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replied, “ Yes, or yours either : and he can give us corn without plowing and sowing ; but he does not, neither has he promised that he will.” He said, “ Be still one month, and then you will know more of your own heart.” I replied, “ With one proviso, I will." He said, “ What is that ?" I answered, “ If you can persuade the devil to be still for a month; but if he goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, and God hath put a sword into my
hand, I am determined to attack him, wheresoever I meet him; and wheresoever I meet sin, I meet Satan.” Some of them said, that their ears burned on their heads, to hear me speak to such a man as Mr. Ingham. I an„swered, I would speak to a gentleman as I would to a beggar, in the cause of God. Mr. Ingham said, " It must needs be that offences will come ; but woe to him by whom they do come." I replied, « Sir, take care that your curse does not fall on your own head.” Then he charged all the people, as they loved him and the Brethren, that they should not let me preach in their houses, or encourage me, by hearing me elsewhere. I replied, “I hope you will not hinder those who were converted under my word, from hearing me ; for they are my own children." He said, they would hinder them; for they were none of mine, but our Saviour's children. I answered, “ I have as much right to call them my children, as St. Paul had to call the Galatians his; and if they perish by being turned out of the way through you, I will require their blood at your hand.” Then Mr. Clapham said, “ May not I have some private conversation with John ?" Mr. Ingham answered, “ Yes :" and Mr. Clapham said, “ He shall be my teacher while I live." So it was, for he died in the faith within a fortnight.
When I got home, there were several people at my house, waiting to be instructed in the way to the kingdom. One of them cried out, “ What is the matter? Are you not well ? you look so pale !” I said, “ I have neither pain nor sickness of body, but my soul is disordered within me, for they have bereaved me of my children, and commanded them not to hear me before my face. Oh
these treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously! I am sorry Mr. Ingham should be a tool in their hands, to turn the simple out of the way ; but I hope he does it in igno
If he knows what he is doing, he will be a miserable man, for it is a less crime 10 take a child of God, and 'cut his throat, and thereby send him to Heaven at once, than to turn him out of the way, and to destroy both body and soul ; nevertheless, let us pray for him and them.” So we went to prayer, and when we arose from our knees, I took the Bible, requesting God to speak to me by his word: I opened on Isaiah xlix. 19. waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruetion, shall even now be too narrow, by reason of the in, habitants. And they that swallowed thee up, shall be far away. Thy children, which thou shalt have after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thinę ears, The place is too strait for me.; give place to me that I may
dwell. Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive removing to and fro; and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?” At the reading of which words, I and all thạt were in the house were so affected, that we burst into weeping. And God gave me one child, in answer to my prayer that night.
It was soon spread abroad that Mr. Ingham and Nelson had differed ; and many said, “ We shall now see an end of this new religion!” Several of them, who once professed to love me as their own lives, now became my open enemies, and laboured to draw all from me they could. They said, I made my Bible my God; and would take it up
in a scornful manner, saying, “ This is John Nelson's god! poor man, he hurts himself much by reading in it ; it would be better for him if he would let it alone, and abide by his heart." Then I said,
66 Woe is me,
mother ever bare me, to be a man of strife to all that are about me, But, Lord, I commit my cause to thee !!!
So I went on preaching repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, insisting, that those who
believed, should be careful to maintain good works. But many, that once said they might bless God they ever heard me, now called me legal, and told me to my face, that I never knew the gospel liberty, nor what it was to enjoy the poor sinnership. I replied, “I do not desire to know it ; I only want to know the perfect and acceptable will of God, and power to do the same." But they cried out, they had nothing to do, for the Lamb had done all for them.
After their next monthly meeting, one that had exhorted, came and called me out of my house, saying, he wanted to speak with me. I went out ; when he told me the Brethren had sent him, and they had the same power as the apostles had ; all that withstood them were soon miserable. I answered, “ What do you hobble at in your speech? If you came to tell me that they have given me up into the hands of the devil, speak out, Michael?” He. said, they had. I replied, " I hope I shall pray for them as long as I live. But do you go back and tell them, I have the devil under my heel; and he can never hurt me so long as I have the grace of God." Soon after, I met with another, that had got
into the poor sinnership, who held his neck on one side, and talked as if he had been bred up upon the borders of Bohemia : He said, the Brethren were sorry for me ; nay, he heard some of them say, that they would take care of my wife and children.' I told him I would see my wife and children die on a dunghill
, before I would sell my soul, and the souls of my country people.
