Monday, July 25

Thursday, 25th July 1745

I came back safe, blessed be God, to Bristol. I found both my soul and body much refreshed in this peaceful place. Thursday, August 1, and the following days, we had our second Conference, with as many of our brethren that labor in the Word as could be present.

Sunday, July 10

Wednesday, 10th July 1745

In the evening I began to expound (at Trevonan, in Morva), "Ho! every one that thirsteth, come yet to the waters." In less than a quarter of an hour, the constable and his companions came and read the proclamation against riots. When he had done, I told him, "We will do as you require: we will disperse within an hour"; and went on with my sermon. After preaching, I had designed to meet the society alone. But many others also followed with such earnestness that I could not turn them back: so I exhorted them all to love their enemies as Christ hath loved us. They felt what was spoken.

Saturday, July 9

Tuesday, 9th July 1745

I had just begun preaching at St. Just, when Mr. E. came once more, took me by the hand, and said I must go with him. To avoid making a tumult, I went. He said I had promised last week not to come again to St. Just for a month. I absolutely denied the having made any such promise. After about half an hour, he handed me back to my inn.

Friday, July 8

Monday, 8th July 1745

I preached at five on "Watch and pray," to a quiet and earnest congregation. We then rode on to St. Ives, the most still and honorable post (so are the times changed) which we have in Cornwall.

Thursday, July 7

Sunday, 7th July 1745

I preached, at five, to a quiet congregation, and about eight, at Stithians. Between six and seven in the evening we came to Tolcarn. Hearing the mob was rising again, I began preaching immediately. I had not spoken a quarter of an hour before they came in view. One Mr. Trounce rode up first and began speaking to me, wherein he was roughly interrupted by his companions. Yet, as I stood on a high wall and kept my eyes upon them, many were softened and grew calmer and calmer; which some of their champions observing, went round and suddenly pushed me down. I lit on my feet without any hurt; finding myself close to the warmest of the horsemen, I took hold of his hand and held it fast while I expostulated the case. As for being convinced, he was quite about it: however, both he and his fellows grew much milder, and we parted very civilly.

Wednesday, July 6

Saturday, 6th July 1745

I rode with Mr. Shepherd to Gwennap. Here also we found the people in the utmost consternation. Word was brought that a great company of tinners, made drunk on purpose, were coming to do terrible things. I labored much to compose their minds, but fear had no ears; so that abundance of people went away. I preached to the rest on "Love your enemies." The event showed this also was a false alarm, an artifice of the devil, to hinder men from hearing the Word of God.

Monday, July 4

Thursday, 4th July 1745

I rode to Falmouth. About three in the afternoon I went to see a gentlewoman who had been long indisposed. Almost as soon as I sat down, the house was beset on all sides by an innumerable multitude of people. A louder or more confused noise could hardly be at the taking of a city by storm. At first Mrs. B. and her daughter endeavored to quiet them. But it was labor lost. They might as well have attempted to still the raging of the sea. They were soon glad to shift for themselves and leave K. E. and me to do as well as we could. The rabble roared with all their throats, "Bring out the Canorum! Where is the Canorum?" (an unmeaning word which the Cornish generally use instead of Methodist).

No answer being given, they quickly forced open the outer door and filled the passage. Only a wainscot partition was between us, which was not likely to stand long. I immediately took down a large looking glass which hung against it, supposing the whole side would fall in at once. When they began their work with abundance of bitter imprecations, poor Kitty was utterly astonished and cried out, "O sir, what must we do?" I said, "We must pray." Indeed at that time, to all appearance, our lives were not worth an hour's purchase. She asked, "But, sir, is it not better for you to hide yourself? to get into the closet?" I answered, "No. It is best for me to stand just where I am." Among those without were the crews of some privateers which were lately come into harbor. Some of these, being angry at the slowness of the rest, thrust them away and, coming up all together, set their shoulders to the inner door and cried out, "Avast, lads, avast!" Away went all the hinges at once, and the door fell back into the room.

