A few days after, my father received a most gratifying letter from Mr Fennel, giving an account of a gracious work among the boys at Woodhouse- Grove; twenty of whom were brought to a saving knowledge of God, among whom were his sons William and James. In the fullness of his heart he wrote to the Rev. T. Stanley, who, he knew, would rejoice with him in this gracious visitation. The following is an extract from the letter: —
"Liverpool, March 24, 1812.
"My Dear Nephew, "I am almost too happy: the Lord deals so graciously and bountifully with me and mine, that 'the overwhelming power of divine grace,' nearly unnerves and unmans me. The accounts from Woodhouse-Grove are delightful. There is a glorious work at the school. The detailed account communicated to me by Mr Fennel and William would fill sheets. I will give you a copy of Mr F.'s last letter.
'My Dear Sir, — Don't scold me for scribbling. I cannot help it. I am only doing for you, what you would do for me on a change of circumstances. The wonder-working Lord is still going on with his blessed work here. I have had the pleasure of witnessing two or three and revivals of religion amongst the old and the young. I have seen one half and sometimes two-thirds of a congregation affected. I have heard children pray and speak of the work of God upon their hearts; but anything to equal this, where there is scarcely one exception, I have never seen. The work in many of their souls is really deep. William, you know, is generally solid and steady; but James exhibits the most striking proofs of a change; and a real, deep, rational work is on both their souls, as well as on twenty others.
Yesterday was a glorious day among them. They spent the time from school-hours till supper in prayer to God in the school-room, where I had ordered them a fire. One of the servants put her ear to the key-hole of the door, and God smote her heart. Another of them stole unperceived into the school and had not hearkened long before she began to cry for mercy. The third must needs see and hear for herself, and she also was deeply affected and has set out, I hope, in and earnest. Thus, by the instrumentality of these dear boys, are three thoughtless girls brought to an acquaintance with themselves, and are determined for heaven. Surely the kind friends who have contributed to this institution, will rejoice to hear that they have been purchasing and furnishing a house for God; and that no sooner had they finished their work, than the Lord came down, took possession of the same, and began his. A blessed work it is. Lord, carry it on; and while we are repairing these children for this world, do thou prepare them for another. My dear Sir, by your advice and prayers, help me to nurse the lambs of this flock. They are brought forth, but they are in the wilderness, and the wolf of hell will be gaping. Yours, &c. J. F.'
The school was founded by Adam Clarke in 1812.