Friday, 23.—In the evening another
storm began. In the morning it increased so that they were forced to let the
ship drive. I could not but say to myself, “How is it that thou hast no faith?”
being still unwilling to die. About one in the afternoon, almost as soon as I
had stepped out of the great cabin-door, the sea did not break as usual, but
came with a full, smooth tide over the side of the ship. I was vaulted over
with water in a moment, and so stunned that I scarcely expected to lift up my
head again till the sea should give up her dead. But thanks be to God, I
received no hurt at all. About midnight the storm ceased.
Sunday, 25.—At noon our third storm
began. At four it was more violent than before. At seven I went to the Germans.
I had long before observed the great seriousness of their behavior. Of their
humility they had given a continual proof by performing those servile offices
for the other passengers, which none of the English would undertake; for which
they desired and would receive no pay, saying, “it was good for their proud
hearts,” and “their loving Saviour had done more for them.” And every day
had given them an occasion of showing a meekness which no injury could move. If
they were pushed, struck, or thrown down, they rose again and went away; but no
complaint was found in their mouth. There was now an opportunity of trying
whether they were delivered from the spirit of fear, as well as from that of
pride, anger and revenge.
In the midst of the psalm wherewith
their service began, the sea broke over, split the mainsail in pieces, covered
the ship, and poured in between the decks, as if the great deep had already
swallowed us up. A terrible screaming began among the English. The Germans
calmly sang on. I asked one of them afterward, “Were you not afraid?” He
answered, “I thank God, no.” I asked, “But were not your women and children
afraid?” He replied, mildly, “No; our women and children are not afraid to die.”
Friday, 30.—We had another storm,
which did us no other harm than splitting the foresail. Our bed being wet, I
laid me down on the floor and slept soundly till morning. And, I believe, I
shall not find it needful to go to bed (as it is called) any more.
Sunday, February 1.—We spoke with a
ship of Carolina; and Wednesday, 4, came within soundings. About noon, the
trees were visible from the masts and in the afternoon from the main deck. In
the evening lesson were these words: “A great door, and effectual, is opened.”
Oh, let no one shut it!
Thursday, 5.—Between two and three
in the afternoon, God brought us all safe into the Savannah river. We cast
anchor near Tybee Island, where the groves of pines, running along the shore,
made an agreeable prospect, showing, as it were, the bloom of spring in the
depth of winter.
Arrives in Georgia
Friday, 6.—About eight in the morning,
we first set foot on American ground. It was a small uninhabited island, over
against Tybee. Mr. Oglethorpe led us to a rising ground where we all kneeled
down to give thanks. He then took boat for Savannah. When the rest of the
people were come on shore, we called our little flock together to prayers.
Saturday, 7.—Mr. Oglethorpe returned
from Savannah with Mr. Spangenberg, one of the pastors of the Germans. I soon
found what spirit he was of and asked his advice with regard to my own conduct.
He said, “My brother, I must first ask you one or two questions. Have you the
witness within yourself? Does the Spirit of God bear witness with your spirit
that you are a child of God?” I was surprised, and knew not what to answer. He
observed it and asked, “Do you know Jesus Christ?” I paused and said, “I know
He is the Saviour of the world.” “True,” replied he; “but do you know He
has saved you?” I answered, “I hope He has died to save me.” He only added, “Do
you know yourself?” I said, “I do.” But I fear they were vain words.
Saturday, 14.—About one, Tomo
Chachi, his nephew, Thleeanouhee, his wife Sinauky, with two more women, and
two or three Indian children, came on board. As soon as we came in, they all
rose and shook us by the hand; and Tomo Chachi (one Mr. Musgrove interpreted)
spoke as follows:
“I am glad you are come. When I was
in England, I desired that some would speak the great Word to me and my nation
then desired to hear it; but now we are all in confusion. Yet I am glad you are
come. I will go up and speak to the wise men of our nation; and I hope they
will hear. But we would not be made Christians as the Spaniards make
Christians: we would be taught, before we are baptized."
I answered, “There Is but One, He
that sitteth in heaven, who is able to teach man wisdom. Though we are come so
far, we know not whether He will please to teach you by us or no. If He
teaches you, you will learn wisdom, but we can do nothing.” We then withdrew.
