Leicester - John Oxtoby (1826)

“I have been in the south as far as Leicester, and many there will have to praise God to all eternity for the rich and saving influence which attended my visit. I did not get much money, but God gave me many souls. I got to Leicester before Whit-8unday; and on that day I went to our chapel, with the expectation of hearing preaching. I found the chapel large, capable I should think, of containing 1500 persons. When seated, a man came to me and said, 'you must preach.' And if I had given way to my feelings, I need not have attempted; but that God who has chosen the weak of this world to confound the things which are mighty, powerfully helped me. I had not preached long before one woman received a full salvation, and she clapped her hands and shouted ‘It is done’ and I exclaimed ' it is done I only believe.' In a little while a man fell down and cried aloud for mercy, and almost instantly God set him at liberty. Soon after, another man sank down on the floor, which caused great alarm and consternation. Some hastened to raise him up, but I desired them to leave him alone and assured them that the Lord would help him up. The good work then became general throughout the chapel, and many were made truly happy. I preached again on Monday night, and the Lord stretched forth his helping hand. The scene at one time was most extraordinary. There was not only a very great shaking, but a great number of persons fell to the ground. They actually were strewed all over the floor of the sacred house; some were in deep anguish; some were crying aloud for mercy, and some were made happy in God, and loudly sang his praises. Blessed be the Lord for his marvellous doings! He has poured out his Holy Spirit and kindled a Wharfdale fire in the south. The people were filled with amazement and wondered what all this meant, but many of them heartily joined me in the good work. I had paid my coach fare to Nottingham intending to proceed there on the morrow, but they persisted that I should not go. My coach fare was of course lost; bat they made it good. I therefore remained with them and preached again on Tuesday night. Again the Lord stretched forth his hand, and there was a mighty shaking and a great salvation among the people.

On Wednesday morning I left them, and proceeded to Nottingham; but before I did so, I had the pleasure to learn that about fifty souls had, during my visit, been brought into liberty. Kindest love to all.

'Yours, John Oxtoby'

“Praying Johnny” by Harvey Leigh, published in 1855, page 41.

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