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Wesley’s Impressions of Scotland

We reached Musselburgh between four and five. I had no intention to preach in Scotland, nor did I imagine there were any that desired I should. But I was mistaken. Curiosity (if nothing else) brought abundance of people together in the evening. And whereas in the kirk (Mrs. G--- informed me) there used to be laughing and talking and all the marks of the grossest inattention, it was far otherwise here: they remained as statues from the beginning of the sermon to the end.

Thursday, 25.—We rode to Edinburgh; one of the dirtiest cities I had ever seen, not excepting Colen [Cologne] in Germany.

We returned to Musselburgh to dinner, whither we were followed in the afternoon by a little party of gentlemen from Edinburgh. I know not why any should complain of the shyness of the Scots toward strangers. All I spoke with were as free and open with me as the people of Newcastle or Bristol; nor did any person move any dispute of any kind, or ask me any question concerning my opinion.

I preached again at six on “Seek ye the Lord, while he may be found.” I used great plainness of speech toward them, and they all received it in love; so that the prejudice which the devil had been several years planting was torn up by the roots in one hour. After the preaching, one of the bailies of the town, with one of the elders of the kirk, came to me and begged I would stay with them a while, if it were but two or three days; and they would fit up a far larger place than the school and prepare seats for the congregation. Had not my time been fixed, I should gladly have complied.

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