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about me, and said, “ Do you write by this night's post, and tell him I shall be at his house on Tuesday next, if God permiț.” I got the letter on Sunday, and was melted into tears before the Lord.
That day the Lord blessed our souls much, while we were praying that he would conduct his servant in safety to us, and bless his coming amongst us: but he was detained on the road, so that it was Wednesday at nine o'clock in the forenoon when he arrived at Birstal. He sent for me to the inn, from whence I conducted him to my house, and he sat down by my fire-side, in the very posture I had dreamed about four months before ; and spoke the same words I dreamed he spoke.
Before he went to Newcastle, large companies of those that had left me, came to hear him ; several of whom said they never heard such a sermon in their lives, nor ever felt so much of the power of God under any man's preach. ing.
Some said, when Mr. Ingham came first, he was often telling of this Mr. Wesley, saying, he believed he never talked with him but it was a blessing to his soul, and extolled him above any man that ever they heard him talk of ; and now they thought he exceeded all that Mr. Ingham had said about him, but they were greatly surprised, that Mr. Ingham should go through Birstal, and not call to see Mr. Wesley.
When Mr. Wesley came from Newcastle, their minds were changed; for they did not come to hear him. I ask. ed several of them the reason, and they told me Mr. Ingham declared he preached false doctrine, and it was not safe to hear him.
However, he did not preach in vain, for God blessed his word, and his coming was a great blessing to my soul. I said to him, " Sir, you may make use of Jacob's words, • The children thou hast begotten in Egypt before are mine;' for I freely deliver them to your care.' After he he had spent about a week, he left me: and now they that stayed with me were confirmed in the truth they had received; and many were convinced of the necessity of being
born again, so that greater multitudes than ever came to hear, and several were converted.
One Saturday night, there came a number of people that were halting between the Germans and me; and as I preached to them, my mouth was almost stopped, and all the time it appeared to me as if I was ploughing upon a rock. Nevertheless, when I had done, and got to the fire-side, the people did not offer to go away, but stood as beggars that wanted a morsel of bread. I then took up the Bible, and opened on the Prophecy of Isaiah, where it saith, “ I have blotted out thy transgressions as a cloud, and thy sins as a thick cloud: Return unto me, for I have redeemed thee." And I said, “ Hear
the word of the Lord !” So I read these words to them as I stood, and began to explain them; when the power of God came as a mighty wind, and many cried out, “ Lord, save, or we perish." I fell upon my knees, and called upon God to heal the bones that were broken, and to shew mercy to the
poor and needy. And he heard our cry, so that seven testified that God for Christ's sake had blotted out all their sins that night; and most of them told me, they purposed only to hear me that time, and to have gone to the Gere mans the next day.
Now people from every quarter flocked to Birstal on the Sabbath; but as yet there came only three from Leeds, Mary Shent and two other women.
It was about May when Mr. John Wesley came into Yorkshire, and towards Michaelmas that Mr. Charles Wesley and Mr. Charles Greaves came. They stayed a few days, then went on to Newcastle, with an intent to return in a fortnight ; but the Lord opened such a door in that place, that Mr. Wesley stayed some time longer. Mr. Greaves came at the time appointed, and the Lord blessed. his coming to several souls. I remember, one night at Armley, he preached, and when he had done, I gave an exhortation ; and the Lord applied the virtue of his precious blood to many souls that night, and for a whole week together, there were some that felt the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.
When Mr. Charles Wesley came back from Newcastle, the Lord was with him in such a manner, that the pillars of hell seemed to tremble ; many that were famous for supporting the devil's kingdom, fell to the ground, while he was preaching, as if they had been thunderstruck. One day he had preached four times, and one that had been amongst the people all the day, said at night, twenty-two had received forgiveness of their sins that day.
I think, from the time of Mr. Charles Wesley and Mr. Greaves's first coming, and their leaving Yorkshire, after their return from Newcastle, which was about a month, there were added to the true believers near fourscore. Then they began to cry out, “ The place is too strait for us, we should have a greater house !” So that the words of Isaiah which I opened on when the Germans bereaved me of my former children, were fulfilled.
About this time William Shent was converted ; and there began to be an uproar in Leeds, about his saying he knew his sins were forgiven. Some, however, believed his report, and had a desire to hear for themselves ; neither could he be content to eat his mossel alone, for his heart panted for the salvation of all his neighbours.
