I will sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation. Exodus 15:1–2
One of the fiercest riots Charles Wesley ever faced was that at Devizes in February, 1747. The Rev. John Meriton, a clergyman from the Isle of Man, who died in 1753 and spent his last years in accompanying and helping the Wesleys, was his companion.
The mob surrounded the house where they were staying, broke the windows, tore down the shutters, blocked the door with a wagon. Next day they poured water on the house with a hose. A constable carried this off, but they obtained the larger engine, flooded the rooms, and destroyed the furniture. The mob untiled the roof that they might get hold of the Methodist preacher.
At last the friends mounted their horses, and were escorted out of the town by the constable and his posse. ‘We rode a slow pace up the street, the whole multitude pouring along on both sides, and attending us with loud acclamations. Such fierceness and diabolical malice I had not seen in human faces. We felt great peace and acquiescence in the honour done us, while the whole town were spectators of our march.’
When they reached Wrexal, ‘We joined in hearty praises to our Deliverer, singing the hymn, Worship, and thanks and blessing, &c.’
Telford, pp. 286–87
Worship, and thanks, and blessing,
And strength ascribe to Jesus!
Jesus alone defends His own,
When earth and hell oppress us!
Jesus with joy we witness
Almighty to deliver;
Our seals set to, that God is true,
And reigns a King for ever.
Our ransomed souls adore Thee;
Our Savior Thou, we find it now,
And give Thee all the glory.
We sing Thine arm unshortened,
Brought through our sore temptation;
With heart and voice in Thee rejoice,
The God of our salvation.
Thine arm hath safely brought us
A way no more expected,
Than when Thy sheep passed through the deep,
By crystal walls protected.
Th glory was our rearward,
Thy hand our lives did cover,
And we, e’en we, have passed the sea,
And marched triumphant over.
Save as devoted Peter
Betwixt the soldiers sleeping,
Like sheep we lay to wolves a prey,
Yet still in Jesus’ keeping.
Thou from th’infernal Herod,
And Jewish expectation,
Hast set us free! All praise to Thee
O God of our salvation.
The world and Satan’s malice
Thou, Jesus, hast confounded;
And, by Thy grace, with songs of praise
Our happy souls resounded.
Accepting our deliverance,
We triumph in Thy favor,
And for the love which now we prove,
Shall praise Thy name forever.