Biggleswade - Primitive Methodists (1847)

In August of the same year, Mr Guy and his colleague extended their labours to Biggleswade, eight miles north of Baldock On the first of the month, Mr Guy preached there three times in the open-air to attentive congregations, and with a cheering prospect of success. About two months afterwards, he wrote, "Every Sabbath we have had large Congregations; solemn attention has been paid to the Word of Life, and we are beginning to see some encouraging fruit of our labours. Several houses are open for prayer-meetings, but none are sufficiently large to admit the congregations. Between four and five hundred hearers attend the Sabbath afternoon's services, and six or seven hundred those of the evening. Many persons are convinced of sin, and several have been set at liberty. Last week brother Powell formed a class of four persons. On Sunday I led a love-feast, when one person spoke of being convinced of sin the first Sabbath I preached there; and the speech of a youth who had been brought to God under brother Powell, was very powerful The service throughout was very refreshing, and at the close three persons were received as members on trial. A little after five o'clock, I spoke out of doors to about 500 people and conducted a prayer-meeting at a respectable house, from eight till nearly ten, four persons being in deep distress. As I was leaving the town, a man informed me that he saw many persons attend our preachings who had not usually attended any place of worship. I replied that those were the persons whom we sought to bring to the Saviour's fold." A few months afterwards, he gives further intelligence of the progress of the good work at this town. "In my lost communication I stated that four persons had been converted and formed into a society at Biggleswade; I now rejoice to state that fifty more have been awakened to righteousness, and have fled for refuge to the hope set before them in the Gospel. Such an awakening has not taken place there since the last generation, and perhaps at no former period. We continued our preaching services in the open-air till near Christmas, on "week-day evenings as well as on the Sabbath; sometimes by moonlight and sometimes by lamp and lantern light. Deep solemnity pervaded the assembled crowd from time to time; and when we retired to cottages for prayer, we were followed by broken-hearted penitents. The sorrow of some of them deepened for a week or two before they found relief; while that of others was turned into joy in a few hours. Short sermons and exhortations have been owned of the Lord in this revival, but in prayer-meetings especially He hath shown Himself mighty to save. On Mondays and Fridays we have had prayer-meetings at ten o'clock, with good effect. There is a visible change for the better in the morals of the labouring classes generally, and those who move in higher circles begin to see it. We are now in great need of a preaching-room or chapel. The gentleman who invited us to Biggleswade has placed his van-shed and warehouse at oar service, but he will soon want his warehouse for his own use. We are, therefore, praying for the Lord to open our way for a room or chapel."

From, ‘The History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion from its origin, by John Petty, 1860, p370-1.

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