Family

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Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Charleston

Sat Jul 31 1736: We came to Charleston. The church is of brick but plastered over like stone. I believe it would contain three or four thousand persons. About three hundred were present at the morning service the next day (when Mr. Garden desired me to preach); about fifty at the Holy Communion. I was glad to see several Negroes at church; one of whom told me she was there constantly, and that her old mistress (now dead) had many times instructed her in the Christian religion. I asked her what religion was. She said she could not tell. I asked if she knew what a soul was. She answered, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Don’t you know there is something in you different from your body? Something you can’t see or feel?’ She replied, ‘I never heard so much before.’ I added, ‘Do you think, then, a man dies altogether as a horse dies?’ She said, ‘Yes, to be sure.’ O God, where are thy tender mercies? Are they not over all thy works? When shall the Sun of righteousness arise on these outcasts of men, with healing in his wings!

Friday, July 30, 2010

John's Mom Dies

Fri 30 Jul 1742: About three in the afternoon I went to my mother, and found her change was near. I sat down on the bedside. She was in her last conflict; unable to speak, but I believe quite sensible. Her look was calm and serene, and her eyes fixed upward, while we commended her soul to God. From three to four the silver cord was loosing, and the wheel breaking at the cistern; and then, without any struggle or sign or groan, the soul was set a liberty. We stood round the bed, and fulfilled her last request, uttered a little before she lost her speech, ‘Children, as soon as I am released, sing a psalm of praise to God.’

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Convinced and converted in the same hour.

Thu 29 Jul 1762: I was informed of a remarkable instance of divine mercy. An harmless, unawakened young woman came to one of the meetings for prayer in Dublin. While they were praying, she felt herself a sinner; and began crying aloud for mercy. And when they rose to go away, she cried with a bitter cry, "What, must I go without Christ?" They began praying again; and in a short time she was as loud in praising God for his pardoning mercy.
No less remarkable was the case of Alexander Tate. He and his wife were present, where a few were met for prayer. Her sorrow was soon turned into joy. Her husband, who was before little awakened, was just then cut to the heart, and felt the wrath of God abiding on him: Nor did he cease crying to God, till his prayers and tears were swallowed up in thanksgiving. So here are two instances of persons both convinced and converted in the same hour.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Revival in Limerick

Wed 28 Jul 1762: I received farther accounts from Limerick; one letter ran thus: —
"July 20, 1762.
"THERE is a glorious work going on at Limerick. Twelve or fourteen have a clear sense of being renewed; several have been justified this week; and on Sunday night, at the meeting of the society, there was such a cry as I scarce ever heard before, such confession of sins, such pleading with the Lord, and such a spirit of prayer, as if the Lord himself had been visibly present among us. Some received remission of sins, and several were just brought to the birth. All were in floods of tears: They trembled, they cried, they prayed, they roared aloud; all of them lying on the ground. I began to sing; yet they could not rise, but sang as they lay along. When we concluded, some of them could not go away, but stayed in the House all night: And, blessed be our Lord, they all hitherto walk worthy of their calling."
Another writes: —
"I WILL just tell you, the Lord has made your last visit to us a great blessing. Such times were never before in Limerick. The fire which broke out before you left us, is now spreading on every side. Four were happy before you left us; several others can now ’rejoice evermore,' and ’pray without ceasing:' And this certainly they could not do, did they not love God with all their heart."
A third letter, dated July 25, says:—
"BLESSED be God, his word runs swiftly. Last night his power was present indeed; and another was assured that God, who had before forgiven his sins, had now cleansed him from all unrighteousness. There are now ten women and thirteen men who witness the same confession; and their lives agree thereto. Eight have lately received the remission of their sins; and many are on the full stretch for God, and just ready to step into the pool."—Hence it appears, that, in proportion to the time, which was only three or four weeks, and the number of hearers, (not one half, if a third part,) the work of God was greater in Limerick than even in Dublin itself.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wonderful accounts of Christian Perfection

