Wesley's Chapel - John Smith (1819)

At the district meeting held in the month of May, Mr Smith was appointed to assist in conducting a watch night at City Road Chapel The whole of the preceding afternoon he spent in earnest entreaty for the divine blessing upon the meeting. He had great enlargement in delivering an exhortion on the occasion; and while he was afterwards engaged in prayer, the influence of the Holy Spirit descended in an unusual manner. The effect was extraordinary. Some cried aloud under a consciousness of their sin and peril: some were unable to repress exclamatiions of praise to God; while others were so overwhelmed, as to be obliged to retire from the chapel. Among these last, was a baker who had been accustomed to follow his business on the Sabbath day. His alarm was so powerful that he was bowed down towards the earth and it was with great difficulty that he succeeded in reaching his own house. When he retired to bed, sleep had forsaken him. He arose in inexpressible agony, and casting himself on his knees, wrestled with God for about two hours, when the Lord pardoned his sins and filled his heart with joy and his mouth with thanksgiving. His wife also soon experienced the immediate result of which was that they altogether relinquished baking on a Sabbath day, and sacrificed the gains of iniquity, which amounted to one guinea per week. "I had an interview with them" says Mr Clarkson, "about two years afterwards and they assured me that the Lord had so prospered them in their business, that they had been gainers ever since."

R Treffry's 'Life of John Smith', p108.


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