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to me, a poor helpless and hell deserving creature, laid his
glory by, and for my sake fulfilled all righteousness, at last giving his body for my body, and his soul for my soul ; and that God for the sake of his obedience and blood. shedding hath forgiven all my sins. I said, “ According to the light I have, this is the faith of the gospel : and he that is partaker of this faith, hath received the spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind; power to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live a godly, righteous, and sober life.'
I added, “ Pray, under whom were you converted ?" They both replied, Under Mr. Charles Wesley. « Did he then preach what you now call the gospel ?” They replied, No. “ Did God then reveal that to you to be the faith of the gospel as soon as he wrote pardonon your hearts ?” They said, “ No: when we were in our first love, we believed as Mr. Wesley believes; but now we see better, and hope his eyes will be opened shortly." I said, “ I fear yours are become dim; for I think you are more light and unwatchful than you used to be, and you own you have lost your first love. O, remember, Christ bids you repent, and do your first works, or he will remove your candlestick." But they told me, “ Do what we will, we cannot finally fall.” I answered, “ That as far as I could learn from their words and behaviour, they were already fallen. And I wished they did not make a Christ of their opinions ; for though I allow many good men hold these opinions, yet I judge, all that were converted under the two - Mr. Wesleys, were at first filled with love to every man, and a perfect hatred to all sin, and were inspired with a zeal for God's glory, and the welfare of all mankind. Was not this your state once ?" They owned it was, till they heard Mr. Sawyers, and it was by him they saw into the electing love of God. I replied, " I fear you have sinned against light and love, and instead of going back to the Lord, by true repentance, and seeking a fresh pardon in the blood of Christ, you have been gadding about to seek new opinions : You have gone out of the highway of holiness, and have now got into the devil's pinfold : You are not seeking to perfect holiness in the fear of God, but are resting in opinions, that give you liberty to live after the
you continue so to live, you are safe in this hold, out of which you will be brought to the slaughter.” They told me I was as stupid as Mr. Wesley. I replied, “ Satan had preached that doctrine to me before they did : and God had armed me against both him and them.". Then they
blind estate, as they called it: And I prayed that I might never turn out of the way that God had called
On Sunday I had the opportunity of hearing Mr. John Wesley once more, and his word was precious food to my soul. Then I blessed the Lord that had still kept his servant as an iron pillar, in the same spirit in which I left him : but I observed a great part of the congregation were strangers to me; for
many of the old hearers were gone, and others come in. When I found that some had turned to the Germans, and some to the Predestinarians, I said, “O Lord, I will praise thee, for thou doest all things well: Thou, by thy providence, didst send me out of town, when the enemy was rending thy flock to pieces, and thereby thy servant hath escaped the snare.”
A few weeks after, I was at St. Paul's, where Mr. John Wesley also was: And I contrived to walk with him after sacrament ; for I had often wished I could speak with him, therefore I seized this opportunity. So we continued in discourse all the way from St Paul's to the farther end of Upper Moorfieldo ; and it was a blessed conference to me. When we parted, he took hold of my hand, and looking me full in the face, bid me take care I did not quench the Spirit. I had not such an opportunity again while I stayed in London, either with him or his brother ; but I kept close to God by fasting and prayer; and the Lord helped me through many trials.
One night, after I had been delivered from grievous temptations, my soul was filled with such a sense of God's love as made me weep before him. In the night I dreamed I was in Yorkshire, going from Gomersal-hill Top to Cleck-Heaton ; and about the middle of the lane, I thought I saw Satan coming to meet me in the shape of a tall black man, and the hair of his head like snakes: But I thought
I was not afraid at all; and I said, “ Stand by me, O Lord, and I will not turn to the right hand nor to the left." Yet I thought I would not stand to fight with him as I used to do. When he came within about five paces of me, he stood. But I went on, ript open my clothes, and shewed him my naked breast, saying, “ See, here is the blood of Christ.” Then I thought he fled from me as fast as a hare could run.
I was still attacked by the Moravians on one side, and the Predestinarians on the other : But the Lord enabled me to stop their mouths, and to shew them that they had lost their first love. Yet they seemed to be hardened, and past all conviction. And the more I read the scriptures, the more I was confirmed that they were fallen into carnal security ; which made me pray more earnestly, that God would preserve me from all the shares of the devil.
