I felt in myself a strong aversion to preaching in Abergavenny.
However, I went to Mr Waters (a Presbyterian author of religious pamphlets who, on the 5th April 1739, had invited George Whitefield to Abergavenny and had erected a ‘very commodious’ stand at the back of his garden, from which Whitefield had preached) to desire the use of his stand.
He said, “With all my heart” – if the Minister was not willing to let me have the use of the church.
After the Minister’s refusal (for I wrote a line to him immediately) Mr Waters invited me to his house.
About a thousand people stood patiently (although the frost was sharp, it being after sunset) while from Acts xxviii, 22, I simply described the plain old religion of the Church of England, which is now almost everywhere spoken against under the new name of Methodism.
An hour after, I explained it a little more fully in a neighbouring house (the home of Mrs. Elizabeth James, a widow, in Cow Lane, now Nevill Street; on the 14th November 1741 she married George Whitefield in St Martin’s Church, Caerphilly), showing how
God hath exalted Jesus to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance and remission of sins.
John Wesley – Tuesday, 16th October 1739
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had preachers today that could attract 1000 people to hear them preach?
And, remember, that John Wesley preached on very many occasions in fields and the open air, and such was their enthusiasm to hear Wesley preach that people willingly travelled long distances and stood in even the very worst weather to attend his meetings!!