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Wesley Likes a Soft Cushion

Friday, 22.--I rode to S--k and preached to my old congregation of colliers on "Why will ye die, O house of Israel?" After preaching, a servant of Mr. --- came and said, "Sir, my master discharges you from preaching any more on his ground; not out of any disrespect to you, but he will stand by the Church." "Simple master Shallowl" as Shakespeare has it: wise, wise master rector, his counselor!

Saturday, 23.--I spoke to each of the society in Sunderland. Most of the robbers, commonly called smugglers, have left us; but more than twice the number of honest people are already come in their place. And if none had come, yet should I not dare to keep those who steal hither from the King or subject.

On Monday and Tuesday evening I preached abroad, near the Keelman's Hospital, to twice the people we should have had at the house. What marvel the devil does not love field preaching? Neither do I. I love a commodious room, a soft cushion, a handsome pulpit. But where is my zeal if I do not trample all these under foot in order to save one more soul?

Wednesday, July 4 (Hartlepool).--Mr. Jones preached at five, I at eight. Toward the close of the sermon, a queer, dirty, clumsy man, I suppose a country wit, took a deal of pains to disturb the congregation. When I had done, fearing he might hurt those who were gathered about him, I desired two or three of our brethren to go to him, one after the other, and not say much themselves but let him talk till he was weary. They did so, but without effect, as his fund of ribaldry seemed inexhaustible. W. A. then tried another way. He got into the circle close to him and listening a while said, "This is pretty; pray say it over again." "What! are you deaf?" "No; but for the entertainment of the people. Come; we are all attention." After repeating this twice or thrice, the wag could not stand it; but, with two or three curses, walked clear off.

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