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John Wesley

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1760-2: Letter to an Editor; Impositions and Declarations; Speaking Statue; Pentecost

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Chapter 12. Wesley's Letter to an Editor; Impositions and Declarations; the Speaking Statue; Wesley's Pentecost

Wesley and the Irish Question


Wednesday, January 16.—One came to me, as she said, with a message from the Lord, to tell me that I was laying up treasures on earth, taking my ease, and minding only my eating and drinking. I told her God knew me better; and if He had sent her, He would have sent her with a more proper message.

Monday, April 21.—In riding to Rosmead I read Sir John Davis's Historical Relations concerning Ireland . None who reads these can wonder that, fruitful as it is, it was always so thinly inhabited; for he makes it plain 1) that murder was never capital among the native Irish; the murderer paid only a small fine to the chief of his sept; when the English settled here, still the Irish had no benefit of the English laws. They could not so much as sue an Englishman. So the English beat, plundered, yea, murdered them, at pleasure. Hence 3) arose continual wars between them, for three hundred and fifty years together; and hereby both the English and Irish natives were kept few, as well as poor.

4) When they were multiplied during a peace of forty years, from 1600 to 1641, the general massacre, with the ensuing war, again thinned their numbers; not so few as a million of men, women, and children, being destroyed in four years' time. 5) Great numbers have ever since, year by year, left the land merely for want of employment. 6) The gentry are continually driving away hundreds, yea, thousands, of them that remain, by throwing such quantities of arable land into pasture, which leaves them neither business nor food. This it is that now dispeoples many parts of Ireland, of Connaught in particular, which, it is supposed, has scarcely half the inhabitants at this day which it had fourscore years ago.

Attack on Wesley's Hat

Tuesday, June 10.—I rode to Drumersnave, a village delightfully situated.

At noon William Ley, Jaynes Glasbrook, and I rode to Carrick-upon-Shannon. In less than an hour, an esquire and justice of the peace came down with a drum and what mob he could gather. I went into the garden with the congregation, while he was making a speech to his followers in the street. He then attacked William Ley (who stood at the door), being armed with a halbert and long sword, and ran at him with the halbert; but missing his thrust, he then struck at him and broke it short upon his wrist. Having made his way through the house to the other door, he was at a full stop. James Glasbrook held it fast on the other side.

While he was endeavoring to force it open, one told him I was preaching in the garden. On this he quitted the door in haste, ran round the house, and with part of his retinue, climbed over the wall into the garden; with a whole volley of oaths and curses declared, "You shall not preach here today." I told him, "Sir, I do not intend it, for I have preached already." This made him ready to tear the ground. Finding he was not to be reasoned with, I went into the house. Soon after he revenged himself on James Glasbrook (by breaking the truncheon of his halbert on his arm), and on my hat, which he beat and kicked most valiantly; but a gentleman rescued it out of his hands, and we rode quietly out of the town.

Wednesday, September 10.—When I came to St. Ives, I was determined to preach abroad; but the wind was so high, I could not stand where I had intended. But we found a little enclosure near it, one end of which was native rock, rising ten or twelve feet perpendicular, from which the ground fell with an easy descent. A jetting out of the rock, about four feet from the ground, gave me a very convenient pulpit. Here well nigh the whole town, high and low, rich and poor, assembled together. Nor was there a word to be heard, or a smile seen, from one end of the congregation to the other. It was just the same the three following evenings. Indeed I was afraid on Saturday that the roaring of the sea, raised by the north wind, would have prevented their hearing. But God gave me so clear and strong a voice that I believe scarcely one word was lost.

Sunday, 14.—At eight I chose a large ground, the sloping side of a meadow, where the congregation stood, row above row, so that all might see as well as hear. It was a beautiful sight. Everyone seemed to take to himself what was spoken. I believe every back-slider in the town was there. And surely God was there, to "heal their backslidings."

I began at Zennor, as soon as the church service ended; I suppose scarcely six persons went away.

At five I went once more into the ground at St. Ives and found such a congregation as I think was never seen in a place before (Gwennap excepted) in this county. Some of the chief of the town were now not in the skirts, but in the thickest of the people. The clear sky, the setting sun, the smooth, still water, all agreed with the state of the audience.

"A Kind of Waterspout"

Wednesday, 17.—The room at St. Just was quite full at five, and God gave us a parting blessing. At noon I preached on the cliff near Penzance, where no one now gives an uncivil word. Here I procured an account, from an eyewitness, of what happened the twenty-seventh of last month. A round pillar, narrowest at bottom, of a whitish color, rose out of the sea near Mousehole and reached the clouds. One who was riding over the strand from Marazion to Penzance saw it stand for a short space and then move swiftly toward her, till the skirt of it touching her, the horse threw her and ran away. It had a strong sulphurous smell. It dragged with it abundance of sand and pebbles from the shore; and then went over the land, carrying with it corn, furze, or whatever it found in its way. It was doubtless a kind of waterspout; but a waterspout on land, I believe, is seldom seen.

