Biddulph Primitve Methodist Chapel (1852)



One evening in 1852Richard Weaveroverheard his brother saying that the text for his meeting was ‘What then shall I do?’ While lying on his bed Weaver pondered those words, trying to understand their meaning. Then he wondered what he would do when God rose up in judgement against him. He could not sleep that night. His soul was in torment. He wondered about converting, but then remembered that he had a fight in a couple of days and people would think that he was afraid if he did not make the fight. All the next day and night Weaver was in a battle between heaven and hell. The next morning he went to Congleton to get drunk. On the way home he remembered, ‘No one but the Lord knows what I went through during the four miles walk. Every step I took the earth seemed opening to swallow me up. I fell on my knees, and asked God to spare me till the morning; promising if He did spare me to go and pray in the field I was to fight in.’

On Saturday morning he went into the field as promised, falling on his knees in a sand hole. At last he said, ‘”Now Lord Jesus, I am on my knees; and I will shut my eyes, and will not open them again till Thou, for thine own Name’s sake, hast pardoned my sins.” I remained on my knees, and as I, with closed eyes, waited on the Lord, I thought I heard my mother’s voice, saying: “My dear boy, ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’” Ah! I thought, if He loved the world, he loved me—poor me; and as a proof of his love, He gave his only begotten Son as a gift to me. I took God at his word. I accepted his gift. I believed God’s love.’

On hearing the good news, his brother and sister-in-law were unsurprisingly sceptical. He got a friend to write to his mother to tell her the news. She believed it, going from house to house telling the neighbours what the Lord had done. She wept and praised God all night. The next Sunday he wanted to give his testimony. He asked seven companions to come with him to Bradley Green. When the minister invited any who wished to be saved to come forward, he encouraged all seven of his friends to go forward; a sign of things to come. That night he praised God in his bedroom until his brother begged him to stop so that they could get some sleep.