« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Protestants cried out, Knock him down ! And it was no sooner said than done. I saw some bustle, but knew not what was the matter, till the whole was over."
But the Lord gave a balance to this contempt. For on the 10th, when he left Athlone, (which he visited after Birr,) he with much difficulty broke away from that “immeasurably loving people,” (to use his own expression.) and not so soon as he imagined neither ; for when he drew near to the turnpike, about a mile from the city, a multitude waited for him at the top of the hill. They fell back on each side, to make him way, and then joined, and closed him in. After singing two or three verses, he put forward, when on a sudden he was surprised by such a cry of men, women and children, as he had never heard before. " Yet a little while," said he, speaking of this interesting occurrence, " and we shall meet to part no more ; and sorrow and sighing shall flee away
for ever.” On his return to Dublin, he spent some days there previous to his departure for England. On one of these days, while he was preaching on the Green near the barrack, a man cried out, “ Aye, he is a Jesuit : that's plain.” To which a Popish Priest who happened to be near, replied, “ No, he is not. I would to God he was !"
Soon after he sailed, the zealous mob, who for some time had greatly incommoded those who attended at the preaching-house in Marlborough-street, made an attack in form. They abused the preacher and the congregation in a very gross manner. They then pulled down the pulpit, and carrying it with the benches into the street, made a large fire of them, round which they shouted for several hours. :
Those preachers, who remained in the kingdom, continued their labour with much success. Mr. Swindells visited Limerick, one of the most considerable cities in the province of Munster. The Lord much blessed his labours there, so that a society was soon formed ; and the religious impression was so great on the inhabitants in general, that Mr. Wesley observes, on his visit to this city the following year, that he found no opposition ; but every one seemed to say, · Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord !
But in Cork the scene was very different. For more than three months, a riotous mob, headed by a ballad-singer, whose name was Butler, had declared open war against these new reformers, and all who attended their preaching. To give a detail of their violence would be almost too shocking to human nature. They fell upon men and women, old and young, with clubs and swords, and beat and wounded them in a dreadful manner. But they were not content with thus abusing the people when attending the preaching. They surrounded their houses, wounded their customers, broke their windows, and threatened to pull their houses down, unless they would engage to leave this way! The common epithets used on those occasions by Butler and his party, were heretic dogs, and heretic bắtch—s: and several even of the magistrates rather encouraged, than strove to prevent these disorders.
A Mr. Jones, a considerable merchant, who was a member of the society, applied to the mayor, but could not obtain redress. The house of a Mr. Sullivan being beset, and the mob beginning to pull it down, he applied to the mayor, who after much importunity came with him to the spot. When they were in the midst of the mob, the mayor said aloud,
6 It is your own fault for entertaining those preachers : If you will turn them out of your house, I will engage there shall be no harm done ; but if you will not turn them out, you must take what you get.” On this the mob set up a huzza, and threw stones faster than before. Mr. Sullivan exclaimed, “ This is fine usage under a Protestant government. If I had a priest saying Mass in every room of it, my house would not be touched.” The mayor replied, “ The priests are tolerated; but not. You talk too much : Go in, and shut up your doors." Seeing no remedy, he did so; and the mob continued breaking the windows, and throwing stones into the house, till near twelve at night. A poor woman having expressed some concern at seeing Butler with his ballads in one hand and a Bible in the other, out of which he preached-in his way, Mr. Sheriff Reily ordered his bailiff to carry her to Bridewell, where she was confined for two days !
After this, it was not for those who had any regard either for their persons or goods, to oppose Mr. Butler. So the poor people patiently suffered whatever he or his mob thought proper to inflict upon them, till the Aşsizes drew on, at which time they doubted not to find a sufficient, though late relief.
Accordingly on August 19, 1749, twenty-eight depositions (from which the above facts are taken) were laid before the Grand Jury. But they did not find any one of these bills. Instead of this, they made that memorable Presentment, which is worthy to be preserved in their records to all succeeding generations :
“We find and present Charles Wesley, to be a person of ill fame, a vagabond, and a common disturber of his majesty's peace, and we pray that he may be transported.
“We find and present Thomas Williams, &c.
Butler and his mob were now in higher spirits than ever. They scoured the streets, day and night; frequently hallooing as they went along, “ Five pounds for a swaddler's* head!" Their chief declaring to them all, “ He had full liberty now, to do whatever he would.”