Friday, 19.—I rode to Illogan. We had heavy rain before I began, but scarcely any while I was preaching. I learned several other particulars here concerning the waterspout. It was seen near Mousehole an hour before sunset. About sunset it began traveling over the land, tearing up all the furze and shrubs it met. Nearly an hour after sunset it passed (at the rate of four or five miles an hour) across Mr. Harris's fields, in Camborne, sweeping the ground as it went, about twenty yards in diameter at bottom, and broader and broader up to the clouds. It made a noise like thunder, took up eighteen stacks of corn, with a large haystack and the stones whereon it stood, scattered them abroad (but it was quite dry), and then passed over the cliff into the sea.

Saturday, 20.—In the evening I took my old stand in the main street in Redruth. A multitude of people, rich and poor, calmly attended. So is the roughest become one of the quietest towns in England.

A Tinner's Story

Sunday, 21.—I preached in the same place at eight. Mr. C—p of St. Cubert, preached at the church both morning and afternoon and strongly confirmed what I had spoken. At one, the day being mild and calm, we had the largest congregation of all. But it rained all the time I was preaching at Gwennap. We concluded the day with a love-feast, at which James Roberts, a tinner of St. Ives, related how God had dealt with his soul.

He was one of the first in the society in St. Ives, but soon relapsed into his old sin, drunkenness, and wallowed in it for two years, during which time he headed the mob who pulled down the preaching-house. Not long after, he was standing with his partner at Edward May's shop when the preacher went by. His partner said, "I will tell him I am a Methodist." "Nay," said Edward, "your speech will betray you." James felt the word as a sword, thinking in himself, "So does my speech now betray mel" He turned and hastened home, fancying he heard the devil stepping after him all the way. For forty hours he never closed his eyes or tasted either meat or drink. He was then at his wit's end and went to the window, looking to drop into hell instantly, when he heard those words, "I will be merciful to thy unrighteousness, thy sins and iniquities will I remember no more" [see Heb. 8:12]. All his load was gone; and he has now for many years walked worthy of the gospel.

Wednesday, October 22.—Being informed that some neighboring gentlemen had declared they would apprehend the next preacher who came to Pensford, I rode over to give them the meeting; but none appeared. The house was more than filled with deeply attentive hearers. It seems the time is come at length for the Word of God to take root here also.

Friday, 24—l visited the French prisoners at Knowle and found many of them almost naked again. In hopes of provoking others to jealousy, I made another collection for them and ordered the money to be laid out in linen and waistcoats, which were given to those that were most in want.

Saturday, 25.—King George was gathered to his fathers. When will England have a better Prince?

Many of us agreed to observe Friday, 31, as a day of fasting and prayer for the blessing of God upon our nation, and in particular on his present Majesty. We met at five, at nine, at one, and at half-past eight. I expected to be a little tired, but was more lively after twelve at night than I was at six in the morning.

Wesley Writes to the London Chronicle


January, Friday 2.—I wrote the following letter:

To the Editor of the London Chronicle.

Sir,—Of all the seats of woe on this side hell, few, I suppose, exceed or even equal Newgate. If any region of horror could exceed it a few years ago, Newgate in Bristol did; so great was the filth, the stench, the misery and wickedness, which shocked all who had a spark of humanity left.

How was I surprised then, when I was there a few weeks ago! 1) Every part of it, above stairs and below, even the pit wherein the felons are confined at night is as clean and sweet as a gentleman's house; it being now a rule that every prisoner wash and clean his apartment thoroughly twice a week. 2) Here is no fighting or brawling. If any thinks himself ill-used, the cause is immediately referred to the keeper, who hears the contending parties face to face and decides the affair at once. 3) The usual grounds of quarreling are removed. For it is very rarely that anyone cheats or wrongs another, as being sure, if anything of this kind is discovered, to be committed to a closer confinement.

4) Here is no drunkenness suffered, however advantageous it might be to the keeper, as well as the tapster. 5) Nor any whoredom; the women prisoners being narrowly observed and kept separate from the men; nor is any woman of the town now admitted, no, not at any price. 6) All possible care is taken to prevent idleness; those who are willing to work at their callings are provided with tools and materials, partly by the keeper, who gives them credit at a very moderate profit; partly by the alms occasionally given, which are divided with the utmost prudence and impartiality. Accordingly, at this time, among others, a shoemaker, a tailor, a brazier, and a coachmaker are working at their several trades.

