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a butcher of the town, (not one of the Society,) who used him as he would an ox, bestowing one or two hearty blows upon his head. This cooled his courage, especially as none took his part. So Mr. Wesley quietly finished his discourse.
Sunday, 27. At eight in the morning, he was favoured with such a glorious shower as usually follows a storm. After the church-service, he began preaching again on, The Scripture hath concluded all under sin.' In the evening, a large multitude flocked together ; such a congregation was probably never before seen in Bandon; and the fear of God was in the midst. A solemn awe seemed to run through the whole multitude, while he enlarged on, God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ !!
In the midst of the above riots, he wrote the following hymn, which is so excellent, and was so suitable to the time in which it was composed, that, though it is probably known to the majority of my readers, I cannot refrain from adorning this history with it; and more particularly, as it will give an admirable view of the spirit in which he bore this unjust and cruel treatment ; as well as afford another instance of his genius for poetry, though he chose to give the laurel to his brother.
Ye simple souls, that stray
Far from the path of peace,
To life and happiness,)
And throng the downward road,
And mock the sons of God?
Ye count our life beneath ;
Or glorious in our death:
Beneath your feet we lie,
O’erwhelm'd with griefs and woes;
And pleasure's mortal foes;
Our sight ye cannot bear,
The men whom ye despise.;
Above your scorn we rise;
Can witness better things;
In Jesu's love we know;
Of life our souls o'erflow.
Of wisdom, love, and power;
Angels our servants are,
And keep in all our ways,
The sacred sons of grace :
They all our steps attend;
We in his image shine ;
Our righteousness divine;
With pity we look down,
A never-fading crown.* Shortly after these riots in Cork, Butler went to Waterford, and raised disturbances in that city. But happening to quarrel with some who were as ready to shed blood as himself
, he lost his right arm in the fray. Being thus disabled, the wretch dragged on the remainder of his life in unpitied misery. His fellow rioters at Cork were intimidated by the soldiers in garrison, many of whom began now to attend the preaching. At length - peace was restored ; and the next time Mr. Wesley visited that city, he preached without disturbance. A large preaching house was soon after built, in which the people quietly assembled.
There are few places, where religion has prospered more than in Cork. · Being reviled for the naine of Christ, the Spirit of glory and of God has rested upon them: And many have been the living and dying witnesses of the power of true religion. The principal inhabitants have been long convinced of the folly and wickedness of the authors and encouragers of those persecutions : And, on a late visit, the Mayor invited Mr. Wesley to the Mansion-house, and seemed to consider his company as an honour.
Several circuits were now formed. The preachers who came over with Mr. Wesley, from time to time, visited the societies regularly, and preached in new places, as the way was opened for them. Several preachers were also raised up among the natives ; men who, after they had found acceptance with God themselves, and seen the deplorable state of the people around them, had no rest till they declared the way of salvation. Some of these had been Romanists, and for many years depended for salvation on the pageantry and forms, used by men as wicked as themselves. These were as flames of fire, when they found the new and living way' of faith in Christ, and love to God and man. They laboured and suffered, if by any means they might save souls from death.
The late Mr. Thomas Walsh was an eminent instance of this kind. His conversion was conspicuous ; his communion with God was deep and solid, his learning considerable, and his labours and sufferings very great. I doubt not, but a short extract from the Journal of this man of God will be acceptable to my Readers, especially as it clearly shows what the preachers of that day had to encounter, in testifying the Gospel of the grace of God.
* It has been denied, that Mr. John Wesley was the author of this hymn. I must still think, that he was: I believe, I was not misinforined. There is, I think, also some internal evidence. The hymn has the purity, strength, and sobriety of both the brothers; but is seems to want the poetical vis animi of Charles.
“ Thursday, January 4, 1750. With much weakness of body, I preached this morning, and soon after set out for Roscrea. About a mile from the town, I met a large company, armed with clubs. Seventyeight men were sworn upon the occasion. At the first sight of them, I was a little daunted; but I prayed to the Lord for direction, and was strengthened. They compelled me to alight, saying, they would bring a Minister of the Church of England and a Romish Priest to talk with me. I let them know I contended with no man concerning opinions, nor preached against any particular church, but against sin and wickedness in all. I said, supposing three persons among you, of different denominations, it may be a Churchman, a Quaker, and a Romanist) sitting down and drinking to excess, begin to dispute, each affirming that his was the best religion ; where is the religion of all these men ? Surely they are without any, unless it be that of Belial. They are of their father the devil, while his works they do: And if they live and die in this condition, hell must be their eternal portion. This they could not gainsay.
“ After some farther discourse on the design of my coming to preach the Gospel to them, and appealing to themselves concerning the necessity of it, their rage seemed a little abated. They then told me, they would let me go, on condition that I would swear never more to come to Roscrea. But when I resolutely refused this, they consulted on rougher measures ; and, after much debate, were determined to put me into a well, which they had prepared for that purpose. They hurried me away into the town, where I was surrounded, as by so many human wolves. They held a consultation again, and resolved either to make me swear,
that I would never more come thither, or else to put me into the well. But I refused either to swear or promise. Some then cried vehemently that I should go into the water, but others contradicted, and as positively said I should not.
“After some time, the parish Minister came, who behaved well, and desired I might be set at liberty. They consented, provided I would go out of town immediately. From an inn, where they had confined me, they brought me out into the street, and it being market-day, I began to preach to the people. But seizing me by the coat, they hurried me before them out of the town. At length I got on horseback, and, taking off my hat, I prayed for them some considerable time. I then called
them in the name of God, for Christ's sake, to repent; and told them, as to myself, in the cause of God, I feared neither devils nor men ; that to do their souls good, was my sole motive of coming among them; and that, if God permitted, they might put me into the well, or even stone me; that be it how it would, I was content.