The Christmas following he desired me to go and preach at Leeds; but when I gave notice of it to the society, they advised me not to go till we had kept a day of fasting and prayer. So we humbled ourselves before the Lord on the Friday, and on Sunday night I went to Leeds, several of the brethren accompanying me. As we were going over the bridge, we met two men, who said to me, “ If you actempt to preach in Leeds, you must not expect to come out again live ; for there is a company of men that swear they will kill you.” I answered, “ They must ask my
Father's leave ; for if he have any more work for me to do, all the men in the town cannot kill me till I have done it.”
When we got to brother Shent's, he had provided a large empty house to preach in, and it was well filled with peo. ple. As soon as I got upon the stairs, I fe
ful senso of God rest upon me, and the people behaved as people that feared God, and received the word with meekness.
Now Armley Society became a nursing mother to the new-born souls at Leeds, for there were several steady souls at Armley, who had stood from the beginning withbut wavering, and I trust we shall meet together in Hea
Some time after we had begun at Leeds, Mr. John Bennett, from Chinley, in Derbyshire, came to our town, and sent for me to the inn. I did not know him, but by his dress I took him to be a preacher. I said, “ I do not know you: pray what is your name?”
He told me.
I asked him if he came from Mr. Wesley? He said, “ No; he was not in connexion with him, he was in fellowship with the Moravian Brethren : - but he had a great opinion of Mr. Wesley for some time, till he saw a little pamphlet which Mr. Wesley had lately published, which he styles, The Character of a Methodist ; and it changed his mind.” I asked, “ Sir, what do you find wrong there?” He replied, “ There is too much perfection in it for me.” I answered, “ Then you think a less degree of holiness will fit you for Heaven, thân what is mentioned there
pray what-are-the words you stumble at?" On his telling me, I said, “ They are the words of St. John.” But he said, “ We know by experience that there is no such thing to be attained in this life." I replied, “ If your experience do not answer to what St. Paul and St. John speak, I shall not regard it ;” and when I mentioned passages of Scripture, he did not believe that what I said was scripture. I pulled out my Bible, and shewed him the words; and when he had read them, his countenance changed, and he cavilled no more.
When we met again, we seemed to be of one heart and judgment. For God revealed his will to him soon after he had parted with me, and made him an instrument to turn many to righteousness, and to bring me and my brethren to preach in Lancashire, Cheshire, and Derbyshire.
The first time I went, he met me at Marsden, to conduct me into Cheshire ; but as I went over a great common, a little behind Huddersfield, a dog leaped out of the
heath, and came and smelled at my leg, and walked by my side for near a mile. He then went to the houses that were a little out of the way, and bit several dogs, and came running after me again; so walked by my side till he saw another house, where he fought with a dog, then followed me again. Thus he went on for about five miles, and went with me into the inn at Marsden, when he sat down by my side. There were several men in the house, whom I asked, if any of them knew whose dog that was ? but none of them could tell. I said, I think he is mad; but they laughed me to scorn. Soon after another dog came in, and he went and bit him directly, and ran out and bit four more, and then the men pursued and killed him. When I saw that God had kept me in such imminent danger, I was greatly humbled before him.
As Mr. Bennett and I went over to Stanedge, we met David Taylor, who had got so much into the poor
sinnership, that he would scarcely speak to me. He called Mr. Bennett to a distance, and said, he was sorry that he was going to take me into Derbyshire, for I was so full of law and reason, that I should do a great deal of hurt wherever I preached.
I preached twice that afternoon, once at Hopkin Pit, in Lancashire, and the other time at Woodley in Cheshire. It was given out, unknown from me, to preach at Man. chester-Cross on the Sunday in the afternoon. About ten people went with me from Mr. Lackwood's to Manchester. When we arrived there, I did not know but there might be two thousand people gathered together at the Cross, and most of them behaved well. But when I was in the middle of my discourse, one at the outside of the congregation threw a stone, which cut me on the head. However, that made the people give greater attention, especially when they saw the blood run down my face, so that all was quiet till I had done, and was singing a hymn. Then the constable and his deputy came and seized me and Mr. Bennett, and said, “ You must
before the Justice.” I asked, “ By what order?" He held up his staff, saying, that was his warrant, and he would make me go.