Ockham (1862)

The following are extracts from a letter to the Methodist Recorder.”A few weeks ago we were favoured with a truly evangelical and powerful exhortation by a London clergyman. The place was crowded, and a very deep impres­sion was made. Several of our people went the following evening to Esher, to hear this talented and catholic-minded clergyman lecture on John Wesley. The truth wins its widening way,' and 'the things that have happened have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.' Out of 379 householders, not more than six have refused our tracts. I will with your permission, relate a particular case of conversion and reformation. I was requested last week to visit a woman some miles from here. On entering the house, she burst into tears and told me the following o'er true tale: ‘Mine has been a wretched life, all through the intemperance of my poor hus­band. He was kind when he was not in liquor, but he was seldom sober, and then he treated me badly and swore dread­fully. Some time ago he was sent with his master's horses to London, and to supply himself with drink he parted with their food. He was found out and sent to prison. I walked to Reigate to try and get him off and borrowed five pounds to pay the lawyer and he got twenty-one days instead of a longer term. When he came out he promised to mend, but in a fort­night he was as bad as ever, and cruelly left me to pay the money myself which I had borrowed. Yet he was not natu­rally unkind; it was the drink that did it. He has brought up as his own an orphan child. I always prayed for him; and when you opened the cottage at Ockham, something induced him to go there. I think it was an answer to my prayers. He had not been to church for nine years, and he said he had not understood it when he had gone. When he came home from your service at Ockham, he said, 'Oh! Mary, I have heard more to-night than I have heard all my life before;' and then, sir, his voice was broken, and he said, ‘I wish someone had told me this before, lass, and then I should not have treated you so badly.' Well, Sir, a young man that comes from Cobham, asked him to go there once, and he did, and he heard the Rev. Charles Prest, and he says he was never so knocked about in all his life. And now he is so changed, I sometimes think it cannot be my husband, and the house is so altered, and I am so happy, it seems like a dream, and all too good to be true. I often cry with joy when I am alone.' That man was called the devil of his village. He was at our watch-night service. I have seen him 'sitting and clothed and in his right mind.' I shall never forget his look when I wished him a happy new year.' I am, dear sir, yours sincerely,


From the 'Revival Newspaper', Volume VI, page 37

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