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short, for I had but half an hour, before I was to answer for what I had done. Somebody had told the ensign that I had been preaching ; so he sent for me, and said, " Dyour blood, Sir, have you been preaching this morning ?"* I told him I had ; on which he swore he would have no preaching nor praying in the regiment. Then said I, “Sir, you ought to have no swearing or cursing neither: for surely I have as much right to pray and preach as you have to curse and swear."
He swore again that I should be damnably whipped for what I had done. I answered, “Let God look to that : the cause is his. But if you do not leave off your eursing and swearing, it will be worse with you than with me."
Then he said, “ Corporal, put this fellow in prison directly." The corporal said, “ Sir, I must not carry a man to prison, unless I give in his crime with him." "Well," said he," it is for disobeying orders.” So I see a hundred may disobey all the orders of God, and there is no notice taken of them ; nor do the common people cry out, "Hang them out of the way;" but if one of a thou. sand begins to reprove them for sin, they hale him to prisong as if he had killed father or mother. But so it was from the beginning ; for a murderer was preferred before the Prince of Life.
I was put prisoner just as the church service began; and I sent a man to tell my brother, that the word of God was fulfilled, “ Behold, the devil shall cast some of you prison, that ye may be tried;" and desired their prayers that I might be faithful unto death. As soon as within the prison, my heart was filled with joy unspeak. able, and my mouth with praise to my dear Redeemer. This also shall turn to the glory of God; for several men of good report heard me this morning, and testified that I had spoken the truth; and they would not, they said, be guilty of sending that man to prison for preaching, for all the world. This caused many to come to me, who offered me wine and strong drink. I told them, I did not care for any sort of strong liquor ; but such as I had, gave I unto them-some little books, and the word of God, which he
could I say,
gave me plentifully to speak to them, without respect of any man's person.
Two nights, and near three days, I was kept prisoner at this time ; during which my soul was as a watered garden ; and I could sing praises to God all day long, for he turned my captivity into joy ; and gave me to rest as well on the boards, as if I had been on a bed of down. Now
6 God's service is perfect freedom :" and I was carried out much in prayer, that my enemies might drink of the same river of
God gave largely to me.
Now did I more plainly see the dreadful state of the un. converted than ever, and thought, if it might be the conversion of my enemies, I could be content that they should tread me under their feet. But God only knows how it would have been, had I been 60 tried; yet thus far he hath helped me, and given me strength for my day. Indeed, I have found him a God of truth, as far as I have tried him : and I
forth the hand of my faith, to lay hold of his strength for what he shall next call me to.
On Tuesday I was fetched out, and brought before the major. There were several of the young officers with him, who smiled when I came into the room: for they had been several times to see me in prison, and had sworn I should be severely whipt. But I told them, “ If
do not repent, and leave off that swearing, you will perish eternally: and I shall be a witness against you ; and that will be worse than your whipping me for Christ's sake."
Now they seemed to rejoice, as if their words were going to be fulfilled, The major called, “ John Nelson-What were you put into prison for?" For warning people to fee from the wrath to come, (I answered ;) and if this be a crime, I shall commit it again, unless you cut my tongue out: for it is better to die than to disobey God.” “ Well, but if that be all," he replied, “it is no crime: for when you have done your duty, I do not care if you preach every night in a house, or any private place out of the town, but I would not have you make any mobs.”. Tlat,' said I, is far from my design." os Well,” said he, 6 you
may go home to your quarters ; and if I have a convenient time, I will send for you, and hear you myself; for I wish all men were like you." Here my adversaries hung down their heads, and gave off smiling.
As I went to sister Townshend's, I heard that we were to leave York on Thursday, at four in the morning, and march to Sunderland. I had a great desire to see my wife first, but she did not get my letter soon enough. - Many of the people came, and said, “ We are sorry you are going so soon from York ; but if you get your liberty, we hope both
you and Mr. Wesley will come, for we have need of such plain
dealing, and thousands in this city would be glad to hear. You see what a populous wicked place it is. Pray do not forget us, but think of us, when you see us noť. We expected some of you two or three years ago,
you had no regard for our souls, till God brought you by force. Surely you were not sold hither, but sent for our good : therefore forget us not.” 4. Oh the tenderness which these persons shewed, and desire for the word of God! It moved me to cry out, “ Lord, have mercy upon them, and let them hear thy gospel, and find it thy power unto salvation ; for why should thy people perish for lack of knowledge ?
