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a manner, that he was generally enabled to go through the important duties assigued to him, with an equanimity and composure that excited the astonishment of all who knew him.
Although in his journal he was accustomed to lay open bis whole case and his heart before the Lord, yet those passages only are quoted in which he expresses himself in general terms, and which may serve to shew how he was supported under these trials, and the influence they had upon his mind.
On the 6th of July, he writes : My mind is greatly oppressed. O Lord, undertake for me. It seems as if the world were completely embittered to me: every thing wears a gloomy aspect; and were it not that God is remarkably with me, I could not proceed in my work. I should faint, but for divine support. I will trust in the Lord : he is my help and my shield. I will give myself unto prayer, to reading, meditation, visiting the sick, preaching the word, and other ministerial and Christian duties; and I will endeavour to cast my dear family on the providence of God.
“On a review of my past life, I see so many defects and omissions in my conduct, that I acknowledge from the bottom of my heart, that I deserve to suffer ten thousand times more than I do. Mercy is mixed with judgment. Enter not into judgment with me, O Lord. Chasten me not in thy hot displeasure, lest I be consumed. O Lord, thou seest I am feeble and sore broken. thou my strong helper. O leave me not, neither forsake me. I am thine. O save me in this time of trouble for thy mercy's sake. Amen.”
On the 29th of July, the Conference commenced its sittings in London. Mr. E.'s old friend, the Rev. R. Reece, was elected President, and the Rev. Jabez Bunting, Secretary. His wounded mind found some relief in the Conference business, in which he was necessarily employed; his thoughts being thus diverted from the painful subject which for some time had almost constantly oppressed his spirits. Besides which, he was enabled thus gratefully to record the goodness of God :-“I feel a power from the Lord fully to cast my care upon Him who careth for me. • Under the shadow of his wings will I put my trust, till these calamities be
overpast. · My
soul, wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is from him.'"
His next appointment was to the London East Circuit ; the Rev. Messrs. Thomas Wood, John Riles, George Marsden, and Richard Watson were his colleagues. He felt the importance of the station, and “the awful responsibility connected with it,” but remarked, “However, as every thing appears to stamp on my appointment the character of a providential station, I am unanxious. Surely the Lord will help me. His hand will be with
I am resolved to give myself continually unto prayer and the ministry of the word. I will mind nothing but religion,—an increase of religion in my own soul, and the promotion of religion in the world.”
On the 30th of August, he took leave of his esteemed friends in the London West Circuit, and removed with his family to his new habitation in City Road. The contrast between the cheering prospect in regard to domestic comfort with which he entered upon that circuit, and the dark dense cloud which now rested upon his family in leaving it, deeply affected his mind; but he was relieved by the full persuasion that he had been and was still under the guidance of Divine Providence; that the painful scenes through which he was passing were permitted by infinite wisdom and love; and that his labours during the past two years had not been in vain in the Lord. Through the blessing of God upon the united efforts of himself and his esteemed colleagues, he had the satisfaction of leaving in the circuit above two hundred members more than he found, and a large new chapel at Queen street rapidly advancing towards its completion.
The day after his arrival, he thus records his views and feelings in entering upon the work of his new circuit:
Aug, 31.-I am settled once again in my regular work, in a situation of much labour and high responsibility, which of necessity must expose me to the constant temptation to anxious care. I trust the Lord will give me direction and power.
It is agreeable to my feelings to occupy the house in which Mr. Wesley lived, and to sleep in the room in which he died. In these circumstances I find additional reasons for watchfulness, diligence, faithfulness, and zeal;
and I resolve, through the divine blessing, to employ all my time and exert all my strength of body and mind in that blessed work in which I am engaged. In this solemn place,-Mr. Wesley's study, and with his portrait, at full length, preaching to me, I do pledge myself to the service of God and his people.
Jesus, confirm my heart's desire
To work, and speak, end think for thee.'” To his friend, the Rev. Jonathan Edmondson, who had been his colleague the last two years, and was now labouring at Worcester, he writes shortly afterwards:
“I find myself quite at home amongst my old friends. I have been favoured with much of the divine presence and great comfort in my own mind; have been assisted in my public work more than usual; and the good people at the New Chapel (City Road) tell me I am heard in every corner of it. My interruptions are not more than at Bow street; and it appears to me that the change into this airy situation, with long walks to Poplar, Tottenham, &c. are improving my health. May I obtain mercy of the Lord to be found faithful.
