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Street Preaching Stories


Thomas Mitchell was another of the band (John Wesley's group) who was born in 1726. When Mitchell thought to volunteer as a preacher, he called upon the vicar, when the latter said, "If you are sent of God to preach the Gospel, all hell will be up in arms against you. Prepare for the battle and stand fast in the good ways of God. Indeed, you must not expect to gain much of this world's goods by preaching the Gospel. What you get must come through the devil's teeth; and he will hold it as fast as he can.

This was no exaggeration. Some of the worst of the riots which occurred in those days against the preachers were instigated by the squires, and were often led on by a clergyman or his curate. Thus, the curate of Guiseley once headed a mob. One of the preachers had his clothes torn off, so that lying on his naked back he could be dragged along the sharp gravel.

"It was my turn to go next," says Mitchell. "No sooner was I at the town than the mob came, like so many roaring lions. My friends advised me not to preach that night; and undertook to carry me out of the town. But the mob followed me in a great rage, and stoned me for near two miles, so that it was several weeks before I got well of the bruises I then received." His adventures were of the most varied kind. "In one place I met with a mob of women, who put me into a pond of water, which took me nearly over my head," he says; "but by the blessing of good I got out safe, and walked about three miles in my wet clothes, but I catched no cold."

John Wesley
The Man and His Mission