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Slandering Wesley in the Pulpit

I had given no notice of preaching here; but seeing the poor people flock from every side, I could not send them empty away. So I preached at a small distance from the house and besought them to consider our “great High Priest, who is passed through into the heavens” [Heb. 4:14]; and none opened his mouth, for the lions of Breage too are now changed into lambs. That they were so fierce ten years ago is no wonder, since their wretched minister told them from the pulpit (seven years before I resigned my fellowship) that “John Wesley was expelled the College for a base child, and had been quite mazed ever since; that all the Methodists, at their private societies, put out the lights,” and so on; with abundance more of the same kind. But a year or two since, it was observed, he grew thoughtful and melancholy; and, about nine months ago, he went into his own necessary house and hanged himself.

Saturday, 6.—In the evening I preached at St. Just. Except at Gwennap, I have seen no such congregation in Cornwall. The sun (nor could we contrive it otherwise) shone full in my face when I began the hymn; but just as I ended it, a cloud arose, which covered it till I had done preaching. Is anything too small for the providence of Him by whom our very hairs are numbered?

Sunday, 7.—Last year, a strange letter, written at Penzance, was inserted in the public papers. Today I spoke to the two persons who occasioned that letter. They are of St. Just parish, sensible men, and no Methodists. The name of the one is James Tregeer, of the other, Thomas Sackerly. I received the account from James, two or three hours before Thomas came; but there was no material difference. In July was twelvemonth, they both said, as they were walking from St. Just church town toward Sancreet, Thomas, happening to look up, cried out, “James, look, look! What is that in the sky?” The first appearance, as James expressed it, was three columns of horsemen, swiftly pressing on as in a fight, from southwest to northeast, a broad streak of sky being between each column. Sometimes they seemed to run thick together, then to thin their ranks. Afterward they saw a large fleet of three-mast ships, in full sail toward the Lizard Point.  This continued above a quarter of an hour; then, all disappearing, they went on their way. The meaning of this, if it was real (which I do not affirm), time only can show.

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