19.—My brother and I took boat, and passing by Savannah, went to pay our first
visit in America to the poor heathens.
Voyage to England
Friday, 13.--We had a thorough
storm, which obliged us to shut all close, the sea breaking over the ship
continually. I was at first afraid but cried to God and was strengthened.
Before ten, I lay down: I bless God, without fear. About midnight we were
awakened by a confused noise of seas and wind and men’s voices the like of
which I had never heard before. The sound of the sea breaking over and against
the sides of the ship I could compare to nothing but large cannon, or American
thunder. The rebounding, starting, quivering motion of the ship much resembled
what is said of earthquakes.
The captain was upon deck in an
instant. But his men could not hear what he said. It blew a proper hurricane;
which beginning at southwest, then went west, northwest, north, and, in a
quarter of an hour, round by the east to the southwest point again. At the same
time the sea running, as they term it, mountain-high, and that from many
different points at once, the ship would not obey the helm; nor indeed could
the steersman, through the violent rain, see the compass. So he was forced to
let her run before the wind, and in half an hour the stress of the storm was
Tuesday, 24.--We spoke with two
ships, outward bound, from whom we had the welcome news of our wanting but one
hundred and sixty leagues of the Land’s End. My mind was now full of thought;
part of which I wrote down as follows:
"I went to America, to convert
the Indians; but oh! who shall convert me? who, what is he that will deliver me
from this evil heart of mischief? I have a fair summer religion. I can talk
well; nay, and believe myself, while no danger is near; but let death look me
in the face, and my spirit is troubled. Nor can I say, 'To die is gain!'
I have a sin of fear, that when I've
My last thread, I shall perish on
"I think, verily, if the gospel
be true, I am safe: for I not only have given, and do give, all my goods
to feed the poor; I not only give my body to be burned, drowned, or whatever
God shall appoint for me; but I follow after charity (though not as I ought,
yet as I can), if haply I may attain it. I now believe the gospel is true. ‘I
show my faith by my works’ by staking my all upon it. I would do so again and
again a thousand times, if the choice were still to make.
"Whoever sees me, sees I would
be a Christian. Therefore ‘are my ways not like other men's ways.'
Therefore I have been, I am, I am content to be, 'a by-word, a proverb of
reproach.' But in a storm I think, 'What, if the gospel be not true? Then thou
art of all men most foolish. For what hast thou given thy goods, thine ease,
thy friends, thy reputation, thy country, thy life? For what art thou wandering
over the face of the earth?--A dream! a cunningly devised fable!'
who will deliver me from this fear of death? What shall I do? Where shall
I fly from it? Should I fight against it by thinking, or by not thinking of it?
A wise man advised me some time since, 'Be still and go on.’ Perhaps this is
best, to look upon it as my cross; when it comes to let it humble me and
quicken all my good resolutions, especially that of praying without ceasing;
and at other times to take no thought about it, but quietly to go on ‘in the
work of the Lord.’”
Wednesday, February 1.—After reading
prayers and explaining a portion of Scripture to a large company at the inn, I
left Deal and came in the evening to Feversham.
I here read prayers and explained
the second lesson to a few of those who were called Christians, but were indeed
more savage in their behavior than the wildest Indians I have yet met with.
Friday, 3.—I came to Mr.
Delamotte’s, at Blendon, where I expected a cold reception. But God had
prepared the way before me; and I no sooner mentioned my name than I was
welcomed in such a manner as constrained me to say: “Surely God is in this
place, and I knew it not! Blessed be ye of the Lord! Ye have shown more
kindness in the latter end than in the beginning.”
In the evening I came once more to
London, whence I had been absent two years and nearly four months.
Many reasons I have to bless God,
though the design I went upon did not take effect, for my having been carried
into that strange land, contrary to all my preceding resolutions. Hereby I
trust He hath in some measure “humbled me and proved me, and shown me what was
in my heart” [Deut. 8:2].
Hereby I have been taught to “beware of men.” Hereby I am come to know
assuredly that if “in all our ways we acknowledge God, he will,” where reason
fails, “direct our path” by lot or by the other means which He knoweth. Hereby
I am delivered from the fear of the sea, which I had both dreaded and abhorred
from my youth.
