I preached at Macclesfield in the evening to a people ready prepared for the Lord. An impetuous shower began just as we came into the town, but it did us no hurt. Inquiring how the revival here began, I received the following account: — In March last, after a long season of dryness and barrenness, one Monday night John Oldham preached. When he had done and was going away, a man fell down and cried aloud for mercy. In a short time, so did several others. He came back and wrestled with God in prayer for them. About twelve he retired, leaving some of the brethren, who resolved to wrestle on till they had an answer of peace. They continued in prayer till six in the morning, and nine prisoners were set at liberty.
They met again the next night; and six or seven more were filled with peace and joy in believing: So were one or two more every night till the Monday following, when there was another general shower of grace; and many believed that the blood of Christ had cleansed them from all sin.
I spoke to these (forty in all) one by one. Some of them said they received that blessing ten days, some seven, some four, some three days, after they found peace with God; and two of them the next day. What marvel, since one day is with God as a thousand years?
The case of Ann Hooly was peculiar. She had often declared, “The Methodists’ God shall not be my God. I will sooner go to hell than I will go to heaven in their way.” She was standing in the street with two young women, when John Oldham, passing by, spoke to one and the other, and went on. She burst into tears, and said, “What! am I so great a sinner, that he won’t speak to me?” About twelve he was sent for in haste. He found her in deep distress but continued in prayer till all her trouble was gone, and her spirit rejoiced in God her Savior. Yet three nights after she was in much distress again, crying, “I have a wicked heart, and I cannot rest until God takes it away.” He did so in a few hours. Ever since she has been a pattern to all the young people in the town. She was thirteen years old. In about a year, her spirit returned to God.
John Wesley's Journal 6th August 1762.