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The First Methodist Building

I had not at first the least apprehension or design of being personally engaged either in the expense of this work or in the direction of it, having appointed eleven feoffees on whom I supposed these burdens would fall, of course; but I quickly found my mistake. First, with regard to the expense: for the whole undertaking must have stood still had not I immediately taken upon myself the payment of all the workmen; so that before I knew where I was, I had contracted a debt of more than a hundred and fifty pounds. And this I was to discharge as I could, the subscriptions of both societies not amounting to one quarter of the sum.

And as to the direction of the work, I presently received letters from my friends in London, Mr. Whitefield in particular, backed with a message by one just come from thence, that neither he nor they would have anything to do with the building, neither contribute anything toward it, unless I would instantly discharge all feoffees and do everything in my own name. Many reasons they gave for this; but one was enough, namely, “that such feoffees always would have it in their power to control me; and, if I preached not as they liked, to turn me out of the room I had built.” I accordingly yielded to their advice, and calling all the feoffees together canceled (no man opposing) the instrument made before, and took the whole management into my own hands. Money, it is true, I had not, nor any human prospect or probability of procuring it; but I knew “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof,” and in His name set out, nothing doubting.

Sunday, 13.—My ordinary employment in public was now as follows: Every morning I read prayers and preached at Newgate. Every evening I expounded a portion of Scripture at one or more of the societies. On Monday, in the afternoon, I preached abroad, near Bristol; on Tuesday, at Bath and Two Mile Hill alternately; on Wednesday, at Baptist Mills; every other Thursday, near Pensford; every other Friday, in another part of Kingswood; on Saturday in the afternoon, and Sunday morning, in the Bowling Green (which lies near the middle of the city); on Sunday, at eleven, near Hannam Mount; at two, at Clifton; and at five, on Rose Green. and hitherto, as my days so my strength hath been.

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