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Wesley Refused the Sacrament at Epworth

In the evening I reached Epworth. Sunday, 2. At five I preached on “So is everyone that is born of the Spirit.” About eight I preached from my father’s tomb on Hebrews 8:11. Many from the neighboring towns asked if it would not be well, as it was sacrament Sunday, for them to receive it.  I told them, “By all means: but it would be more respectful first to ask Mr. Romley, the curate’s leave.” One did so, in the name of the rest; to whom he said, “Pray tell Mr. Wesley, I shall not give him the sacrament; for he is not fit.”

How wise a God is our God! There could not have been so fit a place under heaven where this should befall me first as my father’s house, the place of my nativity, and the very place where, “according to the straitest sect of our religion,” I had so long “lived a Pharisee”! It was also fit, in the highest degree, that he who repelled me from that very table, where I had myself so often distributed the bread of life, should be one who owed his all in this world to the tender love which my father had shown to his, as well as personally to himself.

Tuesday, 22.—I went to South Biddick, a village of colliers seven miles southeast of Newcastle. The spot where I stood was just at the bottom of a semicircular hill, on the rising sides of which many hundreds stood; but far more on the plain beneath. I cried to them in the words of the prophet, “O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!” [Ezek. 37:4]. Deep attention sat on every face; so that here also I believe it would be well to preach weekly.

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