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me solidly happy. Laid me down in much peace of mind. Blessed with spiritual and edifying dreams, and such solid joy even while asleep as I seldom experience.
“ Wed. 18.—In my way to Halifax my mind was drawn out in prayer. When I came within sight of the town, I felt a burning desire to be useful to the precious souls that are in it. O God, give me souls for my hire, and I'll ask no more.
“Sun. Sept. 5.—This day I spent in Halifax. My gracious Lord assisted me in every duty, public and private. It has been a good day. May I never forget it. Two things contributed to it:-1. I felt my own ignorance and weakness. 2. I trusted in the all-sufficiency of God. Surely if I always acted according to this rule, I should always find God the same.
Sun. June 2, 1791.–When I awoke this morning, my heart was filled with love and joy. I preached three times with great liberty. After preaching at night at Halifax, we renewed our covenant with God. the most solemn season I ever experienced. When all the people stood up as a declaration of their determination to be on the Lord's side, I felt such a solemn sense of the presence and the majesty and glory of God, as I never remember to have felt before. I hope the solemn transaction of this evening will never be forgotten by hundreds who were present.
“Mon. 3.—All this forenoon, spent partly in secret duties, and partly in visiting the sick: I enjoyed much of God; conversed with him as a man with his friend. It was our Quarterly Meeting. While at dinner I enjoyed a solemn sense of the divine presence, and felt such divine sweetness as is inexpressible. But after dinner, conversing with Mr. T. and two friends about an absent person, I mentioned a circumstance which tended to his disparagement. Though what I said was true, yet I had no call to pass my judgment upon him.
Immediately I felt condemned, and remained so all the afternoon. I bless God for scourging me.
“Rather I would in painful awe,
Beneath thine anger move,.
Of liberty and love.'
wisdom by what I have suffered. May I never more get upon the judgment-seat, but when lawfully called to it.
“Mon. Jan. 10.—This day I paid a visit to Wakefield. In my way there, my heart was drawn out in prayer, that the visit might be profitable. I preached at night to a large congregation with great liberty, My dear friend Reece and I had a blessed season together.
“ Tues. 11.—I rode in company with Brother Reece to Birstal, where we were received by Mr. Pawson with the greatest kindness. After dinner, Brother Reece set off for Cheshire, after we had by prayer commended him to the grace of God. I stayed till the next day, and again tasted the sweets of Christian friendship in that family in which I had so often enjoyed them before. Blessed be God for every drop of consolation through whatever medium.
“Jan. 29.— I have been much tempted lately to think that the work of grace never was in reality begun in my heart; and feeling so much within contrary to God, I was almost ready to conclude it was true. Have mercy upon me, O Lord, have mercy upon me!
Mon. 31.–A dark, dismal, gloomy day. Tempted to doubt of the reality of all Christian experience, and even of the truth of the Holy Scriptures. Preached this evening upon the excellencies of the Redeemer; but O how little did I feel! Why standest thou afar off, 0 God? Why hidest thou thyself in secret places ? Return, O Lord, how long? Make speed to save me.
Stainland, Feb. 8.–For the last seven days my mind has in general been longing after God. I preached to-night with much freedom and warmth ; I felt something of the worth of immortal souls, and an ardent desire to be useful to them. After preaching, I met our little Society here by way of class-meeting. A young woman cast in her lot among us who is deeply and thoroughly convinced of her lost and ruined state, and gasping for redemption in the blood of Christ. She was awakened under my preaching when I was on a visit
here last May. I will no longer reason respecting my usefulness; for the salvation of one soul is worth all my labours to the end of
life. “ Feb. 18.—For some days I have been much assisted both in my private studies and public ministrations. Blessed be God. May I learn to trust Him.
I am convinced that I have frequently suffered loss by poring over my own weakness, and giving way to a despair of ever being made useful in the world. I am determined, through divine grace, to apply myself more than ever I have done to reading, meditation, and prayer; humbly depending upon the Lord for his presence and blessing in and upon all I do. I find the study of the Greek tongue far less difficult than I expected ; and see such a vast treasure of ideas, which are concealed from the English reader, that it is an ample compensation for the trouble of learning the language, were it ten times as much. May I pursue this and every other study with a pure desire to glorify God.
Mon. Feb. 28.—I preached and met the Society at Shelf, in which I was remarkably assisted. Having to read a person out of Society, who had been guilty of gross immorality, I took occasion to warn the Society against sin; and was led to show that we are no longer safe, than while we enjoy the life and power
of religion. So long as we keep up close communion with God, we are preserved from all sin. Lord, preserve me in the slippery paths of youth. Spent an hour after preaching in reading the Greek Testament, in which I found great satisfaction.
