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The Cornish Tinners

Saturday, September 3.—I rode to the Three-cornered Down (so called), nine or ten miles east of St. Ives, where we found two or three hundred tinners, who had been some time waiting for us. They all appeared quite pleased and unconcerned; and many of them ran after us to Gwennap (two miles east), where their number was quickly increased to four or five hundred. I had much comfort here in applying these words, “He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor” [Luke 4:18]. One who lived near invited us to lodge at his house and conducted us back to the Green in the morning. We came thither just as the day dawned.

I strongly applied those gracious words, “I will heal their backslidings, I will love them freely,” to five or six hundred serious people. At Trezuthan Downs, five miles nearer St. Ives, we found seven or eight hundred people, to whom I cried aloud, “Cast away all your transgressions; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” After dinner I preached again to about a thousand people on Him whom “God hath exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour.” It was here first I observed a little impression made on two or three of the hearers; the rest, as usual, showing huge approbation and absolute unconcern.

Friday, 9.—I rode in quest of St. Hilary owns, ten or twelve miles southeast of St. Ives. And the Downs I found, but no congregation—neither man, woman, nor child. But by that I had put on my gown and cassock, about a hundred gathered themselves together, whom I earnestly called “to repent and believe the gospel.” And if but one heard, it was worth all the labor.

Saturday, 10.—There were prayers at St. Just in the afternoon, which did not end till four. I then preached at the Cross to, I believe, a thousand people, who all behaved in a quiet and serious manner.

At six I preached at Sennan, near the Land’s End; and appointed the little congregation (consisting chiefly of old, grey-headed men) to meet me again at five in the morning. But on Sunday, 11, a great part of them were got together between three and four o’clock: so between four and five we began praising God; and I largely explained and applied, “I will heal their backslidings; I will love them freely.”

We went afterwards down, as far as we could go safely, toward the point of the rocks at the Land’s End. It was an awful sight! But how will these melt away when God shall arise to judgment! The sea between does indeed “boil like a pot.”  “One would think the deep to be hoary.” But “though they swell, yet can they not prevail. He hath set their bounds, which they cannot pass” [see Ps. 104:8].

Between eight and nine I preached at St. Just, on the green plain near the town, to the largest congregation (I was informed) that ever had been seen in these parts. I cried out, with all the authority of love, “Why will ye die, O house of Israel?” The people trembled and were still. I had not known such an hour before in Cornwall.

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