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Defeating the Press-gang

In the evening I began near Stockton market place as usual. I had hardly finished the hymn when I observed the people, in great confusion; this was occasioned by a lieutenant of a man-of-war who had chosen that time to bring his press-gang and ordered them to take Joseph Jones and William Alwood. Joseph Jones told him, "Sir, I belong to Mr. Wesley." After a few words, he let him go; as he did likewise William Alwood, after a few hours, understanding he was a licensed preacher. He likewise seized upon a young man of the town, but the women rescued him by main strength. They also broke the lieutenant's head and so stoned both him and his men that they ran away with all speed.

Friday, August 3.--I preached at Gainsborough in Sir Nevil Hickman's great hall. It is fully as large as the Weaver's Hall in Bristol. At two it was filled with a rude, wild multitude (a few of a better spirit excepted). Yet all but two or three gentlemen were attentive, while I enforced our Lord's words, "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" I was walking back through a gaping, staring crowd when Sir Nevil came and thanked me for my sermon, to the no small amazement of his neighbors, who shrank back as if they had seen a ghost.

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