Laid me down in much peace. Remarkably happy in my sleep. Chiefly employed, methought, in preaching. O that I could recollect those ideas of which I have some traces in
mind! How mysterious, that while the senses were locked up, such a chain of regular, new, and beautiful ideas should be raised in the mind. I bless God, I feel the happy effects of it in a serious, composed, serene mind.
“ Tues. March 1.—I have enjoyed communion with God to-day, and read with some degree of profit and satisfaction. In the afternoon, I went out to tea; when I was convinced that I had often spent too much time in such visits. I see no reason why I should, in general, stay longer than an hour; for that is as long as one can
keep up profitable conversation with the generality even of professing people. O may I husband well my precious time.
“Fr. 4.—I spent this forenoon in study with much profit. My mind was much drawn out in prayer. I was preserved in the same divine frame all the day, and at night laid me down upon a hard bed in a miserably poor cottage with very great peace.
Sat. March 5.—This morning I was informed that the Rev. Mr. Wesley is no more, having departed this life last Wednesday. My soul trembles for the ark of the Lord. There are men of so many different judgments in our Connexion, all of whom now claim an equal authority, especially the senior Preachers, that I fear we may have some divisions among us.
Yet I am convinced, my senior brethren love the cause of God, and when it appears to be in danger, I hope they will submit to one another. O Lord, pour out the spirit of unity, peace, and mutual forbearance upon thy servants, that the wicked may not triumph.
April 16.—This afternoon was spent partly in visiting the sick, and partly in assisting Mr. Thompson in business relating to the Connexion. I hope our brethren will be all agreed to continue in the good work in which they are engaged. O Lord, send us now prosperity.”
Mr. Entwisle alludes in the preceding extract to the correspondence which took place between the leading preachers after Mr. Wesley's death, with respect to the course to be pursued in regard to the government of the Connexion, and its relations to the Church : some contending earnestly for a strict and close connexion with the Established Church, and others wishing to see something more conformable to their ideas of Christian liberty. Circular letters were printed in which the “ Old Plan,” as it was called, was warmly advocated by some, and as warmly opposed by others. Some change in the government of the Body was rendered necessary by Mr. Wesley's death. For fifty years the government had been in his hands : he had not only presided in the annual Conference, but also exercised a fatherly oversight and apostolic authority over the whole Connexion. No one individual could take his place. But to maintain the efficiency and purity of the Body, it was necessary
that some substitute should be provided. As to what this should be, a considerable difference of opinion existed. Mr. Thompson, who then stood so high in the estimation of the preachers, that he was chosen the first President of the Conference, gave it his most serious consideration, and corresponded on the subject with most of the leading men of the day.
On Wednesday, Ap. 13, Mr. Mather and Mr. Pawson had visited Halifax to converse with Mr. Thompson respecting the affairs of the Connexion. They had a long interview, characterized by great brotherly freedom and confidence, and “came to a thorough good understanding of each others' minds." The following Thursday, Ap. 21, was agreed upon for a meeting at Leeds, when Messrs. Allen, Booth, Parkin, Story, Wrigley, and James Wood were invited to meet Messrs. Thompson, Mather, and Pawson, to consult together respecting the future government of the Body. The result of their deliberations was communicated to the leading preachers in various parts of the kingdom, many of whom held similar meetings, in the interval between this time and the Conference. As Mr. Entwisle acted as Mr. Thompson's amanuensis, much of his time was occupied with this correspondence; but this disadvantage was counterbalanced by the information he gained on all subjects relating to the government of the Connexion, and by the business habits which were promoted by his intercourse with the master spirits of the day. Such occupation of his time, however, together with the anxiety and excitement which were almost inseparable from an active engagement in the affairs of the Connexion at such a crisis, interfered not only with his studies, but sometimes also with his progress in piety. Thus he writes on the 23rd of April, “ I have at seasons enjoyed much sensible communion with God; but upon a review of my outwarıl and inward conduct, I find I have been hurt by dwelling too much upon the affairs of our Connexion. I see there is great danger of the mind being wounded thereby. While I see some ambitious spirits contending for precedency, surely I ought to sink deeper in the dust before God. O may I ever be recollected and spiritual in mind and conversation.” His diary proceeds :
" Mon. Ap. 25.- Enjoyed a spiritual frame when I