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after which it was suggested to me, “ Hast thou not deceived thyself? Is it not presumption, to think thou art a child of God? But if thou art, thou wilt soon fall away: thou wilt not endure to the end." This threw me into greạt heaviness : but it did not continue long. For as I gave myself unto prayer, and to reading, and hearing the word of God at all opportunities, my evidence became clearer and clearer; my faith and love stronger and stronger: and I found the accomplishment of that promise, “ They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
Yet I soon found, that though I was justified freely, yet I was not wholly sanctified. This brought me into a deep concern, and confirmed my resolu. tion, to admit of no peace nor truce with the evils which I still found in my heart. I was sensible both that they hindered me at present in all my holy exercises, and that I could not enter into the joy of my. Lord, unless they were all rooted out. These considerations led me to consider more attentively the exceeding great and precious promises, whereby we may escape the corruption that is in the world, and be made partakers of the divine nature. much confirmed in my hope of their accomplishment, by frequently hearing Mr. Mather speak freely upon the subject. I saw it was the mere gift of God; and, consequently, to be received by faith. And after many sharp and painful conflicts, and many gracious visitations also, on the 28th of March, 1761, my soul was drawn out and engaged in a manner it never was before. Suddenly I was stripped of all but love. Now all was love, and prayer, and praise. And in this happy state, “ rejoicing evermore, and in every thing giving thanks,” I continued for some years, with
little intermission or abatement; wanting nothing for soul or body, more than I received from day to day. For about eight or nine years I exercised as a bandleader, class leader, and steward, of the society in Wednesbury, Staffordshire. In the fall of the year 1766, I took a journey to the city of London, hoping to make some improvement: I did so, and was soon seized with a violent intermittent fever, which brought me very low, and pressed very hard upon me for about six months, until I returned into the country again.
About the latter end of 1767, I began to hold religious meetings in the country places adjacent, and ex. hort and preach to the people: and I found such en. couragement therein, that I resolved to give myself wholly to the work of the ministry. Therefore, about July 1769, I informed Mr. John Pawson, the assistant preacher, of my intention to join the travelling connection, if he and the Conference thought proper. From Leeds he wrote, to let me know, that he had proposed me at the Conference, and that I was accepted as a probationer, and stationed on Oxford circuit
. Having settled my temporal affairs, with all the expedition I could, I went into the circuit, where I travelled until about Christmas, and then removed to Bedford circuit.
In August, 1770, I attended the Conference held at London, and was appointed to Bedford circuit again ; where I laboured in peace and harmony.
At the Conference beld in Bristol, 1771, I was appointed for Inniskillen circuit, in the north of Ireland. Now my trials came on, for I had great aversion to sea voyages. But what troubled me most, was, when I called to see my dear old mother, to find that she was very far advanced in a dropsy. I stayed with her for a fortnight, and then took my final farewell of her, until we should meet where congregations never break up, and parting is no more: she knew and loved the work I was engaged in ; and therefore gave me up willingly. She lived a few weeks after, and then died in the triumph of faith.
This circuit took us eight weeks to go through it; we commonly preached two or three times a day, besides meeting the societies and visiting the sick. By this year's labours and sufferings, my strength was exhausted; but what sweetened labour, and made affliction tolerable, was, a blessed revival, for we had nearly three hundred souls turned to the Lord this year; most of whom found “ redemption in the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of sins.
When I was appointed for Armah circuit, in the year 1772, before I could reach that appointment, I was taken with an entire loss of appetite, a violent bleeding at the nose, and profuse night sweats, so that my flesh was consumed from my bones, and my eyes sunk in my head; my sight also failed me, so that I could not distinguish my most intimate acquaintance at the breadth of a room. I was confined by this affliction twelve weeks, with that dear family of Armstrong's, at Sydare-after which I removed into Armah circuit. But going out before I had suffi. ciently recovered my strength, the cold seized upon me, and caused such a humour to settle in my legs, that for some time I could not set my feet to the ground. But my mind being set upon my work, I little regarded the pain of my body, so long as I was able to sit on my horse, or stand and speak to the people. Therefore, in about a fortnight, I went on my circuit again: but in two weeks more, the humour returned so violently, that I was stopped from travelling eight weeks more. But these afflictions were all sweetened by the peace of God which I enjoyed, and the exceeding kindness of my friends who nursed and comforted me in all my afflictions. May the gracious and merciful Giver of every good and perfect gift remember them and theirs for good!
Although for some time my life was despaired of, yet, by the kind providence and blessing of Almighty God, I was restored to a better state of health than I had enjoyed for some years past : the secondary means of my restoration was a course of diet, (for I lived on fresh diet only) riding, change of air, and a respite from preaching, with the use of the cold bath.
I attended a Conference Mr. Wesley held in Dublin, and after that, one held in London, after which I rode to Pembrook, in Wales, where I was appointed to labour for the year 1773: this was an easy, agreeable, and profitable station to me, and I trust to the people also ; for Mr. Charles Boon and I spent this year very agreeably among a few loving people.
At the Conference held in Bristol, August, 1774, I was appointed to Brecknock circuit, in Wales. Here I laboured two years with Stephen Proctor and John Broadbent. Some fruit appeared, but nothing great.
August 1776, I attended the Conference held in London, and was appointed to Launceston circuit, in Cornwall. Here our congregations and societies were large and lively.
At the Conference which was held at Bristol, August 1777, I was appointed to St. Austle circuit, in Cornwall; here my faith and patience were strongly exercised ; for l’ felt so sensibly for some disorderly members at Plymouth Dock, that my poor heart was almost broke; but I called upon the Lord, and he proportioned strength according to my day.
I attended the Conference held at Leeds, August 1778, and was appointed to Salisbury circuit, in Wiltshire. Here I felt agreeably united with the people.
We had some old faithful members, who were ornaments to their Christian profession; here I laboured two years,
I attended the Conference held in Bristol, August 1780, and was appointed to Northampton circuit. After ten years absence, I had the pleasure of visiting some of my old friends, with whom I had taken sweet council how to gain the haven of eternal rest. I was pleased to find the work had spread considerably during my absence.
I attended the Conference held in Leeds, August, 1781, and was appointed to Canterbury circuit. An awful circumstance happened at Fetherstone: the magazine of gunpowder, of about seventy bar. rels, was blown up, and three men blown to atoms, and the town greatly shaken.
I attended the Conference in London, August 1782, and was appointed to Lynn circuit, in Norfolk county : here I sold my borse, and walked the circuit. We had great harmony, and some increase.
At the Conference held in Bristol, August 1783, I was appointed to the city and circuit of Norwich, with Adam Clarke and William Adamson--two young men of promising abilities; we passed the time in peace. This year closes my race of fifteen yeaps travelling in the itinerant line in Europe, and the forty-seventh of my life. July 28th, 1784. Lord, what is man,
that thou art mindful of him ?" My God, thou hast been very gracious to me, thy servant, through every period of
I bless thee, for that salvation thou hast made known to me, and for the dispensation of the Gospel thou hast committed to me, and for that success given to my small endeavours; for that perfect resignation thou hast given me to every dispenation of thy providence.