Birmingham - Alexander Mather (1760)



In 1759 I (Alexander Mather) was stationed in York Circuit, which then included Yarm, Scarborough, and Hull Circuits. In this year the work at Whitby began, and we had a great outpouring of the Spirit in many places. The next year I was in Staffordshire, where it pleased God to work in a very eminent manner; at Darlaston in particular, where there was a small but steady society of long standing. Several of these had borne much persecution, and took joyfully the spoiling of their goods. Ever since, their behaviour has been unblamable: and yet none of them could say, "I know that my Redeemer liveth!" Some of these coming over to the prayer-meetings at Wednesbury, and hearing (what they thought they had never heard before) that they were to believe now; that they might come to Christ now, without any other qualification than a sense of their own sinfulness and helplessness; they were utterly astonished, and began to be amazed at their slowness of heart. Presently a prayer-meeting was set up at Darlaston. And in a little time many souls were set at liberty. The oldest stood out longest. After all they had done and suffered, they found it hard to come, as having done nothing. And when they were urged to it in a class or prayer meeting, they were ready to gnash with their teeth. But whether they would hear or forbear, God continued to add more and more souls to His genuine Gospel. Nothing stood before it. Many of the servants and children of these old professors cried out, "What must I do to be saved?" Being pointed to the Lamb of God, they believed, and rejoiced in God their Saviour, to the utter astonishment of their unbelieving masters and parents. In one night it was common to see five or six (and sometimes more) praising God for His pardoning mercy. And not a few in Birmingham, Dudley, and Wolverhampton, as well as in "Wednesbury and Darlaston, clearly testified, that the blood of Jesus Christ had cleansed them from all sin.

Thomas Jackson, ‘The Early Methodist Preachers’, Volume 2, p178-9.

In 1763 God revived His work in the Staffordshire Circuit, especially at Birmingham ; notwithstanding the disturbance which we constantly had during the preaching, and the danger of being murdered by the mob, when we came out of the house. No magistrate could quell the rioters; or rather, I should say, none would. For it is certain, any magistrate has power to preserve the peace, if he will. But at length Mr. Wortly Birch took them in hand: he laid some of the rioters in the dungeon, and left them there a night or two to cool. He fined the rest according to law; obliged them to pay the money down, and gave it to the poor. Thomas Jackson, ‘The Early Methodist Preachers’, Volume 2, p181.

Related Wells