Wendover (1860)

A Revival of the Work of God has been sought in this town for nearly three years. Discouragement for a while lay heavy on the hearts of "the praying few." But God in mercy gave some thirty or forty souls in answer to prayer about two years ago. The majority of professors being unprepared for sudden numerous conversions, the work of con­version ceased; deeper darkness, heavier discouragements and more insurmountable-looking obstacles exercised faith, causing it to strike deeper and spread wider, while the dead calm of midnight settled on the soul and all seemed lost. At this junc­ture the Lord sent amongst us S. Jefffcock, who commenced a series of services on Monday, the 6th, continuing them (two days excepted, spent at Tring) up to Monday, Jan. 20. After the first night the people flocked in such crowds that neither of the two chapels would hold them. Often not an inch of available space was left unoccupied; many stood around the doorways, occupied the vestries, and more crowding the aisles, especially the last two evenings. Not a village in the neighbourhood but fur­nished its quota, some persons coming a distance of several miles. It was as though the people had ceased to grow weary. The after-meetings for enquirers varied from fifty to two hundred persons. Anxious souls were to be seen on every hand. A fresh group rejoiced night after night in a sin-pardoning God. The joy was so great it was well-nigh impossible to break up; it was frequently twelve before the doors were closed. But blessed as these after-meetings were, they give but a faint idea of the greatness of the work. The dense mass composing the general congregation was greatly moved; nor can we wonder the heart of our beloved brother was filled to overflowing with the love of God and of Jesus. Jesus is all his theme, and he speaks of Him as of an intimate acquaintance, a personal friend. To Him he gives all the praise; and is ever jealous, with a jealousy that powerfully, though unconsciously to himself, re­bukes those who appear only to give honour to himself, lest He should be robbed of the glory.

The great work still goes on. Night after night anxious ones continue to come forward as a result of that fortnight's services. Another evangelist is now labouring with us, who with our dear brother Jeffcock, earnestly entreats the prayers of the readers of the Revival, that the Lord would pour all the bless­ings of his love upon the whole town, and all the regions round about. THOMAS ROBERTS, Independent Minister.

From the 'Revival Newspaper', Volume VI, page 45-6.

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 recognized 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.

The recent religious awakening in Wendover is its own witness. It is the work of God, not of man. A great and notable work, as the least favourable observers were constrained to admit. Its suddenness took all by surprise, most of all those who had been longest praying for it. Its real extent as to the number of converts to Jesus, and earnest seekers after Him; and as to its effect in expelling indifference, kindling thought, awakening concern, and quickening conscience -- the great day alone can

The probable number of converts I dare not estimate at less than 200, believing it to be considerably more. Recalling the ones and twos, the threes, fives, eights, tens, twelves, fifteens, twenty-fives, and on one occasion the thirty, who declared themselves at peace with God on successive nights during the months of January and February last, I am persuaded they cannot be less. Subsequent reports and observation confirm this. Our church have already admitted thirty-three. As many
are at present holding back through timidity, erroneous notions of church fellowship, the Lord's Supper, entanglement of circumstances connected with former habits, and other causes; others are to be found in the Baptist chapel.

"The Revival," February 19th, 1863.

Additional Information

The Independent/Congregational Church was knocked down, but the Manse is still there (24/8/2011).

Related Wells