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Had I gone
“Nov. 15.—On my passage from Chatham to Sheerness I had much agreeable conversation with a sea-officer who seems to fear God. The Lord has many hidden ones, who endeavour to serve him in different departments. They are his peculiar treasure. He knows them, and he will take care of them.
“Nov. 22.—On Thursday evening, on my return from Sheerness, I very narrowly escaped being sunk in a small boat through the imprudence of the waterman. There were eight or ten of us in the boat in deep water, and in the midst of an impetuous stream. into eternity, I have no doubt, death would have been to me eternal gain. God is mine and I am his for ever. Yet I thank God for the sake of my dear wife and chil. dren, that I am still in the body. O
I live to him alone.
“Sheerness, Dec. 6.—I feel a most vehement longing to be wholly devoted to God. My present situation in this retired circuit, in which I regularly spend more than one third of my time at Shøerness in my own room, and the other chiefly at home, is highly favourable to piety. And though the sphere of action is confined, beyond any I have before occupied, yet I never saw so much fruit of my labour. I do sincerely resolve, God being my helper, in this solemn place and in the divine presence, to make an entire surrender of my all to him for ever. Amen.
“Jan. 31. 1807.—The cause of truth and religion among us prospers. Sinners are converted, and the cords of Zion are lengthening. O may my heart glow with zeal for God, and love to souls.
March 16.—My soul is much blessed with the divine presence.
The Lord assists me in my public labours, and there is much good done. It is seldom in this country that there are great revivals as in Yorkshire; however, I think about seventy souls have been added since the Conference, and our prospects widen. It is desired by a respectable circuit in Lancashire that I should labour with them next year. But I cannot leave this place at the end of one year, while the work is so prosperous. I am the Lord's, and desire to be used when, where, and how he pleases.”
On the last Sunday evening in this month, my father preached at Sheerness on Mic. vi. 8, “He hath shewed
thee, O man, what is good," &c. In speaking on “doing justly,” he was led to make some pointed remarks on the duty of restitution. A few weeks afterward, he received a letter from a young man who had been present on that occasion, thanking him for his sermon, and stating that he had some years before robbed his master of above five pounds; but that he had been so wrought upon by what my father had said on the subject of restitution, that he had returned the money with interest the week before he wrote.
My father attended the Conference at Liverpool this year; but made no particular memoranda of its proceedings. On his return, he met with an accident, which but for the care of a gracious Providence, might have been of serious consequence. He makes the following grateful record:
“Aug. 15.—Last Wednesday, on my return from Li verpool, the coach fell down in Derby. I was on the outside, and fell on my side: my right leg was under the boot of the coach, till it could be lifted up. Thank God, that I was not taken from my family in a moment. I arrived at home at one o'clock yesterday, very sore and exceedingly ill. I am lame of my right foot, and much hurt in my side; but hope I shall soon recover. I bless God that I was enabled to get home, having nearly one hundred and sixty miles to ride after my fall. May this affliction be sanctified. I trust it is amongst the ‘all things' which 'work together for good.'
“Sun. 16.—Unable to preach or attend public worship. Thy will be done. * Mon. 17.—Still the Lord's prisoner. Tues. 18.-Much better; blessed be God. Wed. 19.—My strength increases : pain less. Thurs. 20.—In much weakness of body, preached at Rochester on 1 Pet. v.
7, Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.'
“Sat. 22.–Sailed to Sheerness. Blessed be God, hitherto he has helped me. I am now in my work again. 0 may
I be more zealous and more faithful! Amen. This stroke has impressed my mind deeply with a sense of the necessity of living for eternity. Soon will my time of trial be gone. Seasons and means of grace
will be no more. Opportunities of doing good will not return.
"Jesus, confirm my heart's desire
To work, and speak, and think for thee:
And still stir up thy gift in me.'
“ Aug. 29.—The effects of my fall are still felt, and probably will be so occasionally, while in the body. May this effectually remind me of my dissolution. I am able, however, to attend to my work. O may I labour with increasing zeal and earnestness to promote the glory of God and the good of mankind. Latterly it has appeared to me an awful thing for a preacher to give up his accounts. The Lord grant that I may obtain mercy in that day. Amen.
“ Sheerness, Sept. 16, 1807.—Walking this forenoon into the garrison to see a sick man, in a moment my mind was unusually affected with a sense of my unworthiness and former sins. I have a full confidence of my forgiveness and acceptance through the beloved, yet such a recollection and humbling sense of former sins and follies filled my mind as I have seldom experienced. O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hidden from thee. I see evil enough in my old sins to make me go softly all my days. These views and feel ings come from God, I doubt not, as they produce selfabhorrence, and humiliation, unaccompanied by discouragement. I find I can trust in the divine mercy, and am resolved to give myself anew to God, believing that his Holy Spirit shall help my infirmities.