I stepped forward at once into the midst of them and said, "Here I am. Which of you has anything to say to me? To which of you have I done any wrong? To you? Or you? Or you?" I continued speaking till I came, bareheaded as I was (for I purposely left my hat that they might all see my face) into the middle of the street and then raising my voice said, "Neighbors, countrymen! Do you desire to hear me speak?"

They cried vehemently, "Yes, yes. He shall speak. He shall. Nobody shall hinder him." But having nothing to stand on and no advantage of ground, I could be heard by few only. However, I spoke without intermission and, as far as the sound reached, the people were still; till one or two of their captains turned about and swore that not a man should touch me.

Mr. Thomas, a clergyman, then came up and asked, "Are you not ashamed to use a stranger thus?" He was soon seconded by two or three gentlemen of the town and one of the aldermen; with whom I walked down the town, speaking all the time, till I came to Mrs. Maddern's house. The gentlemen proposed sending for my horse to the door and desired me to step in and rest the meantime. But, on second thought, they judged it not advisable to let me go out among the people again: so they chose to send my horse before me to Penryn and to send me thither by water, the sea running close by the back door of the house in which we were.

I never saw before, no, not at Walsal itself, the hand of God so plainly shown as here. There I had many companions who were willing to die with me: here, not a friend but one simple girl, who likewise was hurried away from me in an instant as soon as ever she came out of Mrs. B.'s door. There I received some blows, lost part of my clothes, and was covered over with dirt: here, although the hands of perhaps some hundreds of people were lifted up to strike or throw, yet they were one and all stopped in the midway; so that not a man touched me with one of his fingers, neither was anything thrown from first to last; so that I had not even a speck of dirt on my clothes. Who can deny that God heareth prayer, or that He hath all power in heaven and earth?

I took boat at about half an hour past five. Many of the mob waited at the end of the town, who, seeing me escaped out of their hands, could only revenge themselves with their tongues. But a few of the fiercest ran along the shore, to receive me at my landing. I walked up the steep narrow passage from the sea, at the top of which the foremost man stood. I looked him in the face and said, "I wish you a good night." He spake not nor moved hand or foot till I was on horseback. Then he said, "I wish you were in hell," and turned back to his companions.

As soon as I came within sight of Tolcarn (in Wendron parish), where I was to preach in the evening, I was met by many, running as it were for their lives and begging me to go no further. I asked, "Why not?" They said, "The churchwardens and constables and all the heads of the parish are waiting for you at the top of the hill and are resolved to have you: they have a special warrant from the justices met at Helstone, who will stay there till you are brought." I rode directly up the hill and observing four or five horsemen, well dressed, went straight to them and said, "Gentlemen, has any of you anything to say to me?__I am John Wesley."

One of them appeared extremely angry at this, that I should presume to say I was "Mr. John Wesley." And I know not how I might have fared for advancing so bold an assertion but that Mr. Collins, the minister of Redruth (accidently, as he said) came by. Upon his accosting me and saying he knew me at Oxford, my first antagonist was silent, and a dispute of another kind began: whether this preaching had done any good. I appealed to matter of fact. He allowed (after many words), "People are the better for the present"; but added, "To be sure, by and by they will be as bad, if not worse than ever."

When he rode away, one of the riders said, "Sir, I would speak with you a little; let us ride to the gate." We did so, and he said, "Sir, I will tell you the ground of this. All the gentlemen of these parts say that you have been a long time in France and Spain and are now sent hither by the Pretender; and that these societies are to join him." Nay, surely "all the gentlemen in these parts" will not lie against
their own conscience!

I rode hence to a friend's house, some miles off, and found the sleep of a laboring man is sweet. I was informed there were many here also who had an earnest desire to hear "this preaching," but they did not dare; Sir ___ V___n having solemnly declared, nay, and that in the face of the whole congregation as they were coming out of the church, "If any man of this parish dares hear these fellows, he shall not come to my Christmas feast!"