From Dumfermline. Spiritual matters are discussed.
This part of Scotland particularly around Perth, is much more pleasant and highly cultivated than the western parts which he has just come from. The work of God is at a very low ebb in Perth; The Wiltshire militia is stationed there and as about sixty of them are Methodists, they do much to enliven the meetings and without them it would be very dull indeed.
In Dumfermline things are rather better. The society here is young, consisting of between twenty and thirty members. Numbers flock to hear the word of God.
'I see a great difference between preaching so to plan, and preaching so as to awaken. I pray that God may take away from my heart every other motive than that of saving souls, and enable me to be faithful'.
Since he has been here, he has been confined by a cold to his room for about a fortnight.
There are several villages at a distance of three or four miles from here, some of which he has visited and preached in. The severity and length of the nights, his cold and the poor condition of the roads, have however persuaded him to forbear travelling there until better weather.
As Perth is so distant from this 'plan', [William] Clegg [stationed in Perth] and Bridgman do not change places more than once a quarter. [Clegg] preached here on the last two Sundays and Bridgman heard him on the Monday which was greatly satisfying. He has not heard such a sermon since he left Shropshire - Clegg's text was "Let Brotherly love continue". He appears to be a man full of the Holy Ghost and much devoted to God.
Scotland has been a problem for Conference for a long time. 'Many have said that the Methodist preachers were never called to cross the Tweed [the river bordering England and Scotland] - however it appears to be a prevalent opinion among the brethren now from the present state of things, that either the work of the Lord will more abundantly prosper in our hands, or we shall be constrained in a great measure to withdraw - for my own part, I am in very great hopes that it will be the former. Prejudice is wearing away, a spirit of enquiry is excited[?], and multitudes flock to hear - surely there is much to hope'.
He is glad that things are going well for Fletcher. He was wondering the other day how his class of young ones at Madeley Wood are doing.
- William Clegg (1787-1848) was born in Bury, Lancashire. He was converted at the age of nineteen by the preaching of the Methodist minister James Wood. He entered the Wesleyan ministry in 1809 and served as a circuit minister until superannuation through ill health in 1846. He died in Hull. Source: Minutes of Conference 1848 and Arminian Magazine 1848, p.1028