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Charles Wesley

places mentioned

Sept. 2 - Dec. 30, 1745: Yorkshire and Durham

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September 2 - December 30, 1745

Sun., September 2d. I received the sacrament at the college. I met the Society, and Jesus in the midst. Scarce a soul among us but was moved, as their tears or rejoicings witnessed. Many could truly say, "Our fellowship is with the Father, and with the Son."

Tues., September 4th. I waited most of the day at the Passage for our sister Jones, and her little ones. They reached our side at last, through perils of water.

Sun., September 9th. I rode, in heavy rain, to Churchhill, with Mr. Sh. The Justice threatened him with terrible things, in case I preached. Many poor people ventured to hear, while I cried, "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world." Out of the abundance of my heart my mouth spake. When I had ended, Mr. Justice called out, and bade them pull me down. He had stood at s distance, striving to raise a mob; but not a man would stir at his bidding. Only one behind struck me with a stone. While I was in my prayer, he cried again, "Pull him down." I told him, I had nothing now to do but to pray for him. He answered, "I have nothing to do with prayer." "So I suppose, Sir," said I; "but we have." He came up, and laid hold on my gown; but I stepped down, to save him trouble. He told me he was a Justice of Peace. "Then, Sir," said I, "I reverence you for your office' sake; but must not neglect my own, which is, to preach the Gospel." "I say," said the Justice and Captain, "it is an unlawful assembly." "Be so good, then," I replied, "as to name the law or Act of Parliament we break." He answered, (unhappily enough,) "The Waltham Act." "How so, Sir?" I asked: "I am in my proper habit, and you see none here in disguise." He insisted I should not preach there. I told him I had license to preach throughout England and Ireland, by virtue of my Master's degree. "That I know, Sir," said he; "and am sorry for it. I think you are Fellow of a college, too." "Yes, Sir," I answered, "and a gentleman too; and as such should be glad to wait upon you, and to have a little conversation with you yourself." He answered, "he should be glad of it too; for I had behaved more like a gentleman than any of them." I had charged the people to say nothing, but go quietly home: so Mr. Justice and I parted tolerable friends.

I rode three miles farther to Mr. Star's, where I preached the next morning to many listening sinners, who pressed me much to come again.

Thur., September 18th. I rejoiced to hear of the triumphant death of our sister Marsh, in London, whose last breath was spent in prayer for me. None of our children die without leaving us a legacy. I received it this evening in the answer of her prayer. The word was as a fire, and as a hammer. The rocks were broken in pieces, particularly an hardened sinner, who withstood me some time before he was struck down. Many were melted down: some testified their then receiving the atonement.

Sun., September 16th. I displayed, from Isai. xxxv., to our colliers, the glorious privileges of the Gospel; and the wilderness and solitary place was glad for them. My brother Thompson assisted in administering; and was, as he expressed it, on the highest round of Jacob's ladder.

I preached again at Churchill, and called, to above two thousand souls, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." They expressed much satisfaction in the joyful tidings of a Saviour from sin.

Mon., September 17th. It being our thanksgiving-day, I read John Nelson's case, a plain accomplishment of the promise, "I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries shall be able to resist."

Fri., September 21st. I read the Society my brother's account of poor Mr. W.; and the Lord was much among us, humbling and comforting our hearts.

Sun., September 23d. I preached at five in the Horsefair; gave the sacrament at Kingswood; baptized a child of Felix Farley's; preached again in the wood; rode and preached in Bristol; returned to our love-feast among the colliers; and, near midnight, slept with my brother Thompson, in the Horse-fair.

Mon., September 24th. I set out for London; blundered in the dark night to a little village beyond Maimsbury. It was no great inconvenience that we found neither bed nor victuals.

Tues., September 25th. I preached at Wycombe; and the next day at our chapel by the Seven-Dials. The first scripture I met was Jer. xx. 7—10, &c.; and never have I more felt the power of God's word. Prayer is made for me by my friends, I know and feel; for I have not enjoyed so great liberty for years past. This is to prepare me for farther work, and farther sufferings.

I talked with a serious brother, who desired my answer to the many horrid scandals T. W. has raised on me. I simply denied them all, which was all the satisfaction I could give him till that day; and he desired no more.

I preached to a thronged audience on, "These are they that came out of great tribulation." The Lord greatly comforted our hearts; and again at the Society; where I forbore mentioning Mr. W., but appointed all who had been troubled by any reports concerning me or my brother, to call on me the next day.

Fri., September 28th. I expounded Paul's shipwreck; and had great faith that the Lord will give us all that sail in the ship with us. I gave the sacrament to several sick.

