Laverton (1864)

At the request of some friends, I sent you an account of the Lord’s work in this a retired and romantic village. The Wesleyans preached in Laverton in the year 1828 and left in 1831. In the year 1862, preaching commenced again, so that 31 years passed away without any meeting. Not any conversion has taken place till the spring. The people that attended have always been attentive, but the number is so small that they were about to remove the meeting elsewhere. Last Christmas, my wife and I were invited to spend a few days with some friends at Laverton. I at first declined, but being pressed to go, my wife said, “How do you know but that the Lord has sent for you ?“ I replied if I thought so I would go. She then said, “Go and prove him“ (Mal iii 10). I did so. On the Sabbath evening, December 27, I requested permission to hold a religious meeting (as I am no preacher). To my surprise, on my arrival, I found a house full of people, 80 or more. At the close several friends from a distance engaged in prayer and we had a delightful evening. The Lord was with us. When about to leave we were entreated to have another meeting. We did, and believe the Spirit of the Lord was striving with many of the people.  I advised them to commence a prayer meeting in the week and was told there were no praying friends, but the Lord sent a young Christian brother full of zeal and love. On January 28, three friends from Broadway, with him, opened the meeting. They afterwards retired to a farmhouse. During family worship, the nursemaid cried out for mercy and prayed the publican's prayer. The friends prayed further for her, and the Lord spoke peace to her troubled soul; truly, it was no other than the house of God and the gate of heaven. Her conduct since leaves no doubt that she is truly converted. February 3, the same friends met again and another soul rejoiced in the sweet forgiving love of Jesus. Sabbath evening, 7, the house full of people. After the service, those who wished to give their hearts to God were invited to remain. Not one left the place. Had a prayer meeting, many in tears. My wife and I were invited to go again and believing it to be a call from the Lord we went. On Sunday, Feb 21, at the close of the afternoon service, to our surprise, found 12 or more formed into a class. I would here remark that I am not a Wesleyan, and I am an entire stranger, living at a distance of 22 miles; but I love to go heart and hand with all that love the Lord Jesus Christ. In the evening, the house was crowded. It was a site to gladden the heart, at the after-meeting, to see a group of young converts at one corner of the room singing of “the sweet fields of Eden;“ at another, my wife, with a group of boys and girls in prayer; in other places, myself and Christian friends, conversing and praying with the penitents. It was a soul-refreshing time. Monday afternoon, my wife held a mothers' meeting – a solemn season. Monday and Tuesday evenings the house filled again, and it was with difficulty that we could close the second and the third time.  Since then they have continued preaching on Sabbath evenings and on Wednesday hold a prayer meeting. Our friend writes us, March 3: “The people still flock together. The Lord is working among them. They seem to be hungering after the word of God!" Twelve friends engaged in prayer. After preaching, a dead, Professor was revived, a backslider restored; but now they are left. We have heard of one young girl being discharged from her situation on account of attending the meetings. Surely the Lord uses the weak things of the world to confound the mighty. “It is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord.“ They were calm, solemn meetings; no excitement.

"The Revival," March 24th, 1864.

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