Barnard Castle (1764)



In this Circuit (Weardale) I (George Storey) found several societies of sincere people, but many of them were settled upon their lees: those who had obtained justification were resting in their past experience and had little expectation of being saved from inward sin till death. I spoke strongly of full salvation, and God gave the word success. Several were stirred up to seek for purity of heart, and others were convinced of sin. Mr Samuel Meggot, a zealous, pious preacher, was my fellow-labourer, in whom I found the affection of a parent. Meeting me one day in the Dales, he said, " You must make haste to Barnard-Castle: the people are all in confusion; six or seven of them have found full sanctification, and the rest are tearing one another to pieces about it." When I got to the town, I found many were not a little prejudiced against me, as a setter forth of strange doctrines. I attempted to preach among them, but could find no liberty: I met the society, but it was still the same. I was just going to conclude when in an instant the power of God descended in a wonderful manner. The assembly were all in tears, some praising God for pardoning mercy, and others for purifying grace. And even those who could not yet understand this new doctrine were constrained to say, "If we do not believe it, we will never speak against it any more." The snare of the enemy was effectually broken; and from that time the work spread, not only through the town, but also into the neighbouring societies: we seldom had any meeting, public or private, but some were either convinced, justified, or saved from all sin.

The society in Wear-Dale consisted of thirty-six members. But one Sunday, at two o’clock, the Divine power descended upon the assembly; six persons, one after another, dropped down, and, as soon as they came to themselves, cried out for mercy. The work from that time revived, and spread through different parts of the Dale; and the society was soon doubled in its number, many of whom stand to this day.

In other places, the people were remarkably lively, and many were added to the societies. I continued in this Circuit till July 1764, haying the satisfactory evidence that I was acting in a station suitable to the designs of Providence.

Thomas Jackson, ‘The Early Methodist Preachers’, Volume 5, p238-40.

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