Monday, 26 July 1762: At five in the morning the congregation was larger than it used to be in the evening. And in these two days and a half, four persons gave thanks for a sense of God's pardoning mercy; and seven, (among whom were a mother and her daughter,) for being perfected in love. The person by whom chiefly it pleased God to work this wonderful work, was John Manners, a plain man, of middling sense; and not eloquent, but rather rude in speech; one who had never before been remarkably useful, but seemed to be raised up for this single work. And as soon as it was done, he fell into a consumption, languished a while, and died.
I now found he had not at all exceeded the truth, in the accounts he had sent me from time to time. In one of his first letters, after I left the town, he says: "The work here is such as I never expected to see. Some are justified or sanctified, almost every day. This week three or four were justified, and as many, if not more, renewed in love. The people are all on fire. Such a day as last Sunday I never saw. While I was at prayer in the society, the power of the Lord overshadowed us, and some cried out, ’Lord, I can believe!' The cry soon became general, with strong prayers. Twice I attempted to sing; but my voice could not be heard. I then desired them to restrain themselves, and in stillness and composure to wait for the blessing: On which all but two or three, who could not refrain, came into a solemn silence. I prayed again, and the softening power of grace was felt in many hearts. Our congregations increase much, and I have no doubt but we shall see greater things than these."
Four days after, he writes: "The work of God increases every day. There is hardly a day but some are justified, or sanctified, or both. On Thursday three came and told me that the blood of Jesus Christ had cleansed them from all sin. One of them told me she had been justified seven years, and had been five years convinced of the necessity of sanctification. But this easy conviction availed not. A fortnight since she was seized with so keen a conviction, as gave her no rest till God had sanctified her, and witnessed it to her heart."
Three days after, (May 11,) he writes thus: "God still continues his marvellous lovingkindness to us. On Sunday last Dor. King entered into the rest. She had been seeking it for some time; but her convictions and desires grew stronger and stronger, as the hour approached. Awhile ago she told me she grew worse and worse, and her inward conflicts were greater than ever: But on the Lord’s day she felt an entire change, while these words were spoke to her heart, 'Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.’ She now walks in sweet peace, and rejoices evermore. Her father received the blessing a few days before her, and is exceeding happy.
"The fire catches all that come near. An old soldier, in his return from Germany to the north of Ireland, fell in one night with these wrestling Jacobs, to his great astonishment. He was justified seventeen years ago, but afterward fell from it for five years. As he was going to Germany, in the beginning of the war, the Lord healed him in Dublin; and in spite of all the distresses of a severe campaign, he walked in the light continually. On his return through London, he was convinced of the necessity of sanctification; and soon after he came hither, his heart was broken in pieces, while he was with a little company who meet daily for prayer. One evening, as they were going away, he stopped them, and begged they would not go till the Lord had blessed him. They kneeled down again, and did not cease wrestling with God, till he had a witness that he was saved from all sin.
"The case of Mr. Timmins is no less remarkable. He had been a notorious sinner. He was deeply wounded two months since. Ten days ago, on a Friday, God spake peace to his soul. The Sunday following, after a violent struggle, he sunk down as dead. He was cold as clay. After about ten minutes he came to himself, and cried, 'A new heart, a new heart!’ He said he felt himself in an instant entirely emptied of sin, and filled with God. Brother Barry, likewise, had been justified but a few days, before God gave him purity of heart."
May 15, he writes: "God still makes me a messenger of good tidings. His work goes on. Our last night's meeting was remarkable for the presence and power of God, while several were relating what he had done. One said, ’All that day in which God delivered me, I felt the blessing just at hand, but could not open my heart to receive it. I was fast shut up, till, under the sermon in the evening, I felt God open my heart, remove the bar of unbelief, and give me power to receive the blessing freely.'
"There are now three places in the city, wherein as many as have opportunity assemble day and night, to pour out their souls before God, for the continuance and enlargement of his work."
