Deddington Parish Church (1874)

The revival in this parish has been the first known fruit of the late Oxford meetings and many of your readers are anxious to know the progress of the Lord's work here.

On Sunday evening, September 20, the large church was again crowded, some coming from the adjoining villages. The vicar preached from the parable of the "Prodigal son," the Holy Spirit reached many hearts.  when, solemnly and affectionately, sinners were invited to their heavenly Father, whose forgiving love is typified by the love of the father of the prodigal in the parable.

As on the two previous Sunday evenings, a prayer meeting was held in the vestry, for which over 100 remained behind. Individual cases were spoken to. Several confessed that they had been enabled to give themselves to Christ, and many believers experienced a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them.

On Tuesday Lord Radstock visited Deddington and attended a conference of believers in the Town-ball, convened by the vicar, by public and private invitations. It was a cheering sight to see the Town Hall filled with this company of Christ's people of all denominations, from Deddington, Barton, Barford, Heyford, Banbury Worton, etc... None of the 120 will ever forget
that little conference, we hope only the first of many to be held in Deddington.

From a quarter past six to seven o'clock a prayer meeting was held in the same room. At this latter hour the large National School was filled. Over 500 were present, to hear Lord Radstock preach. Some were unable to gain admittance...

At the close of the address, the greater part remained for the after-prayer meeting. Many were spoken to individually by Lord Radstock, the vicar, and others; eight persons testified that they had found peace that evening, and we believe many others found that school-room to be the meeting place between Christ and their souls, and returned home rejoicing in the Lord.

Next morning a prayer meeting was held at seven o'clock in the Town-hall, at which fifty-one were present. Lord Radstock was led to speak from Eph. iv., and other parts of the word, to believers. 

Many dear Christians who were present at these believer's meetings have expressed their thankfulness to God for sending his servant to us with "the fulness of the blessing of the gospel." The teaching given at these meetings is bearing fruit in believers consecrating themselves fully to God and going forth to their service directly for God and to their daily work with a joy, and power, and blessing they never before experienced. The Oxford Chronicle concludes its article on Lord Radstock's
visit to us in these words:-

"The calm and salutary influence that has pervaded these gatherings was felt in a very marked degree. . We particularly remarked that there was an absence of excitement and noise which sometimes characterise gatherings of this kind. 

The services on the Sunday evening following, at the Parish Church, were again largely attended. A deep and solemn feeling pervaded the large congregation when the Vicar expounded on John the Baptist's words “the axe also is laid unto the root of the tree." A prayer meeting was held at the close of the sermon, to which about 100 remained. Then the Lord's supper was administered and around the holy table some of the recent converts, together with others who had received the blessing of sanctification, met for the first time. This little company of communicants numbered 34. Again, before separating a second prayer meeting was held in the vestry, for a goodly number remained after the communion. It was remarked that this, the 4th Sunday evening of special revival services was marked by a deeper and holier feeling than on any former occasion. As God's work advances amongst us, greater calmness and depth of feeling is experienced by all.

We have long prayed for this revival… Many interesting incidents connected with this revival might be given, if space allowed, to prove its value and reality. One dear Christian, who has been much blessed says, “Deddington has been quite turned round.” Not not only are the Parish Church services largely attended, but the attendances at the chapels are much increased and greater spiritual life and power is everywhere felt. It is probable that "incidents” may be collected and published hereafter, meanwhile we only add that every Christian to whom the writer has spoken, and he has had a liberty never before given him to speak to sinners and to Saint, every Christian, save one, has declared these last few weeks have been the happiest and most blessed time of their Christian experience.

The good work is spreading to the neighbouring villages. We conclude with the words which a dear aged believer says he uses all day for what has been done amongst us by the power of the Holy Spirit, “we praise thee O God, we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.” 

"The Christian," October 8th, 1874.

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