Bilston (1753)

There is a lively display of sovereign grace in a town two miles from us; the name of it is Bilstone, a most uncivilised and abandoned place, through which few could pass without molestation; where no itinerant preacher was ever suffered once to exhibit the Gospel; and in this they gloried, though others could not keep the itinerant preachers out of their towns, yet they did. But Zechariah's burdensome stone has been too many for them, and it is well for them it has been so. Christ has entered their town, and set up his standard, and has taken one of the most notorious and abandoned wretches amongst them, who was famous for everything that was bad, but is now becoming a follower of the Lamb. The Lord is doing the work himself immediately without ministers, for as yet no one has dared to preach Christ publicly amongst them. I have been three or four times at their meetings, and my soul has been charmed with the outgoings of the Lord in his new errected sanctuary. The first beginnings of this concern was just upon your leaving us. The last time you were with us, three or four persons of this town came to here you, and your Lord and master was pleased to engage them to himself. I believe you might now preach in the midst of the town without the least interruption.

From a letter to George Whitfield, Wednesbury, 23rd February 1753.

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