7) Only on the Lord's day they neither work nor play, but dress themselves as clean as they can, to attend the public service in the chapel, at which every person under the roof is present. None is excused, unless sick; in which case he is provided, gratis, both with advice and medicines. 8) And in order to assist them in things of the greatest concern (besides a sermon every Sunday and Thursday), they have a large Bible chained on one side of the chapel, which any of the prisoners may read. By the blessing of God on these regulations the prison now has a new face: nothing offends either the eye or ear, and the whole has the appearance of a quiet, serious family. And does not the keeper of Newgate deserve to be remembered full as well as the Man of Ross? May the Lord remember him in that day! Meantime, will no one follow his example? I am, Sir,

Your humble servant,

John Wesley.

Saturday, March 14.—I rode (from Birmingham) to Wednesbury.

Sunday, 15. I made a shift to preach within at eight in the morning; but in the afternoon I knew not what to do, having a pain in my side and a sore throat. However, I resolved to speak as long as I could. I stood at one end of the house, and the people (supposed to be eight or ten thousand) in the field adjoining. I spoke from, "I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord" [Phil. 3:8]. When I had done speaking, my complaints were gone.

Monday, 16.—I intended to rest two or three days; but being pressed to visit Shrewsbury, and having no other time, I rode over today, though upon a miserable beast. When I came, my head ached as well as my side. I found the door of the place where I was to preach surrounded by a numerous rnob. But they seemed met only to starve. Yet part of them came in; almost all that did (a large number) behaved quietly and seriously.

Preaching in the Inn Yard

Tuesday, 17.—At five the congregation was large and appeared not a little affected. The difficulty now was how to get back, for I could not ride the horse on which I came. But this too was provided for. We met in the street with one who lent me his horse, which was so easy that I grew better and better till I came to Wolverhampton. None had yet preached abroad in this furious town; but I was resolved, with God's help, to make a trial, and I ordered a table to be set in the inn-yard. Such a number of wild men I have seldom seen; but they gave me no disturbance, either while I preached, or when I afterward walked through the midst of them.

About five I preached to a far larger congregation at Dudley, and all as quiet as at London. The scene is changed since the dirt and stones of this town were flying about me on every side.

Saturday, May 2 (Aberdeen).—In the afternoon I sent to the principal and regent to desire leave to preach in the College Close. This was readily granted; but as it begin to rain, I was desired to go into the hall. I suppose this is fully a hundred feet long, and seated all around. The congregation was large, notwithstanding the rain; and fully as large at five in the morning.

Wesley Preaches at Aberdeen

Monday, 4.—About noon I took a walk to the King's College, in Old Aberdeen. It has three sides of a square, handsomely built, not unlike Queen's College in Oxford. Going up to see the hall, we found a large company of ladies, with several gentlemen. They looked and spoke to one another, after which one of the gentlemen took courage and came to me, He said, "We came last night to the College Close, but could not hear, and should be extremely obliged if you would give us a short discourse here." I knew not what God might have to do; and so began without delay on "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself" [II Cor. 5:19]. I believe the word was not lost: it fell as dew on the tender glass.

In the afternoon I was walking in the library of the Marischal College, when the principal, and the divinity professor, came to me; and the latter invited me to his lodgings, where I spent an hour very agreeably. In the evening, the eagerness of the people made them ready to trample each other under foot. It was some time before they were still enough to hear; but then they devoured every word. After preaching, Sir Archibald Grant (whom business had called to town) sent and desired to speak to me. I could not then, but promised to wait upon him, with God's leave, in my return to Edinburgh.

Tuesday, 5.—I accepted the principal's invitation, and spent an hour with him at his house. I observed no stiffness at all, but the easy good breeding of a man of sense and learning. I suppose both he and all the professors, with some of the magistrates, attended in the evening. I set all the windows open; but the hall, notwithstanding, was as hot as a bagnio.

Wednesday, 6.—At half-hour after six I stood in the College Close and proclaimed Christ crucified. My voice was so strengthened that all could hear, and all were earnestly attentive.

Wesley's Criticism of Edinburgh

Monday, 11.—I took my leave of Edinburgh for the present. The situation of the city, on a hill shelving down on both sides, as well as to the east, with the stately castle upon a craggy rock on the west, is inexpressibly fine. And the main street, so broad and finely paved, with the lofty houses on either hand (many of them seven or eight stories high), is far beyond any in Great Britain. But how can it be suffered that all manner of filth should still be thrown even into this street continually? Where are the magistracy, the gentry, the nobility of the land? Have they no concern for the honor of their nation? How long shall the capital city of Scotland, yea, and the chief street of it, stink worse than a common sewer? Will no lover of his country, or of decency and common sense, find a remedy for this?

Holyrood House, at the entrance of Edinburgh, the ancient palace of the Scottish kings, is a noble structure. It was rebuilt and furnished by King Charles the Second. One side of it is a picture gallery wherein are pictures of all the Scottish kings, and an original one of the celebrated Queen Mary. It is scarcely possible for any who looks at this to think her such a monster as some have painted her; nor indeed for any who considers the circumstances of her death, equal to that of an ancient martyr.

