Charles' Journal, March 26, 1736

Fri., March 26th. "My soul is always in my hand; therefore will I not forget thy law."

This morning, early, Mr. Oglethorpe called me out to tell me of Mrs. Lawley's miscarriage, by being denied access to the Doctor for bleeding. He seemed very angry, and to charge me with it; saying he should be the tyrant if he passed by such intolerable injuries.

I answered, I knew nothing of the matter, and it was hard it should be imputed to me; that from the first Hermsdorf told the Doctor he might visit whom of his patients he pleased; but the Doctor would not. I denied my having the least hand in the whole business as Hermsdorf himself had declared.

He said, "Hermsdorf himself assured me, what he did, he did by your advice."

I answered, "You must mistake his imperfect English; for many have heard him say the contradictory of this. Yet I must be charged with all the mischief."

"How else can it be," said he, "that there should be no love, no meekness, no true religion among the people, but instead of that, mere formal prayers."

"As to that, I can answer for them, that they have no more of the form of godliness than the power. I have seldom above six at the public service."

"But what would an unbeliever say to your raising these disorders?"

"Why, if I had raised them, he might say there was nothing in religion; but what would that signify to those who had experienced it? They would not say so."

He told me the people were full of dread and confusion; that it was much easier to govern a thousand than sixty men; for in so small a number, every one's passion was considerable; that he does not leave them before they were settled, & I asked him, "Would you have me forbear conferring at all with my parishioners?"

To this I could get no answer, and went on: "The reason why I did not interpose for or against the Doctor was his having, at the beginning, charged me with his confinement. I talked less with my parishioners these five days past, than I had done in any one afternoon before. I shunned appearing in public, lest my advice should be asked, or lest, if I heard others talking, my very silence should be deciphered into advice. But one argument of my innocence I can give, which will even convince you of it. I know my life is in your hands: and you know, that was you to frown upon me, and give the least intimation that it would be agreeable to you, the generality of these wretched people would say or swear anything."

To this he agreed, and owned the case was so with them all. "You see that my safety depends on your single opinion of me. Must I not therefore be mad, if I would in such a situation provoke you by disturbing the public peace? Innocence, I know, is not the least protection; but my sure trust is in God." His company interrupted us, and I left him.

I was no longer careful of the event, after reading those words in the morning lesson: "Thou cannot follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards." (John xiii. 36.) Amen. When Thou pleasest. Thy time is the best.

Mr. Oglethorpe, meeting me in the evening, asked when I had prayers. I said, I waited his pleasure. While the people came slowly, "You see, Sir," said I, "they do not lay too great a stress on forms."

"The reason of that is, because others idolize them."

"I believe few stay away for that reason."

"I don't know that." Mr. Oglethorpe stood over against me, and joined audibly in the prayers. The chapter was designed for me, and I read it with great boldness, as follows: "I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine."

"But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an Evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."

"At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me."

"Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me ...... that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (2 Tim. iv. 1--3, 5, 16--18.)

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