"May 29.—Since my last account, many have been sanctified, and several justified. One of the former is William Moor. He was a long time struggling for the blessing; and one night he was resolved not to go to bed without it. He continued wrestling with God for two hours; when he felt a glorious change, and the Spirit of God witnessing that the work was done.
"We begin now to meet with opposition from every quarter. Some say this is rank enthusiasm; others, that it is either a cheat, or mere pride; others, that it is a new thing, and that they can find no such thing in the Bible."
"June 3.—The Lord increases his work, in proportion to the opposition it meets with. Between Monday morning and Tuesday night, I have had eight bills of thanksgiving; for two justified, three renewed in love, and three backsliders healed."
"June 15.—There is no end of the mercies of God. Three days of this week are gone, in which God has justified five sinners. On Sunday, in the afternoon, I preached at three in the Barrack-Square; and a more solemn time I have not seen; the hearers were as many as my voice could reach, and all remarkably attentive.
"In the evening a cry ran through the society, and four were justified that night. Two of these, Alexander Tate and his wife, were but lately joined. The power of God first seized her, and constrained her to cry aloud, till she heard the still small voice. He continued calling upon God, and would not cease before God answered him also in the joy in his heart."
"Saturday, June 19.—We have had eight this week, whose sins are blotted out, and two more have entered into that rest. One of them says, she has enjoyed the love of God nine years; but felt as great a difference between that state, and the state she is now in, as if her soul was taken into heaven!"
"June 26.—Last week eleven were justified, or sanctified, and this week eleven more; eight of whom received remission of sins, and three a clean heart: And a troop are waiting for the moving of the water. Among them whom the power of God has seized lately, are two eminent sinners, each of whom lived with a woman to whom he was never married. One of them already rejoices in God; the other mourns and will not be comforted: But the women are gone: They put away the accursed thing immediately.
"I had much fear about the children, lest our labour should be lost upon them; but I find we shall reap if we faint not. Margaret Roper, about eight years old, has been thoughtful for some time. The other day, while they were at family-prayer, she burst into tears and wept bitterly. They asked, what was the matter. She said she was a great sinner, and durst not pray. They bade her go to bed. She no sooner came into the chamber than she began crying, and clapping her hands, so that they heard her across the street; but God soon bound up her broken heart. Being asked how she felt herself, she said, ’Ten times better. Now I can love God. I wish you would sit up and sing with me all night.' She has been happy ever since, and as serious as one of forty."
"July 3.—Our joy is now quite full. The flame rises higher and higher. Since Saturday last, eight sinners more are freely justified, and two more renewed in love. Our House was once large enough; now it is scarce able to contain us: And we have not many in the society, who are not either wrestling with God for his love, or rejoicing therein."
Thus far the account of John Manners, quite unadorned, but plain and sensible.
Upon farther examination I found three or four and forty in Dublin, who seemed to enjoy the pure love of God: At least forty of these had been set at liberty within four months. Some others, who had received the same blessing, were removed out of the city. The same, if not a larger number, had found remission of sins. Nor was the hand of the Lord shortened yet: He still wrought as swiftly as ever.
In some respects the work of God in this place was more remarkable than even that in London. 1. It is far greater, in proportion to the time, and to the number of people. That society had above seven-and-twenty hundred members; this not a fifth part of the number. Six months after the flame broke out there, we had about thirty witnesses of the great salvation. In Dublin there were above forty in less than four months. 2. The work was more pure. In all this time, while they were mildly and tenderly treated, there were none of them headstrong or unadvisable; none that were wiser than their Teachers; none who dreamed of being immortal or infallible, or incapable of temptation; in short, no whimsical or enthusiastic persons: All were calm and sober-minded.
I know several of these were, in process of time, moved from their steadfastness. I am nothing surprised at this: It was no more than might be expected: I rather wonder that more were not moved. Nor does this, in any degree, alter my judgment concerning the great work which God then wrought.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Almost Shipwrecked

