Kelloe - Primitive Methodists (1843)

From an article published in the Denominational Magazine for 1843, it appears that a great revival of religion began at Kelloe, which soon afterwards extended to many other places. A new colliery had been begun at that village about the year 1839, and in three years afterwards the inhabitants numbered about 1,500 persons. A society existed from the commencement of the colliery; but in the beginning of December 1842, the members were convened for the purpose of consulting about the measures they ought to adopt in order to promote the salvation of their neighbours. At this meeting it was agreed that each should spend a portion of every day in private prayer for the effusion of the Holy Spirit upon the village, and that united efforts should be employed to awaken the attention of sinners to a proper concern for their eternal well-being. Open-air services were forthwith held in the streets, though in the winter season, and many of the inhabitants were thereby aroused from their spiritual slumbers and began to inquire what they might do to be saved. One person found peace at a prayer-meeting on the 8th of the month, and six others on the 11th. A second meeting of the society was convened on the 23rd, to consider what further steps should be taken with a view to do good. One of the brethren recommended that all the families in the place should be visited, instructed in religious matters, and prayed with. This recommendation was approved; and with a view to carry it out, the village was divided into districts, and two persons appointed to each. On the 26th, this pious and courageous resolution was fulfilled as far as practicable; every house in the village was visited, but some of the families would not permit prayer to be offered up with them, — and others, terror-stricken at the mention of it, fled from their dwellings, leaving them in possession of their pious and benevolent visitors. But many received the visits gratefully, wept on account of their sinful course of life, and promised to begin to serve the Lord. At night there was preaching, numbers attended, and many found salvation. On Sunday, January 1st, 1843, many more penitents were made happy in the love of God; and a prayer-meeting was held every night in the week, at which cries for mercy were heard, mingled with songs of thanksgiving and rejoicing for the wondrous displays of saving grace. The second week in the New Year was equally successful, and the third much the same. From December 8th, 1842, to January 23rd, 1843, 216 persons were brought to the Lord at this village. About sixty of this number were boys and girls, chiefly belonging to the Sabbath-school. Many of the rest had been notorious for all manner of wickedness, and the reformation which took place in their conduct was so great, that the improvement of morals in the village was astonishing. ''A similar work," says the writer, ''is breaking out in divers parts of the circuit" Revivals of religion like this, so powerful and extensive, will account for the extraordinary increase of members previously mentioned. The whole district, too, appears to have shared in these rich effusions of the Holy Spirit In a brief report of the district meeting held at the beginning of May, it is said, "We record our gratitude to God for those gracious out-pourings of His Holy Spirit which have been vouchsafed to most of the circuits. Besides having made up the deficiencies occasioned by removals, backslidings, and deaths, we are enabled to report an increase of 1984 members."

From, ‘The History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion from its origin, by John Petty, 1860, p341.

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