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Persecuting the Methodists

Monday, September 9.—I preached at Charlton, a village six miles from Taunton, to a large congregation gathered from the towns and country for many miles round. All the farmers here had some time before entered into a joint engagement to turn all out of their service and give no work to any who went to hear a Methodist preacher. But there is no counsel against the Lord.  One of the chief of them, Mr. G---, was not long after convinced of the truth and desired those very men to preach at his house. Many of the other confederates came to hear, whom their servants and laborers gladly followed. So the whole device of Satan fell to the ground; and the Word of God grew and prevailed.

Wednesday, October 2.—I walked to Sold Sarum, which, in spite of common sense, without house or inhabitants, still sends two Members to the Parliament. It is a large, round hill, encompassed with a broad ditch, which, it seems, has been of a considerable depth. At the top of it is a cornfield; in the midst of which is another round hill, about two hundred yards in diameter, encompassed with a wall and a deep ditch. Probably before the invention of cannon, this city was impregnable. Troy was; but now it is vanished away and nothing left but “the stones of emptiness.”

Thursday, 3.—I rode to Reading and preached in the evening. Observing a warm man near the door (he was once of the society), I purposely bowed to him; but he made no return. During the first prayer he stood, but sat while we sang. In the sermon his countenance changed, and in a little while he turned his face to the wall. He stood at the second hymn and then kneeled down.  As I came out he caught me by the hand and dismissed me with a hearty blessing.

Friday, 4.—I came to London. On Monday, 7, I retired to a little place near Hackney, formerly a seat of Bishop Bonner’s (how are the times changed!) and still bearing his name. Here I was as in a college.

Twice a day we joined in prayer. The rest of the day (allowing about an hour for meals and another for walking before dinner and supper) I spent quietly in my study.

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