8. Some August Jottings from H. Bourne’s Journal

Transcription of article in the series “one Hundred Years Ago” by H. Bickerstaffe Kendall

It is fortunate that for two-thirds of the month of August, 1816, we can, by means of Hugh Bourne’s Journal, follow his movements from day today. We propose to give the entries just as they were made. To do otherwise would impair; their historic value. The extracts need only a few words by way of introduction. Let it be remembered that we have here the record of Hugh Bourne’s first official visit to Nottingham, in which we see that the moorland carpenter has not been entirely lost in the general superintendent. Note, too, the vivid glimpse we get of the abnormal weather conditions prevailing in 1816 that were responsible for a very disappointing harvest. Nor will readers fail to perceive how Hugh Bourne’s incessant journeyings were made more toilsome by rain and mud. Notice, too, how his characteristic interest in children once more shows itself, and how the belief of our founders in the spiritual significance of dreams leads them to compare notes of their dream-experiences.

“ Sunday, August 11th, 1816. I came to Amberston and spoke at two o’clock from Eph. vi. 19. We then hastened to Thulston, nearly two miles. I there spoke in the open air, under a sycamore tree, on ‘Repent ye, and believe the Gospel.’ It was a good time. At night I spoke to a large company at Amberston from Rev. i. 7. It was a time of great liberty. Monday, 12th, I was at Nottingham, and spoke to a great multitude from Eph, vi. 19. It was a glorious time: there has been a surprising work at this place. The preaching room contains about two hundred and fifty-three yards, six feet. Its length is sixty-eight feet, eight inches, and its width thirty-three feet, three inches. Tuesday, 13th, I was at Bulwell: there has been a strange revival at this place. Our people held a camp-meeting last Sunday, and Sarah Kirkland spoke yesternight; yet there was a huge multitude. I spoke from Ezek. xlvii. 5. The Nottingham races commenced July 23rd, and were attended with uncommonly heavy rain. Such floods arose that it is said some lives were lost, yet there was not much rain in the town.

“Wednesday, August 14th, I travelled about thirty miles and came to Thurvaston [Leicestershire]. Thursday, 15th, I came to Boylston, and found some disagreeables with R.B. O Lord, I beseech Thee deliver my soul! I saw John Benton. I came about thirteen miles to Ramsor, and was at the class. Friday, 16th, I came to Froghall, and found old J. Buxton out of work. O Lord, help him! I then came home. To-day I travelled seventeen miles. Saturday, 17th: It was rainy yesterday and again this morning; however, I set out for Warrington, and it rained till afternoon. It was heavy travelling; but I came safely to Warrington, about thirty-three miles. Sunday, 18th, at six o’clock in the morning spoke at Warrington; came to Rizley, and spoke three times with great liberty. Monday, 19th, I came to H. Higinson’s and spoke from the blood of sprinkling; it was an unexpected time. I heard, again, that there was a great revival of religion at Manchester. This morning I began to write a commentary on the Scriptures, adapted to the capacities of children. O Lord, be my wisdom! I intend to call it ‘The Children’s Friend: or a Companion for Families and Sunday Schools.’ Saturday, 24th: Came home. Thursday, 29th : This morning Clowes told me a dream—that I spoke to him about sacrificing, and the flames ascended, as I said, ‘This is the way.’ Then others sacrificed on the same frame.”

References

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1916/572

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