« Prev Preaching from the Stocks Next »

Preaching from the Stocks

1776. January 1.—About eighteen hundred of us met together in London in order to renew our covenant with God; and it was, as usual, a very solemn opportunity.

Sunday, 14.--As I was going to West Street Chapel, one of the chaise springs suddenly snapped asunder; but the horses instantly stepping, I stepped out without the least inconvenience.

At all my vacant hours in this and the following week, I endeavored to finish the Concise History of England. I am sensible it must give offense, as in many parts I am quite singular; particularly with regard to those injured characters, Richard III and Mary Queen of Scots. But I must speak as I think; although I am still waiting for, and willing to receive, better information.

Tuesday, April 30.--in the evening I preached in a kind of square at Colne, to a multitude of people, all drinking in the Word. I scarcely ever saw a congregation wherein men, women, and children stood in such a posture; and this in the town wherein, thirty years ago, no Methodist could show his head! The first that preached here was John Jane, who was innocently riding through the town when the zealous mob pulled him off his horse and put him in the stocks. He seized the opportunity and vehemently exhorted them "to flee from the wrath to come."

Wednesday, May 1.—I set out early and the next afternoon reached Whitehaven; and my chaise horses were no worse for traveling nearly a hundred and ten miles in two days.

In traveling through Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Westmoreland, and Cumberland, I diligently made two inquiries: the first was concerning the increase or decrease of the people; the second, concerning the increase or decrease of trade. As to the latter, it is, within these two last years, amazingly increased; in several branches in such a manner as has not been known in the memory of man: such is the fruit of the entire civil and religious liberty which all England now enjoys! And as to the former, not only in every city and large town, but in every village and hamlet, there is no decrease, but a very large and swift increase. One sign of this is the swarms of little children which we see in every place. Which, then, shall we most admire, the ignorance or confidence of those that affirm population decreases in England? I doubt not but it increases fully as fast as in any province of North America.

« Prev Preaching from the Stocks Next »
VIEWNAME is workSection