“ I think I shall make a considerable addition to the number of my sermons.
The Scriptures are opened to my mind, and my views seem to enlarge. Don't burn your old sermons. Keep them for old acquaintance' sake. They will afford you recreation in a dull hour, to
the least : perhaps, the perusal of them may, through the divine blessing, be the means of reviving in your mind those good feelings under which they were written; and besides, while you will be pleased to see that you have always preached the same truth, you will have the satisfaction to observe that reading, meditation, and prayer have enlarged your views; or, to speak more properly, that while
up the gift of God that is in you, He hath given you an increase of the Spirit of wisdom and illumination."
On the last day of the year, Mr. E. remarks :-"This has been the most painful year of my life. It set in with storms; and in its progress every earthly comfort has been blighted; so that my mind could find relief only in the Lord. Now the storm seems to abate ; but my mind, accustomed to disappointment, can hardly hope
for any repose in this world, but what is inward and spiritual. I will endeavour to cast all my cares and burdens upon
the Lord who cares for me. After a brief respite, my father was again visited with affliction of another kind; the following is his own account:—“On Wed. Feb. 12, about half-past four in the morning, my dear wife was seized with a violent bleeding at the nose. About five, I obtained the help of a surgeon ; about seven o'clock the bleeding was stopped; but not until a plug was inserted up the nostril. She was greatly reduced by loss of blood. This was followed by a most dangerous typhus fever, from which she was raised almost miraculously. For a fortnight I had scarcely any hope of her recovery. I fully expected to have ‘sorrow upon sorrow,' by being bereaved of her. But the Lord heard our prayers. In this time of trouble, He was indeed a very present help.
“My dear wife at first was considerably discouraged, but about three days after her seizure, while I was at prayer with her, she was favoured with a wonderful manifestation of God to her soul; and after that time she became one of the happiest creatures I ever saw. Oh! what happy though sleepless nights we had in attending her. For three weeks I had little sleep; for she required constant attention; and my daughter and I either together or separately, attended almost every night.
Yet I was preserved in health; never omitted preaching except twice; and my soul was happy in the enjoyment of God; my
will was lost in his. After a very hard day on Sunday, March 2, I did not go to bed till after six the next morning, and then rose about nine refreshed and perfectly well. My sleepless nights have been some of the happiest of my life. This afflietion has been made singularly useful to us all. The Lord has been remarkably kind to us : we have all been preserved from the fever, and are in good health. Blessed be the name of the Lord. O may my whole time and strength be his.”
This fever left Mrs. Entwisle in a state of extreme debility, from which her recovery was slow, being no doubt retarded by the painful exercises through which the family were passing; and which, in her enervated state, seemed at times almost more than nature could bear. Her nights for many months were almost sleepless; and again and again it was thought she must sink under the combined influence of debility, loss of sleep, and the distressing excitement occasioned by the family trials.
Early in May, Mr. E. went to Oxford, to lay the first stone of a new chapel ;—the first built expressly for the purpose of a Methodist Chapel in that ancient and celebrated city. His own account will perhaps interest the reader.
Thurs. May 8, my dear wife, Mr. Marsden and I went to Oxford. I preached in the evening to a congregation which filled the old chapel ; my text was 1 John üü. 2, 3. About eight o'clock, while I was speaking of the glorious appearing of Christ at his second coming, a sudden flash of lightning, accompanied at the same time by the loudest thunder-clap I ever heard, electrified me and the whole congregation. I had just quoted that grand passage, · When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him,' &c. After the peal of thunder, I repeated St. Peter's words, The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat,' &c. Two persons in the congregation fainted, and so great was the sensation that it was some time before the people could compose themselves. The next morning we found that the lightning had struck a house within a hundred yards of us, and broke down part of the chimney. How terrible art thou, O Lord! Who can stand before thine indignation?
“ It is nearly twenty-nine years since I left this city; and I have not seen it since till this day. There are only tuo persons in society who were members when I left them; but several children of old frieuds spoke to me. Blessed be God. One generation passeth away and another generation cometh.'
“ Frid. May 9.–At ten in the morning we assembled to lay the foundation of a new chapel. There were about eight hundred persons present. A platform of wood had been raised for the occasion. Mr. Marsden began by singing and prayer; I then spoke a few words on the oc. casion; and, assisted by Mr. Gower, laid the first stone; then Mr. Bunting preached an admirable sermon. The congregation was serious and attentive. I hope much good will be done here. O Lord send now prosperity.