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Wesley and the Sunshine

Thursday, 24.—We rode in less than four hours the eight miles (so called) to Newell Hay [from Bolton]. Just as I began to preach the sun broke out and shone exceedingly hot on the side of my head. I found that if it continued, I should not be able to speak long, and lifted up my heart to God. In a minute or two it was covered with clouds, which continued till the service was over. Let any who please, call this chance: I call it an answer to prayer.

Friday, 25.—About ten I preached near Todmorden.  The people stood, row above row, on the side of the mountain.  They were rough enough in outward appearance, but their hearts were as melting wax.

One can hardly conceive anything more delightful than the vale through which we rode from hence. The river ran through the green meadows on the right. The fruitful hills and woods rose on either hand.

At three in the afternoon I preached at Heptonstill, on the brow of the mountain. The rain began almost as soon as I began to speak. I prayed that, if God saw best, it might be stayed till I had delivered His Word. It was so, and then began again. But we had only a short stage to Ewood.

Tuesday, May 6.—Our conference began at Leeds. The point on which we desired all the preachers to speak their minds at large was whether we ought to separate from the church. Whatever was advanced on one side or the other was seriously and calmly considered; and on the third day we were all fully agreed in that general conclusion—that (whether it was lawful or not) it was no ways expedient.

Monday, 12.—We rode (my wife and I) to Northallerton.

Wednesday, 21.—I preached at Nafferton, near Horsley, about thirteen miles from Newcastle. We rode chiefly on the new western road, which lies on the old Roman wall. Some part of this is still to be seen, as are the remains of most of the towers, which were built a mile distant from each other, quite from sea to sea. But where are the men of renown who built them and who once made all the land tremble? Crumbled into dust! Gone hence, to be no more seen till the earth shall give up her dead!

June 2.—We rode to Thirsk, where I met the little society; and then went on to York. The people had been waiting for some time. So I began preaching without delay, and felt no want of strength, though the room was like an oven through the multitude of people.

Saturday, 7.—One of the residentiaries sent for Mr. Williamson, who had invited me to preach in his church, and told him, “Sir, I abhor persectuion; but if you let Mr. Wesley preach, it will be the worse for you.” He desired it nevertheless; but I declined. Perhaps there is a providence in this also. God will not suffer my little remaining strength to be spent on those who will not hear me but in an honorable way.

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