A Busy Week

Monday, June 15.—I rode to Durham, having appointed to preach there at noon. The meadow, near the riverside, was quite convenient, and the small rain neither disturbed me nor the congregation. In the afternoon I rode to Hartlepool. But I had much ado to preach; my strength was gone as well as my voice; and indeed, they generally go together. Three days in a week I can preach thrice a day without hurting myself; but I had now far exceeded this, besides meeting classes and exhorting the societies. I was obliged to lie down a good part of Tuesday. However, in the afternoon I preached at Cherington, and in the evening at Hartlepool again, though not without difficulty. Wednesday, 17. I rode to Stockton, where, a little before the time of preaching, my voice and strength were restored at once. The next evening it began to rain just as I began to preach; but it was suspended till the service was over; it then rained again till eight in the morning.

Friday, 19.—It was hard work to ride eight miles (so called) in two hours and a half, the rain beating upon us, and the by-road being exceedingly slippery. But we forgot all this when we came to the Grange, so greatly was God present with His people. Thence we rode to Darlington. Here we were under a difficulty again; not half the people could come in, and the rain forbade my preaching without. But at one (the hour of preaching) the rain stopped and did not begin again till past two; so the people stood very conveniently in the yard, and many did not care to go away. When I went in, they crowded to the door and windows, and stayed till I took horse. At seven I preached at Yarm, and desired one of our brethren to take my place in the morning.

Wesley and Impositions

Sunday, 21.—I rode to Osmotherley, where the minister read prayers seriously and preached a useful sermon. After service I began in the churchyard: I believe many were wounded and many comforted. After dinner I called on Mr. Adams, who first invited me to Osmotherley. He was reading the strange account of the two missionaries who have lately made such a figure in the newspapers. I suppose the whole account is just such another gross imposition upon the public as the man's gathering the people together to see him go into the quart bottle. "Men seven hundred years old!" And why not seven yards high? He that can believe it, let him believe it.

Monday, 22.—I spoke, one by one, to the society at Hutton Rudby. At eleven I preached once more, though in great weakness of body, and met the stewards of all the societies. I then rode to Stokesley and, having examined the little society, went on for Guisborough. The sun was burning hot; but in a quarter of an hour a cloud interposed, and he troubled us no more. I was desired by a gentleman of the town to preach in the market place; and there a table was placed for me, but it was in a bad neighborhood; for there was so vehement a stench of stinking fish as was ready to suffocate me, and the people roared like the waves of the sea. But the voice of the Lord was mightier, and in a few minutes the whole multitude was still and seriously attended while I proclaimed "Jesus Christ, made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption" [1 Cor. 1:30].

Tuesday, 23.—I began about five, near the same place, and had a great part of the same audience; yet they were not the same. The change might easily be read in their countenance. When we took horse and just faced the sun, it was hard work for man and beast; but about eight the wind shifted, and blowing in our face, kept us cool till we came to Whitby.

In the evening I preached on the top of the hill, to which you ascend by a hundred ninety-one steps. The congregation was exceedingly large, and ninety-nine in a hundred were attentive. When I began, the sun shone full in my face; but he soon clouded and shone no more till I had done.

Wednesday, 24.—I walked round the old Abbey, which, both with regard to its size (being, I judge, a hundred yards long) and the workmanship of it, is one of the finest, if not the finest, ruin in the kingdom. Hence we rode to Robin Hood's Bay, where I preached at six in the Lower Street, near the quay. In the midst of the sermon a large cat, frightened out of a chamber, leaped down upon a woman's head, and ran over the heads or shoulders of many more; but none of them moved or cried out any more than if it had been a butterfly.

Thursday, 25.—I had a pleasant ride to Scarborough, the wind tempering the heat of the sun. I had designed to preach abroad in the evening; but the thunder, lightning, and rain prevented. However, I stood on a balcony, and several hundreds of people stood below; and, notwithstanding the heavy rain, would not stir till I concluded.

Friday, July 3.—We returned to York, where I was desired to call upon a poor prisoner in the castle. I had formerly occasion to take notice of a hideous monster, called a chancery bill; I now saw the fellow to it, called a declaration. The plain fact was this: some time since a man who lived near Yarm assisted others in running some brandy. His share was nearly four pounds. After he had wholly left off that bad work and was following his own business, that of a weaver, he was arrested and sent to York gaol; and, not long after, comes down a declaration, "that Jac. Wh— had landed a vessel laded with brandy and Geneva, at the port of London, and sold them there, whereby he was indebted to his Majesty five hundred and seventy-seven pounds and upwards." And to tell this worthy story, the lawyer takes up thirteen or fourteen sheets of treble stamped paper.

