« AnteriorContinuar »
My staff is my warrant. Come, lads, help me, for I will make him go before the mayor. I said, “ I am not afraid to go before him, but it is your business to take up
that swearer: you hear there is another that swears; and if you don't take them up, is in my power to make you pay forty shillings for not doing your duty. He regarded not what I said, but haled me away. When he had got almost to the mayor's house, a gentleman-like man said, Constable, where are you going with him? He said, To
He replied, Pray don't; for the mayor is their friend, and says he will put any one that disturbs them into the house of correction: therefore carry him bem fore Alderman H, and he will do for him. Then we must turn another way, said be. But I said, “I insist upon going before the mayor.” But he replied, I will make you go where I please. I said, “You told me you must carry me before the mayor: I find you are a strange officer, to encourage swearing, and tell lies yourself.” Then the mob shouted, and cried, Help us to guard the Methodist preacher to the bouse of correction.
By that time we got to the Alderman's house there were several hundreds gathered together; and when we came there, he said, Whom have you brought, constable? To me he said, I wonder you can't stay in your own places; you might be convinced by this time, that the mob of Nottingham will never let you preach quietly in this town. I replied, “ I beg pardon, Sir, I did not know before now, tiiat this town was governed by a mob; for most such towns are governed by magistrates." He blushed, and said, Do you think that we will protect Wesley and you! a pack of you l No; I believe you are the cause of all the commotions that have been in the land. I replied, “Sir, can you prove that one man who is joined to us did assist the Pretender, with either men, money, or arms ?" He said, It hath been observed, that there were always suc! preach ing, bawling people, before any judgment came upon the land. I replied, That is the goodness of God towards the people, for sending his messengers to warn them to re
pent, that they may escape his judgments here, and the torments of the damned hereafter. Sir, you may as well say, that it was through Jeremiah that the Chaldeans de stroyed the temple, and took the inhabitants of Jerusalem captives, because he told them it would be so, if they did not repent and turn to God. No, Sir, it is not for praying and preaching that evil comes on a land, but for swearing and cursing, drunkenness and debauchery, for oppressing the poor, and loving pleasure more than God; and for denying the Lord that bought us. These are the people that bring the sword, pestilence, and famine, into the land.” The constable said, Do you think we will take warning by such fellows as you. I said, “ If you will not, you must feel the blow; for if there be not a reformation in the land, God will pour out his judgments upon man and beast; therefore I warn you all to look unto the rod, for it is appointed to them that disobey the gospel.”Then the alderman said, So, só, you must not preach here. I verily believe you are a good man.. Then he said, Con. stable, I will not send this man to the house of corrections I think, as you keep a public-house, you may let him hie there to-night; for he is on his journey. The constable said, I beg that he may not be at my house. Well then, said he, he may go to Mary White's, where he came from. I spoke a few more words to him, and wished him a good night. He said, Mr. Nelson, I wish you well wherever you go.
When I had got into the street, I don't know but there might be a thousand people, but I saw not one that I knew; therefore I went and stood under a lamp, that my acquaintances might see me. The alderman came to the door, and said to the constable, Take care of Mr. Nelson, that no one molest him; see him safe to Mary White's. The constable seemed much ashamed, and did as he was or dered. Then the man that advised him to carry me before the alderman, came to me, and said, “ Thy nimble tongue has delivered thee at this time. I said, “ No, Sir, it is my God, who hath the hearts of all men in his hand."
When we got to Mary White's, we sung a hyin, and gave praise to God, and prayed for our enemies, and recommended each other to God's care and protection; and we had a confortable meeting at five the next morning.
When I got home, I found all things in a comfortable way, and the Lord added many to the nuber of his chil. dren that winter, and several died in the triumph of faith. “Wonderful art thou, O Lord, in all thy works: and as thou art in majesty, so art thou in mercy!"
