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Wesley’s Chancery Bill

Thursday, December 27.—I called on the solicitor whom I had employed in the suit lately commenced in chancery; and here I first saw that foul monster, a chancery bill! A scroll it was of forty-two pages, in large folio, to tell a story which needed not to have taken up forty lines! and stuffed with such stupid senseless, improbable lies (many of them, too, quite foreign to the question) as, I believe, would have cost the compiler his life in any heathen court of either Greece or Rome. And this is equity in a Christian country! This is the English method of redressing other grievances!

1745. Saturday, January 5.—I had often wondered at myself (and sometimes mentioned it to others) that ten thousand cares, of various kinds, were no more weight and burden to my mind than ten thousand hairs were to my head. Perhaps I began to ascribe something of this to my own strength. And thence it might be that on Sunday, 13, that strength was withheld, and I felt what it was to be troubled about many things. One and another hurrying me continually, it seized upon my spirit more and more till I found it absolutely necessary to fly for my life, and that without delay. So the next day, Monday, 14, I took horse and rode away from Bristol.

Between Bath and Bristol I was earnestly desired to turn aside and call at the house of a poor man, William Shalwood.  I found him and his wife sick in one bed, and with small hopes of the recovery of either. Yet (after prayer) I believed they would “not die, but live, and declare the loving-kindness of the Lord.” The next time I called he was sitting downstairs, and his wife able to go abroad.

As soon as we came into the house at Bristol, my soul was lightened of her load, of that insufferable weight which had lain upon my mind, more or less, for several days. On Sunday, several of our friends from Wales and other parts joined with us in the great sacrifice of thanksgiving. And every day we found more and more cause to praise God and to give Him thanks for His still increasing benefits.

Monday, February 18.—I set out with Richard Moss from London for Newcastle.

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