I still kept close to God by prayer and fasting; and was daily refreshed with a sense of his love. He also opened my mouth more and more to speak his word, so that sinners were daily converted. Samuel Mitchell encouraged me much, and went with me almost every night that I went out of town; often four or five miles after we had done our work, and we used to come back together the same night in all sorts of weather.
One night, after a day of fasting, I dreamt that Mr. John and Mr. Charles Wesley were both sitting by my
fire-side, and that Mr. John said, I will stay but a few days now; for I must go into the North, and return at such a time, and will stay with you a week. The next day, when I told it, one said, “ If thou hast dreamed so, they will certainly come." I replied, “ I no more expect them than I
expect the king to come.” But in a few months after they came, and sat in the very posture I dreamed ; and Mr. John Wesley spoke the very words.
I was desired once more to go to Gomersal-Field-Head, to speak with Mr. Ingham. When I got there, David Taylor was with him in the parlour, and spoke kindly to me; but when Mr. Taylor was gone, he began to talk to me about making a division among the Brethren. I told him, I did not want to make division ; I wanted the people to be saved. But he said, “ We cannot receive you or Mr. Wesley into our community, till he publicly declares he has printed false doctrine, and you
declare you have preached false.” I said, “ Wherein ?" He then burst out into laughter, and said, “ In telling the people that they may live without committing sin." I replied, “ Do you call that false doctrine ?'. He answered, “I
I do; and Mr. Wesley has written false doctrine, teaching the same errors." He quoted some words; then I said, They are not Mr. Wesley's, but St. Johns words: it is St. John
He that doeth righteousness, is righteous; and he that committeth sin, is of the devil.' So, if St. John be right, every one that preacheth contrary to what Mr. Wesley has written here, and what I have preached, is a deceiver and betrayer of souls." “ If that be your opinion, (said Mr. Ingham,) we cannot receive you into our church.” I replied, “ I do not want to be one of you, for I am a member of the Church of England.” He answered, “ The Church of England is no Church; we are the Church." I said, “ We ! who do you mean?" He replied, “ I and *the Moravian Brethren." I said, “ I have no desire to have any fellowship with you or them; it has been better for my own soul since I have been wholly separated from you, and God has blessed my labours more since I was
told they had delivered me up to Satan, than ever before : therefore. I think it is better to have their curse, than to have communion with them.” He replied, “ If you think so, I have no more to say to you.”
And then turned his back on me.
When I went home, I met with one that had got into the liberty; and he told me that the devil had sent me into Yorkshire, to hinder the Brethren from having the country to themselves. I answered, “ If Satan sent me, he is die vided against himself, for you know by my preaching many are turned, that were grossly wicked, to live a righteous life.” He said, “ No man should be damned for their unrighteousness : " and when I mentioned any scripture, he laughed me to scorn, saying, “ You will never be happy till you leave off those scripture notions, and come to your own heart, and be a poor sinner.”
Now a trial.came upon me from another quarter: some of them came to my house when I was from home, and talked with my wife, stirring her up against me, so that she was tempted to go to them, and leave me ; and the temptation was so strong, that she got out of bed three times to go to them ; nay, the more I reasoned with her from scripture, in ever so loving a manner, the more she was set against me: then I had none but my old refuge, to get to God by prayer and fasting ; and the Lord took the matter into his own hand, and shewed wherein she had been deceived, and made her a staff in my hand, and a support to my soul again.
About this time, one of my neighbours, that used to hear me preach, was going to London, and said, “ I should be glad to see Mr. John Wesley, whom you
fa. ther in the gospel." I replied, " If you will carry a few lines to him from me, you may see and hear him too." In this letter I desired Mr. Wesley to write to me; and, as he
father in the gospel, to give me some instructions how to proceed in the work that God had begun by such an unpolished tool as me. When he got to London, he wrote to me, that he had seen Mr. Wesley, and given him the letter ; who read it, and asked him some questions