Beau Nash, the reigning dandy of England, was sojourning among the fashionable circles of Bath when it was announced that John Wesley was coming to preach in that place. In a spirit of high jest Nash boasted among his friends that he would attend the meeting and confound the ridiculous Methodist ranter. This boast was noised abroad and a large audience gathered to “see the fun,” among them being many of Nash’s fashionable friends.
After Wesley had begun preaching, the Beau entered the meeting pompously and coming up to Wesley, asked by what authority he dared to preach.Wesley replied: “By that of Jesus Christ, conveyed to me by the present Archbishop of Canterbury, when he laid hands upon me and said, ‘Take thou to preach the gospel.'” Nash insisted he was breaking the laws by so doing and added, “Besides your preaching frightens people out of their wits.” Wesley answered. “Sir, did you ever hear me preach?” “No,” Nash replied. “How, then,” asked Wesley, “can you judge of what you never heard?” “By common report,” said Nash. “Sir,” continued Wesley, “is not your name Nash? I dare not judge you by common report. I think it is not enough to judge by.”
This nettled the Beau and he exclaimed:”I desire to know what these people come here for.” One of “these people” retorted: “Sir, let an old woman answer him. You, Mr. Nash, take care of your body. We take care of our souls, and for the food of our souls have we come here.”
To this Nash had no reply and having been made ridiculous, he escaped further embarrassment by leaving the meeting in haste, to the amusement of all the people.
This article was taken from the book entitled “One Hundred and One Methodist Stories” by Carl F. Price and published by the Methodist Book Concern.
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