Hereby God has given me to know many
of His servants, particularly those of the Church of Herrnhut [the Moravians].
Hereby my passage is opened to the writings of holy men in the German, Spanish,
and Italian tongues. I hope, too, some good may come to others hereby. All in
Georgia have heard the Word of God. Some have believed and have begun to run
well. A few steps have been taken toward publishing the glad tidings both to
the African and American heathens. Many children have learned “how they ought
to serve God” and to be useful to their neighbor. And those whom it most
concerns have an opportunity of knowing the true state of their infant colony
and laying a firmer foundation of peace and happiness to many generations.
Saturday, 4.—I told my friends some
of the reasons which a little hastened my return to England. They all agreed it
would be proper to relate them to the trustees of Georgia.
Accordingly, the next morning I
waited on Mr. Oglethorpe but had not time to speak on that head. In the
afternoon I was desired to preach at St. John the Evangelist’s. I did so
on those strong words, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature” [II Cor. 5:17].
I was afterward informed many of the best in the parish were so offended that I
was not to preach there any more.
6.—I visited many of my old friends, as well as most of my relations. I find
the time is not yet come when I am to be “hated of all men.” Oh, may I be
prepared for that day!
With regard to my own behavior, I
now renewed and wrote down my former resolutions.
1. To use absolute openness and
unreserve with all I should converse with.
2. To labor after continual
seriousness, not willingly indulging myself in any the least levity of
behavior, or in laughter; no, not for a moment.
3. To speak no word which does not
tend to the glory of God; in particular, not to talk of worldly things. Others
may, nay, must. But what is that to thee? And,
4. To take no pleasure which does
not tend to the glory of God; thanking God every moment for all I do take, and
therefore rejecting every sort and degree of it which I feel I cannot so thank
Him in and for.
Saturday, March 4.—I found my
brother at Oxford, recovering from his pleurisy; and with him Peter Bohler; by
whom, in the hand of the great God, I was, on Sunday, the fifth, clearly
convinced of unbelief, of the want of that faith whereby alone we are saved.
Immediately it struck into my mind,
“Leave off preaching. How can you preach to others, who have not faith
yourself?” I asked Bohler whether he thought I should leave it off or not. He
answered, “By no means.” I asked, “But what can I preach?” He said, “Preach
faith till you have it; and then, because you have it, you will preach faith.”
Monday, 6, I began preaching this new doctrine, though my soul started back
from the work. The first person to whom I offered salvation by faith alone was
a prisoner under sentence of death. His name was Clifford. Peter Bohler had
many times desired me to speak to him before. But I could not prevail on myself
so to do; being still, as I had been many years, a zealous asserter of the
impossibility of a deathbed repentance.
in Oxford Castle
Thursday, 23.—I met Peter Bohler
again, who now amazed me more and more by the account he gave of the fruits of
living faith—the holiness and happiness which he affirmed to attend it. The
next morning I began the Greek Testament again, resolving to abide by “the law
and the testimony”; I was confident that God would hereby show me whether this
doctrine was of God.
Monday, 27.—Mr. Kinchin went with me
to the castle, where, after reading prayers and preaching on “It is appointed
unto men once to die,” we prayed with the condemned man, first in several forms
of prayer and then in such words as were given us in that hour. He kneeled down
in much heaviness and confusion, having “no rest in” his “bones, by reason of”
his “sins." After a space he rose up, and eagerly said, “I am now ready to
die. I know Christ has taken away my sins; and there is no more condemnation
for me.” The same composed cheerfulness he showed when he was carried to
execution; and in his last moments he was the same, enjoying a perfect peace,
in confidence that he was “accepted in the Beloved.”
Sunday, April 2.—Being Easter day, I
preached in our college chapel on “The hour cometh, and now is, when the dead
shall hear the voice of the son of God: and they that hear shall live” [John 5:25].
I preached in the afternoon, first at the castle, and then at Carfax, on the
same words. I see the promise, but it is afar off.
it would be better for me to wait for the accomplishment of it in silence and
retirement, on Monday, 3, I complied with Mr. Kinchin’s desire and went to him
at Dummer, in Hampshire. But I was not suffered to stay here long, being
earnestly pressed to come up to London, if it were only for a few days.
