stay with any comfort? Dost not thou carry with thee thy own hell?
ing me that she died on that day." Thus far Elizabeth Hobson.
On Sunday, July the 10th, I received the following letter from a friend, to whom I had recommended her :
"Sunderland, 6th July, 1768.
"I wrote you word before, that Elizabeth Hobson was put into possession of the house. The same night her old visitant, who had not troubled her for some time, came again, and said, ' You must meet me at Boyldon-Hill, on Thursday night, a little before twelve. You will see many appearances,1 who will call you to come to them, but do not stir, neither give them any answer. A quarter after twelve, I shall come and call you, but still do not answer nor stir. She said, 'It is a hardship upon me for you to desire me to meet you there. Why cannot you take your leave now?' He answered, 'It is for your good that I desire it. I can take my leave of you now; but, if I do, I must take something from you, which you would not like to part with.' She said, May not a few friends come with me?' He said, They may; but they must not be present when I come.
That night, twelve of us met at Mr. Davison's, 2 and spent some time in prayer. God was with us of a truth. Then six of us went with her to the place, leaving the rest to pray for us. We came thither a little before twelve, and then stood at a small distance from her. being a fine night, we kept her in our sight, and spent the time in prayer. She stood there till a few minutes When we saw her move, we went to meet her. She said, 'Thank God, it is all over and done. I found everything as he told me. I saw many appearances, who called me to them, but I did not answer or stir. Then he came and called me at a distance, but I took no notice. Soon after he came up to me, and said, 'You are come well fortified.' He then gave her the reasons why he required her to meet him at that place, and why he could take his leave there and not in the house, without taking something from her. But withal he charged her to tell this to no one, adding, 'If you disclose this to any creature, I shall be under a necessity of troubling you as
1 How strange is this! Who can account for it?
2 About a quarter of a mile from the hill.
long as you live. If you do not, I shall never trouble you, nor see you any more, either in time or eternity.' He then bade her farewell, waved his hand, and disappeared."
Tues. 31. I made a little excursion into Wardale, and found a people ready prepared for the Lord. I had designed to preach abroad, but had scarce done singing, when a storm of rain drove us into the house. We had a blessed opportunity there, particularly for healing the backsliders.
Wednesday, June 1. I preached in Teesdale. The sun was scorching hot when I began, but was soon covered with clouds. Many of the Militia were present at Barnard-Castle, in the evening, and behaved with decency. I was well pleased to lodge at a gentleman's, an old school-fellow, half a mile from the town. What a dream are the fifty or sixty years that have slipped away since we were at the Charter-House!
Thur. 2. I preached, at noon, at a farmer's house, near Brough, in Westmoreland. The sun was hot enough, but some shady trees covered both me and most of the congregation. A little bird perched on one of them, and sung without intermission, from the beginning of the service unto the end. Many of the people came from far, but I believe none of them regretted their labour.
The evening congregation in Swaledale was far larger, and equally attentive. And the Society was one of the most lively which I have met with in England. Many of them do rejoice in the pure love of God, and many more are earnestly seeking it.
Fri. 3. I rode to Richmond, intending to preach near the house of one of our friends; but some of the chief of the town sent to desire me to preach in the Marketplace. The Yorkshire Militia were all there, just returned from their exercise and a more rude rabble-rout I never saw; without sense, decency, or good manners. In running down one of the mountains yesterday, I had got a sprain in my thigh; it was rather worse to-day; but as I rode to Barnard-Castle, the sun shone so hot upon it, that before I came to the town, it was quite well. In the evening the Commanding-Officer gave orders there should be no exercise, that all the Durham Militia (what a contrast!) might be at liberty
to attend the preaching. Accordingly, we had a little army of officers as well as soldiers; and all behaved well. A large number of them were present at five in the morning.-I have not found so deep and lively a work, in any other part of the kingdom, as runs through the whole circuit, particularly in the vales that wind between these horrid mountains. I returned to Newcastle in the evening.
Sun. 5. I preached in the morning at Placey, to some of the most lively colliers in England; and about two at Hartley, to a still larger congregation; but to the largest of all, in the Castle-garth, at Newcastle.
Tues. 7. I went down by water to South-Shields, and preached, at noon, to far more than could hear. We went, after dinner, to Tinmouth Castle, a magnificent heap of ruins. Within the walls are the remains of a very large church, which seems to have been of exquisite workmanship; and the stones are joined by so strong a cement, as that, but for Cromwell's cannon, they might have stood a thousand years.
Mon. 13. I left Newcastle, and in the residue of the month visited most of the Societies in Yorkshire.
Thursday, July 14. I crossed over into Lincolnshire, and after spending about ten days there, returned by Doncaster, Rotherham, and Sheffield, and thence crossed over to Madeley.
Tues. 19. I wrote the following letter :
Rev. and Dear Sir, Swinfleet, July 19, 1768. One of Wintringham informed me yesterday, that you said, No sensible and well-meaning man could hear, and much less join the Methodists; because they all acted under a lie, professing themselves members of the Church of England, while they licensed themselves as Dissenters." You are a little misinformed. The greater part of the Methodist Preachers are not licensed at all; and several that are, are not licensed as Dissenters. I instance particularly in Thomas Adams and Thomas Brisco. When Thomas Adams desired a license, one of the Justices said, Mr. Adams, are not you of the Church of England? Why then do you desire a license?" He answered, "Sir, I am of the Church of England; yet I desire a license, that I may legally defend myself from the illegal violence of oppressive men."