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And in a few months, between her and her gallants, they bullied him out of a settlement to the amount of four times the sum she brought him, and the poor pious preacher thinks that he has cheaply got rid of her.
“ Ah, foolish woman! may she one day see
No blush was ever seen t'adorn her face." GOULD. The reason why I interest myself in his behalf, is because I am confident that he really is an honest well-meaning man at the bottom; but withal one that does not possess the greatest share of understanding, and who being formerly but a mean mechanic, never had any education; but although he is a great enthusiast, yet he is one of the good-natured inoffensive sort, who will do no harm to any person, but on the contrary, all the good in his power. I am only sorry, as he lately was an honest useful tradesman, that he should have so much spiritual quixotism in him, as at thirty years of age to shut up his shop and turn preacher, without being able to read his primer; which I can assure you is the case.
“ What though his wits could ne'er dispense
He's orthodox, and that's enough.”—Tom BRAINLESS. But as these heavenly teachers only speak as the Spirit giveth utterance, of course all human learning is entirely superfluous.
As he does not chuse to cull
Which into dreams and visions turn,
Butler's Posth. Works.
A few years since the Methodist preachers got footing in Wellington (the famous birth-place of your humble servant) and established a society; soon after which one of their preachers (at Collompton, a neighbouring town) happened to like a young servant girl, who was one of the holy sisters, (she having gone through the new birth,) better than his wife, because she was an unenlightened unconverted woman. And this servant girl proving with child, the news soon reached Wellington; and a very wealthy gentleman, who entertained the preachers there, followed the preacher of Collompton's example, and got his own pious maid with child.
“ Blessed she tho' once rejected,
Like a little wandering sheep;
By a vision in her sleep.” After this some of the society in Wellington began to have all things in common, and several more of the holy sisters proved prolific; which so alarmed the parish, that some of the heads of it insisted that the preachers should not be permitted to preach there any longer. “ For if,” said they, “the Methodist society continues, we shall have the parish full of bastards.”
A similar affair happened at a country town, ten or twelve miles from Oxford, about two years since, where a very handsome powerful preacher made converts of a great number of women, both married and
single, who were wonderfully affected, and great numbers flocked to his standard.
“ He had a roguish twiukle in his eye,
CASTLE OF INDOLENCE. But he had not laboured there more than a year, before the churchwardens were made acquainted with his powerful operations on five young female saints, who all swore bastards to this holy, spiritual labourer in the vineyard ; upon which the gentlemen of the town exerted themselves, and prevented the farther propagation of Methodism; as
“ The ladies by sympathy seem'd to discover
There was in Salisbury, some few years ago, a congregation of Methodists in connection with the late Mr Wesley; and amongst the poorer members, a young man, who with honourable professions paid his addresses to a young woman. They generally met in the dusk of the evening, after their daily labour was ended. One evening in particular he pressed her to marry him; it was mutually agreed on, and the day fixed for the celebration of their nuptials; and by way of binding the bargain (odd as it may seem) he presented the young woman with half a guinea. A few evenings after, being in company with her as usual, he began to offer rudeness to her; alleging in excuse, that as they were to be married in a few days, the congress would be perfectly innocent.
But the girl resented the usage highly; and soon after complained to the other Methodists in that city of the insult she had received
from him. The young man was accordingly challenged with it; but he stiffly denied the whole; alleging that he had not been in her company for some time past; that he had made no matrimonial contract with her; and consequently did not give her the half-guinea as asserted; and the men who usually worked with him in the same shop averred positively that he was present with them on the evening in question, at his usual employinent. Upon this, the Methodists wisely concluded, that it must have been the devil who had carried on this affair with the young woman, that when he gave her the half-guinea she had sold herself to him, and that on the day fixed for the marriage he would come and fetch her away; or at least that some great evil would befall her: and as Mr Wesley was to be at Newbury soon, they prudently determined upon sending a deputation of certain of their members to him for his advice in so critical an affair; which was accordingly done. After having stated the case to him, instead of opening their eyes, as so learned a man ought to have done, he treated the whole as truth, and directed them to fast and pray on that day when they expected Satan to make his appearance; and after the deputies had left Newbury, he said to the good people of the house where he then was, “I thought a little fasting and prayer would not do them any harm.”
The author of a letter to Dr Coke and Mr More, published since the first edition of my Memoirs, informs us that a gentleman of Chesham liad a daughter about seventeen years of age, whom he put into the hands of a Methodist parson, to have her converted, and was exceedingly kind and liberal to him ; and we are informed that this rascal converted her first, and debauched her afterwards.
So you see, my dear friend, by the above examples (were it necessary, I could give you many more) that not all the converted and sanctified females are become so absorbed in the spiritual delights of the
mystical union, as to have lost all relish for carnal connections; as we find that many among them are blessed with a mind so capacious, as to be able to participate in the pleasures of both worlds.
I am, dear friend, yours.
“ Domestic happiness, thou only bliss
ART OF LIVING IN LONDON.
DEAR FRIEND, After a long digression I must now return to my own affairs.
I continued in the above-mentioned dreadful fever many weeks, and my life was despaired of by all that came near me. During which time, my wife, whom I affectionately loved, died and was buried, without my once having a sight of her. What added much to my misfortunes, several nurses that were hired to take care of me and my wife, proved so abandoned and depraved as to have lost all sense of moral obligation, and
every tender feeling for one who to all appearance was just on the point of death : several of these monsters in female shape robbed my drawers of linen, &c.,