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Wesley in Cornwall
Friday, August 27.--l set out for the west and having preached at Shepton and Middlesey in the way, came on Saturday to Exeter. When I began the service there, the congregation (beside ourselves) were two women and one man. Before I had done, the room was about half full. This comes of omitting field-preaching.
Sunday, 29.--I preached at eight on Southernay Green, to an extremely quiet congregation. At the cathedral we had a useful sermon, and the whole service was performed with great seriousness and decency. Such an organ I never saw or heard before, so large, beautiful, and so finely toned; and the music of "Glory Be to God in the Highest" I think exceeded the Messiah itself. I was well pleased to partake of the Lord's supper with my old opponent, Bishop Lavington. Oh, may we sit down together in the kingdom of our Fatherl
At five I went to Southernay Green again and found a multitude of people; but a lewd, profane, drunken vagabond had so stirred up many of the baser sort that there was much noise, hurry, and confusion. While I was preaching, several things were thrown, and much pains taken to overturn the table; and after I concluded, many endeavored to throw me down, but I walked through the midst and left them.
Saturday, September 4.--After preaching in Grampound, I rode on to Truro. I almost expected there would be some disturbance, as it was market day, and I stood in the street at a small distance from the market. But all was quiet. Indeed both persecution and popular tumult seem to be forgotten in Cornwall.
Sunday, 5.--As I was enforcing, in the same place, those solemn words, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" [Gal. 6:14], a poor man began to make some tumult; but many cried out, "Constables, take him away." They did so, and the hurry was over. At one I preached in the main street at Redruth, where rich and poor were equally attentive. The wind was so high at five that I could not stand in the usual place at Gwennap. But at a small distance was a hollow, capable of containing many thousand people. I stood on one side of this amphitheater toward the top, with the people beneath and on all sides, and enlarged on those words in the Gospel for the day (Luke 10:23, 24), "Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see, and which hear the things that ye hear."
Widnesday, 15.--The more I converse with the believers in Cornwall, the more I am convinced that they have sustained great loss for want of hearing the doctrine of Christian perfection clearly and strongly enforced. I see that wherever this is not done, the believers grow dead and cold. Nor can this be prevented but by keeping up in them an hourly expectation of being perfected in love. I say an hourly expectation; for to expect it at death, or some time hence, is much the same as not expecting it at all.
That detestable practice of cheating the King (smuggling) is no more found in our societies. And since that accursed thing has been put away, the work of God has everywhere increased.
Monday, October 25.--l preached at one, in the shell of the new house at Shepton Mallet. In digging the foundation they found a quarry of stone, which was more than sufficient for the house.
Thursday, 28.--One who had adorned the gospel in life and in death, having desired that I should preach her funeral sermon, I went with a few friends to the house and sang before the body to the room. I did this the rather to show my approbation of that solemn custom and to encourage others to follow it. As we walked, our company swiftly increased, so that we had a very numerous congregation at the room. And who can tell, but some of these may bless God from it to all eternity?
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