A Monster Called a Declaration

O England, England! will this reproach never be rolled away from thee? Is there anything like this to be found, either among Papists, Turks, or heathens? In the name of truth, justice, mercy, and common sense I ask, 1) Why do men lie for lying sake? Is it only to keep their hands in? What need else of saying it was the port of London when everyone knew the brandy was landed above three hundred miles from thence? What a monstrous contempt of truth does this show, or rather hatred to it! 2) Where is the justice of swelling four pounds into five hundred and seventy-seven? 3) Where is the common sense of taking up fourteen sheets to tell a story that may be told in ten lines? 4) Where is the mercy of thus grinding the face of the poor? thus sucking the blood of a poor, beggared prisoner? Would not this be execrable villainy if the paper and writing together were only sixpence a sheet, when they have stripped him already of his little all and not left him fourteen groats in the world?

Sunday, 5.—Believing one hindrance of the work of God in York was the neglect of field-preaching, I preached this morning at eight, in an open place near the city walls. Abundance of people ran together, most of whom were deeply attentive. One or two only were angry and threw a few stones; but it was labor lost; for none regarded them.

Sunday, 12.—I had appointed to be at Haworth; but the church would not nearly contain the people who came from all sides. However, Mr. Grimshaw had provided for this by fixing a scaffold on the outside of one of the windows, through which I went after prayers, and the people likewise all went out into the churchyard. The afternoon congregation was larger still. What has God wrought in the midst of those rough mountains!

Some Impudent Women

Monday, 13.—About five I preached at Paddiham, another place eminent for all manner of wickedness. The multitude of people obliged me to stand in the yard of the preaching-house. Over against me, at a little distance, sat some of the most impuident women I ever saw; yet I am not sure that God did not reach their hearts, for

They roar'd, and would have blush'd, if capable of shame.

Friday, 24.—About one I preached at Bramley, where Jonas Rushford, about fourteen years old, gave me the following relation:

About this time last year I was desired by two of our neighbors to go with them to Mr. Crowther's at Skipton, who would not speak to them, about a man that had been missing twenty days, but bid them bring a boy twelve or thirteen years old. When we came in, he stood reading a book.

Seen in a Looking Glass

He put me into a bed, with a looking glass in my hand, and covered me all over. Then he asked me whom I had a mind to see; and I said, 'My mother.' I presently saw her with a lock of wool in her hand, standing just in the place, and the clothes she was in, as she told me afterwards. Then he bid me look again for the man that was missing, who was one of our neighbors. And I looked and saw him riding toward Idle, but he was very drunk; and he stopped at the alehouse and drank two pints more, and he pulled out a guinea to change. Two men stood by, a big man and a little man; and they went on before him, and got two hedge-stakes; and when he came up, on Windle Common, at the top of the hill, they pulled him off his horse, killed him, and threw him into a coalpit. And I saw it all as plain as if I was close to them. And if I saw the men, I should know them again.

We went back to Bradford that night; and the next day I went with our neighbors and showed them the spot where he was killed, and the pit he was thrown into; and a man went down and brought him up. And it was as I had told them; his handkerchief was tied about his mouth, and fastened behind his neck.

Is it improbable only, or flatly impossible, when all the circumstances are considered, that this should all be pure fiction? They that can believe this, may believe a man's getting into a bottle.

Monday, July 27.—I preached at Staincross about eleven; about five, at Barley Hall; the next morning at Sheffield. In the afternoon I rode on to Matlock Bath. The valley which reaches from the town to the bath is pleasant beyond expression. In the bottom of this runs a little river, close to which a mountain rises, almost perpendicular, to an enormous height; part is covered with green, part with ragged and naked rocks. On the other side, the mountain rises gradually with tufts of trees here and there. The brow on both sides is fringed with trees, which seem to answer each other.

Wesley at Matlock Bath and Boston

Many of our friends were come from various parts. At six I preached standing under the hollow of a rock, on one side of a small plain, on the other side of which was a tall mountain. There were many well-dressed hearers, this being the high season; and all of them behaved well. But as I walked back, a gentleman-like man asked me, "Why do you talk thus of faith? Stuff, nonsense!" Upon inquiry, I found he was an eminent deist. What, has the plague crept into the Peak of Derbyshire?

Thursday, August 13.—I took a walk through Boston. I think it is not much smaller than Leeds, but, in general, it is far better built. The church is indeed a fine building. It is larger, loftier, nay, and rather more lightsome, than even St. Peter's at Norwich; and the steeple is, I suppose, the highest tower in England, nor less remarkable for the architecture than the height.

Saturday, November 14.—I spent an hour with a little company near Grosvenor Square. For many years this has been the darkest, driest spot of all in or near London. But God has now watered the barren wilderness and it has become a fruitful field.

Preaching at Deptford, Welling, and Sevenoaks, in my way, on Thursday, December 3, I came to Shoreham. There I read the celebrated Life of St. Katherine, of Genoa. Mr. Lesley calls one "a devil of a saint": I am sure this was a fool of a saint; that is, if it was not the folly of her historian, who has aggrandized her into a mere idiot. Indeed we seldom find a saint of God's making, sainted by the Bishop of Rome.

