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Reading the Riot Act

Saturday, 22.—We reached St. Ives about two in the morning. At five I preached on “Love your enemies”; and at Gwennap, in the evening, on “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

We heard today that as soon as Mr. Maxfield came to Penzance, they put him down into the dungeon; and that the mayor being inclined to let him go, Dr. Borlase had gone thither on purpose and had himself read the Articles of War in the court and delivered him to one who was to act as an officer.

Saturday, 29.—I preached at St. Just again and at Morva and Zennor on Sunday, 30. About six in the evening, I began preaching at St. Ives, in the street, near John Nance’s door. A multitude of people were quickly assembled, both high and low, rich and poor; and I observed not any creature to laugh or smile, or hardly move hand or foot. I expounded the gospel for the day, beginning with, “Then drew near all the publicans and sinners for to hear him” [Luke 15:1]. A little before seven came Mr. Edwards from the mayor and ordered one to read the proclamation against riots. I concluded quickly after; but the body of the people appeared utterly unsatisfied, not knowing how to go away.  Forty or fifty of them begged they might be present at the meeting of the society; and we rejoiced together for an hour in such a manner as I had never known before in Cornwall.

Tuesday, July 2.—I preached in the evening at St. Just. I observed not only several gentlemen there who I suppose never came before, but a large body of tinners, who stood at a distance from the rest; and a great multitude of men, women, and children beside, who seemed not well to know why they came.  Almost as soon as we had done singing, a kind of gentlewoman began. I have seldom seen a poor creature take so much pains.  She scolded, and screamed, and spit and stamped, and wrung her hands, and distorted her face and body all manner of ways. I took no notice of her at all, good or bad, nor did almost anyone else.  Afterward I heard she was one that had been bred a Papist; and when she heard we were so, rejoiced greatly. No wonder she would be proportionately angry when she was disappointed of her hope.

Mr. Eustick, a neighboring gentleman, came just as I was concluding my sermon. The people opening to the right and left, he came up to me and said, “Sir, I have a warrant from Dr. Borlase, and you must go with me.” Then, turning around, he said, “Sir, are you Mr. Shepherd? If so, you are mentioned in the warrant too. Be pleased, sir, to come with me.” We walked with him to a public house near the end of the town. Here he asked me if I was willing to go with him to the doctor. I told him, just then, if he pleased. “Sir,” said he, “I must wait upon you to your inn; and in the morning, if you will be so good as to go with me, I will show you the way.” So he handed me back to my inn and retired.

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