Wellington - Rev Darracott (1756)

When I came hither, which was in the year 1741, I found the interests of religion very low; the communion was almost reduced to nothing; the stated hearers very thin and the greatest stupidity and unconcernedness about anything of religion I ever saw. When I first made my pastoral visit to their houses, I was astonished to see how many families had not so much as a good book, and more still had not a Bible; how many parents as well as children could not read a letter. When I saw this I less wondered at the ignorance many of them discovered and surely greater ignorance could hardly be found among the wild savages. I urged them to attend the public preaching of the word, and multitudes were soon brought to that, who before seldom went anywhere to worship, and to encourage them to learn to read, I promised to procure Bibles, Testaments and other books for them; and by the help of a noble charity in London,immediately got a hundred children to learn several sets of Catechisms, there being a reward both of money and books for so doing.

I took out licences for houses in the most ignorant villages around us, and went out in the week time to preach, which drew a number of the most abandoned in these places to hear me, who afterwards came ot our place of worship on Lord's days. And I have now great numbers of these poor creatures who come in three, four and five miles to hear me constantly all the year round, and are some of the most judicious and exemplary Christians I have, who were before among the most stupid and dissolute. The preaching of the word for several years made constant impression in more or less degree. And though the convictions of some hundreds who have heard me are quite worn off, yet in considerable numbers they have terminated in a remarkable and saving change, which the country round is at once a witness to, and have expressed their astonishment at.

Our house of worship though enlarged since my coming thither, is now crowded every Lord's day, and our communion is increased to between two and three hundred. I must observe the principal success of my ministry has been all along among the poor, the richer sort having rather dispised my ministrtions and opposed my endevours than given me any countenance and encouragement in them...I hope there has been a little revival of late, and that among the young people which gives me great joy.

From a letter from the Rev Mr Darracott.

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