Mon Jul 26 1736: My brother and I set out for Charleston, in order to his embarking for England. But the wind being contrary we did not reach Port Royal, forty miles from Savannah, till Wednesday evening. The next morning we left it. But the wind was so high in the afternoon, as we were crossing the neck of St. Helena Sound, that our oldest sailor cried out, ‘Now everyone must take care for himself.’ I told him God would take care for us all. Almost as soon as the words were spoken, the mast fell. I kept on the edge of the boat, to be clear of her when she sunk (which we expected every moment), though with little prospect of swimming to shore against such a wind and sea. But ‘How is it that thou hadst no faith?’ The moment the mast fell, two men caught it and pulled it into the boat; the other three rowed with all their might, and God ‘gave command to the winds and seas’, so that in an hour we were safe on land.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

So the season for field-preaching is not yet over

Sun 25 Jul 1773: Was a day of strong consolation, particularly at Spitalfields. At five I preached in Moorfields, to (it was supposed) the largest congregation that ever assembled there. But my voice was so strengthened, that those who were farthest off could hear perfectly well. So the season for field-preaching is not yet over. It cannot, while so many are in their sins and in their blood.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dublin work increasing

Sat 24 Jul 1762: I rode to Dublin, and found the flame not only continuing, but increasing. The congregation used to be small on Saturday night; but it was as large now as formerly on Sunday.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Company of children

Fri 23 July 1784: An abundance of people were present at five in the morning, and such a company of children as I have hardly seen in England.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nobly attended

Thu 22 July 1779: I took coach for London. I was nobly attended: behind the coach were ten convicted felons, loudly blaspheming and rattling their chains, by my side sat a man with a loaded blunderbuss, and another upon the coach.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our income does not yet answer our expense

Wed 21 Jul 1773: We had our Quarterly Meeting at London; at which I was surprised to find, that our income does not yet answer our expense. We were again near two hundred pounds bad. My private account I find still worse. I have laboured as much as many writers; and all my labour has gained me, in seventy years, a debt of five or six hundred pounds.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Conference with the Chickasaw Indians

Tue 20 Jul 1736: Five of the Chickasaw Indians (twenty of whom had been in Savannah several days) came to see us, with Mr. Andrews, their interpreter. They were all warriors, four of them headmen. The two chief were Paustoobee and Mingo Mattaw. Our conference was as follows:
Q: Do you believe there is One above, who is over all things? Paustoobee answered, We believe there are four beloved things above: the clouds, the sun, the clear sky, and he that lives in the clear sky.
Q: Do you believe there is but One that lives in the clear sky?
A: We believe there are two with him, three in all.
Q: Do you think he made the sun, and the other beloved things?
A: We cannot tell. Who hath seen?
Q: Do you think he made you?
A: We think he made all men at first.
Q: How did he make them at first?
A: Out of the ground.
Q: Do you believe he loves you?
A: I don’t know. I cannot see him.
Q: But has he not often saved your life?
A: He has. Many bullets have gone on this side, and many on that side, but he would not let them hurt me. And many bullets have gone into these young men; and yet they are alive.
Q: Then, can’t he save you from your enemies now?
A: Yes, but we know not if he will. We have now so many enemies round about us that I think of nothing but death. And if I am to die, I shall die, and I will die like a man. But if he will have me to live, I shall live. Though I had ever so many enemies, he can destroy them all.
Q: How do you know that?
A: From what I have seen. When our enemies came against us before, then the beloved clouds came for us. And often much rain, and sometimes hail, has come upon them, and that in a very hot day. And I saw, when many French and Choctaws and other nations came against one of our towns. And the ground made a noise under them, and the beloved ones in the air behind them. And they were afraid, and went away, and left their meat and drink and their guns. I tell no lie. All these saw it too.
Q: Have you heard such noises at other times?
A: Yes, often; before and after almost every battle.
Q: What sort of noises were they?
A: Like the noise of drums and guns and shouting.
Q: Have you heard any such lately?
A: Yes; four days after our last battle with the French.
Q: Then you heard nothing before it?
A: The night before I dreamed; I heard many drums up there, and many trumpets there, and much stamping of feet and shouting. Till then I thought we should all die. But then I thought the beloved ones were come to help us. And the next day I heard above a hundred guns go off before the fight began. And I said, ‘When the sun is there, the beloved ones will help us; and we shall conquer our enemies.’ And we did so.
Q: Do you often think and talk of the beloved ones?
A: We think of them always, wherever we are. We talk of them and to them, at home and abroad; in peace, in war, before and after we fight; and indeed whenever and wherever we meet together.
Q: Where do you think your souls go after death?
A: We believe the souls of red men walk up and down near the place where they died, or where their bodies lie. For we have often heard cries and noises near the place where any prisoners had been burned.
Q: Where do the souls of white men go after death?
A: We can’t tell. We have not seen.
Q: Our belief is that the souls of bad men only walk up and down; but the souls of good men go up.
A: I believe so too. But I told you the talk of the nation.
(Mr. Andrews: They said at the burying they knew what you was doing. You was speaking to the beloved ones above to take up the soul of the young woman.)
Q: We have a book that tells us many things of the beloved ones above. Would you be glad to know them?
A: We have no time now but to fight. If we should ever be at peace, we should be glad to know.
Q: Do you expect ever to know what the white men know?
(Mr. Andrews: They told Mr. O[glethorpe] they believe the time will come when the red and the white men will be one.)
Q: What do the French teach you?
A: The French black kingsc never go out. We see you go about. We like that. That is good.
Q: How came your nation by the knowledge they have?
A: As soon as ever the ground was sound, and fit to stand upon, it came to us, and has been with us ever since. But we are young men. Our old men know more. But all of them do not know. There are but a few; whom the Beloved One chooses from a child, and is in them, and takes care of them and teaches them. They know these things. And our old men practise; therefore they know. But I don’t practise; therefore I know little.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ashby-de-la-Zouch

