Wendover is awaking to consider her ways. Toward the close of January (see No. 133), soon after the visit of Mr Jeffcock the fountains of feeling rose high. The new-born souls were filled with their joy. Their companions, who should have been watching, filled with a new surprise, were giving forth notes of praise too loud to be lasting, and anon lamentations of mischief too bitter to be just. Satan was busy, so much so, that well-nigh succeeded in bringing the whole work into contempt because "the bridegroom came at midnight" to claim the souls he won, or "because a short work did the Lord make" in bringing those souls to Himself. In the meantime, the young believers from the villages of Aston Clinton, Ellesborough, and Kimble, were meeting together night after night for prayer. Wendover was left to its ordinary services. Prurient curiosity was allayed. The spirit of hearing for the purpose of instruction became evident, more especially among the many newcomers, who attended both Sabbath and week-night services. Some who doubted were constrained to acknowledge the power of the Lord accompanied the regular ministrations of his word. One and another came forward to testify both with lip and life what the Lord was doing for them. The work of the Lord in Ellesborough and Kimble has been very extensive. A gentleman resident in the neighbourhood told the writer a few days ago, that with one or two exceptions, all the labourers, &c; in his employ, had declared themselves on the Lord's side. The change throughout Ellesborough is so marked and general, that the village is not like the same place. The Lord has greatly blessed the labours of the itinerant evangelist from Wendover at both these places; also more or less at Stoke, Stone, Longwick, Ford, and Thame (Oxon). At Aston Clinton a new interest is rising. The new converts there, though they belong to the labouring poor, have licensed a house, purchased forms, &c,, for regular worship, and are receiving tokens of the Divine favour. Will the readers of the Revival infant community; also for Halton and Weston? each of which villages, lying near together, has its converts.pray for this
Mr Jeffcock recently paid another visit to Wendover for Monday and two following evenings. Though the weather was unfavourable, the people came again in hundreds to hear the word of God from his lips. The power of the Lord seemed to fill and glorify his house. Nothing could exceed the case and calmness, the sweetness and fervour with which our dear brother illustrated from Scripture, facts and incidents, the tenderness, the condescension, the exhaustless fulness of the love of God our gracious Father toward us. The solemnity, when that crowded assembly bowed their heads in silent prayer just before sermon, was well-nigh overpowering. The great day alone can declare the result of these three most precious services. Scarcely an effort was made to get at results. The whole aim was to deepen the work already begun. The majority who attended each night were known as Christians, and the greater part of them were recognised as new converts. The deep interest and attention, and the profound quiet of these services afforded pleasing evidence of the reality and extent of this great work. While the opposition manifest around the doorway night after night, sometimes in one form, and then in another, affords evidence of the rage of the devil. Altogether the encouragements are so great that we propose to hold a great mass-meeting somewhere in the neighbourhood. THOMAS ROBERTS, Independent Minister.
From the 'Revival Newspaper', Volume VI, page 134.
Aston Clinton, Buckland, Lee Common, Scrub Wood, Ellesboro', Chalkeshire, Nash, Leigh, Stoke Mandeville and Kimble, have each their several converts.
In Aston Clinton there are probably not less than from thirty to forty. Residing as they do at considerable distance from each other and having lived previously as aliens and strangers from the commonwealth of Israel, they were for a while unknown to each other. It was not long however before one of them opened his cottage for reading the Scriptures and prayer. This was speedily filled on two or three evenings a week, then the next one to it. These two houses overflowing, and no more suitable place being offered, a publican welcomed them to his skittle-alley, where from 200 to 300 persons have assembled for more than two months to hear the word of life from the lips of a Primitive Methodist local preacher of twenty years standing.
In Ellesboro' the converts have been sufficiently numerous to alter the character of the entire village. Bible classes have been formed, prayer meetings are held, and an extra service is conducted, all of which are sustained from the attendance of the new converts and inquirers. A member of your committee testifies that, with one or two exceptions, all the labourers in his employ, men and lads, are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; other employers afford similar testimony.
And though, in the remaining villages named, the numbers have not been quite so numerous, there are abundantly sufficient to testify of the power of the grace of God.
The former character of the converts varied from downright ungodliness to high moral consistency. A small number compared with the whole had been of intemperate and profane habits; others had lived lives of easy carelessness and stifling indifference. Some, the victims from youth of stifled convictions woke up to see a rejected gospel like a falling rock, threatening "to ground them to powder." But the larger number came from the thoughtful and serious class, persons who had oft been awakened by sermons, hymns, and prayers in public worship, by the friendly word in season, and by bereaving and other alarming providences. Of these there were some who had been sighing in secret for rest in Jesus for a year, two years, three, five, and one seven years. Nearly the whole of the two hundred were either the children of praying parents or other praying relatives or were so connected with congregations as to show they had been the subjects of many prayers,
The final step towards these results was taken in December last, when Mr Samuel Jeffeock, an evangelist of London was invited to preach for three or four nights. The announcement of his coming excited a spirit of expectation not to be accounted for. He had no sooner commenced his series of services, than the people assembled in overflowing numbers. He took hold of the attention, created an interest and moved to their depths the feelings of every hearer. Social distinctions, religious differences were ignored, if not forgotten. Jesus, and Jesus only was set forth before all eyes as if He had been literally crucified among us. This was effected as much by his introduction of Weaver's hymns, his singing which was very sweet and peculiarly adapted to the hymns, and his comments on Scripture, as by his discourses. Nothing could exceed the profound quiet and solemnity of those services, though every available corner was choked up with hearers. The simple announcement of a prayer meeting at the close of each service soon drew into the schoolroom above a hundred under deep impression from the truth and then and there took place events which cannot and will not be forgotten forever.
"The Revival," February 19th, 1863.