In the midst of this brutality and injustice, religion shed her cheering light, and diffused happiness almost at the gates of the city. At Rathcormick, within about twelve miles of Cork, the Rev. Mr. Lloyd, the rector, had received Mr. Wesley into his church, and sincerely strove to advance the good work in which he was engaged. A letter received from that gentleman about this time, forms a striking contrast to the disorders I have been relating.
"REVEREND SIR,-Your favour of the 15th instant, I received the 22d. I am more satisfied than ever, that you aim at nothing but what
* A name first given to Mr. Cennick, from his preaching on those words, • Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling-clothes, lying in a manger.'
has an immediate tendency to the glory of God and the salvation of mankind.
“I cannot help thinking that your design, considered in this light, (allowing even of some mistakes,) must be deemed very praiseworthy. As to myself, in particular, I must own it gives me infinite satisfaction, to find that you have spoken to so good an effect in our town and neighbourhood. My church is more frequented than ever it was ; and I have the pleasure of seeing a greater decency, and more of zeal and attention, than I could have dared to promise myself : Which has also this effect upon me, that I find myself better disposed than ever, to distribute, to those who attend my ministry, such food as may yield them comfort here, and happiness hereafter. I heartily wish this may continue, and that the people may not cool. If so, we may hope to see wickedness generally decline, and virtue and godliness take place. I see this work of yours, through God's blessing, thus successfully carried on, without any ill-will or jealousy, and could wish that all the clergy were, in that respect, of the same mind with me.
“ Your society here keeps up well ; and is, I believe, considerably increased since you left it. I frequently attend the preaching; and though I am much reflected on for it, this does not in anywise discourage me. While I am conscious to myself that I do no harm, I am careless of what men can say of me.
“ Michael Poor, lately a Romanist, who is now of your society, read his recantation on Sunday last.—Pray let us know, when you or your brother intend for this kingdom and town: For be sure, none wish more sincerely to see and converse with you than I, who am sincerely,
• Reverend and dear Sir,
“ RICHARD LLOYD, “ August 21, 1749."
In consequence of the shameful refusal of justice above-mentioned, the rioters continued the same outrages during the great part of the following winter. At the Lent assizes, the preachers (who made up the whole number then travelling in the kingdom, or at least as many of them as had ever been in Cork or its neighbourhood,) assembled at the house of Mr. Jones, and went from thence in a body to the court, accompanied by Mr. Jones and other reputable inhabitants. His Majesty's Judge behaved as became him. He inquired where were the persons presented. On their being pointed out to him, he was for some time visibly agitated, and unable to proceed. He at length called for the evidence, on which Butler appeared. On his saying, in answer to the first question, that he was a ballad-singer, the Judge desired him to withdraw, observing, " That it was a pity, that he who was a vagabond by profession, had not been presented !” No other person appearing, he turned to the preachers, and said, “Gentlemen, there is no evidence against you; you may retire : I am sorry that you have been treated so very improperly. I hope the police of this city will be better attended to for the time to come.”
It was now generally believed, there would be no more riots in Cork. But the flame of persecution was not yet extinct. Mr. Wesley arrived in Ireland in the month of April, 1750 ; and having preached in Dublin
and the intermediate places, he proceeded to Cork; and at the repeated invitation of Mr. Alderman Pembroke, came to his house. On the morrow, being the Lord's day, he went about eight o'clock to Hammond's Marsh, being informed that the usual place of preaching would by no means contain those who desired to hear. The congregation was large and attentive. A few of the rabble gathered at a distance ; but, by little and little, they drew near, and mixed with the congregation: And he preached to as quiet and orderly an assembly, as he could have met with in any church in England or Ireland.
In the afternoon, a report being spread abroad, that the Mayor designed to hinder his preaching on the Marsh in the evening, he desired Mr. Skelton and Mr. Jones to wait upon him, and inquire concerning it. Mr. Skelton asked, If Mr. Wesley's preaching there would be disagreeable to him? Adding, “ Sir, if it is, Mr. Wesley will not do it.”-He replied warmly, “Sir, I 'll have no mobbing.”—Mr. Skelton said, “Sir, there was none this morning.”—He answered, “ There was. Are there not churches and meeting-houses enough? I will ha no more mo and riots.”—Mr. Skelton replied, “ Sir, neither Mr. Wesley, nor they that heard him, made either mobs or riots.”—He then answered plainly, “ I will have no more preaching; and if Mr. Wesley attempts to preach, I am prepared for him.”