On Thursday morning we stood two hours in the streets, before we set out of town. We marched to Easingwold that day; and when we were drawn up in the street, the people perceived me to be the Methodist preacher they had read of in the newspapers. They told one another, and fucked about me, as if the soldiers had brought a monster into the town,
When we had stayed near an hour in the street, I and five more were billeted at one house, where the people were so poor they had not six seats for us to sit on, nor any beds ; so we came back to the officers' quarters, and they ordered four of us to another house.
God gave me to speak plain to them, and several of their neighbours, who came to see the Methodist. And then they said, “If this be the Methodist doctrine; we pray God we may have it preached in this town, for hundreds would be glad to hear you.”
In the evening the head man of the town came in. He was a professed Papist, but a moral, honest man, and one who bears a good character in his neighbourhood. He asked me many questions, and God gave me to answer him to his satisfaction. Indeed, I never saw a man of his rank so teachable and humble : his gold lace did not make him above listening to the gospel : he seemed a man of sound reason, as well as of a liberal education. I spoke near an hour, to prove the doctrine of justification by faith, and that from both the Old and New Testaments. I shewed the fruits of that justifying faith, and the necessity of every man’s having it, that he may escape the damnation of hell. The word had such an effect upon him, that his eyes discovered the tenderness of his heart ; and when I ended, he said, “ I think no man in his senses would dare to hinder you from instructing sinners in the
way of salvation. As for my own part, I shall be glad to see you at liberty : and if you get clear of these men, and come again this way, I would have you call on me.”
I was amazed to find such a man among the Papists, hav. ing met with very few, either teachers or hearers, of our own church, but what hold Popish principles ten times stronger than this man, who calls himself a Papist. When he went away, he forced two shillings into hands which I would have returned, telling him I received no money, and needed none; but he would not take it again, saying, he could afford it, and I might have occasion for it on my jourfiey. O God, be merciful to him that gives a cup of cold water to thỳ servants !
Next morning at two, the drum beat for us to march out of town. By eleven on Friday, we got to Northallerton ; and by twelve, settled in quarters. I went into the market.' place, and spoke to those I found there, of the way of sal. vation ; I hope not in vain. Afterwards, as I was sitting alone, there came a shop-keeper, and said, if I would go to his house, he would give me a glass of any liquor I pleased to drink : I told him I did not drink any strong liquor. " Well but, said he, I desire your company, if you please, for half an hour.' I went to his house, and drank tea
witl: him and his family, and spake plainly to them. They received my exhortation with thankfulness, and said, “We have heard much of you, but never heard
any of you before ; several of you have passed through this town, and we wonder they have never preached here. If you come again, we hope you will call and see us.' I
them a book, and returned to my quarters.
Next morning at one, the drum beat for us to march, and we got to Darlington by nine. Here I was known to several, and by them made known to almost all the town. Many came to my quarters to talk with me; and others sent for me. Whence this famine in the land ? I find the people hunger after the word, as if there were no Bibles in the nation.
We rested here on Sunday, and I had many to see me. When they heard what our doctrine was, they cried, “ It is a shame to send a man for a soldier for speaking the truth : for let all men say what they will, this is the gospel of Jesus Christ."
In the evening, one of the officers came to me, and said, “ Well, Sir, why were you not at church to-day ?” I answered, “ I was, Sir; and if you had been there, you might have seen me : for I never miss going when I have an opportunity." “ Well, Sir, he added, have you preached since you came hither" “ Not publicly yet," I replied. He swore he wished I would, that he might punish me severely. “ But, Sir, (I told him,) if you do not repent and leave off that habit of swearing, you will be worse punished than you are able to punish me.” He replied, “ I will make you mind your firelock, and leave off your preaching." “ Yes, Sir, I answered, “ when I leave off speaking.”
This was he that put me in prison at York for preaching As Saul hunted David, so has this man hunted my soul ; but I trust the same God that delivered David, will deliver me from cruel men. He called for one of the sol. diers, and took the cockade out of his hat, putting it in mine, and swore he would make me wear it. This caused a sore temptation to arise in me; to think that an ignorant