Cambridge - Primitive Methodists (1821)

We must now turn in an opposite direction to notice more of the extensive missionary operations of Tunstall Circuit. In August 1821, we find Mr Joseph Reynolds, one of its missionaries, labouring with great zeal and success, at Cambridge and other places in the neighbourhood. Under date of August 8th, 1821, he writes to Tunstall Circuit Committee :

“Dear Brethren, — When I left Tunstall, I gave myself up to labour and suffering, and I have gone through both; but praise the Lord, it has been for His glory, and the good of souls, My sufferings are known only to God and myself. I have many times been knocked down while preaching, and have often had sore bones. Once I was knocked down, and was trampled under the feet of the crowd, and had my clothes torn, and all my money taken from me. In consequence of this, I have been obliged to suffer much hunger. One day I travelled near thirty miles and had only a penny cake to eat. I preached at night to near two thousand persons. But I was so weak when I had done, that I could scarcely stand. I then made my supper of cold cabbage and slept under a haystack in a field until about four o'clock in the morning. The singing of the birds then awoke me, and I arose, and went into the town, and preached at five to many people. I afterwards came to Cambridge, where I have been a fortnight, and preached to a great congregation, though almost worn out with fatigue and hunger. Today I was glad to eat the pea-husks as I walked on the road. But I bless God that much good has been done. I believe hundreds will have to bless him in eternity for leading me hither. Cambridge is a large county town, and has hundreds of ministers in it; yet there is little evangelical preaching, and thousands of its inhabitants are living in iniquity. I have suffered a little persecution, but it is now abating, and thousands flock to hear the Word. Souls have been converted every day, and I have been called up in a morning to pray with persons who have been wrestling all night with the Lord for the pardon of their sins. I may also say that God has been saving by whole families. One day I prayed in a house to which I had religious, and all the family, including three servants as well as near relatives, found the Lord. I cannot fully describe what a work there is about Cambridge. Letters have been sent to me to visit more places than I could attend, and many persons have desired to be joined in society. O what has God done, and what may He still do, if these labours be followed up." From, ‘The History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion from its origin, by John Petty, 1860, p114-5

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