At the time of conference, among others, a poor backsliding child came to me, who had been led away by the lies of T.W. She fell at my feet, asking pardon of God and me. O how easy and delightful is it to forgive one that says, "I repent!" Lord, grant me power as freely to forgive them who persist to injure me!

Sat., September 29th. I administered the sacrament to our sick but happy sister Burnet, with great envy of her condition.

Sun., September 80th. I assisted my brother in giving it to the whole Society. I gathered another stray sheep.

Wed., October 10th. I took horse with N. Salthouse, and came with the next night to Markfield, half dead through pain and fatigue.

Fri., October 12th. I preached in the church, convincingly, as I afterwards heard; and rode in great pain to D. I met my old friend Dr. Byrom, and lost an hour in dispute about his sacred mystics. I lay down at eleven in my clothes, as usual, but could not rest.

I talked with a friend concerning the conspiracy hatching against me at London; who advised me to keep silence, andleave the matter to God.

Mon., October l5th. I proclaimed liberty to the captives, and deeply offended some pleaders for German, instead of Christian, liberty. But whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, I have spoken the truth, I have paid my debt, and delivered my own soul. A woman confessed she then received the sense of her pardon.

Wed., October 17th. I hardly held out to Nottingham, and the next day to Sheffield. I lay down for an hour, and recovered strength to preach, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection." The word was not bound, or weak, like me.

Fri., October 19th. I had a woful journey to Epworth.

Sun., October 21st. I met the Society twice, and preached thrice, in spite of my body.

Mon., October 22d. I preached at Ferry in the room whence John Downes had been dragged away for a soldier. I found a great blessing in the cluster there. I lodged at Sikehouse; and the next day, Tues., October 23d, rejoiced among my brethren in Birstal. Here they have been sifted like wheat by Mr. Viney. They received him upon my brother's recommendation, (whose unhappiness it is still to set the wolf to keep the sheep,) and he has served them a trick: bringing them off their animal love for their Pastors, their prayers, fastings, works, holiness. He had well-nigh destroyed the work of God, when John Nelson returned from his captivity.

Wed., October 24th. I preached at Leeds, from, "As for thee, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent up thy prisoners out of the pit." Here the great blessing is. One, as far as can yet be discerned, received forgiveness: all were comforted or convinced.

Thur., October 25th. I preached at Bradford, on, "This is he that came by water and by blood." The whole congregation was in a flame. Surely God hath a great work to do among this people. I met the Birstal Society, whom Mr. Viney had almost quite perverted; so that they laughed at all fasting, and self-denial, and family prayer, and such-like works of the law. They were so alienated by that cunning supplanter, that they took no notice of John Nelson when he came back; for all that, Viney taught them, was animal love.

Sun., October 28th. I preached in the street at Leeds, no man disturbing me, on, "He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved."

I preached on Birstal-hill to a great multitude, "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit yourselves like men, be strong." I rebuked them sharply who had walked contrary; and the spirit of contrition fell upon them. It was a blessed mourning, and continued at the Society. Then first my heart was enlarged, and my faith returned for these poor shattered sheep. They confessed their sin, and God showed himself faithful and just. Our lovefeast began with sorrow, but ended with joy. The Lord received our petitions, and assured us in prayer that the plague was stayed.

Mon., October 29th. I took leave in those words, "Finally, brethren, farewell: be perfect," &e.

Tues., October 30th. After much wandering, I came by night half starved to our inn; and the next day to Newcastle.

Tues., November 6th. I expounded Acts iii. at Biddicks,. and found much life among this poor people. Many of them have received forgiveness, chiefly under the prayer of one of the brethren raised up to serve them.

I rebuked the Society at Newcastle for their slackness, and offences of various kinds. I gave notice that I should begin next morning to examine them, and put out every disorderly walker.

Thur. evening, November 8th. I took my leave of Tanfield in Rev. vii.: "These are they that came out of great tribulation," &c.; and the Lord was greatly with us. I could not finish my discourse in less than two hours.

Fri., November 9th. I proceeded with the classes. It was high time to purge them. Through their own negligence, and that of their late teachers, many were turning back into Egypt.

I spent the night in watching and prayer; found the Lord returning to his people.

I retired to read my letters from London. I offered up myself to the divine disposal. I met with Psalm cxliv.; then with Balak's hiring Balaam to curse Israel. I went down to the congregation, where the Lord answered for himself. I sent an account to the brethren at London :—

"My dearest Brethren,—Last night I was informed that the Philistines shouted against me, and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon us. To Him give all the glory, that I find my heart so enlarged toward you, as never before. Now I can truly say,' Ye are not straitened in me.' All my pining desires after rest are vanished, and I am at last content to do what is more than dying for you, even to live for you, and suffer out my time. Here, then, I give up myself your servant for Christ's sake, to wait upon you till all are gathered home. Where ye go I will go; and where ye lodge I will lodge; where ye die will I die, and there will I be buried. Neither shall death itself part you and me.

