Journal

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Date: 1903

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CHAPTER XVII

The Methodist Revival

1

84.

Field-Preaching

2

March 31, 1739. In the evening I reached Bristol, and met Mr. Whitefield3 there. I could scarce reconcile myself at first to this strange way of preaching in the fields, of which he set me an example on Sunday; having been all my life (till very lately) so tenacious of every point relating to decency and order, that I should have thought the saving of souls almost a sin, if it had not been done in a church.

April 1, 1739. In the evening (Mr. Whitefield being gone) I begun expounding our Lord’s sermon on the mount (one pretty remarkable precedent of field-preaching, though I suppose there were churches at that time also), to a little society which was accustomed to meet once or twice a week in Nicholas Street.

April 2, 1739. At four in the afternoon, I submitted to be more vile, and proclaimed in the highways the glad tidings of salvation, speaking from a little eminence in a ground adjoining to the city, to about three thousand people. The Scripture on which I spoke was this (is it possible any one should be ignorant, that it is fulfilled in every true minister of Christ)? "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted; to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind; to set at liberty them that are bruised, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."

April 8, 1739. At seven in the morning I preached to about a thousand persons at Bristol, and afterward to about fifteen hundred on the top of Hannam-mount in Kingswood. I called to them, in the words of the evangelical prophet, "Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; come and buy wine and milk without money and without price." About five thousand were in the afternoon at Rose-green (on the other side of Kingswood); among whom I stood and cried, in the name of the Lord, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. . . ."

April 17, 1739. At five in the afternoon I was at a little society in the Back Lane. The room in which we were was propped beneath, but the weight of people made the floor give way; so that in the beginning of the expounding, the post which propped it fell down with a great noise. But the floor sunk no farther; so that, after a little surprise at first, they quietly attended to the things that were spoken.

May 7, 1739. I was preparing to set out for Pensford, having now had leave to preach in the church, when I received the following note:

"Sir, — Our minister, having been informed you are beside yourself, does not care you should preach in any of his churches." — I went, however; and on Priestdown, about half a mile from Pensford, preached Christ our "wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption."

May 8, 1739. I went to Bath, but was not suffered to be in the meadow where I was before, which occasioned the offer of a much more convenient place, where I preached Christ to about a thousand souls.

1 , edited by P. L. Parker. New York and London, 1903. Fleming H. Revell Company.

2 Wesley, , pp. 47–48.

3 George Whitefield (1714–1770), a celebrated preacher and for several years Wesley’s associate in evangelical work.

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Chicago: P. L. Parker, ed., "Field-Preaching," Journal in Readings in Modern European History, ed. Webster, Hutton (Boston: D.C. Heath, 1926), 182. Original Sources, accessed July 21, 2024, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CT3T7ETA1E47TF3.

MLA: . "Field-Preaching." Journal, edited by P. L. Parker, in Readings in Modern European History, edited by Webster, Hutton, Boston, D.C. Heath, 1926, page 182. Original Sources. 21 Jul. 2024. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CT3T7ETA1E47TF3.

Harvard: (ed.), 'Field-Preaching' in Journal. cited in 1926, Readings in Modern European History, ed. , D.C. Heath, Boston, pp.182. Original Sources, retrieved 21 July 2024, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CT3T7ETA1E47TF3.