'I came to Darlington fully expecting to meet the devil, and so it proved. A report had been spread that I could not preach, nor utter five words of common sense, but God has opened my way and given me favour in the sight of the people; and he is powerfully abiding me in my blessed work. Many of God's children are receiving a full salvation, and numbers are blessed with a sense of pardon.' We have lately added about one hundred souls to the church. In Darlington we have had one of the most blessed love-feasts which our people here have yet witnessed. The good work is becoming general. At Bishop Auckland, last Sabbath, eight souls professed to receive full salvation; and the number who received a sense of pardon was very considerable, but I cannot state how many. Yours, John Oxtoby.'
From the foregoing letter, it appears that though Satan had attempted to sow difficulties in John’s way at Darlington, God interposed in his behalf, and made his way clear; giving him favour with the people and granting him abundant success in the work in which he so much delighted to be engaged. Every opposing influence fell before that mighty torrent of heavenly power which accompanied his homely appeals to the hearts and consciences of the people. God truly put honour upon his servant, secured his own glory, rebuked the enemy, and greatly increased the number of his saints. Truly it was ' Not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of the living God,' that the mountains fell before this pious man, while he attempted to plant the standard of the cross of the great Emmanuel.
“Praying Johnny” by Harvey Leigh, published in 1855, page 37.