About ten days before Christmas, I went to St. Paul's; and while I was at the communion table, I felt such an awful sense of God rest upon me, that my heart was like melting wax before him; and all my prayer was, Thy will be done : Thy will be done !” I was so dissolved into tears of love, that I could scarce take the bread; and after I had received it, it was impressed on my mind, “ I must go into Yorkshire directly." But I said in myself, “ If I do go, it will be ten pounds out of my way." I had determined to go at May-day ; but I thought to stay for the sake of money would be wrong, when I believed it was the will of God I should go. So I packed up my clothes, and set out. I found much of the Lord's presence all the way I went; but I had no more thought of preach. ing than I had of eating fire.
When I got home, I was greatly disappointed; for I expected to find many of my relations converted, as I understood they attended Mr. Ingham's preaching. But when I explained to them what it was to be converted, they said they never heard of such a thing in their lives. I told them, I knew those things by happy experience. But they begged I would not tell any one that my sins were forgiven, for no one would believe me; and they should be ashamed to shew their faces in the street. I answered,
66 I shall
" I shall not be ashamed to tell what God has done for my soul, if I could speak loud enough for all the men in the world to hear me at once.” My mother said, “ Your head is turned.” I replied, “ Yes, and my heart too, I thank the Lord.” My wife told me, she was ashamed to put her head out of doors, for every one was talking about me, and upbraiding her with my sayings; and she wished I had stayed in London ; for she could not live with me, if I went on as I did; for which reason she desired that I would leave off abusing my neighbours, or go back to London. I answered, I did not care what all the people could say ;
for I was determined to reprove any one that sinned in my presence.
Then she cried, and said, I did not love her so well as I used to do. I replied, “ Yes, I love thee better than ever I did in my life ; and thou hast no reason to dispute my love, for I have been careful to provide for thee, whether I was at home or abroad ; and we have been happy in each other upwards of twelve years : but if thou wilt seek for redemption in the blood of Christ, we shall be ten times happier than ever.” She then said, “ Nay, my happiness with thee is over ; for, according to thy words, I am a child of the devil, and thou a child of God.” Then she wept, and said, “ I cannot live with thee." I said, “ Why so ?” Thou shalt never want while I am able, by honest endeavours, to provide for thee.' Nay, (I continued,) if thou wilt not go to ven with me, I will do the best I can for thee, only I will not go to hell with thee for
But I believe God will hear my prayer, and convert thy soul, and make thee a blessed companion for me in the way to Heaven.” After this, my wife began to be concerned about the salvation of her soul.
A few days after I got home, David Taylor came to preach in our town, in Mr. Ingham's Society; when I went to hear him : and a dry morsel his sermon was. -Several that were acquainted with him followed me, and wanted to know how I liked the discourse. I was backward to tell thr'm ; but they pressed hard on me, and said, “ Do you not think he is as good a preacher as Mr. Wesley?" I said, « There is no comparison between his preaching and Mr. Wesley's. He has not stayed long enough in the large room at Jerusalem.” After they had been gone some time, they came again to ask what I meant ? I said, “ He is not endued with power from on high.” They went and related to him what I said; and he told me since, that if I had been present, he could have stabbed me; yet he could not rest till he went to hear Mr. Wesley at London. Then he found what I said was true ; and he came down to Sheffield, and into Derbyshire, preaching what he called Wesley's doctrine, and awakened and converted many scores of people, till the Germans got to him, and made him deny the law of God. Then he became again as salt without savour. I went afterwards to a meeting of Mr. Ingham's, where one read in an old book for near an hour; then sung a hymn, and read a form of prayer. I told them, that
would never convert sinners; and began to relate some of my ex«. perience ; and several were struck with convictions while I was speaking. Some of whom became witnesses of the same grace that God shewed me.
In a little time, all I said was noised abroad, and people of all denominations came to dispute with me. As soon as I came home from work, my house was filled with peo. ple, which made my wife uneasy; for she could do no work, and did not yet believe what I said was true. Generally when I came in and sat down, some one would ask me a question, and others would begin to dispute with me, while others stood to hear.
When any began to cavil, I commonly asked, “ What church do you belong to?” And if they said the Church of England; then I replied, “ Do you know your sins are forgiven ?" Several said, “ No, nor never expect to know it in this world.” Then I replied, “ You are no members of the Church of England, if you have not a full trust and confidence, that God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Read the Homilies of the Church, and you will see what I say is true.” I used to have a Bible and Common Prayer-book by me; and I shewed them the Articles of the Church, saying, “ You deny inspiration ;
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