George Shadford's embarkation scene pictured six years earlier in a dream



After he had labored a few years as a local preacher, he was received by Mr. Wesley at the Bristol Conference, in 1768, as a traveling preacher. Having been useful in this sphere in Cornwall, Kent, and Norwich circuits, he met Captain Webb at the Leeds Conference in 1772, who was warmly exhorting the preachers to go to America. His spirit was stirred within him, and he gave his consent to go the following spring. When the time arrived, Mr. Wesley wrote to him in the following laconic style: "The time has come for you to embark for America. I let you loose, George, on this great continent; publish your mission in the open face of the sun, and do all the good you can." Those who following through the following five years of his arduous and successful labors in America, will comprehend the idea that was in Mr. Wesley's mind, when he talked of turning this fiery missionary loose on this great continent. When Mr. Shadford arrived at Peel, where the ship lay in which he was to embark, a very remarkable dream, which he dreamed six years before, came very forcefully to his mind. It was as follows: "In my sleep I thought I received a letter from God, which read as follows -- 'You must go to preach the gospel in a foreign land, unto a fallen people, a mixture of nations.' I thought I was conveyed to the place where the ship lay, in which I was to embark, in an instant. The wharf and ship appeared to be as plain to me as if I were awake. I replied, Lord, I am willing to go in thy name; but I am afraid a people of different nations and languages will not understand me. The answer to this was -- 'Fear not, for I am with thee.' I awoke awfully impressed with the presence of God, and full of divine love, and a relish of it remained upon my spirit for many days. When I came to Peel and saw the ship and wharf, I said to Brother Rankin, 'This is the ship, the place, and the wharf which I saw in my dream six years ago.' This confirmed me that my way was of God."