Cosbytown (1830)

A still more remarkable and extensive work of grace took place on the Enniskillen circuit, where Messrs. William Browne and Robert Wilson were stationed. So low was the cause that when their predecessors left the steward was; £20 out of pocket, and a tax of 5s. per class was imposed on the Society to meet the deficiency; while at the first love-feasts at Cosbystown and Springfield there were not more than two dozen people present. At, however, the succeeding love-feast at Cosbystown the attendance was much larger; a backslider who had been restored to the Divine favour on the previous evening was the first to speak, and his experience was made a great blessing to others who had turned aside from the way of holiness, and several of them were restored to the joys of God's salvation. The next meeting was held at Springfield, where there was not much spiritual life apparent until near the close, when the Spirit was poured out, and many cried aloud for mercy. These indications of the Divine favour excited high expectations with regard to the love-feast in Enniskillen, conducted by Mr Pattyson, and these hopes were more than realized. The attendance was very large, the people spoke with great freedom and power, and the service was turned into a prayer-meeting, during which sixteen souls were won for Christ. At its close Mr Pattyson said to his brethren, "I tell you, for your encouragement, there is a cloud of blessing hanging over your circuit, and it is designed by God to refresh the whole community." These words were almost prophetic, for the good work continued to deepen and spread, and a glorious harvest was reaped. No available house could contain the congregations that assembled to hear the word preached, so frequently two adjoining buildings were used simultaneously, and when the weather permitted it, meetings were held in the open air. Funds increased so rapidly that not only all deficiencies were paid, but large sums were available for the erection of new chapels. About fifteen hundred persons are said to have been savingly converted. And so marked a change took place in the conduct of the people that the annual races, which had been attended by vast crowds, were patronized by very few, and intemperance seems to have ceased. One of those converted was James Irwin of Springfield. Some of the worst men in the country were arrested and turned to the Lord. One of these having been convinced of sin, was so powerfully affected that lie appeared to have lost his reason. His great importunity in seeking a present pardon led someone to say, "Don't set God a time;" but he replied, "I will," and cried aloud, "Lord, Thou hast said that in the day I seek Thee with ray whole' heart Thou wilt be found; here is my heart." That moment he received a conscious sense of sins forgiven, his countenance beamed with holy joy, and he went home praising and blessing God.

'History of Methodism in Ireland', volume iii, by Crookshank, p169.

Related Wells