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Wesley and Rev. Fohn Newton.


the five o'clock morning congregation exceeded that of the 1760 Foundery in London. Here, also, he found two females pro- Age 57 fessing to have received the blessing of entire sanctification, and prayed, "May God increase the number a thousand fold!" At Burslem, “a scattered town, inhabited almost entirely by potters,” he preached thrice. Some of his congregation "seemed quite innocent of thought; five or six laughed and talked nearly all the time; and one threw a clod of earth, which struck his head, but which neither disturbed him nor his congregation." At Congleton, he preached from a scaffold, fixed in the window of the chapel, to a crowd assembled in an adjoining meadow. In making his way from Stockport to Leeds, his horse was "embogged,” on the top of a high mountain ; he was thrown into the morass; and then had a walk which, " for steepness, and bogs, and big stones intermixed,” was such as even he had not before encountered.

From Leeds, Wesley proceeded to Liverpool, where he had a lengthened interview with John Newton.

“ His case,” says he, " is very peculiar. Our Church requires that clergymen should be men of learning, and, to this end, have a university education. But how many have a university education, and yet no learning at all! Yet these men are ordained! Meantime, one of eminent learning, as well as unblamable behaviour, cannot be ordained, because he was not at the university! What a mere farce is this! Who would believe that any Christian bishop would stoop to so poor an evasion!”

At this period, there existed between Newton and Wesley the sincerest friendship. Hence the following letter, written a few months after.

September 9, 1760. “REVEREND AND DEAR SIR,— I have taken a double journey since I saw you, to London and to Yorkshire. . I had a very agreeable progress, found a happy revival in several places, and made many valuable acquaintance, particularly among the clergy. It gave me much pleasure to see the same work promoted by very different instruments; all contentions laid aside ; and the only point of dispute, amidst some variety of sentiments, seeming to be this, who should labour most to recommend and to adorn the gospel.

“ It was with some regret, I heard you were so near as at Parkgate, without coming over to us at Liverpool. Had I known it in time, I would gladly have met you there, but you were gone. Our next pleasure will

1760 be to hear from yourself of your welfare. I inquired several times after

Mr. Charles Wesley, when in London, but he was in the country, and out of the reach of a stranger's importunity; though, had he been in health, I believe the distance would not have secured him from a visit. I should be glad to hear the Lord has restored him to his former strength and usefulness.

“I hope, dear sir, you will still allow me a place in your friendship, correspondence, and prayers ; and believe me to be your obliged and affectionate servant in our dear Lord,


On March 30, Wesley embarked for Ireland, and, on April 6, Easter Sunday, introduced, at Dublin, the English custom of beginning religious service at four o'clock in the morning. The Dublin society was larger now than it had been for several years, consisting of more than five hundred members.

After three weeks' labour in Dublin, he started for the provinces. At Terryhugan, he “spent a comfortable night in the prophet's chamber, nine feet long, seven broad, and six high, the ceiling, floor, and walls all made of clay.” At Moira, his pulpit was a tombstone near the church. At Lisburn, the people were "all ear.” Newtown had usually the largest Methodist congregation in Ulster. At Belfast, he preached in the market-place "to a people who cared for none of those things.”

On the 5th of May, he came to Carrickfergus. Some months before, John Smith, one of Wesley's itinerants, was preaching in an inland town, in the north of Ireland, when he made a sudden pause, and then exclaimed, “Ah! the French have just landed at Carrickfergus !." The mayor heard this, and, sending for the preacher, reprimanded him for exciting a needless alarm and disturbing the public tranquillity. Strangely enough, however, Smith's utterance was correct; and, in a few hours, an express arrived with the intelligence, that Thurot had landed a thousand soldiers, commanded by General Cavignac, and that they had taken possession of the town. Thurot had been tossed about by storms, till he and all his men were almost famished, having only an ounce of

* Methodist Magazine, 1780, p. 390.
2 Irish Evangelist, Nov. 1, 1860.

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Age 57

bread per man daily. Their object in landing was chiefly to obtain provisions; but fighting followed ; the garrison was conquered ; and articles of capitulation were signed. Five days afterwards, Thurot set sail again, and was met by three English frigates. A battle ensued (February 28), and three hundred of the enemy were killed and wounded, Thurot himself being shot through the heart.1

General Cavignac was at Carrickfergus at the time of Wesley's visit, and was resident in the house of Mr. Cobham, who also invited Wesley to be his guest. The following letter, to Mr. Blackwell, refers to these events.