Mon 19 Jul 1779: At five our house was quite filled with people and with the presence of God. Farewell, ye loving lovely followers of the Lamb. May ye still adorn the doctrine of God your Saviour!
About nine, I preached in the market-place at Loughborough; about noon at Griffydam; and in the evening, at Ashby-de-la-Zouch.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday-school

Sun 18 Jul 1784: I preached morning and afternoon in Bingley Church, but it would not near contain the congregation. Before service, I stepped into the Sunday-school, which contains two hundred and forty children, taught every Sunday by several masters and superintended by the curate. So, many children in one parish are restrained from open sin and taught a little good manners, at least, as well as to read the Bible. I find these schools springing up wherever I go. Perhaps God may have a deeper end therein than men are aware of. Who knows but some of these schools may become nurseries for Christians?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Castle Donington

Sat 17 Jul 1779: I preached at noon in Castle Donington; but in the open air, for there was no enduring the house. Yet they persuaded me to preach within at Nottingham in the evening; but the house was as hot as an oven. Sunday 18, I made shift to preach in the Room at eight; but at five I went to the cross. We had a London congregation—and all as well behaved as if they had been in Moorfields.
One who had left us to join the Quakers desired to be present at the love-feast; in the close of which, being able to contain himself no longer, he broke out and declared, he must join us again. I went home with him and, after spending some time in prayer, left him full of love and thankfulness.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Derby

Fri 16 Jul 1779: I preached in the evening at Derby to many genteel and many plain people.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The largest congregation I ever saw on a week-day

Thu 15 Jul 1779: I preached in Paradise Square, in Sheffield, to the largest congregation I ever saw on a week-day.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Demons

Thu 15 I was desired to meet one who was ill of a very uncommon disorder. She said, ‘For several years I have heard, wherever I am, a voice continually speaking to me, cursing, swearing, and blaspheming in the most horrid manner, and inciting me to all manner of wickedness. I have applied to physicians, and taken all sorts of medicines, but am never the better.’ No, nor ever will, till a better physician than these bruises Satan under her feet.
I left Bristol in the evening of Sunday 18, and on Tuesday came to London. I found my mother on the borders of eternity. But she had no doubt or fear; nor any desire but (as soon as God should call), ‘to depart, and to be with Christ’.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The time was now come

