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Wesley Goes to Cornwall

Friday, 26.—I set out for Cornwall. In the evening I preached at the cross in Taunton, on, “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” A poor man had posted himself behind in order to make some disturbance: but the time was not come; the zealous wretches who “deny the Lord that bought them” had not yet stirred up the people. Many cried out, “Throw down that rascal there; knock him down; beat out his brains”: so that I was obliged to entreat for him more than once or he would have been but roughly handled.

Saturday, 27.—I reached Exeter in the afternoon; but as no one knew of my coming, I did not preach that night, only to one poor sinner at the inn; who, after listening to our conversation for a while, looked earnestly at us and asked whether it was possible for one who had in some measure known “the power of the world to come,” and was “fallen away” (which she said was her case), to be “renewed again to repentance.” We besought God in her behalf and left her sorrowing, yet not without hope.

Sunday, 28.—I preached at seven to a handful of people. The sermon we heard at church was quite innocent of meaning: what that in the afternoon was, I know not; for I could not hear a single sentence.

From church I went to the castle, where were gathered together (as some imagined) half the grown persons in the city.  It was an awful sight. So vast a congregation in that solemn amphitheater! And all silent and still while I explained at large and enforced that glorious truth, “Happy are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered” [see Ps. 31:1].

Monday, 29.—We rode forward. About sunset we were in the middle of the first great pathless moor beyond Launceston.  About eight we were got quite out of the way; but we had not got far before we heard Bodmin bell.  Directed by this we turned to the left and came to the town before nine.

Tuesday, 30.—In the evening we reached St. Ives.  At seven I invited all guilty, helpless sinners who were conscious they “had nothing to pay” to accept of free forgiveness. The room was crowded both within and without; but all were quiet and attentive.

Wednesday, 31.—I spoke severally with those of the society, who were about one hundred and twenty. Nearly a hundred of these had found peace with God: such is the blessing of being persecuted for righteousness’ sake! As we were going to church at eleven, a large company at the market place welcomed us with a loud huzza: wit as harmless as the ditty sung under my window (composed, one assured me, by a gentlewoman of their own town),


Charles Wesley is come to town,

To try if he can pull the churches down.


In the evening I explained “the promise of the Father.” After preaching, many began to be turbulent; but John Nelson went into the midst of them, spoke a little to the loudest, who answered not again but went quietly away.

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