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Wesley Visits Hatfield House

Monday, October 2.--I went to Chatham and had much comfort with the loving, serious congregation in the evening, as well as at five in the morning. Tuesday, 3. We then ran down, with a fair, pleasant wind, to Sheerness. The preaching-house here is now finished, but by means never heard of. The building was undertaken a few months since, by a little handful of men, without any probable means of finishing it. But God so moved the hearts of the people in the dock that even those who do not pretend to any religion, carpenters, shipwrights, laborers, ran tip at all their vacant hours and worked with all their might, without any pay. By this means a large square house was soon elegantly finished, both within and without; and it is the neatest building, next to the new chapel in London, of any in the south of England.

Thursday, 19.--I returned to London. In this journey I had a full sight of Lord Salisbury's seat, at Hatfield. The park is delightful. Both the fronts of the house are very handsome, though antique. The hall, the assembly-room, and the gallery are grand and beautiful. The chapel is extremely pretty; but the furniture in general (excepting the pictures, many of which are originals) is just such as I should expect in a gentleman's house of five hundred a year.

Saturday, December 23.--By great importunity I was induced (having little hope of doing good) to visit two of the felons in Newgate, who lay under sentence of death. They appeared serious, but I can lay little stress on appearances of this kind. However, I wrote in their behalf to a great man; and perhaps it was in consequence of this that they had a reprieve.

Sunday, 24.--I was desired to preach at the Old Jewry. But the church was cold, and so was the congregation. We had a congregation of another kind the next day, Christmas Day, at four in the morning, as well as five in the evening at the new chapel, and at West Street Chapel about noon.

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