“CARRICKFERGUS, May 7, 1760. “DEAR SIR,- I can now give you a clear and full account of the late proceedings of the French here ; as I now lodge at Mr. Cobham's, under the same roof with Monsieur Cavignac, the French lieutenant-general. When the people here saw three large ships anchor near the town, they took it for granted they were English ; but, in an hour, the French began landing their men. The first party came to the north gate. Twelve soldiers, planted on the wall, fired on them as they advanced, wounded the general, and killed several. But when they had fired four rounds, having no more ammunition, they were obliged to retire. The French then entered the town, keeping a steady fire up the street, till they came near the castle. The English then fired hotly from the gates and walls, and killed their second general, who had burst open the gate, and gone in, sword in hand, with upwards of fourscore men. Having no more cartridges, the English soldiers thought it best to capitulate. They agreed to furnish, in six hours, a certain quantity of provisions, on condition that the French should not plunder. But they began immediately to serve themselves with meat and drink, and took all that they could find, chiefly from the houses where the inhabitants had run away. However, they neither hurt nor affronted man, woman, or child, nor did any mischief for mischief's sake; though many of the inhabitants affronted them, cursed them to their face, and even took up pokers and other things to strike them.

“I have had much conversation with Monsieur Cavignac, and have found him not only a very sensible man, but thoroughly instructed even in heart religion. After one general was killed, and the other wounded, the command devolved on him. I asked him, if it was true that they had a design to burn Carrick and Belfast. He cried out, Jesu, Maria! we never had such a thought. To burn, to destroy, cannot enter into the head or heart of a good man.' One would think, the French king sent these men on purpose to show what officers he has in

i London Magazine, 1760, p. 147.


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his army. I hope there are some such in the English army; but I never
found them yet.
“I am, dear sir, your affectionate servant,


Wesley further tells us, that his host, Mr. Cobham, was sent to Belfast, to obtain the provisions for the French that had been promised, and had to leave his wife with General Cavignac, as an hostage for his return. During his absence, Thurot himself entered Mr. Cobham's house, and stated that he had neither ate nor slept for eight and forty hours. The commodore was hospitably entertained ; and, after six hours of rest, he politely thanked his Irish hostess, and went aboard his ship.

Wesley had lengthened conversations with Cavignac, not only on affairs in general, but on religion. “He seemed," says he, "to startle at nothing ; but said more than once, and with emotion, Why, this is my religion; there is no true religion besides it!'

The following is an extract from another letter to Mr. Blackwell, and, though written some days previous to the former one, refers to the same subject.

“NEWRY, April 26, 1760. “DEAR SIR, Hitherto I have had an extremely prosperous journey ; and all the fields are white unto the harvest. But that the labourers are few, is not the only hindrance to the gathering it in effectually. Of these few, some are careless, some heavy and dull ; scarce one of the spirit of Thomas Walsh. The nearest to it is Mr. Morgan; but his body too sinks under him, and probably will not last long.

“In a few days, I expect to be at Carrickfergus, and to hear from those on whose word I can depend, a full account of that celebrated campaign. I believe it will be of use to the whole kingdom. Probably, the government will at last awake, and be a little better prepared against the next encounter. “I am, dear sir, your ever affectionate servant,

“JOHN WESLEY.” 1 Leaving Carrickfergus, Wesley proceeded to Larn, where he had "a very large, as well as serious congregation.At Garvah, he preached in the house of Mr. Burrows to a “well behaved audience of churchmen, papists, presbyterians, and Cameronians." At Ballymena, he had “a large con

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Wesley Mobbed in Ireland.


course of people.” At Coot Hill, he preached to “most of the 1760 protestants in the town.” At Belturbet, there was neither

Age 57 papist nor presbyterian in the place ; but there were “abund . ance of sabbath breakers, drunkards, and common swearers." At Sligo, “the congregation was a little disturbed by two or three giddy officers.” At Newport, "all the protestants of the town were present, and many of the papists, notwithstanding the prohibition and bitter curses of their priests." At Castlebar, all the gentlemen of the surrounding country were assembled to hear a trial about the plunder of a Swedish ship. “It was to be heard,” says Wesley, “ in the court house, where I preached ; so they met an hour sooner, and heard the sermon first."

Having been to the extreme west of Ireland, Wesley was now returning to the east, accompanied by William Ley and James Glasbrook, two of his itinerants. On reaching Carrick upon Shannon, he had no sooner begun to preach, than a magistrate came with a mob and a drum to silence him. While the magistrate harangued the mob in the street, Wesley quietly removed his congregation into the garden behind the house. William Ley was standing at the door. The magistrate, armed with a halbert and a sword, ran at him, and, striking him, broke his halbert upon William's wrist. The mobmaster pushed along the passage to the other door, but found James Glasbrook holding it so firmly on the outer side, that egress into the garden was impossible. Not to be foiled, the magistrate and his minions ran round the house, climbed over the garden wall, and, with a volley of oaths and curses, rushed up to Wesley, bawling, “ You shall not preach here to-day,” “Sir," said Wesley, with the most provoking calmness, “I don't intend it; for I have preached already." The man now foamed more furiously than ever. He belaboured poor James Glasbrook with the truncheon of his halbert till it snapped asunder; and then took vengeance on Wesley's hat, which, says Wesley, "he beat and kicked most valiantly; but a gentleman rescued it out of his hands, and we rode quietly out of the town.”

Wesley now made his way to Tyrrell's Pass, where "a heap of fine, gay people came on Sunday in their postchaises to the preaching.” At Portarlington, he preached at five o'clock VOL. II.


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