William Shent was a barber who had been converted and had become a Methodist preacher. But he fell into sin, and the society in Keighley had to deal with him. Hearing that the society had been unusually hard on Shent, John Wesley wrote the members a letter.
“I have a few questions which I desire may be proposed to the Society at Keighley. Who was the occasion of the Methodist preachers first setting foot in Leeds? William Shent. Who received John Nelson into his house at his first coming hither? William Shent. Who was it that invited me and received me when I came? William Shent. Who was it that stood by me while I preached in the street with stones flying on every side? William Shent. Who was it that bore the storm of persecution for the whole town and stemmed it at the peril of his life? William Shent. Whose word did God bless for many years in an eminent manner? William Shent. By whom were many children now in paradise begotten in the Lord and many now alive? William Shent. Who is he that is ready now to be broken up and turned into the street? William Shent.
And does nobody care for this? William Shent fell into sin and was publicly expelled [from] the Society; but must he be also starved? Must he with his grey hairs and all his children be without a place to lay his head? Can you suffer this? O tell it not in Gath! Where is gratitude? Where is compassion? Where is Christianity? Where is humanity? Where is a concern for the cause of God? Who is a wise man among you? Who is concerned for the gospel? Who has put on bowels of mercy? Let him arise and exert himself in this matter. You here all arise as one man and roll away the reproach. Let us set him on his feet once more. It may save both him and his family. But what we do, let it be done quickly.