Aylesbury: Extracts from the journal of J. Jefferies, 1836-7 covering the Aylesbury Mission
From the Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838
On the Aylesbury Mission of Shefford Circuit, 1836-7.
At the March quarter-day, 1836, I was taken out to travel, and appointed on this mission to labour with Bro. Price.
Saturday 26. — Walked twenty-five miles to Aylesbury.
Sunday, March 27. — We opened our mission by preaching in the open air. The congregations were large and attentive.
Monday 28. — Visited from house to house at Dinton, and informed the inhabitants we were going to preach in the open air. The congregation was large, although it rained fast; and I believe good was done.
Friday, April l. — Went through Tring, a small town in Hertfordshire. We intended preaching at two villages, but, it being a day of snow, we were prevented. Returned to Aylesbury in the evening, very much fatigued.
Tuesday 12. — Preached in the open air at Wing. A large congregation. Two backsliders were reclaimed; and a girl about twelve years of age powerfully convinced.
Friday 22. — Bro. Price and I held a meeting at Dinton, in a watch-night form. It was a good season. Several began to seek the Lord.
Sunday, May 1,1836. — Preached at Wingrave at nine, Weedon half-past one, Whitchurch half-past four, and at Hardwick at six o’clock, all in the open air. Hundreds of hearers; and I believe much good was done. I was very kindly entertained by a friend at Hardwick.
Monday 2. — Spoke at Dinton; had a mighty shaking, and many were quickened. I formed a class of twelve members; the first society of our people in this country.
Sunday, May 8. — Preached three times in the open air, at Watton, Dinton, and Market Hill. Large congregations; a most blessed feeling. One man at Market Hill was so affected he could not stay on the ground; and many more were in a flood of tears.
Tuesday 10. — Prayed with fourteen families. In one house while reading pieces from the magazine, and praying, two cried for mercy; one was made happy, the other found comfort, but could not fully believe. In another house, two more cried for mercy, but did not get saved. As I went on visiting, I met with an old man who had not attended any place of worship for years; but last Sunday he heard Bro. Price in the open air, and was mourning on account of his sins. I prayed with him and left him rejoicing in the Lord. Is not this a brand plucked from the burning?
Wednesday 11. — As I was visiting from house to house, a number came in where I was. I proposed a prayer meeting and we had a blessed time. Visited a school, and spoke to the children. Prayed with five more families. Spoke at Cublington in the open air; held a prayer meeting in a house, and six cried for mercy. This was something new here. Bless the Lord, satan’s kingdom had a mighty shaking.
Monday 16. — Spoke at Dinton in the open air; large congregation. Was disturbed by two wicked sinners, I told them if they were Englishmen to behave as such, and this they did not like. I see it is not my business to fear the frowns nor court the smiles of men. I prayed with many families.
Saturday 28. — Held a prayer meeting at Ashton Abbotts. A very powerful time. Four gave in their names to become members of society. The work must revive.
Sunday, May 29,1836. — Preached four times in the open air, at Wingrave, Weedon, Whitchurch, and Hardwick. Held a prayer meeting. This has been a blessed day. I have had hundreds to hear, and some have followed me all the day. O Lord ride on.
Sunday, June 5. — Preached four times in the open air. — Wingrave, Weedon, Aylesbury, and Hardwick. Large congregations through the day, and I believe good was done. Formed a class at Hardwick. Prayed with some families and walked nineteen miles. Was very much fatigued.
Monday 13. — Spoke at Dinton. Many were blest. Visited fourteen or fifteen families, and some promised to come to class the next time of meeting.
Wednesday 22. — Visited some families, and preached at Ashton Abbotts; a good prayer meeting after. Led class, joined three. Bless the Lord, we have eleven members here.
Tuesday 28. — Preached at Granborough, in the open air, for the first time. Large congregations; tears flowed in abundance. A church minister and his lady were present to hear.
Wednesday 29. — Missioned Quainton, by visiting and informing the people I was going to preach at the cross. It being a large village I was not able to inform the whole of the inhabitants. When I got to the cross some of them said, “You should have had it cried Sir.” I got on the cross and cried it myself, by singing the forty-fifth hymn small book. And I soon had near three hundred people to hear. Some cried one thing, and some another, but none cried for mercy. I walked seven miles to Aylesbury.
Thursday, July 14, 1836. — Visited twenty-one families, and spoke at North Marston; and some from that time began to seek the Lord.
Friday 15. — Preached twice; visited some families, and walked seventeen miles. Felt much blest in my own soul.
Wednesday, Aug. 17. — Visited sixteen families, and preached at Ashton Abbotts. Held a prayer meeting; and good was done.
Wednesday 31. — Visited some families, and spoke in the open air at Wigginton. My congregation was of some of the baser sort. There were four men, three of whom were intoxicated. Two had been fighting, and could scarce see. I had a few women and children, and this made my congregation. O Lord save the people at Wigginton.
Sunday, September 11. — Walked nineteen miles and preached three times, Longwick, Haddenham, and Dinton, very poorly in body, but the Lord helped me through the day.
Wednesday 14. — Visited many families and preached at Quainton in the open air, large congregation, some of the wicked sort made a strange noise but by the blessing of the Lord I was enabled to proceed, and by so doing they became very peaceable.
Tuesday 27. — Prayed with many families and preached at Wing. Large congregation. A heart searching time. Some rejoiced in the Lord, some mourned on account of their sins. Led class, a good feeling, two joined society.
Wednesday, Oct. 5. — Visited many families and preached at Quainton. Tears flowed in abundance, and I believe good was done. We have preached in the open air in most places on this mission, but the Lord has turned his mercy upon us, and we have succeeded in getting houses at most places. “O Lord revive thy work.”
