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On my return to Epworth, I was desired to go by Hainton, and several from Grimsby went with me. When we got there, William Fenwick told me, there was a company of men at the bowling-green, who had made them. selves almost drunk, on purpose to kill me. I answered, that God was my defence, and I believed he would deliver me from them all. As soon as they heard I was come, they all left the bowls, and came to William Fenwick's, many of them with sticks about two feet long, and as thick as a man's wrist : some of them began to sing a psalm, and others to curse and swear ; but I reproved them, and they had no power to meddle with me. At the appointed hour I went into the street, and spoke to them in the name of the Lord ; and God put a bridle in the jaws of the wicked, so that they stood patiently to hear, while I was reasoning with them about the necessity of being made holy here, that we may not be damned eternally. A lusty red-faced gentleman exclaimed aloud, “ I am a Papists and I believe I shall be cleansed in purgatory." When I had done, I said, “ I appeal to all your consciences, that I have not spoken my own words, but the words of the Lord.” A gentleman answered, “ We allow all you say is true ; yet you deserve to be set in the stocks for deliver. ing it in the street.'
As I went into the house, one hit me with an egg on my head, and the people crowded so fast into the house, that I could scarcely turn myself; at last I got to sit upon à dresser, and spoke to them for an hour, and God began to work on several of them : but as soon as some began to tremble, and cry out, “ Lord, save, or we perish;" others made all the haste they could to get out of the house. When I got to Epworth, I found the people much in earnest, and my own soul was greatly blessed in speaking to them.
After I had laboured in Yorkshire a while longer, Mr. John Wesley sent for me to London. But by this time I had almost worn out my clothes, and did not know where the next should come from. My wife said, I was not fit to go any where as I was. I answered, “ I have worn
them out in the Lord's work, and he will not let me want long." Two days after, a tradesman in our parish, that did not belong to our society, came to my house, and brought me a piece of blue cloth for a coat, and a piece of black cloth for a waistcoat and breeches ; so I see the Lord is mindful of them that trust in him.
As soon as I well could, I set out for London on foot ; but one of my neighbours was going, and he took my pace, and let me ride sometimes. I preached at Nottingham Cross as I went.
I stayed a few days at London, when Mr. Richards and I set out for Oxford. We both preached at HighWycombe as we went.
When we came to Oxford, we met three young gentlemen in their gowns in the streets ; but I think I never heard a soldier or a sailor swear worse than they did. Mr. Richard being first, and a collegian himself, said, “Gentlemen, I am ashamed to hear you: it is a sad thing that you should come here to learn to be guides to others in the way to Heaven, and continue to go in the way to destruction yourselves !” One of them said, with a curse, “ What, are you a Presbyterian?” When I spoke, another of them said, “ These chaps belong to poor Wesley;" so they went away.
We spent a Sabbath at Oxford ; and some of the Collegians behaved very rudely as I was preaching in the evening ; but the Lord put his hook in their jaws, and kept them from doing any harm to the people, or hindering me in discourse.
The next day we got to Cirencester, and stayed two rights there, and one of the brethren went with us to Bristol. All this journey, we had but one horse between Mr. Richards and me.
After tarrying a few days at Bristol, and preaching once at Bath, Mr, Wesley, Mr. Downs, and I, set out for Cornwall. Mr. Downs and I had but one horse, so we rode by turns. Mr. Wesley preached at Maunton Cross, and Exeter Castle, as we went. We generally set out before Mr. Wesley and Mr. Shepherd.
One day, having travelled twenty miles without haiting, we came to a village, and inquired for an inn; but the people told us there was none in the town, nor any on our road within twelve Cornish miles. · Then I said, “ Come, brother Downs, we must live by faith.” When we had stood a while, I said, “ Let us go to yonder house, where the stone porch is, and ask for something : so we did, and the woman said, “ We have bread, butter, and milk, and good hay for your horse.” When we had refreshed ourselves, 1
gave the woman a shilling ; but she said, she did not desire any thing : I said, " I insist upon it.”
We got to Bodmin that night ; but it was late before Mr. Wesley and Mr. Shepherd arrived, having lost the path on the twelve-mile-common, and found their way again by the sound of the bells. The next day we got to Gwenap, and the day after to St. Ives. The following day I worked at my own business, and continued to work for several days.
