- John Abraham was an Anglican minister who was converted in 1773, while serving as chaplain at the Chapel of Ease in Londonderry. He subsequently resigned his position to become a Methodist preacher. Source: Arminian Magazine, 1788, pp. 609-610, and C. H. Crookshank, History of Methodism in Ireland, 1885 1888 Hugh Brown was a prominent Irish preacher, who on at least one occasion came close to losing his life at the hands of anti Methodists. He was forced to withdraw from the itinerancy in 1778 through ill health and died three years later. His brother George was one of the preachers appointed by John Wesley to be a member of the 'Legal Hundred' in the Deed of Declaration of 1784. Source: C.H. Crookshank, History of Methodism in Ireland, 1885-1888
From Margaret Johnston in Lisleen, Annadale, Ulster, to John Pritchard at the house of the merchant Mr McKane in Londonderry. Pritchard and [Revd. John Abraham] were certainly bringers of good tidings during their recent visit, at a time when she was quite depressed. Spiritual matters are discussed.
Hugh Brown preached here yesterday on the text 'Lord what is man'. The sermon was well suited to the congregation, and indeed Johnston is of the opinion that Brown has never spoken so well. She was under the impression that Pritchard had advised Brown re his choice of subject following 'some recent miscarriages among the people', but Brown denied this claiming that his sermon had been the product of inspiration, which she supposes is a good thing.
Charles Silcot [?] was here on Saturday. Johnston treated him with kindness and spoke to him re 'some evil surmisings', which he had re Arthur. After meeting with Arthur, Charles is now convinced of his error.
9 April 1777
She has received letters from England, Longford and Cork. [John] Wesley writes from London re the unparalleled solemnity with which Good Friday was observed in the city. This was a result of a message from the Archbishop of Canterbury [Frederick Cornwallis] to the Lord Mayor, supposedly at the behest of His Majesty King George III.
Their brother in Cork writes of the great progress of the work there 'Our congregations are uncommonly large and grand. Many, very many, are enquiring what they must do to be saved. We have added eighty new members to our society'. Reference in this regard is made to James Crawford, and Mr Senon [?].
Johnston's son Charles arrived here a few hours ago. He looks very well.
Her limbs are so bad, that she must rest them.
Her love should be given to Sister Stern and [John] Abraham. The latter would be very welcome to preach here again such was his popularity that two local anti Methodists have said that they would be willing to go to Clady [Claudy?, Londonderry] to hear him.
In a postscript which has been crossed out by a different hand, she states that [Robert] Crawford pressed her to accompany [John] Wesley to London from the [Irish] Conference, and that his wife and daughter would return with her.
She is annoyed that Pritchard did not make her pay for the books.
[Related Materials: Letter of John Wesley to Margaret Johnston dated 28 March 1777.]