“ I came off from them at length in peace of conscience and serenity of mind. From the first to the last, I was not the least disturbed, nor felt anger or malice towards them. O God, it is Thou alone that hast wrought this deliverance for me, in restraining the malice of men and devils, not suffering them to hurt me, when they rose up against me! Therefore, with angels and archangels, I laud and magnify thy holy name, thy tender mercy and paternal affection towards me, O holy Father, Son, and Holy Ghost !"
Mr. Walsh preached with great success in many parts of Ireland and England. But his soul chiefly mourned over the poor ignorant people of that communion which he had renounced. For their sakes he often preached in Irish, which he perfectly understood ; and many of them were thereby turned to God. But, as one observes, his soul was too large for his body. At the age of twenty-eight, he died an old man, being worn out by his great and uninterrupted labours.
Mr. Walsh was the first who preached from the Pulpit in London. Before that time, the preachers had addressed the congregation from the reading-desk. When Mr. Walsh came, he walked up into the pulpit, taking no notice of the custom. The solemnity of his manner, and the mighty force of his preaching, awed the congregation in an uncommon degree. From that time the preachers ascended the London pulpits, no man forbidding them.
MR. WESLEY'S LABOURS AND PROVIDENTIAL ESCAPES-HIS OPINION
OF THE MONTANISTS.--DEATH OF MR. JANE-HIS PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE.-FALL OF WHEATLEY, AND RENEWED LABOURS OF MR. C. WESLEY.
MR. Wesley continued his labours without intermission. He generally preached three or four, and sometimes five, times in the day, and often rode thirty or forty, sometimes fifty, miles. Thus did he bour while he could ride on horseback; nor do we believe there could be an instance found, during the space of forty years, wherein the severest weather hindered him for one day!
Many were the “ hair-breadth escapes” which he experienced during that time, and which he has noted in his Journals, with lively gratitude to him who numbers the hairs of our head. In this year (1750) he records a remarkable one.
“ I took horse," says he, “ in Bristol for Wick, where I had appointed to preach at three in the afternoon. I was riding by the wall through St. Nicholas' gate, (my horse having been brought to the house where I dined,) just as a cart turned short from St. Nicholas-street, and came swiftly down the hill. There was just room to pass between the wheel of it and the wall ; but that space was taken up by the carman. I called to him to go back, or I must ride over him. But the man, as if deaf, walked straight forward. This obliged me to hold back my horse. In the mean time the shaft of the cart came full against his shoulder with such a shock, as beat him to the ground. He shot me forward over his head, as an arrow out of a bow, where I lay, with my arms and legs, I know not how, stretched out in a line, close to the wall. The wheel ran by, close to my side, but only dirtied my clothes. I found no flutter of spirit, but the same composure as if I had been sitting in my study. When the cart was gone, I rose. Abundance of people gathered round, till a gentleman desired me to step into his shop. After cleaning myself a little, I took horse again, and was at Wick by the time appointed. I retarned to Bristol, (where the report of my being killed had spread far and wide,) time enough to praise God in the great congregation, and to preach on, Thou, Lord, shalt save both man and beast.'»
He now 'visited, with those that laboured with him, many parts of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire, and Cheshire, where he had never been before. He also visited Plymouth and many other places in the West; and in every place the work of God prospered.' 'Mr. Wesley observes, “ This is no cant word : It means, the conversion of sinners from sin to holiness."" But still they were obliged, in many parts, to carry their lives in their hands. Some instances of this have been related already. I shall mention one more, in his own words.
“ After preaching at Oakhill, a village in Somersetshire, I rode on to Shepton Mallet, but found the people all under a strange consternation. A mob, they said, was hired, and made sufficiently drunk to do all manner of mischief. I began preaching between four and five, and none hindered or interrupted at all. We had a blessed opportunity, and the hearts of many were exceedingly comforted. I wondered what was become of the mob. But we were quickly informed, they mistook the place, imagining I should alight, (as I used to do,) at William Stone's house, and had summoned by drum all their forces together to meet me at my coming. But Mr. Swindells, (one of the preachers,) innocently carrying me to the other end of the town, they did not find their mistake till I had done preaching.
“ However, they attended us from the preaching-house to William Stone's, throwing dirt, stones, and clods, in abundance ; but they could not hurt us, only Mr. Swindells had a little dirt on his coat, and I a few specks on my hat.
“ After we had gone into the house, they began throwing large stones, in order to break the door. But perceiving this would require some time, they dropped that design for the present They then broke all the tiles on the pent-house over the door, and poured in a shower of stones at the windows. One of their Captains, in his great zeal, had followed us into the house, and was now shut in with us. He did not like this, and would fain have got out, but it was not possible. So he kept as close to me as he could, thinking himself safest when he was near
But staying a little behind, (when I went up two pair of stairs, and stood close on one side, where we were a little sheltered,) a large stone struck him on the forehead, and the blood spouted out like a stream. He cried out, · 0 Sir, are we to die to-night? What must I do? What must I do?-I said, • Pray to God. He is able to deliver you from all danger.' He took my advice, and began praying, I believe, as he had scarce ever done before.
“ Mr. Swindells and I then went to prayer; after which I told him, • We must not stay here. We must go down immediately.'-He said, • Sir, we cannot stir, you see how the stones Ay about.'-I walked straight through the room, and down the stairs; and not a stone came in, till we were at the bottom. The mob had just broke open the door, when we came into the lower room; and while they burst in at one door, we walked out at the other. Nor did one man take any notice of us, though we were within five yards of each other.
“ They filled the house at once, and proposed setting it on fire. But one of them remembering that his own house was next, persuaded them not to do it. Hearing one of them cry out, • They are gone over the