When I had done my job of work, I went to St. Just's, and preached at the cross to a large company of wellbehaved people. Then I went to the Land's-End, and preached the same evening. Next morning, which was Sunday, I came to Morva church. After service I preach, ed there, and in the evening at Zunnor.
When I had been out a week, I returned to St. Ives, and fourd brother Downs in a fever, so that he was not able to preach at all. All that time Mr. Wesley and I lay on the floor. He had my great coat for his pillow, and I had Burkitt's Notes on the New Testament for mine, After being here for near three weeks, one morning, about three o'clock, Mr. Wesley turned over, and finding me awake, clapped me on the side, saying, “ Brother Nelson, let us be of good cheer, I have one whole side yet, for the skin is off but on one side.” We usually preached on the commons, going from one common to another, and it was but seldom any one asked us to eat or drink.
One day we had been at St. Hilary Downs, and Mr. Wesley had preached from Ezekiel's vision of dry bones, and there was a shaking anong the people as he preached.
As we returned, Mr. Wesley stopped his horse to pick the bla kberries, saying, “ Brother Nelson, we ought to be thankful that there are plenty of blackberries : for this is the best country that ever I saw for getting a stomach, but the worst that ever I saw for getting food ; do the people think we can live by preaching ?” I said, “ I know not what they may think ; but one asked me to eat something as I came from St. Just's, when I ate heartily of barley bread and honey.” He said, “ You were well off: I had a thought of begging a crust of bread of the woman, where I met the people at Morva, but forgot it till I had got some distance from the house."
On Sunday, having been at the Land's-End in the morning, and at Morya at noon, I came to Zunnor to preach at night, and got there before the service began. In the sermon, the minister said, “ Here is a people who hold that damnable Popish doctrine of justification by faith ; therefore I beg you not to hear them.” After the service was over, I went about two hundred yards from the church, and got upon a rock, where I began to sing a hymn, and I believe the whole congregation came to hear me. According to the light I had, I shewed what was the faith of the Gospel, and what the faith of the Church of Rome. · I stayed a fortnight after Mr. Wesley was gone, and I found
among the people. When Mr. Wesley arrived at Bristol, he wrote to me, and desired me to call at three different places to preach, in my way to Bristol.
When I left Capt. Hitchen’s, I was benighted on the twelve-mile.common, and was wet to the skin; but by the providence of God, I came to the house where I had called in going down. I knocked at the door, and the woman knew my voice, and said, “ The Lord bless you! come in ! come in !” As soon as I went into the house, they pulled off my wet clothes, and put me on dry ones, and got me something warm for supper; they took my wet clothes out of my bags, which they rinsed, dried, and ironed. We sang an hymn, went to prayer, and I gave them
an exhortation that night. The next morning, the man rose up, and alårmed that and another village, so that by seven o'clock I had about three hundred to preach to, who all seemed to receive the word with joy. I heard soon afterward, that the man and his wife who received us, had received the Lord that sent us.
The next night I came to Sticklepath, and preached to a large congregation in a field. As I was speaking, a woman, who had been brought up a Quaker, began to tremble, and in a little time sunk down upon the grass, and laid till I had done. Then they brought her to Mrs Bidgood's, where I was: and I prayed with her. Although most of the company were Quakers, yet they desired me to sing, and read several of our hymns.
The next morning, before I began to preach, the wo. man that fell down, with two more, came into the room where I was : she said, “ I had no rest in the night, the anguish of soul was so great ; and I desire thee to pray with me.
We went to prayer, and when she rose up she said, “ O praise the Lord, for to-day is the day of Pentecost with me.
After I had done preaching, an Exciseman, who came from Crockern Wells, told me, that it was given out for me to preach there at ten o'clock that forenoon, and he was to conduct me. So we set out directly, and I preached in an orchard. Among the rest of the people there was a Clergyman and his wife. All behaved well.
Almost as soon as I alighted at the Oxford-Inn, in Ex. eter, a man came to conduct me to the place where I was to preach. There was a Clergyman in the next room, who soon came into the room where I was, and asked me how the two Mr. Wesleys did ? and insisted upon my supping with him. I told him, I must go to preach first. He said, he would go with me, which he did. As I was preaching, the Clerk of a parish fell down, and after him another man and woman. They did not cry out, but lay groaning for mercy. After I had done, and the greater part of the people were gone, I went to prayer with them that were in distress.