Thither, therefore, I returned, on Tuesday, 18.
I asked P. Bohler again whether I
ought not to refrain from teaching others. He said, “No; do not hide in the
earth the talent God hath given you.” Accordingly, on Tuesday, 25, I spoke
clearly and fully at Blendon to Mr. Delamotte’s family of the nature and fruits
of faith. Mr. Broughton and my brother were there. Mr. Broughton’s great
objection was he could never think that I had not faith, who had done and
suffered such things. My brother was very angry and told me I did not know what
mischief I had done by talking thus. And, indeed, it did please God then to
kindle a fire, which I trust shall never be extinguished.
On Wednesday, 26, the day fixed for
my return to Oxford, I once more waited on the trustees for Georgia; but, being
straitened for time, was obliged to leave the papers for them, which I had
designed to give into their own hands. One of these was the instrument whereby
they had appointed me minister of Savannah; which, having no more place in
those parts, I thought it not right to keep any longer.
P. Bohler walked with me a few miles
and exhorted me not to stop short of the grace of God. At Gerard’s Cross I
plainly declared to those whom God gave into my hands the faith as it is in
Jesus: as I did next day to a young man I overtook on the road and in the
evening to our friends at Oxford. A strange doctrine, which some who did not
care to contradict yet knew not what to make of; but one or two, who were
thoroughly bruised by sin, willingly heard and received it gladly.
In the day or two following, I was
much confirmed in the “truth that is after godliness” by hearing the
experiences of Mr. Hutchins, of Pembroke College, and Mrs. Fox: two living
witnesses that God can (at least, if He does not always) give that faith
whereof cometh salvation in a moment, as lightning falling from heaven.
Monday, May 1.—The return of my
brother’s illness obliged me again to hasten to London. In the evening I found
him at James Hutton’s, better as to his health than I expected; but strongly
averse to what he called “the new faith.”
This evening our little society
began, which afterward met in Fetter Lane.
Wednesday, 3.—My brother had a long
and particular conversation with Peter Bohler. And it now pleased God to open
his eyes so that he also saw clearly what was the nature of that one true
living faith, whereby alone, “through grace, we are saved.”
Thursday, 4.—Peter Bohler left
London in order to embark for Carolina. Oh, what a work hath God begun since
his coming into England! Such a one as shall never come to an end till heaven
and earth pass away.
Sunday, 7.—I preached at St.
Lawrence’s in the morning, and afterward at St. Katherine Cree’s Church. I was
enabled to speak strong words at both; and was therefore the less surprised at
being informed that I was not to preach any more in either of those churches.
Sunday, 14.—I preached in the
morning at St. Ann’s, Aldersgate; and in the afternoon at the Savoy Chapel,
free salvation by faith in the blood of Christ. I was quickly apprised that at
St. Ann’s, likewise, I am to preach no more.
Friday, 19.—My brother had a second
return of his pleurisy. A few of us spent Saturday night in prayer. The next
day, being Whitsunday, after hearing Dr. Heylyn preach a truly Christian sermon
(on “They were all filled with the Holy Ghost.” “And so,” said he, “may all you
be, if it is not your own fault”), and assisting him at the holy communion (his
curate being taken ill in the church), I received the surprising news that my
brother had found rest to his soul. His bodily strength returned also from that
hour. “Who is so great a God as our God?”
I preached at St. John’s, Wapping at
three and at St. Bennett’s, Paul’s Wharf, in the evening. At these churches,
likewise, I am to preach no more. at St. Antholin’s I preached on the Thursday
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I
had continual sorrow and heaviness in my heart.
May 24.—I think it was about five this morning that I opened my Testament on
those words, “There are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises,
even that ye should be partakers of the divine nature” [II Peter 1:4]. Just as I went out, I opened it
again on those words, “Thou art not far from the kingdom of God” [Mark 12:34].
In the afternoon I was asked to go to St. Paul’s. The anthem was, “Out of the
deep have I called unto Thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice. Oh, let Thine ears
consider well the voice of my complaint. If Thou, Lord, wilt be extreme to mark
what is done amiss, O Lord, who may abide it? For there is mercy with Thee;
therefore shalt Thou be feared. O Israel, trust in the Lord: for with the Lord
there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem
Israel from all his sins.”
