From Port Glasgow. 'Sometime after I arrived here I was sorely buffeted, almost ready to conclude I was out of my plan, but blessed be God, he has completely broke the snare…I have spoken for upwards of an hour with the greatest liberty several times; do not be ready to scold me for saying upwards of an hour, this does not very frequently occur'.
There are two particular evils in Scotland against which one must be on guard. The first is that the people here are fond of having the preachers speak for long periods despite the danger of them becoming dry and formal. 'The other is they are very fond of seeing us gentlemen, and therefore we [the preachers] are in danger of something worse…our business is not to fall in with the foibles and prejudices of men, but to save immortal souls…'
God has blessed their [Bridgman and his colleague Joshua Bryan] labours here to some small degree. Many have joined the Methodists since their coming here although because of the number of 'removals' [from the area] the total number in the society is probably not much greater. When he reads accounts of numbers of conversions taking place under the influence of one sermon, he feels ashamed.
Brother [John] James [preacher stationed in the Glasgow circuit] has been very ill, almost at death's door but is recovered now.
The district meeting will be held in Edinburgh in three weeks time. Bridgman does not know where he will be stationed next year. Spiritual matters are discussed.
He was pleased to hear that Brother Bishop is likely to do well. 'From his letter, the landlord appears to be willing to assist him in every way - he was always extremely backward with me - why? I cannot help thinking because I was but a stranger…dropped there for a few days and then hurried away; a true picture of human life. Spiritual matters are discussed.
His regards should be passed to his Christian friends in Madeley.
- John James (1785-1832) was born in Liverpool of Methodist parentage. He entered the Wesleyan itinerancy in 1806 and served as a circuit minister in England, Wales and Scotland. During the last five years of his life he filled the office of Missionary Secretary. After a period of declining health, he collapsed shortly after preaching at City Road Chapel in London and died a few days later. He left a widow and six children. Source: Minutes of Conference 1833 and Methodist Magazine 1832, p.905