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Wesley at Dudley and Birmingham

On Tuesday, 24, about noon, we came to Dudley. At one I went to the market place, and proclaimed the name of the Lord to a huge, unwieldly, 1616     Correct to the text. noisy multitude; the greater part of them seemed in no wise to know "wherefore they were come together." I continued speaking about half an hour, and many grew serious and attentive, till some of Satan's servants pressed in, raging and blaspheming, and throwing whatever came to hand. I then retired to the house from which I came. The multitude poured after and covered over with dirt many that were near me; but I had only a few specks. I preached in Wednesbury at four, to a nobler people, and was greatly comforted among them; so I was likewise in the morning, Wednesday, 25. How does a praying congregation strengthen the preacher.

After preaching again at one, I rode to Birmingham.  This had been long a dry, uncomfortable place; so I expected little good here. But I was happily disappointed. Such a congregation I never saw there before: not a scoffer, nor a trifler, not an inattentive person (so far as I could discern) among them; and seldom have I known so deep, solemn a sense of the power, and presence, and love of God. The same blessing we had at the meeting of the society, and again at the morning preaching. Will then God at length cause even this barren wilderness to blossom and bud as the rose?

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