Friday, 25 (London).—We began, as usual, at four. A few days since, one who lived in known sin, finding heavy conviction broke away and ran out, she knew, not whither. She met one who offered her a shilling a week to come and take care of her child. She went gladly. The woman's husband hearing her stir between three and four began cursing and swearing bitterly. His wife said, "I wish thou wouldest go with her, and see if anything will do thee good." He did so. In the first hymn God broke his heart and he was in tears all the rest of the service. How soon did God recompense this poor woman for taking the stranger in!

Preaching by Moonlight


Monday, January 4.—After preaching to a large congregation at Wrestlingworth, we rode on to Harston. I never preached a whole sermon by moonlight before. However, it was a solemn season; a season of holy mourning to some; to others, of joy unspeakable.

Monday, March 29.—I preached about twelve in the new room at Chepstow. One of the congregation was a neighboring clergyman, who had lived in the same staircase with me at Christ Church and was then far more serious than I. Blessed be God, who has looked upon me at last! Now let me redeem the timel

In the afternoon we had such a storm of hail as I scarcely ever saw in my life. The roads likewise were so extremely bad that we did not reach Hereford till past eight. Having been well battered both by hail, rain, and wind, I got to bed as soon as I could, but was wakened many times by the clattering of the curtains. In the morning I found the casement wide open; but I was never the worse. I took horse at six, with William Crane and Francis Walker. The wind was piercing cold, and we had many showers of snow and rain; but the worst was, part of the road was scarcely passable; so that at Church Stretton, one of our horses lay down and would go no farther. However, William Crane and I pushed on, and before seven reached Shrewsbury.

A large company quickly gathered together. Many of them were wild enough, but the far greater part were calm and attentive and came again at five in the morning.

Some Rough Journeys

Wednesday, 31.—Having been invited to preach at Wem, Mrs. Glynne desired she might take me thither in a post chaise; but in little more than an hour we were fast enough; however, the horses pulled till the traces broke. I should then have walked had I been alone, though the mud was deep, and the snow drove impetuously; but I could not leave my friend. So I waited patiently till the man had made shift to rnend the traces; and the horses pulled amain22 so that with much ado, not long after the time appointed, I came to Wem.

I came, but the person who invited me was gone—gone out of town at four in the morning. I could find no one who seemed either to expect or desire my company. I inquired after the place where Mr. Mather preached; but it was filled with hemp. It remained only to go into the market house, but neither any man, woman, nor child cared to follow us; for the north wind roared so loud on every side and poured in from every quarter. However, before I had done singing, two or three crept in; and after them, two or three hundred; and the power of God was so present among them that I believe many forgot the storm.

The wind grew still higher in the afternoon so that it was difficult to sit our horses; and it blew full in our face, but could not prevent our reaching Chester in the evening. Though the warning was short, the room was full; and full of serious, earnest hearers, many of whom expressed a longing desire of the whole salvation of God. Here I rested on Thursday.

Friday, April 2.—I rode to Parkgate, and found several ships, but the wind was contrary. I preached at five in the small house they have just built; and the hearers were remarkably serious. I gave notice of preaching at five in the morning. But at half-hour after four one brought us word that the wind was come fair, and Captain Jordan would sail in less than an hour. We were soon in the ship, wherein we found about three-score passengers. The sun shone brightly, the wind was moderate, the sea smooth, and we wanted nothing but room to stir ourselves; the cabin being filled with hops, so that we could not get into it but by climbing over them on our hands and knees. In the afternoon we were abreast of Holyhead. But the scene was quickly changed: the wind rose higher and higher and by seven o'clock blew a storm. The sea broke over us continually and sometimes covered the ship, which both pitched and rolled in an uncommon manner. So I was informed; for, being a little sick, I lay down at six, and slept with little intermission, till nearly six in the morning. We were then near Dublin Bay, where we went into a boat which carried us to Dunleary. There we met with a chaise just ready, in which we went to Dublin.

Remarkable Speaking Statue

Monday, April 26.—In the evening I preached to a large congregation in the market house at Lurgan. I now embraced the opportunity which I bad long desired of talking with Mr. Miller, the contriver of that statue which was in Lurgan when I was there before. It was the figure of an old man standing in a case, with a curtain drawn before him, over against a clock which stood on the other side of the room. Every time the clock struck, he opened the door with one hand, drew back the curtain with the other, turned his head, as if looking round on the company, and then said with a clear, loud, articulate voice, "Past one, two, three," and so on. But so many came to see this (the like of which all allowed was not to be seen in Europe) that Mr. Miller was in danger of being ruined, not having time to attend his own business; so, as none offered to purchase it or reward him for his pains, he took the whole machine in pieces; nor has he any thought of ever making anything of the kind again.