Sunday, Oct. 16. — Held prayer meeting at Wingrave and spoke at ten, and led class. Held prayer meeting and class, and spoke at half-past four at Whitchurch; at Hardwick at six. Prayer meeting and class after. Walked a number of miles. This has been a good day to my soul.
Thursday 20. — Prayed with fourteen or fifteen families, and preached at North Marston; and the work of the Lord began to revive that night. I had great liberty in speaking, and the word run like fire. Lord send it through the village.
Friday, Nov. 4. — Visited some families and opened Ledburn. Large congregation, and a powerful time. I was like my master, I did not know where to lay my head, so I told the people I had been administering the word of life to them, and I hoped they would administer temporal things to me, and bless the Lord, it was but ask and have; I was kindly entertained and a bed found me to sleep on; bless the Lord for these mercies.
Sunday, Nov. 6. — Attended the prayer meeting at Wingrave, spoke and led class at ten, blessed time. Joined two. At half-past one led a lovefeast at Weedon; Bro. Price assisted, the speaking went well and a most blessed influence was felt. Some were earnestly seeking the Lord. Bro. P. told them of the way we had proceeded in Berkshire, and said we should go on in the same way now; so we formed a ring and the mourners came in, and six or seven soon were brought into glorious liberty. Two of them got wounded at Wingrave in the morning, and came to the lovefeast and got healed there and then. Bless the Lord for a present salvation. O Lord send it through the world. Spoke at Whitchurch at half-past four, the Lord was present with us. Spoke at Hard wick at six, and eight more stayed to class. This lifts up my hands and makes me sing, “The work of the Lord shall revive.”
Thursday 10. — Prayed with fourteen or fifteen families, and felt much blest in that duty. Spoke at North Marston, led prayer meeting and class after. One joined society. The mission yet shall rise.
Saturday 12. — Walked seven miles to Aylesbury. This week I have preached eight sermons, visited fifty families, led a lovefeast, four classes, and four prayer meetings, and walked forty miles. I have been very poorly with a violent cold, but the Lord has been my helper, so not unto me, but unto his name be all the glory.
Sunday, November 20. — Held a prayer meeting, and spoke at Wingrave at ten, led class. Prayer meeting and class, and spoke at Whitchurch. Added two to society. Spoke at Hardwick and led class, and the members prayed in quick succession. Added two to society.
Monday, Dec. 12. — Spoke at Dinton with full liberty, and the Word had good effect; the people rose into the Lord very mightily, and they are going on to this day. O Lord keep them to the end. Amen.
Sunday, Dec. 18. — Held prayer meeting, preached and led class at Wingrave, joined two to society. Spoke at Wing at half-past one, very full house, one was enabled to believe on the Lord. Preached at Ashton Abbotts at six, large congregation, many were in great distress of soul. O Lord bring them through.
Thursday 22. — Visited fifteen or sixteen families and spoke at North Marston; led class and there was a shout of a king heard in the little camp. Joined two. Bless the Lord, the mission yet shall rise.
Sunday, Dec. 25. — Attended prayer meeting and spoke at nine at Dinton, Howlswick at half-past three, and at Bishopstone-lane at six. This day the Lord has delivered me in a providential manner ; I was like to have been lost in the snow, it being so deep, and the wind so strong. I lost my way for two hours, I was not able to see a yard before me, but bless the Lord he delivered me after being in the snow five hours.
Tuesday 27. — Walked nine miles and spoke at Granborough, a mighty shaking was felt. Led class, joined one. This place is rising.
Sunday, January 1, 1837. — Spoke at Walton half-past nine, Weedon half-past one, and. Watton at five. Visited some families. I had my full liberty through the day, and may the Lord make me more faithful this year than last.
Monday 2. — Spoke at Bishopstone-lane. While I was speaking the glory came down, sinners began to cry for mercy, one was enabled to believe in the Lord. We have had several converted here since.
Tuesday 17. — Spoke at Granborough, had a hard time in speaking, but I see it was a trial of faith, for we had one converted and joined society, and many more were in distress.
Sunday, Jan. 22. — Spoke at Watton half-past nine, Weedon half-past one, led class. Spoke at Watton at five, powerful time. Led class, joined two.
Thursday, Feb. 2. — Prayed with a number of families, and preached at North Marston; a blessed class meeting, it seemed to me like the class meetings I had been at in Berkshire. We had a very blessed shout.
Sunday, Feb. 5. — Attended the prayer meeting and spoke at Dinton, some wept and some rejoiced in the Lord. Spoke at Howlswick at two, and at Bishopstone-lane at six. One converted and one powerfully convinced.
Tuesday 14. — Preached at Wendover a funeral sermon on the death of James Lambourne, by the request of the family. This man was quite a reprobate character for some years before his death, but at length God laid affliction upon him; he then began to think of his latter end; he attended our preaching as long as he was able, and on the thirtieth of August last, while I was preaching from “Behold the Lamb of God” &c., the Lord fully convinced him of his state, and soon after he found peace with God through believing, his affliction becoming so severe he was unable to leave his house any more, to hear the word of the Lord; but we frequently visited him and found him patient in his sufferings and happy in the Lord; on Jan. 13, 1837, he departed this life in hope of a glorious resurrection. A large congregation attended to hear his death improved, and I hope good was done.
May souls continue to be saved, and God’s name to he glorified through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Approved by the quarter-day board, March 6,1837.
John Ride, President. Wm. Wiltshire, Secretary.
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838. Pages 57-61.