One Purpose of God in Allowing Persecution

Posted Dec 18, 2010 by Russell Unterschultz in Christian History Hits: 9,082

The journal of John Wesley is a rich book, full of accounts and ways that God works. The following excerpt from his journal shows one facet of the wisdom of God in allowing persecution. Here now is the account of the

 

Remarkable Scenes at Bolton

 

We came to Bolton about five in the evening. We had no sooner entered the main street than we perceived the lions at Rochdale were lambs in comparison to those at Bolton. Such rage and bitterness I scarcely ever saw before in any creatures that bore the form of men. They followed us in full cry to the house where we went; and as soon as we had gone in, took possession of all the avenues to it and filled the street from one end to the other.

 

After some time the waves did not roar quite so loud. Mr. P--- thought he might then venture out. They immediately closed in, threw him down and rolled him in the mire; so that when he scrambled from them and got into the house again, one could scarcely tell what or who he was. When the first stone came among us through the window, I expected a shower to follow, and the rather, because they had now procured a bell to call their whole forces together. But they did not design to carry on the attack at a distance: presently one ran up and told us the mob had burst into the house: he added, that they had got J--- B--- in the midst of them. They had; and he laid hold on the opportunity to tell them of "the terrors of the Lord."

 

Meantime D--- T--- engaged another part of them with smoother and softer words. Believing the time was now come, I walked down into the thickest of them. They had now filled all the rooms below. I called for a chair. The winds were hushed, and all was calm and still. My heart was filled with love, my eyes with tears, and my mouth with arguments. They were amazed; they were ashamed; they were melted down; they devoured every word. What a turn was this! Oh, how did God change the counsel of the old Ahithophel into foolishness and bring all the drunkards, swearers, Sabbath-breakers, and mere sinners in the place, to hear of His plenteous redemption!

 

Thursday, 19, 1749.--Abundantly more than the house could contain were present at five in the morning, to whom I was constrained to speak a good deal longer than I am accustomed to do.  Perceiving they still wanted to hear, I promised to preach again at nine, in a meadow near the town. Thither they flocked from every side; and I called aloud, "All things are ready; come unto the marriage” [Matt. 22:4]. Oh, how have a few hours changed the scene! We could now walk through every street of the town, and none molested or opened his mouth, unless to thank or bless us.