But on Sunday the 23rd, I was beat out of this retreat, too, by the concurring evidence of several living witnesses; who testified God “had thus wrought in themselves,” giving them in a moment such a faith in the blood of his Son as translated them out of darkness into light, out of sin and fear into holiness and happiness. Here ended my disputing. I could now only cry out, “Lord, help thou my unbelief!” I asked Peter Böhler again whether I ought not to refrain from teaching others. He said, “No; do not hide in the earth the talent God hath given you.” Accordingly, on Tuesday the 25th, I spoke clearly and fully at Blendon to Mr. Delamotte’s family of the nature and fruits of faith. Mr. Broughton and my brother were there. Mr. Broughton’s great objection was, he could never think that I had not faith, who had done and suffered such things. My brother was very angry, and told me “I did not know what mischief I had done by talking thus.” And, indeed, it did please God then to kindle a fire which I trust shall never be ex tinguished. On Wednesday the 26th, the day fixed for my return to Oxford, I once more waited on the Trustees for Georgia; but, being straitened for time, was obliged to leave the papers for them which I had designed to give into their own hands. One of these was the instrument whereby they had appointed me minister of Savannah; which, having no more place in those parts, I thought it not right to keep any longer. Peter Böhler walked with me a few miles, and exhorted me not to stop short of the grace of God. At Gerrard’s Cross I plainly declared to those whom God gave into my hands the faith as it is in Jesus; as I did next day to a young man I overtook on the road, and in the evening to our friends at Oxford. A strange doctrine, which some, who did not care to contradict, yet knew not what to make of; but one or two, who were thoroughly bruised by sin, willingly heard and received it gladly. In the day or two following I was much confirmed in the “truth that is after godliness” [Tit. i: i] by hearing the experiences of Mr. Hutchins, of Pembroke College, and Mrs. Fox; two living witnesses that God can (at least, if he does not always) give that faith whereof cometh salvation in a moment, as lightning falling from heaven.
From John Wesley’s Journal
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