One day I happened to fall in company with a gentleman that was called one of the chief teachers in Israel, who began to ridicule Mr. Wesley, and all that labour with him, saying, “ They are a short-sighted, ignoranty set of people, neither are they willing to be instructed in the truths of the gospel.” I said, Sir, I am one of them, and I am open to convietion; shew me our error, and I hope, by grace, to forsake it. He said, “You all deny the faith delivered to the saints, in denying Election, and Reprobation." I said, “ I do not know that that is the faith of the gospel, for the apostle Paul saith, . It was not written for Abrahani's sake alone, that faith was counted to him for righteousness, but for our sakes, if we believe in him that raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, who was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification. I think, therefore, that this is the faith of the gospel, that I with my heart believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins, and rose again for my justification; that he died for me, that his life might be inade manifest in my mortal flesh; that I might not live to my self, but to him who died for me; and this faith kindles a frame of love in the heart of those that receive it, to God, and every
soul of man; and I would not give a straw for any thiog called faith, short of this. The same apostle saith, that his commission to the people and to the Gentiles was, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God; that they might receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among them that are sanctified, by faith in Jesus Christ: but there is not one word of reprobation in his commis:
sion: and if any come to preach another gospel, let him be accursed." He stormed at me, and called me a muddyHeaded creature, several times. I answered, “ My head is muddy, or your doctrine is unclean. If you clear God, and not make him a liar, nor guilty of perjury, nor the author of all sin, then I may think as you do." He asked, “What do you mean?" I replied, He hath said several times, that he is no respecter of persons: bút you have given him the lie many times, since I came in your company, and you have made him guilty of perjury; for he swears by his own life, that he hath no pleasure in the death of a sinner; and you have affirmed, That it is God's pleasure to leave the greatest part of mankind to an unmerciful devil, to govern them here, and to torment them hereafter: nay, you affirm, That it is his good pleasure to · damn infants from their mother's womb. O, Sir, beware what you say against the God of love ; you
have made him worse than Mołoch. By your words, that man is as much doing the will of God that cuts his father's throat, and that ravisheth his own mother, as he that feedeth the hungry, and clothes the naked! O, Sir, is this the God that was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself? No, he is loving to ever man, and his mercy is over all his works; and St John saith, • He that loveth is barn of God; and knoweth God, for God is love." Then he made a noise like a butcher in the Bear-garden. When I could be heard, I said, “Sir, if ever you preach again, I must look
upon you either as a fool or knave.” He asked, " Why so?" I replied, “ You say the elect were chosen from eternity, and the rest set apart for misery; and that the decree cannot be broken : -and if you think one of the chosen can be lost for want of preaching, or one of the reprobates can be saved by your preaching, you must be void of reason, and something worse, if you believe the thing is fixed, and that preaching will aggravate the torments of the lost, and that the greatest part of your hearers are lost, who help to maintain you as a gentleman, only to increase their damnation." He looked at me with a stern countenance, and said, “ You are as bad as Wesley him
self." I replied, “St, why do you find lault? If what you say be true, God hath decreed me to think as I do? And how can I break the decree ?" He said, 'I hate to hear you talk so." I answered, “Do you want God to break his decree ?? Then he went away in a rage.
Another preacher of the same sort, heard of our dispute, and told me, he would put a question to me, which wouid drive me from inherent righteousness: viz. “ If the · white raiment that those appeared in before the throne of heaven were not the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ?" I said, “ No, Sir.” But he affirmed it was. I then said, “ It is almost blasphemy, in my opinion, to say so.” He said, “What do you mean?” I answered, “ The scripture saith, that • They came out of great tribulation; and washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb: I never heard that his life was stained by sin; neither man nor devil could accuse him thereof: his righteousness had no need of washing; it is blasphemy to say that it did. For shame, go home and read the scriptures, and you will see it is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses from all sin, but cloke3 none. When a soul appears, in that company, it is not like a dunghill covered with snow, but really pure, and is, by the power of Jesus Christ's Spirit, restored to the mage of God, in which it was at first created; and then, and not till then, can it enter in at the gates of the New Jeru. salen, and join the angels and archangels, and spirits of just men made perfect, to sing an eternal anthem to the Great Three-One.” He said, “ You shall never make me think as Wesley and you do." I replied, “If you don't in this world, you will in the next; for if you die defiled and unclean, you must be cast into a lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; so you had better begin now yourself, and advise your hearers to cry out, Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me, O Lord;' for none but the pure in heart can see God." He said, “I do not care what you can say,
salvation was completed when Christ hung on the cross," I replied, « Not so, for he did not repent for you: You must repeyt