In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate
Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans.
About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works
in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt
I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given
me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin
I began to pray with all my might for those who
had in a more especial manner despitefully used me and persecuted me. I then
testified openly to all there what I now first felt in my heart. But it was not
long before the enemy suggested, “This cannot be faith; for where is thy joy?”
Then was I taught that peace and victory over sin are essential to faith in the
Captain of our salvation; but that, as to the transports of joy that usually attend
the beginning of it, especially in those who have mourned deeply, God sometimes
giveth, sometimes withholdeth, them according to the counsels of His own will.
After my return home, I was much buffeted with
temptations, but I cried out, and they fled away. They returned again and
again. I as often lifted up my eyes, and He “sent me help from his holy place.”
And herein I found the difference between this and my former state chiefly
consisted. I was striving, yea, fighting with all my might under the law, as
well as under grace. But then I was sometimes, if not often, conquered; now, I
was always conqueror.
Thursday, 25.—The moment I awakened, “Jesus,
Master,” was in my heart and in my mouth; and I found all my strength lay in
keeping my eye fixed upon Him and my soul waiting on Him continually. Being
again at St. Paul’s in the afternoon, I could taste the good word of God in the
anthem which began, “My song shall be always of the loving-kindness of the
Lord: with my mouth will I ever be showing forth thy truth from one generation
to another.” Yet the enemy injected a fear, “If thou dost believe, why is there
not a more sensible change? I answered (yet not I), “That I know not. But, this
I know, I have ‘now peace with God.’ And I sin not today, and Jesus my Master
has forbidden me to take thought for the morrow.”
Wednesday, June 7.—I determined, if God should
permit, to retire for a short time into Germany. I had fully proposed, before I
left Georgia, so to do if it should please God to bring me back to Europe. And
I now clearly saw the time was come. My weak mind could not bear to be thus
sawn asunder. And I hoped the conversing with those holy men who were
themselves living witnesses of the full power of faith, and yet able to bear
with those that are weak, would be a means, under God, of so establishing my
soul that I might go on from faith to faith, and from “strength to strength.”
[The next three
months Wesley spent in Germany visiting the Moravians.]
Sunday, 20.—Seeing many of the rich
at Clifton Church, my heart was much pained for them and I was earnestly
desirous that some even of them might “enter into the kingdom of heaven.” But
full as I was, I knew not where to begin in warning them to flee from the wrath
to come till my Testament opened on these words: "I came not to call the
righteous, but sinners to repentance” [Mark 2:17]; in applying which my soul was so
enlarged that methought I could have cried out (in another sense than poor vain
Archimedes), “Give me where to stand, and I will shake the earth.” God’s
sending forth lightning with the rain did not hinder about fifteen hundred from
staying at Rose Green. Our Scripture was, “It is the glorious God that
maketh the thunder. The voice of the Lord is mighty in operation; the voice of
the Lord is a glorious voice” [see Ps. 29:3, 4]. In the evening He spoke to three
whose souls were all storm and tempest, and immediately there was a great calm.
During this whole time I was almost
continually asked, either by those who purposely came to Bristol to inquire
concerning this strange work, or by my old or new correspondents, “How can
these things be?” And innumerable cautions were given me (generally grounded on
gross misrepresentations of things) not to regard visions or dreams, or to
fancy people had remission of sins because of their cries, or tears, or bare
outward professions. To one who had many times written to me on this head, the
sum of my answer was as follows:
“The question between us turns
chiefly, if not wholly, on matter of fact. You deny that God does now work
these effects; at least, that He works them in this manner. I affirm both,
because I have heard these things with my own ears and have seen with my eyes.
I have seen (as far as a thing of this kind can be seen very many persons
changed in a moment from the spirit of fear, horror, despair, to the spirit of
love, joy, and peace; and from sinful desire, till then reigning over them, to
a pure desire of doing the will of God. These are matters of fact whereof I
have been, and almost daily am, an eye- or ear-witness.