Wednesday, 28.—In the morning I rode to Monaghan. The commotions in Munster having now alarmed all Ireland, we had hardly alighted, when some wise persons informed the provost there were three strange sort of men come to the King's Arms. So the provost with his officers came without delay to secure the north from so imminent a danger. I had just come out when I was required to return into the house. The provost asked me many questions, and perhaps the affair might have turned serious had I not had two letters with me which I had lately received; one from the Bishop of Londonderry, the other from the Earl of Moira. Upon reading these, he excused himself for the trouble he had given and wished me a good journey.

Between six and seven I preached at Coot Hill, and in the morning rode on to Enniskillin. After riding round and round, we came in the evening to a lone house called Carrick-a-beg. It lay in the midst of horrid mountains; and had no very promising appearance. However, it afforded corn for our horses and potatoes for us. So we made a hearty supper, called in as many as pleased of the family to prayers, and, though we had no fastening either for our doors or our windows, slept in peace.

Wesley and the Oatmeal Sellers

Monday, May 3 (Sligo).—In the evening a company of players began acting in the upper part of the market house, just as we began singing in the lower. The case of these is remarkable. The Presbyterians for a long time had their public worship here; but when the strollers came to town, they were turned out and from that time had no public worship at all. On Tuesday evening the lower part too was occupied by buyers and sellers of oatmeal; but as soon as I began, the people quitted their sacks and listened to business of greater importance.

Sunday, 16.—I had observed to the society last week that I had not seen one congregation ever in Ireland behave so ill at church as that at Athlone, laughing and staring about during the whole service. I had added, "This is your fault; for if you had attended the church, as you ought to have done, your presence and example would not have failed to influence the whole congregation." And so it appeared; I saw not one today, either laughing, talking, or staring about; but a remarkable seriousness was spread from the one end of the church to the other.

The Irish Whiteboys

Monday, 24.—I went with two friends to see one of the greatest natural wonders in Ireland—Mount Eagle, vulgarly called Crow Patrick. The foot of it is fourteen miles from Castlebar. There we left our horses and procured a guide. It was just twelve when we alighted; the sun was burning hot, and we had not a breath of wind. Part of the ascent was a good deal steeper than an ordinary pair of stairs. About two we gained the top, which is an oval, grassy plain, about a hundred and fifty yards in length and seventy or eighty in breadth. The upper part of the mountain much resembles the Peak of Teneriffe. I think it cannot rise much less than a mile perpendicular from the plain below. There is an immense prospect on one side toward the sea, and on the other over the land. But as most of it is waste and uncultivated, the prospect is not very pleasing.

Monday, June 14.—I rode to Cork. Here I procured an exact account of the late commotions. About the beginning of December last, a few men met by night near Nenagh, in the county of Limerick, and threw down the fences of some commons, which had been lately inclosed. Near the same time the others met in the county of Tipperary, of Waterford, and of Cork. As no one offered to suppress or hinder them, they increased in number continually and called themselves Whiteboys, wearing white cockades and white linen frocks. In February, there were five or six parties of them, two or three hundred men in each, who moved up and down, chiefly in the night; but for what end did not appear. Only they leveled a few fences, dug up some grounds, and hamstrung some cattle, perhaps fifty or sixty in all.

One body of them came into Cloheen, of about five hundred foot and two hundred horse. They moved as exactly as regular troops and appeared to be thoroughly disciplined. They now sent letters to several gentlemen, threatening to pull down their houses. They compelled everyone they met to take an oath to be true to Queen Sive (whatever that meant) and the Whiteboys; not to reveal their secrets; and to join them when called upon. It was supposed that eight or ten thousand were now actually risen, many of them well armed and that a far greater number were ready to rise whenever they should be called upon. Those who refused to swear, they threatened to bury alive. Two or three they did bury up to the neck, and left them; these would quickly have perished had they not been found in time by some traveling by. At length, toward Easter, a body of troops, chiefly light horse, was sent against them. Many were apprehended and committed to gaol; the rest of them disappeared. This is the plain, naked fact, which has been so variously represented.

Whitewashing Kilkenny Marble

Saturday, July 10.—We rode to Kilkenny, one of the pleasantest and the most ancient cities in the kingdom and not inferior to any at all in wickedness, or in hatred to this way. I was therefore glad of a permission to preach in the Town Hall, where a small, serious company attended in the evening. Sunday, 11. I went to the cathedral, one of the best built which I have seen in Ireland.

The pillars are all of black marble; but the late Bishop ordered them to be whitewashed. Indeed, marble is so plentiful near this town that the very streets are paved with it.

Monday, 12.—I went to Dunmore Cave, three or four miles from Kilkenny. It is fully as remarkable as Poole's Hole, or any other in the Peak. The opening is round, parallel to the horizon and seventy or eighty yards across. In the midst of this there is a kind of arch, twenty or thirty feet high. By this you enter into the first cave, which is nearly round and forty or fifty feet in diameter. It is encompassed with spar-stones, just like those on the sides of Poole's Hole. On one side of the cave is a narrow passage which goes under the rock two or three hundred yards; on the other, a hollow which no one has ever been able to find an end of. I suppose this hole too, as well as many others, was formed by the waters of the deluge retreating into the great abyss, with which probably it communicates.