Tue 13 Jul 1784: I went to Burnley, a place which had been tried for many years, but without effect. It seems the time was now come. High and low, rich and poor, now flocked together from all quarters. And all were eager to hear, except one man, who was the town-crier. He began to bawl amain, till his wife ran to him and literally stopped his noise. She seized him with one hand and clapped the other upon his mouth, so that he could not get out one word. God then began a work which I am persuaded will not soon come to an end. Wednesday 14, I preached at Colne. Thursday 15, I retired to Otley and rested two days.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Todmorden

Mon 12 Jul 1784: Mr. Sutcliffe read prayers and I preached at Heptonstall, where many poor souls were refreshed. Between one and two I preached in Todmorden Church, and at five in our own preaching-house, boldly situated on the steep ascent of a tall mountain.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

An unexceptionable instance of perfect love

Sun 11 Jul 1779: About eight, I preached at Misterton, and about one at Upperthorpe. But good Alice Shadford was not there. She was long ‘a mother in Israel’, a burning and shining light, an unexceptionable instance of perfect love. After spending near a hundred years on earth, she was, some months since, transplanted to paradise.
So general an outpouring of God’s Spirit we had seldom known as we had at Epworth in the afternoon:
Like mighty wind, or torrent fierce
It did opposers all o’errun.
O that they may no more harden their hearts, lest God should swear, ‘They shall not enter into my rest!’

Friday, July 9, 2010

I never saw so beautiful a corpse in my life

Fri & Sat July 10 1736: Just as they had done drinking tea Mrs. Margaret [see yesterday], seeing her colour change, asked if she was well. She did not return any answer; and Dr. Tailfer soon after going by, she desired him to step in, and said, ‘Sir, my sister, I fear, is not well.’ He looked earnestly at her, felt her pulse, and replied, ‘Well, madam! Your sister is dying.’ However, he thought it not impossible bleeding might help. She bled about an ounce, leaned back, and died.
As soon as I heard of it I went to the house, and begged they would not lay her out immediately, there being a possibility, at least, she might only be in a swoon; of which indeed there was some slight hope, she not only being as warm as ever, but having a fresh colour in her cheeks, and a few drops of blood starting out upon bending her arm. But there was no pulse and no breath; so that having waited some hours we found her ‘spirit was indeed returned to God that gave it’.
I never saw so beautiful a corpse in my life. Poor comfort to its late inhabitant! I was greatly surprised at her sister. There was in all her behaviour such an inexpressible mixture of tenderness and resignation. The first time I spoke to her she said, ‘All my afflictions are nothing to this. I have lost not only a sister, but a friend. But ’tis the will of God. I rely on him; and doubt not but he will support me under it.’
This evening we had such a storm of thunder and lightning as I never saw before, even in Georgia. This voice of God, too, told me I was not fit to die; since I was afraid rather than desirous of it! O when shall I wish to be dissolved and to be with Christ? When I love him with all my heart.
Almost the whole town was the next evening at the funeral; where many doubtless made a world of good resolutions. O how little trace of most of these will be left in the morning! ’Tis a true saying, ‘Hell is paved with good intentions.’

Thursday, July 8, 2010

To die without a lingering illness

Thu 8 Jul 1736: Mr. Oglethorpe being there [see yesterday], and casually speaking of sudden death, Miss Becky said, ‘If it was the will of God, I should choose to die without a lingering illness.’ Her sister said, ‘Are you then always prepared to die?’ She replied, ‘Jesus Christ is always prepared to help me. And little stress is to be laid on such a preparation for death as is made in a fit of sickness.’

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Still sick

Wed 6 July 1736: I called there again [see yesterday], being determined now to speak more closely. But meeting company there, prudence induced me to put it off till another opportunity.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The younger of the Miss Boveys is not well

Tues 6 July 1736: Hearing the younger of the Miss Boveys was not well, I called upon them this evening. I found she had only the prickly heat, a sort of rash very common here in summer. We soon fell into serious conversation, after I had asked if they did not think they were too young to trouble themselves with religion yet. And whether they might not defer it ten or a dozen years. To which one of them replied, ‘If it will be reasonable ten years hence to be religious, it is so now; I am not for deferring one moment.’