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A Bull in the Congregation

When they had forced their way to the little table on which I stood, they strove several times to throw it down by thrusting the helpless beast against it, who, of himself, stirred no more than a log of wood. I once or twice put aside his head with my hand that the blood might not drop upon my clothes; intending to go on as soon as the hurry should be over. But the table falling down, some of our friends caught me in their arms, and carried me right away on their shoulders; while the rabble wreaked their vengeance on the table, which they tore bit from bit. We went a little way off, where I finished my discourse without any noise or interruption.

Sunday, 21.—In the evening I rode to Marshfield and on Tuesday, in the afternoon, came to London. Wednesday, 24. I preached for the last time in the French chapel at Waping on “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” [John 8:31].

Thursday, 25.—I appointed several earnest and sensible men to meet me, to whom I showed the great difficulty I had long found of knowing the people who desired to be under my care. After much discourse, they all agreed there could be no better way to come to a sure, thorough knowledge of each person than to divide them into classes, like those at Bristol, under the inspection of those in whom I could most confide. This was the origin of our classes at London, for which I can never sufficiently praise God; the unspeakable usefulness of the institution having ever since been more and more manifest.

Friday, April 9.—We had the first watch night in London. We commonly choose for this solemn service the Friday night nearest the full moon, either before or after, that those of the congregation who live at a distance may have light to their several homes. The service begins at half an hour past eight and continues till a little after midnight. We have often found a peculiar blessing at these seasons. There is generally a deep awe upon the congregation, perhaps in some measure owing to the silence of the night, particularly in singing the hymn with which we commonly conclude:


Hearken to the solemn voice,

The awful midnight cry!

Waiting souls, rejoice, rejoice,

And feel the Bridegroom nigh.

Sunday, May 9.—I preached in Charles Square to the largest congregation I have ever seen there. Many of the baser people would fain have interrupted, but they found, after a time, it was lost labor. One, who was more serious, was (as she afterwards confessed) exceedingly angry at them. But she was quickly rebuked by a stone which lit upon her forehead and struck her down to the ground. In that moment her anger was at an end, and love only filled her heart.

Wednesday, 12.—I waited on the Archbishop of Canterbury with Mr. Whitefield, and again on Friday; as also on the Bishop of London. I trust if we should be called to appear before princes, we should not be ashamed.

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