"Such a night of consolation as the last I have seldom known. Our souls were filled with faith and prayer, and knit to yours in love unchangeable. Lift up holy hands, that I may approve myself a true Minister of Jesus Christ in all things."

Sun., November 11th. This evening I heard of poor Mr. Broughtoh's zeal; but shall not prosecute after his example.

Mon., November 12th. I preached, "The Lord hath said unto my Lord, Sit down on my right hand ;" and triumphed in his kingly power. At Wickham I spake of the length, and breadth, and depth, and height of the love of Christ which passes knowledge. He extended peace to us as a river. The word was with equal power at Newcastle.

Thur., November 15th. I passed an hour with my dear keelmen at the hospital, who are cruelly treated by their masters for the Gospel's sake.

In the evening I preached at Burnup-Field, between Tanfield and Spen, on, "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." I met the flourishing Society, and was much refreshed a second time. I returned to Newcastle, and strongly pressed them to constant prayer. I see plainly it is—pray, or perish.

Sat., November 17th. Now, indeed, the rains descend, and the floods come, and the winds blow and beat upon the house. I received a letter from C. G., at D., half staggered by the boldness of my accusers. God reigneth over the Heathen,—this is my comfort; and beneath me are the everlasting arms.

At noon I set out for Biddicks. The snow had made the roads almost impassable for horses. I followed N. Salthouse on foot. I dwelt on my old subject, "These are they that came out of great tribulation." For above an hour all were in tears. Another blessed hour was spent in like manner with the Society.

Sun., November 18th. I enlarged on that word, "A soldier pierced his side," &c. We looked upon Him, and could have continued looking and mourning till He appeared in the air.

I walked to Sunderland, and back again. The storm of hail and snow was so violent, that I was often going to lay me down in the road, unable either to walk or stand.

Mon., November 19th. I brought back a wandering sheep, who had forfeited her pardon by unforgivingness. I received comfort, and wept for joy at the prosperity of our Bristol children, which I heard of in several letters. I walked over the fields to Wickham: the snow was in most places above our knees. After preaching I set out for Horsley, in most bitter weather. I rode and walked, till I could do neither, yet got to Horsley by night; but my jaw was quite stiflened and disabled by the snow. I lay down, and got a little strength to preach.

Tues., November 20th. I waded back to Newcastle by one; ofttimes up to my middle in snow.

I rode, or rather walked, to Plessy, and preached, "It is finished."

Thur., November 22d. I got back to Newcastle, and thence to Wickham, where I spoke of that great and terrible day of the Lord. Many trembled, and some rejoiced in hope of the glory of God. I rode thence to Spen, being so feeble that I could not walk; yet I was forced to it the last mile, being almost starved to death in the next to impassable ways. I was led, I know not how, by the brethren, up to the knees in snow, the horses ofttimes sinking up to their shoulders.

I was surprised at the great number got together in such a season. They did not come in vain; for the Lord comforted their hearts abundantly, and mine also. These were all gathered by John Brown, a simple man whom the Lord has wonderfully raised up for his work.

Sun., November 25th. The devil's children made s great disturbance in the time of preaching. I stood on the stairs, and took up the Society one by one; while the mob were ready to tear them in pieces. Satan, one would think, foresaw the blessing we should have together.

Tues., November 27th. At Biddicks we had close fellowship with Him in his sufferings, while He cried, "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?"

I returned, praying, to Newcastle, but almost perished with cold. In the word the Spirit was poured out upon us from on high, and bore down all before it as a mighty flood.

Wed., November 28th. The whole congregation were again broken down by prayer. I put out of the Society all the disorderly walkers; who are, consequently, ready to make affidavit of whatever Mr. Broughton pleases. I prayed without ceasing most of this day.

Mr. Erakine called on me. I preached, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer," &c. We had peace in Him, in spite of the disturbance of Satan's children.

Thur., November 29th. I preached by one of our children dying in the Lord, with tears, and strong desires of going in her place.

Fri., November 80th. Mr. Erakine left me, but not before he had much strengthened my hands in the Lord. In the evening the waves so lifted up their voice, that we could only sing for half an hour. The most violent of the rioters had been two of our own Society.

Tues., December 4th. An hour before preaching-time the mob were so violent, that we thought there could be no preaching that night. They came nigh to break the door.

I began speaking abruptly without a text; and God gave me strong words, that stilled the madness of the people. Neither was there any breath of opposition during the Society.

Fri., December 7th. My subject at our watchnight was, "Christ also suffered, leaving us an example." Toward the end, the power of the Lord dissolved us all into tears.

