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  边走边唱,从今生到永恒
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约翰.卫斯理日记摘录 2015-07-09 16:49:33

Memorable Atlantic Storms

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.

 

Wesley 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.

Thursday, 19.—My brother and I took boat, and passing by Savannah, went to pay our first visit in America to the poor heathens.

The 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 over.

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 spun

My last thread, I shall perish on the shore!

"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!'

"Oh! 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.’”

In London Again

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.

Monday, 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!

Wesley’s Four Resolutions

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.”

Accordingly, 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.

Preaches 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.

Believing 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.

Talks with Bohler

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 following.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I had continual sorrow and heaviness in my heart.

Wednesday, 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 and death.

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.]

Wesley’s Living Arguments

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 Whitefield

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 pleaseth Him.

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.

ill testify.”

A Terrible Sight”

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 began:

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.”

We 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.”

“Yonder 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, cheerful look:

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.

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:

“Few 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.

 

 

 

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