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Wesley and the Cock-fighter

Wednesday, 23.—I met a gentleman in the streets cursing and swearing in so dreadful a manner that I could not but stop him. He soon grew calmer; told me he must treat me with a glass of wine; and that he would come and hear me, only he was afraid I should say something against fighting of cocks.

April 1. (Being Good Friday.)—I had a great desire to visit a little village called Placey, about ten measured miles north of Newcastle. It is inhabited by colliers only, and such as had been always in the first rank for savage ignorance and wickedness of every kind. Their grand assembly used to be on the Lord’s day; on which men, women, and children met together to dance, fight, curse and swear, and play at chuck ball, spanfarthing, or whatever came next to hand. I felt great compassion for these poor creatures from the time I heard of them first; and the more, because all men seemed to despair of them.

Between seven and eight I set out with John Healy, my guide. The north wind, being unusually high, drove the sleet in our face, which froze as it fell and cased us over presently.  When we came to Placey, we could very hardly stand. As soon as we were a little recovered I went into the square and declared Him who “was wounded for our transgressions” and “bruised for our iniquities.” The poor sinners were quickly gathered together and gave earnest heed to the things which were spoken. And so they did in the afternoon again, in spite of the wind and snow, when I besought them to receive Him for their King; to “repent and believe the gospel.”

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