He, however, began preaching in the house soon after five. Mr. Mayor, in the mean time, was walking in the Exchange, and giving orders to the town drummers, and to his serjeants-doubtless, to go down and keep the peace! They accordingly came down' to the house, with an innumerable mob attending them. They continued drumming, and Mr. Wesley continued preaching, till he had finished his discourse. When he came out, the mob immediately closed him in. Observing one of the serjeants standing by, he desired him to keep the King's peace : But he replied, “Sir, I have no orders to do that.” As soon as he came into the street, the rabble threw whatever came to hand. But all went by him, or flew over his head ; nor did one thing touch him. He walked on straight through the midst of the rabble, looking every man before him in the face; and they opened on the right and left, till he came near Dant's Bridge. A large party had taken possession of this, one of whom was bawling out, “ Now, hey for the Romans !" When he came up, they likewise shrunk back, and he walked through them to Mr. Jenkins's house. But a Romanist stood just within the door, and endeavoured to binder him from going in; till one of the mob, (aiming at him, but missing,) knocked down the Romanist. He then went in, and God restrained the wild beasts, so that not one attempted to follow him. But
many of the congregation were more roughly handled ; particularly Mr. Jones, who was covered with dirt, and escaped with his life almost by miracle. The main body of the mob then went to the house, brought out all the seats and benches, tore up the floor, the door, the frames of the windows, and whatever of wood work remained ; part of which they carried off for their own use, and the rest they burnt in the open streeet.
Finding there was no probability of their dispersing, Mr. Wesley sent to Alderman Pembroke, who immediately desired Mr. Alderman Winthrop, his nephew, to go down to him at Mr. Jenkins'; with whom they walked up the street, none giving him an unkind or disrespectful word.
Monday 21.-He rode on to Bandon. From three in the afternoon till past seven, the mob of Cork marched in grand procession, and then burnt him in effigy near Dant's Bridge.
While they were so busily employed, Mr. Haughton, one of the preachers, took the opportunity of going down to Hammond's Marsh. He called at a friend's house there ; where the good woman, in great care, locked him in. But observing many people were met, he threw up the sash, and preached to them out of the window. Many seemed deeply affected, even of those who had been persecutors before; and they all quietly retired to their several homes, before the mob was at leisure to attend them.
Tuesday 22.--The mob and drummers were moving again, between three and four in the morning. The same evening they came down to the Marsh, but stood at a distance from Mr. Stockdale's house, till the drums beat, and the Mayor's serjeant beckoned to them, on which they drew up, and began the attack. The Mayor being sent for, came with a party of soldiers, and said to the mob, “ Lads, once, twice, thrice, I bid you go home. Now I have done.” He then went back, taking the soldiers with him. On which the mob, pursuant to their instructions, went on and broke all the glass, and most of the window-frames in pieces.
Wednesday, 23.—The mob was still patrolling the street, abusing all that were called Methodists, and threatening to murder them, and pull down their houses, if they did not leave this way,
Thursday, 24.—They again assaulted Mr. Stockdale's house, broke down the boards he had nailed up against the windows, destroyed what little remained of the window-frames and shutters, and damaged a considerable part of his goods.
Friday, 25.-One Roger O'Farrel fixed up an advertisement at the public Exchange, that he was ready to head any mob, in order to pull down any house that should dare to harbour a Swaddler.
At this time Mr. Wesley enjoyed peace at Bandon, notwithstanding the unwearied labours, both public and private, of Dr. — to stir up the people. But, on Saturday, many were under great apprehensions of what was to be done in the evening. He began preaching in the main street at the usual hour, but to more than twice the usual congregation. After he had spoken about a quarter of an hour, a Clergyman, who had planted himself near him, with a very large stick in his hand, according to agreement, opened the scene. Indeed, his friends said, “ He was in drink, or he would not have done it.” But before he had uttered many words, two or three resolute women, by main strength, pulled him into a house, and, after expostulating a little, sent him away through the garden. But here he feil violently on her that conducted him, not in anger, but love, (such as it was,) so that she was constrained to repel force by force, and cuff him soundly, before he would let her go.
The next champion that appeared, was one Mr. M., a young gentleman of the town. He was attended by two others, with pistols in their hands. But his triumph too was only short ; for some of the people quickly bore him away, though with much gentleness and civility.
The third came on with far greater fury; but he was encountered by Vol. II.