“What I have to say touching visions
or dreams, is this: I know several persons in whom this great change was
wrought in a dream, or during a strong representation to the eye of their mind,
of Christ either on the cross or in the glory. This is the fact; let any judge
of it as they please. And that such a change was then wrought appears (not from
their shedding tears only, or falling into fit, or crying out; these are not
the fruits, as you seem to suppose, whereby I judge, but) from the whole tenor
of their life, till then many ways wicked; from that time holy, just, and good.
“I will show you him that was a lion till then and is now a
lamb; him that was a drunkard and is now exemplarily sober; the whoremonger
that was who now abhors the very ‘garment spotted by the flesh.’ These are my
living arguments for what I assert, namely, ‘that God does now, as aforetime,
give remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost even to us and to our
children; yea, and that always suddenly as far as I have known, and often in
dreams or in the visions of God.’ If it be not so, I am found a false witness
before God. For these things I do, and by His grace, wTalks with
Friday, July 6.—In the afternoon I
was with Mr. Whitefield, just come from London, with whom I went to Baptist
Mills, where he preached concerning “the Holy Ghost, which all who believe are
to receive”; not without a just, though severe, censure of those who preach as
if there were no Holy Ghost.
Saturday, 7.—I had an opportunity to
talk with him of those outward signs which had so often accompanied the inward
work of God. I found his objections were chiefly grounded on gross
misrepresentations of matter of fact. But the next day he had an opportunity of
informing himself better: for no sooner had he begun (in the application of his
sermon) to invite all sinners to believe in Christ, than four persons sank down
close to him, almost in the same moment. One of them lay without either sense
or motion. A second trembled exceedingly. The third had strong convulsions all
over his body, but made no noise unless by groans. The fourth, equally
convulsed, called upon God with strong cries and tears. From this time, I
trust, we shall all suffer God to carry on His own work in the way that
Friday, 23.—On Friday, in the
afternoon, I left Bristol with Mr. Whitefield, in the midst of heavy rain. But
the clouds soon dispersed so that we had a fair, calm evening and a serious
congregation at Thornbury.
Tuesday, 17.—I rode to Bradford,
five miles from Bath, whither I had been long invited to come. I waited on the
minister and desired leave to preach in his church. He said it was not usual to
preach on the weekdays; but if I could come thither on a Sunday, he should be
glad of my assistance. Thence I went to a gentleman in the town who had been
present when I preached at Bath and, with the strongest marks of sincerity and
affection, wished me good luck in the name of the Lord. But it was past. I
found him now quite cold. He began disputing on several heads and at last told
me plainly that one of our own college had informed him they always took me to
be a little crack-brained at Oxford.
However, some persons who were not
of his mind, having pitched on a convenient place (called Bear Field, or Bury
Field), on the top of the hill under which the town lies; I there offered
Christ to about a thousand people, for “wisdom, righteousness, sanctification,
and redemption.” Thence I returned to Bath and preached on “What must I do to
be saved?” to a larger audience than ever before.
I was wondering the “god of this
world” was so still; when, at my return from the place of preaching, poor R---d
Merchant told me he could not let me preach any more in his ground. I asked him
why; he said, the people hurt his trees and stole things out of his ground.
“And besides,” added he, “I have already, by letting thee be there, merited the
displeasure of my neighbors.” O fear of man! Who is above thee, but they who
indeed “worship God in spirit and in truth”? Not even those who have one foot
in the grave! Not even those who dwell in rooms of cedar and who have heaped up
gold as the dust and silver as the sand of the sea.
Tuesday, 23.—In riding to Bradford I
read over Mr. Law’s book on the new birth. Philosophical, speculative,
precarious; Behemish, void, and vain!
Oh, what a fall is there!
At eleven I preached at Bearfield to
about three thousand, on the spirit of nature, of bondage, and of adoption.
Returning in the evening, I was
exceedingly pressed to go back to a young woman in Kingswood. (The fact I
nakedly relate and leave every man to his own judgment of it.) I went. She was
nineteen or twenty years old, but, it seems, could not write or read. I found
her on the bed, two or three persons holding her. It was a terrible
sight. Anguish, horror, and despair above all description appeared in her pale
face. The thousand distortions of her whole body showed how the dogs of hell
were gnawing her heart. The shrieks intermixed were scarcely to be endured. But
her stony eyes could not weep. She screamed out, as soon as words could find
their way, “I am damned, damned; lost forever! Six days ago you might have
helped me. But it is past. I am the devil’s now. I have given myself to him.
