The Third Degree
John Wesley arrived in Newcastle upon Tyne on May 28 1742. He noted the following in his daily journal: 'We came to Newcastle about six, and after short refreshment, walked into town. I was surprised; so much drunkenness, cursing and swearing (even from the mouths of little children), do I never remember to have seen and heard before in so small a compass of time. Surely this place is ripe for Him who came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.'
250 years after Wesley arrived in the North East, it is fair to say that little has changed, perhaps it is even worse. Visit any of the university campuses, not just at the weekend, and hundreds of students will be consuming copious amounts of alcohol, having numerous sexual relationships, but having little or no regard for their Creator. However, surely we must respond, not with condemnation, but like Wesley did, with the attitude that these people are 'ripe for him'.