• Oct. 6.—The work of God still prospers in this circuit. Never did I see so much fruit of
labours as here, in the time. And God is enlarging our borders. Hereby our work is increased, but we have strength according to our day. My colleague, Mr. Stanley, is a healthy man, and has his heart in the work; so that I have good help; indeed, without this, the work could not be done. Having no horse, we have much walking in lonesome roads, narrow lanes, wet fields, and, in one instance, through an extensive park, in the night. As yet, we have no lodgings in our new places. One of them is five miles, another six, and another eight miles distant; from these places we return to supper. However, we have souls for our hire; and many poor people come two, three, and even four or five miles beyond
here we preach, thirsting for the words of eternal life. 1 these places, and others in this country, the people ever before heard a Methodist preacher. The whole juntry seems ready to receive us; and I doubt not, but e could introduce preaching into every village, had we n opportunity of going. But this we cannot do, unless e had another preacher.
“ Dec. 26.—Some months ago, we began preaching at Jobham : many people have attended, and some appear o have received good. Lately the enemy
has stirred up degree of persecution, so that it is hard to say whether ne shall be able to continue to visit them. However, it is the cause of God. He can make our way plain. May he undertake it for the glory of his name. Amen.
Jan. 1, 1808.—Attended the monthly meeting of the Justices at Rochester, to obtain peace at Cobham; they promised to suppress the riots. Our Quarterly Meeting was held at Brompton. All was peace.
Cobham, Sun. Jan. 10.—Some scores, young and old, endeavoured to disturb us, by blowing horns, beating kettles, &c. It brought to my mind the accounts of the persecutions of the first preachers. 'I esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.'
“ Frid. Jan. 22.-Mr. Osborn and I walked over to Gravesend to-day to inquire about preaching there. Not so successful as we could wish; yet we hope God will make our way plain before us in due time.
“ Feb. 4.—My heart is more and more devoted to God, and his work still prospers in this little circuit. To him be ascribed praise. It is likely my colleague will be married soon to a niece of my dear wife, and one of my spiritual children. I trust it will be for their mutual good.
“ Feb. 5.-Attended the sitting of the Justices at Rochester. I hope the rioters at Cobham will be made quiet.
“Feb. 17.—National Fast. A blessed day. Preached at Upchurch in the morning, and at Gillingham in the evening. Delighted with the love and simplicity of the new converts at Upchurch.
Feb. 18.—This morning I accompanied Mr. Stanley and Miss Jane Manley to St. Margaret's Church, where
they were married. I trust their union will be for God's glory, and their present and eternal advantage.
"March 17. Upchurch.—God is powerfully working in this neighbourhood. Many have been brought from darkness to light; and more appear to be emerging out of darkness.”
About this time a rather singular incident occurred. Mr. Entwisle and Mr. Towner, one of the Gillingham friends, were walking together to Upchurch, where Mr. E. had to preach in the evening; and being engaged in earnest conversation about the desirableness of purchasing a pulpit-bible for the place,—an object for which it was difficult to raise the pecuniary supplies,—they unconsciously turned a little out of the path, and stood still conversing. As they stood talking, Mr. Entwisle, whose habitual activity of mind would seldom allow him to be motionless for many minutes together, was working his walking-stick about on the ground, when looking down he perceived that he had turned something up from under the soil, which, upon examination proved to be a very old purse, containing a Bank of England One Pound Note, and nine shillings in silver. He immediately exclaimed, “ Now for the Bible!” The Note was very old, and almost illegible; but in going down to Sheerness soon after, a gentleman happened to be in the packet, who was a clerk in the Bank of England; and he advanced a pound on the old note. No owner being found for the old leather purse, its contents were consecrated to the service of Him whose providence had thus unexpectedly sent a seasonable supply; and a good pulpit Bible and hymn - book were purchased for the benefit of the poor society at Upchurch.
On the 18th of March, Mr. E. again visited Gravesend, and preached there for the first time. His text was Phil. iï. 8. He remarks on the occasion, “The prospect is pleasing. I trust a church will be founded here.” His anticipations were abundantly realized; he had the pleasure of forming a small society there, and he lived to see Gravesend some years afterwards, the head of a circuit with two preachers, and a greater number of members than he found in all the Rochester Circuit.
In a letter to Mrs. Pawson, dated March 30th, he writes :—"The blessed work of God is going on well in