His I am. Him I must serve. With him I must go to hell. I will be his. I will
serve him. I will go with him to hell. I cannot be saved. I will not be saved.
I must, I will, I will be damned!” She then began praying to the devil. We
Arm of the Lord, awake, awake!
She immediately sank down as sleep;
but, as soon as we left off, broke out again, with inexpressible vehemence:
“Stony hearts, break! I am a warning to you. Break, break, poor stony hearts!
Will you not break? What can be done more for stony hearts? I am damned that
you may be saved. Now break, now break, poor stony hearts! You need not be
damned, though I must.” She then fixed her eyes on the corner of the ceiling
and said: “There he is: ay, there he is! come, good devil, come! Take me away.
You said you would dash my brains out: come, do it quickly. I am yours. I
will be yours. Come just now. Take me away.”
interrupted her by calling again upon God, on which she sank down as before;
and another young woman began to roar out as loud as she had done. My brother
now came in, it being about nine o’clock. We continued in prayer till past
eleven, when God in a moment spoke peace into the soul, first of the first
tormented, and then of the other. And they both joined in singing praise to Him
who had “stilled the enemy and the avenger.”
Comes Wesley, Galloping”
Saturday, 27.—I was sent for to
Kingswood again, to one of those who had been so ill before. A violent rain
began just as I set out, so that I was thoroughly wet in a few minutes.
Just as that time the woman (then three miles off) cried out, “Yonder comes
Wesley, galloping as fast as he can.” When I was come, I was quite cold and
dead and fitter for sleep than prayer. She burst out into a horrid laughter and
said, “No power, no power; no faith, no faith. She is mine; her soul is mine. I
have her and will not let her go.”
We begged of God to increase our
faith. Meanwhile her pangs increased more and more so that one would have
imagined, by the violence of the throes, her body must have been shattered to
pieces. One who was clearly convinced this was no natural disorder said, “I
think Satan is let loose. I fear he will not stop here.” He added, “I command
thee, in the name of the Lord Jesus, to tell if thou hast commission to torment
any other soul.” It was immediately answered, “I have. L---y C---r and S---h
J---s.” (Two who lived at some distance, and were then in perfect health.)
We betook ourselves to prayer again
and ceased not till she began, about six o’clock, with a clear voice and composed,
Praise God, from whom all blessings
Sunday, 28.—I preached once more at
Bradford, at one in the afternoon. The violent rains did not hinder more, I
believe, than ten thousand from earnestly attending to what I spoke on those solemn
words: “I take you to record this day that I am pure from the blood of all men.
For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”
Returning in the evening, I called
at Mrs. J---‘s, in Kingswood. S---h J---s and L---y C---r were there. It was
scarcely a quarter of an hour before L---y C---r fell into a strange agony; and
presently after, S---h J---s. The violent convulsions all over their bodies
were such as words cannot describe. Their cries and groans were too horrid to
be borne, till one of them, in a tone not to be expressed, said: “Where is your
faith now? Come, go to prayers. I will pray with you. ‘Our Father, which
art in heaven.’” We took the advice, from whomsoever it came, and poured out
our souls before God, till L---y C---r’s agonies so increased that it seemed
she was in the pangs of death. But in a moment God spoke; she knew His voice,
and both her body and soul were healed.
We continued in prayer till nearly
one, when S---h J---‘s voice was also changed, and she began strongly to call
upon God. This she did for the greatest part of the night. In the morning we
renewed our prayers, while she was crying continually, “I burn! I burn! Oh,
what shall I do? I have a fire within me. I cannot bear it. Lord Jesus!
Help!”—Amen, Lord Jesus! when Thy time is come.
Tuesday, November 27.—I wrote Mr. D.
(according to his request) a short account of what had been done in Kingswood
and of our present undertaking there. The account was as follows:
persons have lived long in the west of England who have not heard of the
colliers of Kingswood; a people famous, from the beginning hitherto, for
neither fearing God nor regarding man: so ignorant of the things of God that
they seemed but one move from the beasts that perish; and therefore utterly
without desire of instruction as well as without the means of it.