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REV. JOHN WESLEY, A. M.
FELLOW OF LINCOLN COLLEGE, OXFORD ;
IN WHICH ARE INCLUDED,
THE LIFE OF HIS BROTHER,
STUDENT OF CHRIST CHURCH;
AND MEMOIRS OF THEIR FAMILY:
COMPREHENDING AN ACCOUNT OF
The Great Revival of Religion,
IN WHICH THEY WERE THE FIRST AND CHIEF INSTRUMENTS,
BY THE REV. HENRY MOORE,
ONLY SURVIVING TRUST EE OF MR. WESLEY'S MSS.
According to this time it shall be said, “What HATH GOD WROUGHT !"
NUMBERS xxiii, 23.
ZECHARIAH iv, 6.
Venturæque biemis memores, æstate laborem
IN TWO VOLUMES.
THE REV. JOHN WESLEY, A. M.
BOOK THE FIFTH.
PROGRESS OF RELIGION, WITH THE PERSECUTIONS THAT FOLLOWED.
MR. WESLEY having now several helpers after his own heart, the work of God prospered in many places. Many societies were formed in Somersetshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, and in several parts of Yorkshire. And those in London, Bristol, Kingswood, and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, were much increased.
But as in the beginning of Christianity, so it was now : This sect was every where spoken against. But its enemies were not content with this. In the year 1740, several rioters, who had long disturbed the meetings in Bristol, were emboldened by impunity. Their numbers also increased, so as to fill, not only the court before the preachinghouse, but a considerable part of the street. The mayor sent them orders to disperse ; but they set him at defiance. He then despatched several of his officers, who took the ringleaders into custody. The next day they were brought into court, it being the time of the quartersessions. There they received a severe reprimand; and from that time, the Society in Bristol enjoyed almost uninterrupted peace.
In London the rioters were not so easily subdued. They assembled at various places, and frequently treated Mr. Wesley and many of his serious hearers in a shameful manner. They followed them with showers of stones, and once attempted to unroof the Foundery, where the congregation was assembled, and had nearly accomplished their design. The common cry was, “ You may treat them as you please, for there is no law for them.” But Sir John Ganson, the chairman of the Middlesex Justices, called on Mr. Wesley, and informed him, “ that he had no need to suffer these riotous mobs to molest him ;', adding, - Sir, I and the other Middlesex Magistrates have orders from above, to do you justice whenever you apply to us." A short time after, he did apply. Justice was done, though not with rigour ; and from that period the Society had peace in London. It was very confidently stated, in that day, that when the question concerning the persecutions suffered by the Societies at this time, came before the Council, the King declared, that “ No man in his dominions should be persecuted on the account of religion, while he sat on the throne." His late Majesty also, and indeed all that dynasty, have acted on the same principle.