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Preaching in a Loft

Monday, May 10.—I went forward to Clonmell, the pleasantest town, beyond all comparison, which I have yet seen in Ireland. It has four broad, straight streets of well-built houses, which cross each other in the center of the town. Close to the walls, on the south side, runs a broad, clear river.  Beyond this rises a green and fruitful mountain, and hangs over the town. The vale runs many miles both east and west, and is well cultivated throughout.

I preached at five in a large loft, capable of containing five or six hundred people. But it was not full, many being afraid of its falling, as another did some years before; by which several of the hearers were much hurt, and one so bruised that she died in a few days.

Tuesday, 11.—I was at a loss where to preach, the person who owned the loft refusing to let me preach there, or even in the yard below. And the commanding officer being asked for the use of the barrack-yard, answered, it was not a proper place.  “Not,” said he, “that I have any objection to Mr. Wesley. I will hear him if he preaches under the gallows.” It remained to preach in the street, and by this means the congregation was more than doubled. Both the officers and soldiers gave great attention, till a poor man, special drunk, came marching down the street, attended by a popish mob, with a club in one hand and a large cleaver in the other, grievously cursing and blaspheming, and swearing he would cut off the preacher’s head. It was with difficulty that I restrained the troopers, especially them that were not of the society.

When he came nearer, the mayor stepped out of the congregation and strove, by good words, to make him quiet; but he could not prevail. He went into his house and returned with is white wand. At the same time he sent for two constables, who presently came with their staves. He charged them not to strike the man unless he struck first; but this he did immediately, as soon as they came within his reach, and wounded one of them in the wrist. On this, the other knocked him down, which he did three times before he would submit. The mayor then walked before, the constables on either hand, and conducted him to the gaol.

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