Monday, 26.—In some respects the work of God in Dublin was more remarkable than even that in London. 1) It is far greater, in proportion to the time and to the number of people. That society had above seven-and-twenty hundred members; this not a fifth part of the number. Six months after the flame broke out there, we had about thirty witnesses of the great salvation. In Dublin there were about forty in less than four months. 2.) The work was more pure. In all this time, while they were mildly and tenderly treated, there were none of them headstrong or unadvisable; none that were wiser than their teachers; none who dreamed of being immortal or infallible or incapable of temptation: in short, no whimsical or enthusiastic persons; all were calm and sober-minded.

Wesley in Cornwall

Friday, August 27.—I set out for the west and having preached at Shepton and Middlesey in the way, came on Saturday to Exeter. When I began the service there, the congregation (beside ourselves) were two women and one man. Before I had done, the room was about half full. This comes of omitting field-preaching.

Sunday, 29.—I preached at eight on Southernay Green, to an extremely quiet congregation. At the cathedral we had a useful sermon, and the whole service was performed with great seriousness and decency. Such an organ I never saw or heard before, so large, beautiful, and so finely toned; and the music of "Glory Be to God in the Highest" I think exceeded the Messiah itself. I was well pleased to partake of the Lord's supper with my old opponent, Bishop Lavington. Oh, may we sit down together in the kingdom of our Father!

At five I went to Southernay Green again and found a multitude of people; but a lewd, profane, drunken vagabond had so stirred up many of the baser sort that there was much noise, hurry, and confusion. While I was preaching, several things were thrown, and much pains taken to overturn the table; and after I concluded, many endeavored to throw me down, but I walked through the midst and left them.

Saturday, September 4.—After preaching in Grampound, I rode on to Truro. I almost expected there would be some disturbance, as it was market day, and I stood in the street at a small distance from the market. But all was quiet. Indeed both persecution and popular tumult seem to be forgotten in Cornwall.

Sunday, 5.—As I was enforcing, in the same place, those solemn words, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" [Gal. 6:14], a poor man began to make some tumult; but many cried out, "Constables, take him away." They did so, and the hurry was over. At one I preached in the main street at Redruth, where rich and poor were equally attentive. The wind was so high at five that I could not stand in the usual place at Gwennap. But at a small distance was a hollow, capable of containing many thousand people. I stood on one side of this amphitheater toward the top, with the people beneath and on all sides, and enlarged on those words in the Gospel for the day (Luke 10:23, 24), "Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see, and which hear the things that ye hear."

Widnesday, 15.—The more I converse with the believers in Cornwall, the more I am convinced that they have sustained great loss for want of hearing the doctrine of Christian perfection clearly and strongly enforced. I see that wherever this is not done, the believers grow dead and cold. Nor can this be prevented but by keeping up in them an hourly expectation of being perfected in love. I say an hourly expectation; for to expect it at death, or some time hence, is much the same as not expecting it at all.

That detestable practice of cheating the King (smuggling) is no more found in our societies. And since that accursed thing has been put away, the work of God has everywhere increased.

Monday, October 25.—I preached at one, in the shell of the new house at Shepton Mallet. In digging the foundation they found a quarry of stone, which was more than sufficient for the house.

Thursday, 28.—One who had adorned the gospel in life and in death, having desired that I should preach her funeral sermon, I went with a few friends to the house and sang before the body to the room. I did this the rather to show my approbation of that solemn custom and to encourage others to follow it. As we walked, our company swiftly increased, so that we had a very numerous congregation at the room. And who can tell, but some of these may bless God from it to all eternity?

Wesley's Day of Pentecost

Many years ago my brother frequently said, "Your day of Pentecost is not fully come; but I doubt not it will; and you will then hear of persons sanctified as frequently as you do now of persons justified." Any unprejudiced reader may observe that it was now fully come. And accordingly we did hear of persons sanctified, in London and most other parts of England, and in Dublin and many other parts of Ireland, as frequently as of persons justified; although instances of the latter were far more frequent than they had been for twenty years before. That many of these did not retain the gift of God is no proof that it was not given them. That many do retain it to this day is matter of praise and thanksgiving. And many of them are gone to Him whom they loved, praising Him with their latest breath; just in the spirit of Ann Steed, the first witness in Bristol of the great salvation; who, being worn out with sickness and racking pain, after she had commended to God all that were round her, lifted up her eyes, cried aloud, "Glory! Hallelujah!" and died.

22 Correct.

John Wesley, The Journal of John Wesley (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2000) Conversion to HTML and placename mark-up by Humphrey Southall, 2009.

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