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In the Scilly Isles

Monday, 12.—I had had for some time a great desire to go and publish the love of God our Saviour, if it were but for one day, in the Isles of Scilly; and I had occasionally mentioned it to several. This evening three of our brethren came and offered to carry me thither if I could procure the mayor’s boat, which, they said, was the best sailer 88     Correct to the text. of any in the town. I sent, and he lent it me immediately. So the next morning, Tuesday, 13, John Nelson, Mr. Shepherd, and I, with three men and a pilot, sailed from St. Ives. It seemed strange to me to attempt going in a fisher-boat, fifteen leagues upon the main ocean, especially when the waves began to swell and hang over our heads. But I called to my companions, and we joined together in singing lustily and with a good courage:

When passing through the watery deep,

I ask in faith His promised aid;

The waves an awful distance keep,

And shrink from my devoted head;

Fearless their violence I dare:

They cannot harm—for God is there.

About half an hour after one, we landed on St. Mary’s, the chief of the inhabited islands.

We immediately waited upon the Governor, with the usual present, namely, a newspaper. I desired him, likewise, to accept of an “Earnest Appeal.” The minister not being willing I should preach in the church, I preached, at six, in the streets to almost all the town and many soldiers, sailors, and workmen on, “Why will ye die, O house of Israel?” It was a blessed time so that I scarcely knew how to conclude. After the sermon I gave them some little books and hymns, which they were so eager to receive that they were ready to tear both them and me to pieces.

For what political reason such a number of workmen were gathered together and employed at so large an expense to fortify a few barren rocks, which whosoever would take, deserves to have them for his pains, I could not possibly devise: but a providential reason was easy to be discovered. God might call them together to hear the gospel, which perhaps otherwise they might never have thought of.

At five in the morning I preached again on “I will heal their backslidings; I will love them freely.” And between nine and ten, having talked with many in private and distributed both to them and others between two and three hundred hymns and little books, we left this barren, dreary place and set sail for St. Ives, though the wind was strong and blew directly in our teeth. Our pilot said we should have good luck if we reached the land; but he knew not Him whom the winds and seas obey. Soon after three we were even with the Land’s End, and about nine we reached St. Ives.

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