excerpt from 'The Journal of John Wesley' pp. 186-187 (460 words)

excerpt from 'The Journal of John Wesley' pp. 186-187 (460 words)

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The Journal of John Wesley

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In the afternoon, a report being spread abroad that the mayor designed to hinder my preaching on the Marsh in the evening, I desired Mr. Skelton and Mr. Jones to wait upon him and inquire concerning it. Mr. Skelton asked if my preaching there would be disagreeable to him, adding, "Sir, if it would, Mr. Wesley will not do it." He replied warmly, "Sir, I'll have no mobbing." Mr. Skelton replied, "Sir, there was none this morning." He answered, "There was. Are there not churches and meetinghouses enough? I will have no more mobs or riots." Mr. Skelton replied, "Sir, neither Mr. Wesley nor they that heard him made either mobs or riots." He replied plainly, "I will have no more preaching; and if Mr. Wesley attempts to preach, I am prepared for him."

I began preaching in our own house soon after five. Mr. Mayor meantime was walking in the 'Change, and giving orders to the town drummers and to his sergeants--doubtless to go down and keep the peace! They accordingly came down to the house, with an innumerable mob attending them. They continued drumming, and I continued preaching till I had finished my discourse. When I came out, the mob immediately closed me in. Observing one of the sergeants standing by, I desired him to keep the King's peace; but he replied, "Sir, I have no orders to do that." As soon as I came into the street, the rabble threw whatever came to hand; but all went by me or flew over my head; nor do I remember that one thing touched me. I walked on straight through the midst of the rabble, looking every man before me in the face; and they opened on the right and left, till I came near Dant's Bridge. A large party had taken possession of this, one of whom was bawling out, "Now, hey for the Romans!" When I came up, they likewise shrank back, and I walked through them to Mr. Jenkins's house; but a Papist stood just within the door and endeavored to hinder my going till one of the mob (I suppose aiming at me, but missing) knocked her down flat. I then went in, and God restrained the wild beasts so that not one attempted to follow me.


But many of the congregation were more roughly handled, particularly Mr. Jones, who was covered with dirt and escaped with his life almost by miracle. The main body of the mob then went to the house, brought out all the seats and benches, tore up the floor, the door, the frames of the windows, and whatever of woodwork remained; part, of which they carried off for their own use, and the rest they burned in the open street.

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excerpt from 'The Journal of John Wesley' pp. 186-187 (460 words)


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