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FROM SEPTEMBER 13, 1773, TO JANUARY 2, 1776.
Monday, September 13. My cold remaining, I was ill able to speak. In the evening I was much worse, my palate and throat being greatly inflained; however, I preached as I could. But I could then go no farther. I could swallow neither liquids nor solids, and the windpipe seemed nearly closed. I lay down at my usual time, but the defluxion of rheum was so uninterrupted that I slept not a minute, till near three in the morning. On the following nine days I grew better.
Fri. 17. I went to Kingswood, and found several of the children still alive to God.
Sat. 18. I gave them a short exhortation, which tired, but did not hurt me,
Sun. 19. I thought myself able to speak to the congregation, which I did for half an hour; but afterwards I found a pain in my left side and in my shoulder by turns, exactly as I did at Canterbury twenty years before. In the morning I could scarce lift my hand to my head; but after being electrified I was much better, so that I preached with tolerable ease in the evening; and the next evening read the letters, though my voice was weak. From this time I slowly recovered my voice and my strength, and on Sunday preached without any trouble.
Wed. 29. After preaching at Pensford, I went to Publow, and in the morning spent a little time with the lovely children. Those of them who were lately affected did not appear to have lost any thing of what they had received; and some of them were clearly gaining ground, and advancing in the faith which works by love.
Sun. Oct. 3. I took a solemn leave of the Society at Bristol, now consisting of eight hundred members,
Mon. 4. I went, by Shepton-Mallet, to Shaftesbury, and on Tuesday to Salisbury.
Wed. 7. Taking chaise at two in the morning, in the evening I came well to London. The rest of the week I made what inquiry I could into the state of my accounts. Some confusion had arisen from the sudden death of my book-keeper, but it was less than might have been expected.
Monday, 11, and the following days, I took a little tour through Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. Between Northampton and Towcester we met with a great natural curiosity, the largest elm I ever saw: it was twenty-eight feet in circumference; six feet more than that which was some years ago in Magdalen College walks at Oxford.
Mon. 18. I began my little journey through Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. In the way I read over Sir Richard Blackmore's “ Prince Arthur.” It is not a contemptible poem, although by no means equal to his Poem on the Creation, in which are many admirably fine strokes.
Mon. 25. I went to Shoreham, and spent two days both agreeably and profitably. The work of God, which broke out here two or three years ago, is still continually increasing. I preached near Bromley on Thursday; and on Friday, 29th, had the satisfaction of dining with an old friend. I hope she meant all the kindness she professed ; if she did not, it was her own loss.
Mon. Nov. 1. I set out for Norfolk, and came to Lynn while the congregation was waiting for me. Here was once a prospect of doing much good, but it was almost vanished away: Calvinism breaking in upon them, had torn the infant Society in pieces. I did all I could to heal the breach, both in public and private ; and having recovered a few, I left them all in peace, and went on to Norwich on Wednesday.
Fri. 5. I preached, at noon, to the warm congregation at Loddon, and in the evening to the cold one at Yarmouth. I know there is nothing too hard for God, else I should go thither no more.
Mon. 8. I found the Society at Lakenheath was entirely vanished away; I joined them together once more, and they .seriously promised to keep together. If they do, I shall endeavour to see them again : if not, I have better work.
Tues. 9. I preached at Bury, and on Wednesday at Colchester; where I spent a day or two with much satisfaction, among a poor, loving, simple-hearted people. I returned to London on Friday, and was fully employed in visiting the Classes from that time to Saturday, the 20th.