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Friday, 2 May 2003
John Wesley's Diary
John Wesley

Monday 13 August 1787

We set out from Yarmouth with a fair wind but it soon turned against us, and blew so hard that in the afternoon we were glad to put in at Swanage.


John Wesley's 300th Birthday
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I found we had still a little society here. I had not seen them for thirteen years, and had no thought of seeing them now but God does all things well. In the evening I preached in the Presbyterian meeting house - not often, I believe, so well filled - and afterwards passed half an hour very agreeably with the minister in the parsonage house, which he rents - a neat, retired house, with a delightful garden. Thence we adjourned to the house of our old brother Collins, and between eight and nine went on board.

Tuesday 14 August 1787

Sailing on, with a fair wind, we fully expected to reach Guernsey in the afternoon; but, the wind turning contrary, and blowing hard, we found it would be impossible. We then judged it best to put in at the Isle of Alderney ; but we were very near being shipwrecked in the bay. When we were in the middle of the rocks, with the sea rippling all round us, the wind totally failed. Had this continued, we must have struck on one or other of the rocks so we went to prayer and the wind sprung up instantly. About sunset we landed and, though we had five beds in the same room, slept in peace.

Wednesday 15 August 1787

About eight I went down to a convenient spot on the beach and began giving out a hymn. A woman and two little children joined us immediately. Before the hymn was ended we had a tolerable congregation, all of whom behaved well. Part, indeed, continued at forty or fifty yards’ distance ; but they were all quiet and attentive.

It happened (to speak in the vulgar phrase) that three or four who sailed with us from England, a gentleman with his wife and sister, were near relations of the Governor. He came to us this morning, and - when I went into the room - behaved with the utmost courtesy. This little circumstance may remove prejudice, and make a more open way for the gospel.

Soon after we set sail, and, after a very pleasant passage, through little islands on either hand, we came to the venerable Castle, standing on a rock, about a quarter of a mile from Guernsey. The isle itself makes a beautiful appearance, spreading as a crescent to the right and left; about seven miles long, and five broad; part high land, and part low. The town itself is boldly situated, rising higher and higher from the water. The first thing I observed in it was very narrow streets and exceeding high houses. But we quickly went on to Mr. De Jersey’s, hardly a mile from the town. Here I found a most cordial welcome, both from the master of the house and all his family. I preached at seven in a large room, to as deeply serious a congregation as I ever saw, on ‘Jesus Christ, of God made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.’


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