Picture of Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley

places mentioned

Jan. 2 - Feb. 27, 1743: Bristol and Bath

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January 2 - February 27, 1743

SUNDAY, January 2d, 1743. I rode to Bexley, and discoursed in the church from Luke i.: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people." God gave me to speak in mild love; and some of the most rebellious began to melt into convictions.

I returned to town, and expounded the barren fig-tree at the Foundery. Their hearts were bowed as the heart of one man.

Mon., January 8d. I preached at Brentford, and stirred up the little Society to "look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of their faith." A young man came, and fell down, very innocently, on his knees to ask my blessing, because, he said, I was his spiritual father, faith having come by hearing me one of the last times I preached here.

I rode on to Eton, where I exhorted a few sincere souls to hear their Saylout's cross, and suffer patiently for his sake.

Wed., January 5th. In the evening I came with George Badiley to Bristol.

Fri., January 7th. I visited sister Edgcomb, triumphing over death, and waiting every moment for full redemption.

Sat., January 8th. I spoke with one who thinks she has already attained: I think not. The event will show.

I met Sus. Design's hand, with the three Quakers, and an extraordinary presence of God among them.

Sun., January 9th. I kept a love-feast at Kingswood. As soon as we met the spirit of prayer fell upon us, and we were filled with comfort.

Tues., January 11th. I set out for London at three in the morning, and reached it, God being my helper, the next day.

Fri., January 14th. I visited the condemned malefactors in Newgate, and was locked in by the turnkey, not with them, but in the yard. However, I stood upon a bench, and they climbed up to the windows of their cells; so that all could hear my exhortation and prayer.

The Lord was with us at our public intercession; from which I went to visit the sick. I was much refreshed by our dying brother Milbourne, whose whole cry was, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly."

At night I was comforted with all the Society by an account of our sister Pike's departure in the Lord.

Sat., January 15th. I went to Newgate, and was refused admittance. One Townsend thrust me away, though I showed him the Sheriff's order. I was let in by another keeper, the only one who has a spark of humanity, and preached through the grates, as before. A Romish Priest was there, having free egress and regress; but a Clergyman of the Church of England must not hope for the like favour.

Sun., January 16th. I communicated at St. Paul's. In going up to the table I met one who had behaved very untowardly. He said, with the look of the publican, "I

repent." My heart was filled with consolation and prayer for him. O that I might have the same joy in all who have grieved me by their backslidings!

I felt an unusual weight at our love-feast, till the death of our brother Milbourne revived me. A brother related that he had caught hold on him with his convulsed hands, and said, "I have neither doubt nor fear; but my spirit rejoices continually in God my Saviour. He has done more for my soul than tongue can utter." The like words he had said to me; whom he kissed, and could hardly part with. He was sure, he declared, that his Lord would just then receive him. Even when speechless, he showed all the tokens of happiness, and died like a lamb of Jesus' fold.

Mon., January 17th. From three till nine at night I continued reading the letters, rejoicing, and praying, and praising God.

Tues., January 18th. I buried, and spake of, our happy brother. It was with us as heretofore. A funeral is one of our greatest festivals.

Sat., January 22d. I prayed with the malefactors, and felt great pity for them, especially for a poor ignorant Papist.

Wed. and Thur., January 26th and 27th. I reproved them for their late negligence; and on

Sat., January 29th, I saw my words had not been lost. They seemed humbled and awakened to a sense of their condition. Their lightness had been occasioned by that poor creature, the Ordinary; who is worse than no Minister at all. Six times they were forced to wake him before he got through the prayers. He might just as well read them in Latin. His life and actions are worse than even his words.

Tues., February 1st. Again Townsend refused me admittance; telling me I had forged my order from the Sheriff. Another let me in, with Mr. Piers and Bray. Scarce were we entered the cells, when the power of God fell upon us, first as a spirit of contrition, then of strong faith, and power to exhort and pray.

At night I expounded Daniel ix.; and the Spirit of God burst in upon us like a flood. Surely the Lord will bring again Sion: the commandment is gone forth, and our Jerusalem shall be built.

Fri., February 4th, I spent in examining the classes. Before we parted, the Spirit of supplication was wonderfully poured out. We asked in falth for some who still lay at the pool; and they received the immediate knowledge of salvation by the remission of their sins.

Sat., February 5th. One among the classes told my brother she had a constant sense of forgiveness, and he let her pass. I could not help proving her farther; and then the justified sinner appeared full of the gall of bitterness; said again and again of a sister present, "I do not love her; I hate her," &c. I assured her, if an angel from heaven told me she was justified, I would not believe him; for she was a murderer. As such we prayed for her; and she was convinced of unbelief. I fear we have many such believers among us.

Sun., February 6th. I met a second time the Clerk of St. Luke's. In our first conference he was thoroughly convinced; and has now experienced the truth. For three days together, he tells me, he has been ready to faint away through love to all mankind.

Fri., February 11th. Three received forgiveness this day, while we were praying among the classes.

Sat., February 12th. I showed my old order at Newgate, which was refused; then a new one, sent me by the other Sheriff. Coming out, the keeper desired to see it again, and took it away from me. I wrote to the Sheriff, who sent me another.

Sun., February 18th. When I came to Newgate, the first question was, as I expected, "Where is your order?" I produced my new one, which so surprised them, that they durst not refuse me admittance.

I found the poor souls turned out of the way by Mr. Broughton. He told them, "There was no knowing our sins forgiven; and, if any could expect it, not such wretches as they, but the good people, who had done so and so. As for his part, he had it not himself; therefore it was plain they could not receive it." I spoke strong words to one of them, which the Lord applied, and prayed in fervent faith, I heard the Ordinary read prayers and preach; then spake with them all together in the chapel. All, but one, were brought back to the truth.

The god of this world was angry, and sent the head-jailer to ask me how I came hither. "I wonder, Sir," said I, "that you should ask me that question, when you have my order in your pocket. You did not do well in taking it away, and then forbidding my entrance. You have trampled upon the Sheriff's authority." He answered, "If the Sheriff suffers you to come here, he shall keep the jail himself." I talked to him till he was much softened; but, let the world smile or frown, my work goes on.

Tues., February 22d. Weary, and through various dangers, the Lord brought me this evening to Bath.

Wed., February 23d. I preached morning and night at the Society. In the evening, at the lodgings of a sick friend, to several of the rich. They heard me patiently while I showed, "They that be whole have no need of a physician, but they that be sick."

Thur., February 24th. I met Mrs. Carr, a daughter of affliction, and found, in prayer for her, that the Lifter up of her head is near.

Sun., February 27th. I gave the sacrament to our colliers. The love of Christ was shed abroad in many of their hearts.

I expounded the pool of Bethesda at Bath. Mr. Cart, and the rest of the gentry, were very attentive.

Charles Wesley, The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1849)

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