Sun., December 9th. I preached on, "Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord ;" and he did wonderfully answer us in that same hour. I was forced to walk to Burnup-Field with my sprained leg, through the extreme cold. I expounded Isai. xxxv. In the evening our enemies at Newcastle were restrained while I besought them to repent, and believe the Gospel.

Tues., December 11th. I had asked, that at midnight I might rise and praise Him, because of his righteous judgments; and was waked exactly at twelve: prayed a few minutes, and slept again in peace. I rose again at four; prayed earnestly, aria almost rejoiced: without light or fire, yet felt no cold. At five I preached on, "Whatsoever things ye ask in prayer, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." We were carried out in fervent prayer for ourselves and the whole nation. I visited Walter Brass, on a bed of sickness. He was once of the Society, but lately turned scoffer and disturber of the word. The Lord hath now set his misdeeds before him, and he cries out vehemently for mercy. Another rioter, J. Wilson, is humbled in like manner; in immediate answer to our prayer last night.

I conferred with a sincere person, who had been turned out of the way by the vain boastings of some whose life contradicted their profession.

In the evening we found a mighty spirit of prayer among the bands, and earnestly cried for the blotting out of all our sins against love.

Wed., December 12th. I rose again at midnight, and prayed with more life than before. John Nelson came.

Thur., December 13th. I admitted twenty new members. I took my leave in Acts xx. It was a solemn time of prayer and love.

Fri., December 14th. I set out, with N. Salthouse, in the severe frost; and on Sun., December 16th, arrived safe at Epworth.

Mon., December 17th. I wrote thus to a friend :—

"My greatest trouble is, that I have innocently brought such a burden upon my friends, especially one: neither can I conceive it possible that this trouble should be wholly removed here. The joint may perhaps be set, but the halting will continue till I come to the land where all things are forgotten.

"God, who hath known my soul in adversity, causes me also to know it. That He loves me, I can no more doubt than of his being. He has likewise given me to love others with a pure love; particularly one person, from whom I never expect or desire an)' farther communication of good, than I do from my mother, or other spirits of just men made perfect. And, however Providence may work, I mean never more to see that person (if without sin I may forbear) till we stand together at the judgment-seat."6

Tues., December 18th. I expounded Rev. vii. All were in tears: all were comforted.

Wed., December 19th. I rode to Sikehouse; and thence to our brother Pindar's: Thursday, December 20th, to Birstal.

Sun., December 28d. I parted with our brethren in Lord, thou know'st, and thou alone, All our hearts to thee are known. "Naked, and without disguise, In thy sight my spirit stands; Have I not from outward vice Wash'd in innocence my hands, From the great transgression free ? Lord, I dare appeal to thee. "Inwardly, like other men, Wholly born in sin I am; Only thou didst still restrain For the honour of thy Name; Kept by thine Almighty grace, Thee I render all the praise. "Nought have I whereof to boast, Only sin to me belongs, Scorn of the Philistine host, Subject of the drunkard's songs, Mark of Pharisaic zeal, All the virtuous rage of hell. "Master, is it not for thee ? If I suffer for thy cause, Bless the sacred infamy, Crown the scandal of thy cross Now the peaceful answer give, Let me now thy love receive. "Me if thou hadst never sent, Satan's strongest holds to' o'erthrow, Would he thus his malice vent, Stir up all his powers below, Make me as his children black ? Would he his own kingdom shake "Lord, my time is in thy hand: Judged in man's unrighteous days Let me in thy judgment stand; When the wicked melt away, Vindicate thy servant there, Clear me at the last great bar. Leeds, commending them to God, and to the word of his grace. There was a general mourning, as if I was taking my last leave. The blessing of the Lord still followed us, both at Morley and at Birstal.

Fri., December 28th. I preached at Sheffield and Nottingham on my journey; and this evening was refreshed by our brother Hogg and Butts, who met me at St. Alban's.

Sat., December 29th. We continued in prayer from three to four; then took horse, with joyful confidence and desire, to see London. By seven we entered the Foundery. I read prayers at the chapel, and preached from Isal. li., with great enlargement. I received much spiritual strength and comfort in the sacrament.

Sun., December 30th. My brother read prayers; I preached on," He shall save his people from their sins." At night on, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth glad tidings!" God gave testimony to his word, and endued my soul with more strength and boldness than ever.


6 The following hymn, it would appear, was written upon this occasion :—

"O my Galilean King,
Can I glory in this shame ?
Can I this dishonour bring
As a suffering for thy Name ?

Charles Wesley, The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1849)

Text scanning by Ryan Danker. Proofreading by Aaron Bynum. MS Word conversion, and other modifications by Ryan Danker.

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